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Measure AA

Original post made by Patti Price, Menlo Park: The Willows, on May 22, 2014

This is an expensive place to live. But if we set aside some land we can all share, there will be protected views, protected watersheds, and protected animal corridors. Providing access to some of these areas for all is like having an enormous back yard in which to recharge our souls. The redwoods and rolling hills are a great counter balance to the cement and steel in more developed regions nearby. POST, Midpen and other groups have done a great job of protecting lands in an intelligent manner. Funding is needed to provide more access and to complete some connections. That's why it's important that people support Measure AA. It will set aside money to keep the land open forever. It's an inexpensive bond – at most $31 a year for a homeowner with a house assessed at $1 million – and it does a lot. In all, 200 miles of trails will be added to thousands of acres already set aside. Midpen hasn't let us down yet. They deserve our support.

Comments (11)

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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 28, 2014 at 10:55 am

MidPen weaseled their way into San Mateo County in 1976 by posing as a Regional Park District. Their annexation strategy, which lumped San Carlos, Redwood City and Atherton(who voted against the annexation) with the environmentalist strongholds of Portola Valley and Menlo Park, produced a marginal victory. Property taxes(currently providing $10,000,000/year to the District) were assessed. Shortly thereafter, this Park District changed their name and function to that of an Open Space District, and active recreation was removed from their plan.
The Coastside annexation was accomplished by exempting those properties from the tax which properties annexed in 1976 provide to the District. Coastside tax revenue could accrue to the District without a tax increase for property owners, if agencies within those boundaries gave up a tiny portion of their share. That is the situation in the 1976 annexation area.

I have commented, in other topics, suggesting that proper stewardship of open space lands should include environmentally compatible revenue producing uses of a small percentage of open space land. One such use is golf courses developed by third parties under a land lease agreement. I suggest that a local entrepreneur, Robert Trent Jones, could effectuate a plan which would produce enough revenue to maintain open space land and obviate the need for a $300,000,000 Bond Measure(Measure AA).
Web Link
Each golf course would require less than 90 acres of active area. The active area of six golf courses would need less than 1% of the total open space land owned by MROSD. Let's think about alternative funding(non-tax}.

Regarding revenue producing golf courses, I direct readers to a "Market and Financial Feasibility Analysis for a New Golf Course in San Mateo County" conducted by Anna Trela, for San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Department in June 1989. Web Link
Ms. Trela, then an Associate of Economic Research Associates, was later employed as Vice President, Advancement, Peninsula Open Space Trust.
I suggest that this document be used by MROSD to create alternative funding for its "visions". They should also seek a share of property tax revenues from the Coastside annexation properties. This would not raise taxes on those properties, and would yield at least $1,000,000 per year in added revenue.


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Posted by Just say no
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

Jack has a golf course down the street from his house and it's open all the time, even in summer - hardly a reservation required. He wanted to pave over Edgewood park and put a golf course on top of the park, a mere mile or two from the one here in Emerald Hills.

A new golf course is not a park for the many, just for a few elites that don't like the course they have down the street. Walking alongside a fairway cart path is not a nature hike.

That said, it ain't happening, Jack. Give it up.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 28, 2014 at 11:36 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

This is so simple………NO on Measure AA


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Posted by Carlie Foxtrot
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on May 31, 2014 at 10:34 am

These are the people who tried to steal Nuns' property. So you have to question their ethics. They are also operating at a deficit. So we should give them more money to mismanage and then have the privilege of paying through the nose for their incompetence? No thank you.

They just want to accumulate as much land as possible without any regard for individual property rights.

We already have some of the strictest zoning ordinances in the nation to ensure that properties are not misused and we already have plenty of open space. If they can't manage what they have now why should we trust them with more land? It is a folly.


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Posted by Just say no
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 1, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Quite humorous - even Jack's like minded brethren can't get behind Jack's golf course argument.

But H's veering off the rails (another "cute" name, eh, H?) with a unsubstantiated fact less post almost match's Jack's!!


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Posted by Carlie Foxtrot
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 2, 2014 at 8:16 am

Dave Price wrote an insightful piece about why we should vote no on Measure AA in the May 5 issue of the Daily Post.

To read his article click on

Web Link

And then for the second page click on

Web Link


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 2, 2014 at 10:14 am

I received 5 - 11 x 17 and 3 - 8 1/2 x 11 full color brochures paid for with major funding from Peninsula Open Space Trust and the Sempervirens Fund. Both receive tax deductible contributions from wealthy supporters. Both specifically committed to raise money for this campaign.
This may be legal, but it doesn't pass the smell test. This loophole must be plugged. Tax dollars, directly or indirectly, should not be used to fund these campaigns.

Vote NO on AA


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Posted by Just say no
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 2, 2014 at 10:38 am

Jack is looking for election and campaign finance reform?

Or just moaning about business as usual when it conflicts with his views?

As the lead for the local libertarians, perpetually underfunded, maybe he would recognize the need for public financing of elections. Nah, he'd rather that the 1% keep buying politicians.

For those who have yet to vote -- don't listen to the local libertarian cranks. No to Jack's golf courses.

Yes on AA.


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Posted by Coastal resident
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2014 at 1:26 pm

I am not in anyway aligned with Jack Hickey nor Michael Stogner - in fact I completely disagree with them on most topics. I am not a Libertarian.

But I am a Coastside resident and I would like to see Measure AA fail and would like them to come back with a bond measure solely to improve and open access to their existing properties. I do NOT want bond funds used to purchase land. Let private individuals who can afford it give money to POST for land purchases. Let the taxpayers fund bonds only to improve existing open space. And please consider the folks who actually live out here where the rest of the Peninsula comes to play. This is not just your park, this is our home.


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Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm

In my initial comment, I said "The Coastside annexation was accomplished by exempting those properties from the tax which properties annexed in 1976 provide to the District. Coastside tax revenue could accrue to the District without a tax increase for property owners, if agencies within those boundaries gave up a tiny portion of their share. That is the situation in the 1976 annexation area." That should be done before another bond measure is considered. And, if MROSD thinks they can annex more of San Mateo County with similar tax concessions, they should do so. These actions do not require any increase in property taxes. If the other agencies are unwilling to give up this tiny portion of their property tax revenue, the Legislature should be asked to enable this to happen with a vote of the people.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

My main objection with Measure AA is in the mailers they don't tell the voters the amount of bond which starts out at $300,000,000 and the term of debt up to 40 years for a total close to $600,000,000 obligation.


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