Overy the past 19 years, Harvey has spent hundreds of hours listening to and becoming familiar with the concerns of Half Moon Bay residents and the issues that have been pivotal to our Coastside community. If you elect him to the Council, he will in fact be a "full-time" representative of the people, since as a retiree, he has the ability to spend full time on the Council job.
Harvey believes that the citizens of Half Moon Bay should provide direction to the City Council. Then the Council should make policy and provide direction to the City Manager and staff.
Too often in the past, it seems that this order has been reversed, with staff directing the Council, via complex "packets" of reports and information, while the citizens receive only cursory attention at Council meetings. Individual Council members' perogatives to place issues for for discussion on the Council's agenda have largely been overlooked.
As a consequence, citizens are often limited to just observing Council meetings, or to simply making "Comments," which often seem to be ignored by both Council and staff, and do not appear to tie-into the policymaking process.
If you elect Harvey to the Council, he would like to get back to the way things ought to be done in City policymaking and management.
Within the confines of the Brown Act, which puts limits on citizens (through their Council members) adding issues for "on the spot" discussion by the Council, there are still several ways in which the Council can do a better job of handling citizen input and responding to their ideas.
For example, Council members can hold regular meetings that citizens can attend to voice their opinions and set forth ideas and initiatives for future discussion by the Council. Council members Penrose and Ruddock are already doing this with their bi-weekly coffee klatches, which are open to all comers. Harvey (and one other Council member, if s/he so desires) will also do this regularly, to solicit citizen inputs.
Local residents can also be recruited to make up working groups for the purpose of discussing selected issues and reporting to the Council. Harvey would support such an initiative, since he believes that Half Moon Bay is particularly rich in "local talent," which to date has been under-utilized by the City.
Finally, Council members' personal comments on how they spent their time since the previous Council session can be shortened and moved to the end of the agenda. The time freed-up by this move can be invested in citizens' comments to the Council, or in reports that follow-up on previous sessions' comments.