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Woodside: Reactions to ethics investigation over board member's email

Original post made on Jan 31, 2017

An email by Woodside town volunteer Nancy Reyering, which led to a months-long ethics investigation that cost the town tens of thousands of dollars, adds up to a "very unfortunate incident," said Councilman Peter Mason, who is mentioned prominently in the email.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 10:11 AM

Comments (15)

Posted by Misleading article!
a resident of Woodside School
on Jan 31, 2017 at 11:28 am

This tone of this article is very misleading – it makes it sound as if the ethics charges against Nancy Reyering were upheld by the Town Council. Only the Town Council has the ability to find a volunteer in violation of its ethics code. This report is just one step in the process. Since Peter Mason seems happy to put this incident behind him (wonder why?) and Mayor Livermore and former Mayor Gordon both refuse to comment on this story, I’d say there’s a decent chance the Town Council would not uphold all – or even any – of the report’s findings if it had a hearing. This article should make that clear.


Posted by K
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 31, 2017 at 12:12 pm

It's a crime that a true advocate of environmental consideration and aesthetic beauty in Woodside is being targeted and vilified by town leaders. Whatever measure of success they've achieved in this situation thus far is reflective of our current "alternative facts" culture.


Posted by Woodside Tax Payer
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Jan 31, 2017 at 12:52 pm

I haven't spoken up until now, but this latest article by Mr. Boyce is EXTREMELY MISLEADING.
The Almanac seems to value the court of public opinion over facts.
There are at least 3 IMPORTANT parts to this story, none of which are addressed:

1. Going after a volunteer in this way. Inappropriate on its face, but the nastiness is really over the top.
2. The spending of taxpayer funds on something this petty
3. The Town Attorney, Town Manager, and Mayor trying to distance themselves from serious Conflict of Interest concerns brought up by an appointed volunteer -by attacking her!!!

Aside from what is in the article, I feel like the Town Staff are acting like a bunch of school yard bullies. I'm beginning to think they need a permanent "time out." I am one of many who pays their salaries and their behavior toward a volunteer is just ridiculous.


Posted by Alternative Facts
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Jan 31, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Has the Almanac looked into Peter Mason’s completely inappropriate letters to the town manager asking for special treatment by the ASRB?

His behavior as a council member and someone who sits on a zoning subcommittee writing ordinances is completely improper — and yet the Almanac makes the story about Nancy! Outrageous.

Bravo to her for bringing this public. The community needs to be aware of what is going on in the Town of Woodside.

One thing you CAN say about Nancy: she and the Town are definitely on opposite sides of an ethical divide.


Posted by Concerned resident
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 31, 2017 at 2:18 pm

The Woodside Town Council has already voted to redact all mentions of Climate Change from its Climate Action Plan.

Now, it has created a witch hunt, with no public oversight and at tremendous taxpayer expense, to target a whistle blower. If you want to know what the Trump administration would look like at the local level, or if you think that can’t happen here in Silicon Valley, look no further…




Posted by TJ
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 31, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Dave Boyce’s follow-up story includes (yet again...) a critical error that should be corrected immediately.

The findings of the investigator are NOT conclusive in this matter. Only the Town Council has the ability to make an official finding regarding whether a Town volunteer violated its code of ethics. This report is one piece of information in the effort to come to a conclusion, but at this time Nancy has NOTbeen found in violation of the Town’s ethics codes.

The MISLEADING tone of the article makes it sound as if this issue has been settled, when in fact a final conclusion cannot be reached until the Town Council holds a public hearing and a vote.

The Almanac needs to find a reporter who can write a story using the facts for a change.

===========

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The story says that attorney Brown reports that the five charges SHOULD be sustained. We added a link to a related story that goes into more detail and has the paragraph below. Web Link


Also, we've added this paragraph to this story.

The report says the next step is for the mayor to determine whether further investigation is warranted. According to the town's ethics code, when the investigation is completed, the report "shall be presented to the Town Council at a public meeting of the Council. The Town Council will accept testimony on the matter and determine whether a violation of the Code has occurred."


Posted by ASRB Victim
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jan 31, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Mr/Ms Alternative Facts:

You may very well be correct about Peter Mason. In which case the correct thing to do is file a complaint with the town, not attack him in public here.

Even so, Mr. Mason being wrong doesn't make Ms. Reyering right.

To the rest of you: you are duplicating a long discussion that has already occurred under the previous article on this subject. For the sake of not repeating that you might want to read that discussion:

Web Link


Posted by ASRB Victim
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Jan 31, 2017 at 3:28 pm

TJ --

Amen! to your point about Boyce's writing. Here's another sly spin of his:

"The panel is charged with evaluating residential construction projects for their consistency with standards meant to protect Woodside's "natural beauty" and "rural character," a term that is open to interpretation.,

The Woodside Residential Design Guidelines are in fact rather well written and about as unambiguous as any document like that can be. Yes they USE the phrases "natural beauty" and "rural character" as goals, but they go to great lenghts to convey how one can achieve that. See for yourself: Web Link

The problem is that the ASRB, and Reyering in particular, do not restrict themselves to evaluating consistency with that document. I had a project before them in which Reyering imposed a condition having nothing whatsoever to do with the design or the design gudelines. It was just a rule she made up on the spot.

If the ASRB really would stick to compliance with the Design Guidelines, their job would be far less "complicated" and their customers happier. And if Boyce would report accurately and without bias, so would his.


Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 31, 2017 at 5:25 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Deflection 101.

1. Attack the victim (Peter Mason)
2. Attack the accuser (Dave Burow).
3. Point out all the other good things the accused has done.

Ignore the report from the independent investigator determined Ms. Reyering committed five violations of our ethics code.

Woodside's citizens, property owners and applicants deserve fair treatment. That wasn't afforded them.


Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Are some of you really attacking the reporter? Seriously, you are attacking Dave Boyce as unfair or inaccurate when it comes to Nancy Reyering?

Can you honestly say that the reporter got it wrong? Do you really think the investigator was biased and was led by the Town Manager/Attorney? That the charges against Nancy are completely without merit? That the history listed and referenced in the 41 page report is fabricated?

How do you feel about climate change or whether or not NASA landed on the moon? Very Trump-like....


Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Has Nancy Reyering formally resigned from the ASRB - or is just 'saying' it?


Posted by Anonymous For Good Reason
a resident of Woodside: Family Farm/Hidden Valley
on Feb 1, 2017 at 6:14 pm

It's amazing what lengths the status quo supporters will go to defend and justify the actions of Ms. Reyering. It's always some vast, nefarious conspiracy -- everyone is in on it -- rather than accept the plain facts that Reyering herself put into an email!

So here's my personal experience: I have been through the ASRB in the last 24 months. I'm not going to reveal my name, because God forbid I have to go before this group again.

While my proposal was ultimately approved, the innuendos and "suggested modifications" from the members were thinly veiled attempts at extortion that would be illegal in any other forum.

Example: "Your design is nice, but if you consider changing the color of your roof tile the application would probably stand a much better chance of approval."

Nice, right? Follow the insidious logic here. The ASRB can't actually order you to make the change, bc the code doesn't specify it. Instead, they just use the intentionally vague rules to impose their will and their tastes on a perfectly fine, perfectly valid plan.

I am all for the code, and for strict enforcement of it. But this system is flawed and gives far too much power to the members. Ms. Reyering took those flaws to troubling extremes. This is why so many citizens used write-in votes to make a change -- and it's why I applaud the Town for finally seeing the light.


Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 1, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

"Example: "Your design is nice, but if you consider changing the color of your roof tile the application would probably stand a much better chance of approval."

Nice, right? Follow the insidious logic here. The ASRB can't actually order you to make the change, bc the code doesn't specify it. Instead, they just use the intentionally vague rules to impose their will and their tastes on a perfectly fine, perfectly valid plan.

I am all for the code, and for strict enforcement of it. But this system is flawed and gives far too much power to the members. Ms. Reyering took those flaws to troubling extremes. This is why so many citizens used write-in votes to make a change -- and it's why I applaud the Town for finally seeing the light."

Get it now, Ed?


Posted by ASRB Victim
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Feb 2, 2017 at 11:12 am

Hey "Seriously?"
Re the posts about Boyce: read them a little more carefully. You have at least me the wrong side of the argument....


Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Woodside: other
on Feb 3, 2017 at 1:56 pm

ASRB Victim, We are on the same page. I was calling out Retired Realtor and others for continuing the campaign to blame anyone and everyone for the predicament that Nancy Reyering created and is now drowning in. Dave Boyce is quite often all too happy to write stories favorable about Reyering. But in this latest Reyering drama, he has had no choice but to tone down his reporting in light of the facts that the Almanac has published. My point is primarily that Nancy and her supporters have turned on their strongest ally.

Where did Dave Boyce get the story? from Reyering or the Town? Has she resigned or not? When is the public hearing on this matter taking place?

I suspect the Almanac will be printing a rather nasty hit-piece from Nancy Reyering directed at the Town, Town Manager, and Town Attorney; because there is no possible way she will take any responsibility for any it.


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