Why I'm running for Harbor Commissioner

It's time to make the Harbor District a people-friendly place

I'm running for San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner because I believe the Harbor District needs to do more to help Pillar Point Harbor and Oyster Point Marina thrive. And in order to thrive, I believe it's especially important to improve the facilities at both marinas which serve visitors and the public generally. An increase in public traffic will help local restaurants and businesses strengthen their customer base. Pillar Point Harbor should be known as a premier site for buying fresh local seafood. The commercial fishing industry is an important part of the local economy.

The San Mateo County Harbor District operates two facilities, Oyster Point Marina in the City of South San Francisco and Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay in Princeton. Pillar Point is a working fishing harbor owned by the District. Oyster Point is a recreational boating marina leased by the District from the City of South San Francisco.

Today, I live in the town of Moss Beach near the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. My neighborhood is near Mavericks surf break and is a short bicycle ride from Pillar Point Harbor. I have been a homeowner in Moss Beach for over 10 years.


My parents Lee and Tom Fernandez live in Redwood Shores, my brother Jonah lives on a sailboat in San Diego and my sister Nyssa lives in Oakland. My mother grew up in Southern California and was one of the few women surfing during the late 1950s.

A ferry terminal at Oyster Point Marina is scheduled to open in 2012. Ferry service will transport commuters on weekdays and recreational users on weekends to Jack London Square in Oakland. Additional commuter and visitor traffic will provide economic growth opportunities for South San Francisco. Future ferry terminal routes will include The Port of Redwood City and the San Francisco Ferry Building.

As Commissioner I will work with local restaurant and business owners to broaden the economic base of the Harbor District. I will put my marketing and event planning skills to work promoting the Harbor as a great place to enjoy fresh seafood.

I will prioritize waterfront recreational access. Improving visitor-serving facilities will broaden recreational opportunities and public access. I support developing the California Coastal Trail through Pillar Point Harbor and improving the Bay Trail at Oyster Point Marina. Both trails should offer pedestrians and bicyclists a waterfront experience while meeting ADA standards.

Many members of the public have expressed the need for a public-restroom facility at Pillar Point Harbor near Surfers Beach. Meeting this need would be clear evidence that the Harbor District cares about the comfort and convenience of its visitors, and this could be achieved through a management agreement with County Parks.

The Draft Project Management Plan being developed by the Army Corps of Engineers to address Surfers Beach erosion is scheduled for release in 2010. I strongly support plans for a demonstration project to determine the best strategy for slowing the rate of erosion at Surfers Beach and look forward to reading the draft plan.

I will work hard to balance the Harbor District's budget as soon as possible. As Harbor Commissioner I will review and evaluate management salaries and Commission benefits.

I'm committed to improving water quality at Pillar Point Harbor and Oyster Point Marina. San Mateo County Beachwater Contamination Results are the second worst in the state. In 2009 Pillar Point was ranked number two and Oyster Point was ranked number five in terms of beach closure/advisory days due to beachwater contamination.

I will prioritize Harbor Patrol Search and Rescue services. Fast emergency response time is an important service provided by the Harbor District. The Pillar Point Harbor Search and Rescue team partner with Cal Fire and the Coast Guard to provide fast response times to emergencies. This important service has saved numerous lives. Recreational boating, beachgoers and the commercial fishing industry all benefit from maintaining a high level of service.

In the event of a major earthquake Oyster Point Marina Ferry Service will help transport people who currently use either BART or Bay Area bridges.

I would be honored to have your vote on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sabrina Brennan
for San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner