Dear San Mateo County,

I've worked hard and made measurable progress while serving my first term. I'm happy to report that significant change has been accomplished and more is in progress; with new management in place we're becoming a well-run District.

In 1976, when I was age 6, the Harbor District borrowed millions of dollars from the California Division of Boating and Waterways. In April 2016, the District repaid those loans. As board President I created the Finance Committee and I’m very pleased that the District is debt free for the first time in 40 years.

Over the past 4 year I consistently recommended that the District consider alternative insurance providers. In 2016, with the full support of the board we made the transition to a new provider. I'm very pleased that our new policy is saving the District almost $150,000 annually. 

In May 2015, we moved the District’s headquarters back to the Coastside, within sight of Pillar Point Harbor. In July 2015, the board unanimously approved the District’s first Code of Ethics & Values. In August 2015, President Mattusch and I were the first commissioners from our District to receive special district governance awards for completion of the California Special District Association Leadership Academy.

In May 2016, I organized a Sea Level Rise & Erosion Forum that included speakers from the US Geological Survey and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Over 175 people including city, county, and state representatives packed the Douglas Beach House to the rafters!  We're fortunate to live in an area with an engaged electorate and strong leadership. In June 2016, our County Supervisors included $2.6 million in their approved budget specifically for erosion protection for businesses, Coastal Trail access, and homes near Mirada Rd. in Half Moon Bay.

In July 2016, the board approved two sand volleyball courts at Pillar Point Harbor. The Half Moon Bay Review reported, “Commissioner Brennan has been vocal in her support of volleyball.” Im happy that the Harbor Commission and District staff is focused on the needs of the community.

In September 2016, the board unanimously reduced fish buying fees after years of complaints from commercial fishermen. The Harbor District has a vested interest in the success of the commercial fishing fleet. Requiring arbitrarily high fees for offloading fish and buying fish at Pillar Point Harbor isn't a sustainable approach to generating revenue and it's not in keeping with the goals and priorities of the Harbor District or the Midcoast Local Coastal Program.  

Achieving a turnaround in less than four years would not have been possible without the help of community stakeholders, our new management team, our new finance team, and our Harbor Patrol. Now that we have strong leadership on the board and new management in place the Harbor District is effectively serving the public. County Supervisor Don Horsley recently said in the Mercury News, “From my vantage point, the current commission and new management has stabilized the District.”

I’m running for a second term because the to-do list is still long.  A few of the initiatives I support include Bay and Coastal Trail improvements, water quality monitoring, sand replenishment, and pier renovations. I support the inclusion of women athletes in the Mavericks surf contest. I serve on the Harbor District Finance Committee, Oyster Point Marina Committee, and Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing.

With your vote you will help maintain strong leadership on the Harbor Commission. I need your support to keep the District moving in a positive direction.

Thank you,

Sabrina RJ Brennan
Since 2010, I’ve led the effort to reform the Harbor District. With your support I was elected in 2012 by the biggest margin in history and I’ve been at the forefront of every major victory to-date.
— Sabrina Brennan, Harbor Commissioner

I'm focused on improving Pillar Point Harbor and Oyster Point Marina.

My Priorities

  • Work collaboratively with stakeholders including the Half Moon Bay Seafood Marketing Association, Midcoast Community Council, and the City of South San Francisco
  • Replace the Oyster Point Landfill cap and add fill to prevent flooding and protect San Francisco Bay water quality
  • Improved Coastal Trail and Bay Trail access
  • Mavericks trail erosion repairs
  • Sand replenishment at Surfer’s Beach and the Princeton Shoreline
  • Sidewalk and dock safety improvements that meet ADA requirements
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Develop a dredging plan that prevents boats from running aground
  • Improve commercial lease space to generate revenue
  • Renovate Johnson Pier
  • Provide storage for kayaks and other human-powered vessels

Recent Progress

On May 18, 2016, the Harbor District launched the OpenGov platform; checkout our financial data online!  I'm a civic tech geek and I love government transparency tools. Our partnership with OpenGov shows real commitment to financial transparency. Other platforms I've recommended include: Streamline to modernize our clunky website and NextRequest to simplify and archive public records requests.

On May 4, 2016 the board approved:

  • Membership in the for Special District Risk Management Authority (SDRMA) to provide the District with lower cost workers compensation insurance. SDMRA will save the Harbor District $150,000 annually.
  • Moving forward with plans for a sidewalk expansion project for the concessionaires building at Pillar Point Harbor; the plan will include ADA improvements and paving Improvement. The process will include a public workshop. 
  • Beach Volleyball at Pillar Point Harbor will continue through the summer. The Half Moon Bay High School girls volleyball team and the public will help design and build a new sand court on Perched Beach and the District will maintain it.

In April 2016 we submitted a TIGER Grant application with letters of support from:

On April 12, 2016 the Harbor District paid off a 40 year old multimillion-dollar debt to the California Division of Boating and Waterways. 

On April 28, 2016 an Oyster Point Marina Liaison Committee meeting was held for this first time in many years. Short-term and long-term flood protection plans were discussed.

And there's still more work ahead...


“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
— Richard Buckminster Fuller


My decisions reflect the communities vision for the Harbor District: 


1. Lay the foundation for fiscal transparency and build economic prosperity.

2. Promote active recreation, tourism and waterfront business communities.

3. Concentrate improvements at existing District owned facilities.

4. Make it safe and attractive to live, work and play here. 

5. Work collaboratively with stakeholders and government agencies.

6. Reduce our ecological footprint and prepare for climate change.

7. Give people better ways to get where they need to go.


What We've Achieved

July 20, 2016

Item 9—Volleyball at Perched Beach

Commissioner Brennan made the following motion:

I move that volleyball maintenance costs and liability responsibilities will remain with the District and authorize volunteers to develop a volleyball court at no cost to the District; built to District specifications. And direct staff to develop operations and maintenance guidelines for use of the facility. 

The motion was approved on a 4-1 vote.  Parravano voted No.

May 18, 2016

OpenGov platform was added to the Harbor District website!

  •  OpenGov increases internal efficiency and provide best-in-class financial transparency.

May 4, 2016

Excellent meeting!

Great news about beach volleyball, the sidewalk expansion project at Pillar Point Harbor, and switching to SDMRA workers compensation insurance. SDMRA will save the Harbor District $78,000 annually.

  • Approved membership in the for Special District Risk Management Authority (SDRMA) to provide the District with lower cost workers compensation insurance.
  • Approved agreement with CSG Consultants, Inc. to plan Pillar Point Harbor sidewalk expansion in front of concessionaires building, ADA improvements, and paving Improvement. The planning process will include a workshop to gather stakeholder input. 
  • Beach Volleyball at Pillar Point Harbor will continue. The Half Moon Bay High School girls volleyball team and the public will help design and build a new sand court on Perched Beach and the District will maintain it. 

April 28, 2016

  • The first Oyster Point Marina Liaison Committee was held to discuss the following:
    • Oyster Point short-term and long-term flood protection plans as directed by the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board.
    • Joint Powers Authority Agreement between the San Mateo County Harbor District and the City of South San Francisco.
    • Commissioner Brennan and Mattusch attended the meeting. 

April 25, 2016

  • Per Commission Brennan's request a Site Visit was conducted at Oyster Point Marina. The tour was open to the public.

APRIL 20, 2016

April 6, 2016

We're debt free!

  • Board unanimously approved paying off 5 million in loans with California Division of Boating and Waterways.
    • The Harbor District paid off all DBW loans on April 12, 2016.
  • Commissioner Brennan advocated strongly in favor of allowing beach volleyball courts on Perched Beach at Pillar Point Harbor.
    • Item 5—Volleyball Nets at Pillar Point Harbor on Perched Beach video: 25:02
  • Commissioner Brennan provided three Half Moon Bay Shoreline Erosion Reports by the Army Corps to the Board of Harbor Commissioners.
    • Item 13—HMB Shoreline Erosion Studies & Reports by the Army Corps, Commissioner Report by Sabrina Brennan

February 17, 2016

Crab Season Closure

  • Commissioner Brennan made a motion to waive slip fees/rent for three months (vs. one month proposed by staff) for Commercial Fishermen, Fish Buyers (all three) and Charter Boat Operators at Pillar Point Harbor: 1:25:45
  • Motion failed for lack of a second by Commissioner Virginia Chang Kiraly and Robert Bernardo. Commissioner Mattusch and Parravano recused themselves from the discussion because of an economic interest. 
    • Item 10—Crab Season Closure: 1:14:08
  • Commissioner Brennan and Mattusch reappointed to the Oyster Point Marina Liaison Committee for the second year in a row. 

January 20, 2016

  • Commissioner Brennan and Mattusch reappointed to the Finance Committee for the second year in a row. 

December 16, 2015

  • Commissioner Brennan provided a Power Point Presentation to the board regarding persistent flooding at Oyster Point Marina.
  • Quarterly financial statement provided to the board per Commissioner Brennan's request.

December 2, 2015

  • First ever “Rent Report” provided to the board per Commissioner Brennan's request.

October 21, 2015

Commissioner Brennan provided a Report to the board regarding a refund from a consultant to the Harbor District for IT equipment; including three firewalls and twelve corresponding one year support subscriptions. 

SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

  • Commission Brennan made the following motion and it was approved unanimously in a 5-0 vote.
    • Moved to appoint a General Manager, Resolution 45-15.

September 2, 2015

  • Commission Brennan made the following two motions and they were approved unanimously in a 4-0 vote.
    • Moved to adopt Resolution 40-15 and approve repair of Pillar Point Harbor Public Hoist
    • Moved to approve $2,000 for online and print advertising for the Sustainable Seafood Saturday Event on Sept. 26, 2015 and Fish & Fleet Fest on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.
  • Commissioners Brennan and Mattusch received California Special District Association Recognition in Special District Governance Certificates.

August 19, 2015

  • The following three motions were approved unanimously in a 5-0 vote.
    • Directed staff to prepare a matrix based on the Oyster Point Marina JPA agreement that identifies the responsibilities and obligations of the Harbor District and the City of South San Francisco. 
    • Approved sponsorship and participation in the Jan. 30, 2015 Crab Festival to be held in Princeton.
    • Approved a letter to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary requesting sand replenishment be allowed in the Management Plan update.

August 5, 2015

  • Commission Brennan made the following two motions and they were approved unanimously in a 4-0 vote.
    • Moved that we direct staff to work with the Fish Buyers to amend all three lease agreements to reduce the wet fish off-loading fee from $10.00 per ton to $3.00 per ton, as recommended in the Dornbush Report.
    • Moved that we direct staff to meet with stakeholders to devise an enforceable retail fish sales assessment, that includes all retail fish sales, and provides the District with a needed revenue stream.  

*Flexibility was included in the motions to allow staff and stakeholders an opportunity to develop creative solutions that will provide the District with needed revenue, and address concerns about facilities damage caused by commercial activity wear and tear.  

July 15, 2015

June 14, 2015 

  • The board unanimously approved a contract with OpenGov to increase internal efficiency and provide best-in-class financial transparency.

June 17, 2015

  • The board voted unanimously to designate the Harbor District as the lead agency in the sand replenishment effort at Surfer's Beach.

May 6, 2015

  • Approved BCDC Bay Sand Mining Letter from the Beach Replenishment Committee

April 15, 2015

  • Appointed two commissioners to the Oyster Point Marina Liaison Committee
  • Adopted a list of Board Norms as a follow-up to the Board Dynamics Workshop

April 1, 2015

  • The board voted unanimously to support relocating the District's headquarters near Pillar Point Harbor.  The new El Granada office was first open for business on June 1, 2015.  
    • Read the new El Granada lease
    • The cost if the District had decided to stay in South San Francisco

March 4, 2015 

  • The board voted to stop paying Health Insurance Benefits for Commissioners, upon commencement of re-elected Commissioner's new term of office.

February 18, 2015

  • Approved a Coastal Regional Sediment Managment Plan Letter from the Beach Replenishment Committee

February 11, 2015

  • Held a Board Dynamics Workshop
  • Held a public site visit at Pillar Point Harbor

January 21, 2015

  • Approved putting out an RFP for District Counsel Legal Services
  • Authorized sending letter to LAFCo requesting delay in Municipal Service Review

January 7, 2015

  • The Commission formed the following standing committees:
    • Finance Committee
    • Beach Replenishment Committee
    • Water Quality & Public Safety Committee
    • Communications & Marketing Committee 
  • The board voted to unanimously to terminate membership in the California Maritime Infrastructure Bank/Authority
  • Hired an executive search firm to conduct a formal search for a new General Manager

Past Achievements

  • Replaced leaky sewage pipe under Johnson Pier at Pillar Point Harbor
  • Approved wifi at Pillar Point Harbor and Oyster Point Marina
  • Brought back meeting videos and public access television broadcasts
  • I've attended the Special District Leadership Academy and many CSDA training seminars

Before I was elected

I completed a term on the Midcoast Community Council, an elected advisory council to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

In 2010 I successfully advocated for San Mateo County Charter Review Committee meeting videos and public access television broadcasts.

I attended every Charter Review Committee meeting and advocated for District elections for County Supervisor.  

Brennan rises to the top of the challenger pool. She is smart, well-researched and knowledgeable on district issues and brings a unique perspective as a young resident of Moss Beach.
— San Mateo Daily Journal
We were impressed with your knowledge on a range of issues and your obvious passion for serving the public. Your extensive environmental record and many years of service to the community show us you are the kind of candidate we can be proud to endorse.
— John Cordes, Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter



  • Sabrina Brennan  120,654
  • Leo Padreddii  95,218
  • Pietro Parravano  88,887
  • Will Holsinger  82,738
  • Neil Merrilees  60,998
  • Brandon Kwan  29,743