Dec 13 – Flood Park – Board of Supervisors – Phasing

On Tuesday December 13, at 9am, the County Board of Supervisors set back local area youth with an unusual move that ended up stopping the planned Flood Park renovation of the baseball field and the building of the new multi-use fields that were to be constructed this year. It has resulted in delaying these fields from being available for at least 3 more years and has, in essence removed them from being funded to not being funded. Supervisors also cancelled the planned presentation by County Parks for the Phase 1 plan for Flood Park that was scheduled for the meeting.

Supervisors further removed the item from the Regular Agenda where it could have been presented, discussed, and public input could have been allowed. This was a significant agenda item, representing a major multi-million dollar step forward for Flood Park, but with a major change for which the public and key stakeholders should have been notified. Such an item normally requires it to be on the Regular Agenda. It should not have been suppressed. Nor should the change of Phase 1 been withheld from the youth organizations, parents, and coaches that have been active supporters of the sports fields for 8 years.

A complaint pertaining to the suppression of this item from the BOS agenda was sent to County Counsel John Nibbelin on Jan 3rd and again on Jan 20th. That complaint stated, briefly:

  • County Supervisors inappropriately removed the Flood Park agenda from Regular Agenda
  • Breeched County’s commitment to transparency and accountability
  • This Flood Park item was a major decision involving authorization to commit millions of dollars
  • Supervisors suppressed Public’s rights to engage and be heard
  • Supervisors action blocked the Parks Presentation that was scheduled to occur
  • Requests County Counsel to:
    • Identify what steps and process was used to remove this item from the Regular Agenda
    • Research and explain who was involved in the decision and how this occurred
    • Provide the public guidelines and procedures related to Board agenda items
    • Rescind or otherwise cancel the approval action taken by Supervisors and reschedule
Read Full Text of Complaint:

A major breach in County’s commitment to transparency and being open with the public has occurred.   At the December 13th Board of Supervisors meeting an agenda item, #82 (Flood Park Phase 1 Plan), was pushed to the Consent Agenda. It should have been on the Regular Agenda.  Even after others in the public requested, during General Public Comment,  that it be moved to the Regular Agenda, the Supervisors refused.

Transparency and accountability are the foundations of of our county government. This agenda item does not seem to meet the criteria for Consent Agenda items.  Consent agenda items usually are typically for routine administration actions that are not controversial, honorary acknowledgements, proclamations, or accepting minutes of prior meetings, and other such topics.    This is not the case for this item. 

Item #82 pertained to authorizing a Phase development plan for Flood Park.   This Phasing plan was not previously finalized.  Warren Slocum referred to this agenda item as a “critical milestone” to “…finalize project designs”.  This was a significant planning step and the Parks Department had prepared to present this to the Board of Supervisors.   The  Parks department made a wide spread announcement that they would be presenting the Phase 1 plan to the Board of Supervisors on December 13th and encouraged the public to attend the board meeting.  Parks included this public November 29th announcement on the County’s Parks Department website.   This is an important item to the public and represents a major step in the Flood Park renovation. 

Yet, this agenda item was suppressed to the Consent Agenda.  The Parks presentation did not happen,.  The public has been denied proper process. It negatively impacted area youth in already depressed communities by delaying (by years) important baseball, soccer, and other sport actives that require large multi-use fields.

This agenda item was to finalize a phase development plan for which there is high public interest and concerns. This is important because the agenda item takes initial steps for contracting of millions of dollars of expenditures.  From one perspective, the Supervisors have an obligation — a duty — to include the public voice and to consider the public and youth sports advocate voices, in determining the Phase 1 plan.  

I would like you to report back on: 
• What process was used to remove this item and the Parks Presentation from the Regular Agenda, and who was involved.
• Explain the reason this item was moved to the Consent Agenda when it was clear that it was to be on the Regular Agenda and that Parks was to present its plans. Many in the community have concerns and input as to what development should be in the Phase 1 plan. 
• Provided the published guidelines for San Mateo County board of supervisor agenda items.
• What steps are there to correct and mitigate this board action.

I hope, that if there were inappropriate actions involved, to have County remedy this by placing this item on a Regular Agenda of a future Board of Supervisor meeting and rescind or otherwise cancel the approval action taken on this item by the board on December 13.

I hate to have to ask this of you as I feel it puts me in bad light with County; yet, I feel that this has been a breach of an important aspect of County’s commitment to the public trust and process.  It believe too that our area youth have been excluded and harmed by having this agenda item suppressed.  There was an opportunity to complete the youth baseball and soccer-multiuse fields, in addition to the Pump track,  this year.  Now the majority of those will be pushed out another year or more

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