Thursday, November 4, 2010

San Mateo County Voters Elect First Non-Incumbent to Harbor Board in 12 Years

Voters on Tuesday elected two members to the five-member San Mateo County Harbor District board including a veteran incumbent and the board's first new commissioner in 12 years.

Jim Tucker, a three-term commissioner first elected in 1998 and currently treasurer of the board, was re-elected to a fourth term.

Joining Tucker will be first-time board member Robert Bernardo, a former San Francisco planning commission member and current manager at the Port of Oakland.
The harbor district, located in Northern California, oversees the Pillar Point Harbor at the northern end of Half Moon Bay and Oyster Bay Marina Park in southwestern Bay Area.

The election was highlighted by veteran Commissioner Ken Lundie's noble gesture to save the district the $500,000 to $700,000 in county election fees for the election that instead led to more filings to run for the office and guaranteed a need for the election.

Earlier this year Tucker and Lundie announced they would run for re-election on the November ballot. Non-incumbent Bill Klear filed to run against them.

The day before the closing of the candidate filing period for the ballot, Lundie, who was running for his fourth four-year term on the board, tried to save the Harbor District the election costs by withdrawing his name from the ballot. This would have left Jim Tucker and newcomer Klear to take the Harbor Commission seats.
It would have except for a law stating that when an incumbent fails to file or withdraws, the filing period is extended – in this case by five-days.

During this five-day extension, and with three-term incumbent Lundie no longer in the race, Sabrina Brennan and Robert Bernardo filed to run – forcing the issue back on to the ballot.

On the agenda for Bernardo, Tucker and the rest of the board is the opening next year of a $53 million ferry terminal at Oyster Point, as well as ongoing redevelopment projects at Pillar Point, home to numerous commercial fishing vessels.

The district also faces the ongoing task of whittling down state debt built up years ago--a debt which now stands at $10 million.