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  1. #1
    Yeti SB95c
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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Last night the board of directors of the Midpeninsula Open Space District voted to put a $300 million bond issue on the June ballot. The purpose is to fund our wish list developed during the Vision Plan project.

    Openspace.org - News - Potential Funding Measure

    Those in the district can lobby their neighbors but those of us out of the district have limited options to support it.

    Any ideas? Thoughts?

    Jim

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    Let's see... 25 possible projects, $300M. No indication that all 25 will actually be undertaken, or in what priority, or how quickly. That's an average of $12M per project. Looking at the list, I'm having a hard time seeing how any one of those would cost $12M to implement. They already own the land, so the largest expense is already done with. Just think how long the Demo flow trail would be if it had a $12M bankroll!

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    Yeti SB95c
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    That is a lot of money but they are also including additional land purchases as the opportunities arise. However, they already have a cash flow stream for that.

    If MTBers want to back this thing then an economic analysis would be good. If we don't back it then we won't get much done.

    $12M for the Demo flow trail would give us an escalator to the top :-)

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by HansNiemand View Post
    Let's see... 25 possible projects, $300M. No indication that all 25 will actually be undertaken, or in what priority, or how quickly. That's an average of $12M per project. Looking at the list, I'm having a hard time seeing how any one of those would cost $12M to implement. They already own the land, so the largest expense is already done with. Just think how long the Demo flow trail would be if it had a $12M bankroll!
    At 12M you can put a radar wielding ranger, with full benefits and pension, at each section. No problem with uphill riding.

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    Dirty by Nature
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    Quote Originally Posted by HansNiemand View Post
    Just think how long the Demo flow trail would be if it had a $12M bankroll!
    That would be 450 miles long, which is a helluva climb!

    Or we could just keep it at its current length and install an Enduro™ Tram.
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  6. #6
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    Pros: it would involve opening some of the lands they already own to public access. One example I keep hearing is Mt. Uminum, which is currently closed and needing a pile of restoration before it can be opened. This bond is supposed to give the funding to complete that. Another pro is that it should provide funds for more land purchases in the future. And they provide trails for bikes on much (but not all) of their lands.

    Cons - MROSD has a certain level of management they want before opening lands, including having enough enforcement rangers (with their radar guns) and trail standards that we often find pretty mellow. So this will increase both of those.
    Last edited by singlespeed.org; 02-28-2014 at 10:25 AM. Reason: correcting spelling error
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  7. #7
    rox
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    dont give mrosd any money. It may suck as far as public access, but choking off their lifeblood is the only kind of feedback they understand. If we could bankrupt them an agency more responsive to its users and more deserving of managing our public land would rise from the ashes.

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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to rox again.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    dont give mrosd any money. It may suck as far as public access, but choking off their lifeblood is the only kind of feedback they understand. If we could bankrupt them an agency more responsive to its users and more deserving of managing our public land would rise from the ashes.
    We learned our lesson in the EB - the agencies are run by entrenched anti-bike interests, supporting their measures won't foster a new partnership or create opportunities for new singletrack.
    "You are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I have ever met."

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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    dont give mrosd any money. It may suck as far as public access, but choking off their lifeblood is the only kind of feedback they understand. If we could bankrupt them an agency more responsive to its users and more deserving of managing our public land would rise from the ashes.
    I'm glad he said it...Midpen sucks huge, low hanging, salty ball sacs. Not saying they suck my ball sac but rather a royal ball sac...sacs. Edit: Midpen sucks a bag of *****.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWheels View Post
    We learned our lesson in the EB - the agencies are run by entrenched anti-bike interests, supporting their measures won't foster a new partnership or create opportunities for new singletrack.
    It seems to me that agencies are a bit clueless. Running a campaign (however limited it was) against the EBRPD bond measure definitely gave cyclists exposure. I believe (and I may be wrong) that it ultimately helped bike advocates gaining access.
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  12. #12
    Ted
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    Remember that Mid-Pen is the organization that:

    1) Has kept everyone out of Mt Umunhum for that last 25 years.
    2) Recently purchased and then closed Twin Creeks.
    3) Does not allow any night riding.
    4) Posts rangers with speed guns to ticket unwary bikers.

    Make any new funds contingent on replacing all administrators. They are not serving our interests.

  13. #13
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    I like Midpen. They've opened a LOT of trails that didn't have to be opened to bikes. The original purpose of the preserves that the voters approved was for quiet enjoyment recreation. That could have blocked all mechanical access. The staff are under pressure from hikers and equestrians to block us. The staff has tried for some balance and I respect most of their choices.

    Their properties are not for downhill and freestyle mountain biking and will not be in the future. Don't rag on the staff. They are following the enabling law and maybe even stretching it to let us on the trails.

    However, we may be able to build a technical trail in the Sierra Azul. The advantage there is that hikers and equestrians haven't used a trail that is new and may not rag on the district about us so much.

    There are some very childish comments in this tread. I expect more maturity.

    Jim

  14. #14
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    More details please...

    Hard for me to develop an informed opinion; emotionally, from a MTBer perspective, given MROSD's track record, I would vote against it. Same emotions, from an environmental perspective, I'd vote for it---that $300M comes from a minuscule increase in property taxes.

    So this is from their FAQs:

    "If this passes, what will the public get out of it? How will the money be spent? The money will be spent on the priorities established by the recently-completed public visioning process, which has included input from more than 2,000 residents via online submissions, at public workshops and through telephone surveys. A detailed project list and spending plan has been developed that emphasizes those priorities, including projects to provide:

    More public access to the preserves,
    Purchase of and protection of more open space as land becomes available,
    Protection of redwood forests, watersheds, farmland and scenic spaces,
    Restoration of creeks, streams and water sources,
    Site improvements to reduce risk of wildland and forest fires"

    I'd really like to see the "detailed project list and spending plan"; just because they list "more public access to the preserves" first doesn't mean that's where they'll spend most of the monies.

    Come on Midpen, show us the list!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    I like Midpen. They've opened a LOT of trails that didn't have to be opened to bikes. The original purpose of the preserves that the voters approved was for quiet enjoyment recreation. That could have blocked all mechanical access. The staff are under pressure from hikers and equestrians to block us. The staff has tried for some balance and I respect most of their choices.

    Their properties are not for downhill and freestyle mountain biking and will not be in the future. Don't rag on the staff. They are following the enabling law and maybe even stretching it to let us on the trails.

    However, we may be able to build a technical trail in the Sierra Azul. The advantage there is that hikers and equestrians haven't used a trail that is new and may not rag on the district about us so much.

    There are some very childish comments in this tread. I expect more maturity.

    Jim
    Jim, you have to realize that you're most likely in the minority here liking Midpen. But then again, you take the view that any trail opened to bikes is gravy, whereas most of us look at any trail closed to bikes is evidence of discrimination. So, it's a matter of perspective.

    Personally, I think that if we had the votes, the best way to get what we want would be to campaign against the bond and defeat it. That way, Midpen would have no choice but to negotiate. That being said, I think that we don't have the numbers. Many people feel just like you, and are thankful for whatever trails they got and accept the inane limitations as normal.
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  16. #16
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    I agree with Zorg, shut it down and be vocal about it.
    Worst that can happens its passed and mtbers will be ignored as always.
    Best thing, measure fails and part of it would attributed to the force Mid-pen would have to recon and negotiate with.
    Their mismanagement of money is just as bizzare as it gets. We complaining about misuse on gov level but giving free pass to smaller organizations where our feedback actually can be felt. (Try to be repub in CA in contrast, completely pointless).
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    That's a lot of money to not have explicit details (look what happened in Marin).

    With their track record against mountain biking, I have to respectfully decline support. Why on earth would we give more money to an organization that obviously doesn't want us using their trails and routinely harasses us and severely limits our access?!



    (unless they put some trams in)
    Last edited by dirtvert; 03-10-2014 at 09:00 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    I like Midpen. They've opened a LOT of trails that didn't have to be opened to bikes. The original purpose of the preserves that the voters approved was for quiet enjoyment recreation. That could have blocked all mechanical access. The staff are under pressure from hikers and equestrians to block us. The staff has tried for some balance and I respect most of their choices.

    Their properties are not for downhill and freestyle mountain biking and will not be in the future. Don't rag on the staff. They are following the enabling law and maybe even stretching it to let us on the trails.

    However, we may be able to build a technical trail in the Sierra Azul. The advantage there is that hikers and equestrians haven't used a trail that is new and may not rag on the district about us so much.

    There are some very childish comments in this tread. I expect more maturity.

    Jim
    I think mine was the only childish comment and I stand by it. Getting ticketed (twice) for doing 21 MPH without a sole around, being told that the next time I ride with ear phones I will get fined, and ALL KINDS of attitude and ego filled diatribes (too many to count), I feel it just that Midpen can spend a little time sucking a large bag of *****.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  19. #19
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    I am mixed about this. Yes, I agree that MROSD has not been the most bike-friendly Government organization. I was very involved with bike advocacy with MROSD back in the 90s as they went through the "renovations" of Skeggs/ECdM to bring it in to their inventory. We loved the way it was before, but they had a different vision. In the end they did give in some (Leaf trail, Blue Blossom, and the like would never be allowed as they are under their trail standards). Still was painful for those of us who got to bike there there before (when it was mostly old P.I.T.S. motocross trails).

    On the other hand, they are not the worst land managers in the areas. There are land managers that don't allow any bikes on dirt, including San Mateo County Parks and Recreation (love that the land manager charged with recreation in the county does not allow us to recreate the way we want), with lands adjoining many MROSD lands.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post

    However, we may be able to build a technical trail in the Sierra Azul. m
    20 years ago when I moved to the South Bay there was a fine technical downhill trail at Sierra Azul called Moody. But the authorities piled branches high at the few access points which made it impossible to get to.
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  21. #21
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    Midpen is being dishonest in the bond. The majority of the money will be spent on the $16M+/yr to keep the burgeoning staff paid, as well as the NEW trucks/motos/ATVs purchased.

    Like Rox said, don't give them a cent. There is no lack of access without MidPen there to CLOSE it to the public. At this rate, you would be damn lucky if your GRANDKIDS can access the lands they bought in 2000 era.

    The $300M would just go towards bike rider hatred and keeping dogs off limits, BUT will add 2000 more parking spaces for F550 diesel trucks with horse trailers.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zignzag View Post
    20 years ago when I moved to the South Bay there was a fine technical downhill trail at Sierra Azul called Moody. But the authorities piled branches high at the few access points which made it impossible to get to.
    I'm sure the master plan will include opening Moody again, but only to hikers and horses...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho View Post
    Midpen is being dishonest in the bond. The majority of the money will be spent on the $16M+/yr to keep the burgeoning staff paid, as well as the NEW trucks/motos/ATVs purchased.

    Like Rox said, don't give them a cent. There is no lack of access without MidPen there to CLOSE it to the public. At this rate, you would be damn lucky if your GRANDKIDS can access the lands they bought in 2000 era.

    The $300M would just go towards bike rider hatred and keeping dogs off limits, BUT will add 2000 more parking spaces for F550 diesel trucks with horse trailers.
    So, will you lead the campaign against the measure No On Measure WW! style? You could probably get financial support from developers if you were so inclined.
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    I say we hold our votes and dollars hostage until we get some recognition. Mid Pen moves like a decomposed dinosaur. The user base has changed from Rich peninsula hikers and equestrians to the valley homeowners that actually paid for the space and are by far the largest users of the properties..
    The old guard has had these properties tied up since day one with their political connections.
    Time to upgrade the Open Space that is owned by the people to user specific trails designed and maintained by the users. Sure there can be some multiuse trails but 100% multi user trails is as old and tired as the board at Mid Pen.
    Mt Bikers need to be a unified group representing the largest group of users. Mt Bikers are by far the largest users of the recreational spaces around the peninsula.
    Last edited by StingRayBoy; 03-05-2014 at 04:00 PM. Reason: spell

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Why? If anything we should work to defund them. You want more radar, flooding parking lots and trail sanitation?

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by HansNiemand View Post
    Let's see... 25 possible projects, $300M. No indication that all 25 will actually be undertaken, or in what priority, or how quickly. That's an average of $12M per project. Looking at the list, I'm having a hard time seeing how any one of those would cost $12M to implement. They already own the land, so the largest expense is already done with. Just think how long the Demo flow trail would be if it had a $12M bankroll!
    Consultants aren't cheap. Nor unfunded pension liabilities and mini dozers.

  27. #27
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    What does IMBA and/or ROMP/SVMTB say about the measure?

  28. #28
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    I am totally with Rensho & others about our frustrations with Midpen. How can we be careful not to anger people so that we even lose what we do have? I rely on these beautiful places for my after work sanity-keeping, healthful, de-stressing, calorie-burning activities, even though the policies are inane, and their heavy-handed, bulldozer trail maintenance makes mountain bike and horse use look like hugs & kisses.

    Honestly, the properties are gorgeous. Amazingly so. Sometimes you just need to stop and look up from the dirt once in a while and have a look around. We are so lucky to have them, and to be allowed to ride our bikes in them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    How can we be careful not to anger people so that we even lose what we do have?
    We are tax paying voters that are encouraged to vote on issues we believe in. Why on earth would we want to "be careful not to anger" MidPen? Are we afraid they are going to take their ball and go home? If you think their policies are bad, and you don't like the way YOUR open space is managed then vote accordingly! This isn't Ukraine, yet.

  30. #30
    MarkyMark
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    Any of us who ride in the open spaces already supports Midpen financially.

    Who else gets $400 fines from Midpen?
    Hikers? Nope.
    Hikers with dogs? Nope.
    People with grow patches? Nope.
    Equestrians? Nope.
    People parking in Midpen lots after dark? Nope.

    They simply take more "support" (i.e., money) from riders by increasing the fines. The support we're providing to Midpen has been steadily increasing.

    I think it's amazing how much some organizations achieve with so little relative to Midpen. Imagine what could be achieved if we distributed $300 MILLION to the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, Trailworkers, etc.

    Bell is giving away a ton of money ($100k!!) again this year. I think the entire Demo flow trail (miles and miles of trails!) is estimated to cost $100k. Putting $100k in Midpen's hands would allow them to flatten and widen (w/ a bulldozer) maybe 10 feet of rocky trail to allow them to drive their excavator on it so they can "preserve" our open spaces.

    Seriously. I get the feeling that Midpen is swimming in so much money that they're struggling to figure out ways of spending it and have to resort to destroying the areas they're supposed to be preserving. This is common to many orgs--they either spend their budgets or lose it. Budgets have to stay the same or increase each year, even when they don't need it. Operating heavy machinery really inefficiently is a good way of blowing a lot of money really fast. Midpen want more money ($300M) so they can spend it so they can get more money.

    Mountain Bikers: "I like technical trails. Please leave the trails as is. We'll volunteer if trail work is needed."
    Midpen: "That amounts to $0/year for my budget. That's NOT acceptable!"

    Equestrians: "I need a huge paved parking lot for my F550 and horse trailer. I need nice smooth trails because my horse is out of shape and I don't want it to get tired."
    Midpen: "Awesome! We'll need XXX MILLIONS of dollars for years and years to bring in heavy machinery to widen and flatten the trails."


    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    Those in the district can lobby their neighbors but those of us out of the district have limited options to support it.

    Any ideas? Thoughts?

  31. #31
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    "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do"

    Benjamine Franklin

    It's amazing that in a urban setting of more than 3M people where there is access to so much open space and trails, people can't see past the end of their nose.


    Most visitors of park lands are respectful and appreciative of the trails and open space. In my 16 years working in parks, the few times I have been berated, belittled and called four letter words have come from the mouths of fellow mountain bikers. It's hard to get respect when some riders are just rude arrogant, pretentious a-holes. People remember the belligerent mtbiker over the one who smiles and waves hello.

    This is a political game it's time to stop complaining and start strategizing.

  32. #32
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    Bigkid, what is your stance on the bond measure?

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    Well, from what we are hearing the bond measure will open up much of the lands that are currently closed to the public, purchase more lands currently held by POST and fund new capital projects (parking lots, facility structures, trails, bridges…). None of the bond money will go to the inflated salaries and benefits of the over paid park workers who drive in from Felton, Boulder Creek, Morgan Hill and San Martin because they cannot afford housing in the Silicon Valley.

    The bond amount is $300M over 30 years, not a big amount when you consider land prices and construction costs in the Silicon Valley. The SV is a unique economy that provides an added layer of security when considering long term debt payments.

    With that said, I support the vision of the funding measure but it will take the pressure of the public to see that vision come to a reality.

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    Re: Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    That's great, but does it benefit cyclists?

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    Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers (SVMTB) fully supports the bond measure.

    Since the creation of MidPen, they have always operated under the policy of buy land now and manage it later. This insightful policy has saved tons of acres of forest and saved tax payers millions of dollars. The other result of this policy is that MidPen now has roughly 50% of the land unmanaged. The Bond measure will allow for more access for hiking and biking. It only makes sense for SVMTB to support any measure that gives our membership more opportunities to ride.

    I also fully agree with what bigkidd84 wrote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cornfish View Post
    We are tax paying voters that are encouraged to vote on issues we believe in. Why on earth would we want to "be careful not to anger" MidPen? Are we afraid they are going to take their ball and go home? If you think their policies are bad, and you don't like the way YOUR open space is managed then vote accordingly! This isn't Ukraine, yet.
    I didn't really word that right. I don't mean there is some sort of threat happening here at all, but when we ask for more bike trails, our argument would be taken more kindly if we supported the bond measure. I don't live in any of Midpen's districts, so it might as well be the Ukraine for me I just work nearby and ride there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigkidd84 View Post
    Well, from what we are hearing the bond measure will open up much of the lands that are currently closed to the public, purchase more lands currently held by POST and fund new capital projects (parking lots, facility structures, trails, bridges…). None of the bond money will go to the inflated salaries and benefits....
    Where did Midpen explicitly say that none of the new money would go towards salaries? I don't see that on their webpage for the funding measure. In the past, a big excuse for all the "unmanaged" (translated: closed to all use) land is that they don't have the rangers to manage it. I suspect that the enticement of opening up more of the existing district-owned land will almost certainly come with a cost of employing a bunch more (radar-toting) rangers.

    The district currently gets $30M/yr from property taxes, for which we already pay $17 per $100K of assessed valuation. The bond measure would add another $3.18 per $100K on top of that. That's almost a 19% tax increase. Looking at their FY2013-14 annual budget, they're already budgeted to spend almost $6M for new land and special projects. This budget already includes $62K for Mt Um parking and $22K for a Mt Um multi-use trail. So even if the bond measure was defeated, it's not like they don't have any money to operate the district or build new trails.

    To me, their pitch comes across that the only way to do the 25 projects is if we give them $300M **more**.

  39. #39
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    General obligation bonds provide funds for projects that will not provide direct sources of revenue; Roads, schools, parks, equipment... These bonds are generally used to fund projects that serve the entire community. The law forbids the use of GO bond funds for salaries and benefits.

    82% of the EBRPD budget goes to personnel, debt service and operating expenses, while 64% of MROSD budget 2013 went to personnel, debt service and operating expenses. Funds for land acquisition and capital improvements fill the rest of the budget.

    The public participated in a process that developed the 25 projects, that process is independent of the bond measure. As with anything the more funds available the sooner things will happen. I agree that the timing of both the vision and bond measure come across as all or nothing.

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigkidd84 View Post
    General obligation bonds provide funds for projects that will not provide direct sources of revenue; Roads, schools, parks, equipment... These bonds are generally used to fund projects that serve the entire community. The law forbids the use of GO bond funds for salaries and benefits.

    82% of the EBRPD budget goes to personnel, debt service and operating expenses, while 64% of MROSD budget 2013 went to personnel, debt service and operating expenses. Funds for land acquisition and capital improvements fill the rest of the budget.

    The public participated in a process that developed the 25 projects, that process is independent of the bond measure. As with anything the more funds available the sooner things will happen. I agree that the timing of both the vision and bond measure come across as all or nothing.
    Always ways around the law for a government agency. "Public processes" are designed to get the answers the agency wants. I worked for one for over a decade and know how they work from the inside.

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    It would be interesting to do a cost benefit analysis between Midpen and SCC Parks. This would take time because the data would have to be made comparable such as removing money spent by SCC Parks on kid's days and the holiday lights at Vasona.

    My guess from working as a volunteer for both organizations is that Midpen is more efficient. I certainly enjoy volunteer work for Midpen more and their team for that is far more organized and efficient.

    I doubt Midpen will ever create a Downieville Downhill experience on their properties. That isn't in the original purpose and the change to such recreation would need voter approval.

    There is also the media reaction to a large number of injuries. Braille Trail is off the media track but Midpen's properties are under the microscope. I don't blame the staff for wanting to avoid this mess.

    For technical trails buy or lease a ranch. The second option is to politically challenge State Parks for more challenging trails at Coe. Quit *****ing at Midpen.

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    Look long and hard at what is going on and make an informed decision. We are all very lucky to live in this area. Also remember MROSD is a Special District and not a Park system like Santa Clara County Parks. DT

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    It would be interesting to do a cost benefit analysis between Midpen and SCC Parks. This would take time because the data would have to be made comparable such as removing money spent by SCC Parks on kid's days and the holiday lights at Vasona.

    My guess from working as a volunteer for both organizations is that Midpen is more efficient. I certainly enjoy volunteer work for Midpen more and their team for that is far more organized and efficient.

    I doubt Midpen will ever create a Downieville Downhill experience on their properties. That isn't in the original purpose and the change to such recreation would need voter approval.

    There is also the media reaction to a large number of injuries. Braille Trail is off the media track but Midpen's properties are under the microscope. I don't blame the staff for wanting to avoid this mess.

    For technical trails buy or lease a ranch. The second option is to politically challenge State Parks for more challenging trails at Coe. Quit *****ing at Midpen.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigkidd84 View Post
    Well, from what we are hearing the bond measure will open up much of the lands that are currently closed to the public, purchase more lands currently held by POST and fund new capital projects (parking lots, facility structures, trails, bridges…). None of the bond money will go to the inflated salaries and benefits of the over paid park workers who drive in from Felton, Boulder Creek, Morgan Hill and San Martin because they cannot afford housing in the Silicon Valley.

    The bond amount is $300M over 30 years, not a big amount when you consider land prices and construction costs in the Silicon Valley. The SV is a unique economy that provides an added layer of security when considering long term debt payments.

    With that said, I support the vision of the funding measure but it will take the pressure of the public to see that vision come to a reality.
    I had to say something. So, Midpen employees have a long commute. Well, if it sucks so much, why even work there? For anybody interested in salaries: one can go look here: Bay Area Public Employee Salaries 2012 - San Jose Mercury News

    Salaries don't look too crazy. Benefits look pretty sweet though. Midpen (i.e. the taxpayer) pays both the employer and the employee pension portions.

    As to whether $300M is a small or big amount is really not the issue. What they're going to do with it is. If I were a local, I'd vote against it. Between the harassment of cyclists, the closing of parks 10+ years ago to cyclists, the lack of commitment to treating cyclists better in the future, one has to be a fool to give any more money.

    I'd ask for changes first and then give them money, not the other way around.

    Benefits doled out at Midpen:

    Benefits

    Retirement Plan

    CalPERS 2.5% @ 55 for classic members; CalPERS 2% at 62 for new members

    Social Security – District does not participate in SS; however, the District does pay toward Medicare

    Medical Plan – Choice of HMO or PPO plans through CalPERS – District pays most of insurance premiums

    Dental Plan – Delta Dental – District paid

    Vision Plan – VSP – District paid

    Life, LTD (Long-Term Disability), and AD&D (Accidental Death and Dismemberment) Insurance – District paid

    Employee Assistance Program –District paid

    Vacation – Starts at 15 days per year

    Personal Leave – 36 hours of leave per year

    Administrative Leave – Exempt positions receive up to 40 hours of leave per year

    Holidays – 11 paid holidays per year

    Sick Leave – 12 days per year – no cap on accumulation; up to 72 hours per year may be used for Family Sick Leave
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  44. #44
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    There WILL be more trails for riders

    I participated in MidPen's public process that started last year. Fortunately there was a pretty good turnout of MTB riders and a lot of the things we wanted floated to the top. The process was proof to me that you need to participate in the process by SHOWING UP. At the meetings I went to riders made up about 30% of the participants there. At 2 of the meetings if only 10 or 15 more riders had shown up we would have had 50%. And public agencies notice who shows up.

    I'm not suggesting that all MidPen lands will turn into a destination like Demo but we will have more trails once the 25 projects are done - there is no doubt about that. The plan is still in the early stages with a lot of specifics still to be worked out. This is where SVMTB (I recently joined the board) and others will need to rally riders to help guide detailed plan development in the direction we want. This can be done by working with the staff that develops the plans.

    Take a look at the projects at Top 25 Open Space Projects. Look at #4 for example at Skeggs. Development of single-use hiking and biking trails. What's not to like?

    Organized MTB opposition to the bond won't change the MidPen board. If the bond fails it just means that a number of new trails won't open. Don't fool yourself into thinking that being against this will somehow give you what you want. If you like trails to ride on, you should vote for the bond. If you like to live in an area where open space is valued, vote for the bond.

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    Alex Anderson

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    Zorg, the thread claimed that the bond money would go to salaries and benefits, that's just not true. Now you have changed your position from opposing the bond measure to an attack on public employees? I'm not quite following your logic here.

    You said, "So, Midpen employees have a long commute. Well, if it sucks so much, why even work there?"…. how old are you? The length of employees commute time is in response to a post about MROSD "inflated" salaries. The point that you fail to acknowledge is that many people are being priced out of the Bay Area. Example: I have a friend who just got offered $150K for writing code 4 days a week.

    What value do you place on our natural environment and open spaces? There is no revenue stream coming out of protected lands no value in an economy based on growth and profits but there is value to the planet and society.

    I see in a previous post to this thread you proposed hooking up with developers to oppose this measure… that's an interesting bed to make Zorg. You come across as an individual who would privatize their National Parks if it meant you'd get your way.

    You lose all credibility when your position moves from any sort of logic to a position scripted by Ted Cruz or any other Tea Party nut job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigkidd84 View Post
    Zorg, the thread claimed that the bond money would go to salaries and benefits, that's just not true.
    You are saying it would not go to salaries and benefits? Where is it written?

    I think Midpen has enough money already. They do not need another $300M to implement the "vision" plan.

    As far as losing credibility, there is not need to bring Tea Party into conversation. Just start right away with Hitler, alright? Anybody who opposes wasting more money on inefficient public bureaucracies is a right wing Hitler sympathizer.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigkidd84 View Post
    Zorg, the thread claimed that the bond money would go to salaries and benefits, that's just not true. Now you have changed your position from opposing the bond measure to an attack on public employees? I'm not quite following your logic here.

    You said, "So, Midpen employees have a long commute. Well, if it sucks so much, why even work there?"…. how old are you? The length of employees commute time is in response to a post about MROSD "inflated" salaries. The point that you fail to acknowledge is that many people are being priced out of the Bay Area. Example: I have a friend who just got offered $150K for writing code 4 days a week.

    What value do you place on our natural environment and open spaces? There is no revenue stream coming out of protected lands no value in an economy based on growth and profits but there is value to the planet and society.

    I see in a previous post to this thread you proposed hooking up with developers to oppose this measure… that's an interesting bed to make Zorg. You come across as an individual who would privatize their National Parks if it meant you'd get your way.

    You lose all credibility when your position moves from any sort of logic to a position scripted by Ted Cruz or any other Tea Party nut job.
    Let's just say that your political assumptions miss the mark widely.

    I love the open spaces like all of us on this board, since we use them so much. I also realize that we're a tiny minority of heavy users. I'd wager that over 80% of bay residents use the open spaces less than twice a year.

    But back to the point. I think that the best approach would be for the bike advocates to support the bond. It's going to pass anyway. But, it'd be great if some individuals campaign against it to bring to the fore cycling issues. If we all blindly say yes to the bond without saying anything, our best shot at changing the discriminatory practices in place now will be missed.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  48. #48
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    I posted this yesterday-"General obligation bonds provide funds for projects that will not provide direct sources of revenue; Roads, schools, parks, equipment... These bonds are generally used to fund projects that serve the entire community. The law forbids the use of GO bond funds for salaries and benefits.

    82% of the EBRPD budget goes to personnel, debt service and operating expenses, while 64% of MROSD budget 2013 went to personnel, debt service and operating expenses. Funds for land acquisition and capital improvements fill the rest of the budget.

    The public participated in a process that developed the 25 projects, that process is independent of the bond measure. As with anything the more funds available the sooner things will happen. I agree that the timing of both the vision and bond measure come across as all or nothing."

    I'm not trying to sway anyone either way but I think it's important to be educated on the facts and the process. Everyone has a right to their opinion but, IMO, posting salaries and benefits for an agency located in one of the worlds most expensive areas is changing the discussion to something entirely different and it resembles a Tea Party bait and switch. Yes, there is waste in government but there is also waste in private industry… I've worked in both. The difference in private is you don't have a voice in private industry unless you're a share holder. The public, is for the most part, absent at MROSD Board meetings. Change doesn't happen in a vacuum.

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    Happy to hear you love the open spaces and enjoy them regularly. You are correct, change will not happen unless you participate in the process and become politically active. MtBiking, is a large user group that has, thus far, been relatively unorganized with no unified message. Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers is a new name and a new start to hopefully build the relationships that create change. Your ultimate goal should be getting a MtBiker on the MROSD Board… I am a MtBiker!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigkidd84 View Post
    Happy to hear you love the open spaces and enjoy them regularly. You are correct, change will not happen unless you participate in the process and become politically active. MtBiking, is a large user group that has, thus far, been relatively unorganized with no unified message. Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers is a new name and a new start to hopefully build the relationships that create change. Your ultimate goal should be getting a MtBiker on the MROSD Board… I am a MtBiker!
    Most people would rather bike than spend countless hours campaigning for various offices and shake constituents hands to ultimately get a board seat. I don't foresee a mountain biker sitting on Midpen board for a while. Eventhough that'd be the best way to resolve issues. Meanwhile, people can get their voices heard.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  51. #51
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    Voicing a need for changing Mtb access in a losing cause vs. a winning cause; pick one.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 03-10-2014 at 11:23 PM.
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  52. #52
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    I support the bond measure

    I ride quite a lot in MidPen's areas. They have lots of great biking trails all the way from Skyline to Skeggs. I like the Sierra Azul trails/roads for the biking and access they offer, even though it's not singletrack. I like riding there in the rain, which MidPen is one of the few places that allows. They've built nice new biking trails recently, like White Oaks. Most important, we have a great big open space area to ride right here in the middle of high priced Silicon Valley. That is what MidPen was about, and what they did.

    I don't see MidPen as anti-bike in my numerous conversations with several of the staff, and their discussions at several meetings. Rather, I seem them as more concerned about land stewardship. MidPen looks to be fair to biking use among other users after that goal of stewardship. But I may not have the long history that others have. The only big issue I can see a potential bias was the Mindigo Hill exclusion. But that looks to be more of an over concern with snake preservation than anti-bike. And they've suggested some compensation with biking trails in other areas, however real that may be. Still waiting.

    MidPen's charter has officially changed, according to board directives, to give more emphasis now to access, over past priorities of land acquisition and stewardship, now that much of the land has been acquired while it was low cost. With this change to provide more access, MidPen recently concluded an expensive outreach program to collect the public opinion in many ways, such as meetings and web input. I followed this outreach program carefully and feel that MidPen staff truly collected and represented the wishes of the public as best possible. There was minimal cooking on the way to the board. What was said at the meetings and web is the same as what went to the board, in my careful tracking of the voting. There was some bias in the list of projects that MidPen proposed for voting, and at the end extra columns were added so Staff could have a vote too. But that process was made very transparent. Most important, in looking at how that MidPen staff and board bias actually changed things, it was pro-biking!

    MidPen refined and reduced their list of goals to 25 projects that fairly represented the public input, and the board approved them. The board even added some MORE great singletrack biking trails that didn't make the cut at the public meetings. (Such as new access trails down the front side of Mt Umunhum to Hicks Rd. - Rancho de Guadalupe Family Recreation and Interpretive Projects, #24 on the link) So how is that anti-bike?

    If bikers wanted more change, they should have been more vocal in the Outreach Program. Just a few voices and votes could have got us many more biking trails. And now bikers who didn't bother to vote or attend one of the meetings to provide input, instead want to campaign against the bond because MidPen isn't doing what they want? On top of being two-faced, I think MidPen already knows how much energy will be put into that.

    Bottom line is that MidPen is in charge. They are doing an OK job and will probably stay in charge, regardless of the new bond outcome. Without this bond, MidPen will stagnate and continue as it is now, however much you may love or hate. In contrast, this bond will allow them to move onto their next stage of providing access and more trails for all of us. This includes bike-only single track trails in Skeggs (ECDM), trails all over Mt Umunhum, including all the way to Demo, and many other improvements. Not all of it is just for biking. But the biking interests are fairly represented among all the user groups.

    In sum I definitely support the bond. It's not that big a tax, it provides much more bike trails and user access over time. Where the money will be applied is clearly spelled out and fairly represents what the public asked for, including us bikers, in the outreach meetings.
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    They're going to provide trails from Umunhum all the way to Demo? Wow. I'm not sure Demo is my style of riding, but if you're at Demo, you're practically at Nisene Marks, and if you're at Nisene Marks, you're at the coast on dirt.

    I ride and hike in Mid Pen parks. And when I do, I see other riders. Montebello, Fremont Older, Windy Hill, Russian Ridge, El Sereno... they're close to home and people ride there.

    When I look up at the hills from my house, I see green. That's because MidPen wisely bought up the hillsides and prevented them from development. They might not be doing everything we would want them to do, but they've done a lot of right things, and green hillsides mean a lot to me.

    I support the measure.

  54. #54
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    Nicely said Larry.

    Alex

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    This is a perfect example of how much more can be done by participating early in the process than late in the process. It has been very hard to get our community to step up at this stage, so much easier to rail against something that seems conclusive.
    I don't rattle.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by the other Anne View Post
    They're going to provide trails from Umunhum all the way to Demo? Wow. I'm not sure Demo is my style of riding, but if you're at Demo, you're practically at Nisene Marks, and if you're at Nisene Marks, you're at the coast on dirt.

    I ride and hike in Mid Pen parks. And when I do, I see other riders. Montebello, Fremont Older, Windy Hill, Russian Ridge, El Sereno... they're close to home and people ride there.

    When I look up at the hills from my house, I see green. That's because MidPen wisely bought up the hillsides and prevented them from development. They might not be doing everything we would want them to do, but they've done a lot of right things, and green hillsides mean a lot to me.

    I support the measure.
    My point entirely. MidPen was founded to create Green Hillsides. Access and trails are a secondary bonus. But now that sufficient land has been wisely acquired over the last couple decades, while it was still cheap, access is now finally taking a priority.

    Mt Umunhum is getting a lot of work under the proposed plan, especially nice since I live at the base. There's relevant three open space projects, looking at the map link:
    #23: Mt. Umunhum Public Access and Interpretation Projects. This is ongoing and besides restoring the top cube area, will make a couple mile singletrack trail along side the road, winding up to the cube. Should be great views.
    #25: Loma Prieta Area Public Access, Regional Trails, and Habitat Projects. This will open up a lot of land on the back (south) side of Mt. Umunhum. Trails will go all the way to Highland Rd. or Demo, and also connect in the east to the Santa Clara parks and open space, such as Rancho Canada del Oro and Calero park areas that just opened to biking. There's been talk in the past about doing lots of downhill singletrack in that new region. With the land available, I've even heard in past meetings proposals for equestrians and bikers to make their own separate trails to their liking. Don't know what will happen, but there's a lot of new open land with the potential to do a lot.
    #24: Rancho de Guadalupe Family Recreation and Interpretive Projects. This project was added back in by the board after it got low ratings by the public. It took me a while to understand this project value to biking, and verify with the MidPen staff this actually includes some multi-use singletrack on the front face of Mt. Umunhum.

    Also, Demo itself is a side tour if you're on the way to the sea. From Highland, just go up Buzzards Lagoon and down the dirt roads all the way to Santa Cruz.

    MidPen has definite plans to open this up this access for continuity to the sea and other parks. This "Loma Prieta" proposal to open this land got some of the highest rankings by the public. MidPen also said in the meetings that they feel that bikers will probably get the most benefit out of these trails, due to the distances and remoteness.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    My point entirely. MidPen was founded to create Green Hillsides. Access and trails are a secondary bonus. But now that sufficient land has been wisely acquired over the last couple decades, while it was still cheap, access is now finally taking a priority.

    Mt Umunhum is getting a lot of work under the proposed plan, especially nice since I live at the base. There's relevant three open space projects, looking at the map link:
    #23: Mt. Umunhum Public Access and Interpretation Projects. This is ongoing and besides restoring the top cube area, will make a couple mile singletrack trail along side the road, winding up to the cube. Should be great views.
    #25: Loma Prieta Area Public Access, Regional Trails, and Habitat Projects. This will open up a lot of land on the back (south) side of Mt. Umunhum. Trails will go all the way to Highland Rd. or Demo, and also connect in the east to the Santa Clara parks and open space, such as Rancho Canada del Oro and Calero park areas that just opened to biking. There's been talk in the past about doing lots of downhill singletrack in that new region. With the land available, I've even heard in past meetings proposals for equestrians and bikers to make their own separate trails to their liking. Don't know what will happen, but there's a lot of new open land with the potential to do a lot.
    #24: Rancho de Guadalupe Family Recreation and Interpretive Projects. This project was added back in by the board after it got low ratings by the public. It took me a while to understand this project value to biking, and verify with the MidPen staff this actually includes some multi-use singletrack on the front face of Mt. Umunhum.

    Also, Demo itself is a side tour if you're on the way to the sea. From Highland, just go up Buzzards Lagoon and down the dirt roads all the way to Santa Cruz.

    MidPen has definite plans to open this up this access for continuity to the sea and other parks. This "Loma Prieta" proposal to open this land got some of the highest rankings by the public. MidPen also said in the meetings that they feel that bikers will probably get the most benefit out of these trails, due to the distances and remoteness.
    That is all good, but they do not need more money to implement any of those projects. They will just blow it on fluff like Skeggs parking lot for horse trailers. They have enough money.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    This is a perfect example of how much more can be done by participating early in the process than late in the process. It has been very hard to get our community to step up at this stage, so much easier to rail against something that seems conclusive.
    I agree with the idea of participation (and the idea of put up or shut up). The disconnect I see is the ability to effectively get the word out to the right people for the right causes at the right time. Forums like this help some as do Facebook feeds from ROMP/SVMTB and FATRAC. Maybe we need an avaaz.org equivalent for local issues - a platform for action alerts - from "come to the public input meeting" to "write your local congressman, here's his address".

    Also, Big +1 on BigLarry's post. Well said!

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    I'm all for the bond if more access is provided to open space already under the control of MidPen. What drives me crazy is seeing roads (dirt and paved) already in place that I cannot ride

    Strava Segment | Cathermola Rd Climb

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    Loma Prieta Road defines open space | Silicon Valley Cyclist

    Will providing access to these areas cost any money? Repaving Mt. Umunhum would cost a big chunk of money but it is certainly ridable as it exists today.

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    MidPen Gripes

    I am trying to understand the major complaints about MidPen among other bikers. Scanning through the earlier comments, I come up with the following list, in the order of most concern.

    1. Rangers with speed guns give tickets to unwary bikers.
    2. Does not understand the need for good bike trails and wants to build roads.
    3. Too much money for too little.
    4. Restricts access to open areas.
    5. Does not allow any night riding.

    Here's my response on this.

    1. Radar Guns
    I ride a lot of MidPen, and pretty much never see radar guns. That's probably because I ride more desolate areas in Sierra Azul (Woods, Barlow, Kennedy) or biking oriented trails such Saratoga Gap, Long Ridge, and Monte Bello that don't have speed or conflict issues. Most of the radar guns complaints I hear are in the St. Josephs area in Los Gatos. I've ridden those trails a couple times and find them to be very steep as well as highly populated by a diversity of users. Those trails are so populated you almost need to wait in line to get on the trail. My feeling is those areas have real congestion and speed conflicts due to the diversity and density of users. I've seen radar guns on Kennedy once or twice. That trail has moderate density but high speeds. So I see the usage of radar as appropriate to maintain safety in congested areas with diversity of usage. They hope a few expensive tickets will cause bikers to howl all over the web and encourage others to slow down. It probably works.
    I suspect most of the enforcement is due to complaints by hikers. I know when I'm hiking, or even riding slow, I'm often startled by a speedster zipping by without warning. The biker may feel they're in control and know what their doing. I doubt the hiker has that same impression. We can help ourselves by improving that impression on others and reduce calls for enforcement by calling out before passing (I use a bell at a distance, and polite shout out when close) and slowing down below 15 MPH when passing others.

    2. Better Trails

    First, the reality. MidPen is not a biking organization. It's a stewardship with first priority always to preserve the land. You're just not going to get the same type of trails as the county parks or at Demo. Not going to happen. Not in their public charter. Deal with it.
    Next, their (wise) priority to date has been using the limited funds for acquiring, not building or providing access. That meant going with the existing dirt roads already in place for the last decades. The next stage as proposed in the plan will have a lot more singletrack. Of special interest is the new biking-only trail at ECDM, the bone they thew to us bikers.
    MidPen does allow a lot of biking and already has a lot of good biking singletrack. ECDM, Saratoga Gap, and the new White Oaks trail in Monte Bello show what MidPen can do. Not Demo, but a lot of fun biking trails. I suspect we'll see a lot more of that as access is opened up with new trails over the years.
    MidPen is treating biking fairly compared to other users. Other parks in the east and north bay can't get hardly any access whereas we've already got a lot of great trails. Even in their AA Ballot Measure, the first line in the ballot language is "To improve access to hiking and biking opportunities, protect and preserve redwood forests, natural open spaces,..." Two things of note in this language: Access is now taking priority over protection and preservation; Biking is listed as a priority right in front of the ballot.

    3. Too much money for too little.
    Each to his own. But considering one time entry fee at many parks is several dollars, a $3/$100K/year is not exactly excessive. The only reason such a low rate works is because it's spread over all the of the people in the jurisdiction, who want Green Hills rather than development, and willing to pay for that. Note they are not paying for more biking trails. See above for the reality on that.

    4. Restricts access to open areas.
    As said before many times, MidPen's charter and first priority was to acquire land while it was cheap, and preserve it. Now that this land acquisition has been fruitful, a change has occurred to now provide more access on that land. This was the point of the Open Space Outreach program, and this new tax. See the first three words in the ballot language above for evidence of this change.

    5. Does not allow any night riding.
    Nor does any other county park or most other parks. The only place I know that allows night riding is Henry Coe. Not sure why the opposition. Maybe safety and enforcement at night? Maybe to prevent homeless and campers from setting up home? A fear of disturbing wildlife? I really don't know why. But it's not a policy unique to MidPen. So don't single them out either.
    Personally, I never use my night lights. as I like to ride in the day for better views and the warmth. But I don't see any rational reason against night riding that I see everywhere. Hopefully this attitude among parks and land managers will change in the future.
    Last edited by BigLarry; 03-11-2014 at 10:53 AM.
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverbiker View Post
    MidPen should put up or shut up. We told them what we want them to do with all that space and money they've acquired over the years. Now go do it.
    By telling them, do you mean the Outreach program or something else?

    I suspect they will start doing the projects they've now defined no matter what way the bond measure goes. But I suspect the bond measure funds can greatly accelerate that process, which can take decades, with progress mostly limited by funding. If the speed improves from decades to sub-decade, that money is worth while.
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  62. #62
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    I second BigLarry.

    Midpen doesn't allow night riding for safety, to give animals some space, and the cost of hiring more rangers to save their properties from all sorts of a-holes. There may be other reasons but rangers have told me these. If you spend some time with rangers you can hear stories of how bad people can behave.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by timbo2000 View Post
    I'm all for the bond if more access is provided to open space already under the control of MidPen. What drives me crazy is seeing roads (dirt and paved) already in place that I cannot ride

    Strava Segment | Cathermola Rd Climb

    Strava Segment | Cathermola Rd Climb

    Strava Segment | Mt Umunhum L Prieta Rd Climb

    Loma Prieta Road defines open space | Silicon Valley Cyclist

    Will providing access to these areas cost any money? Repaving Mt. Umunhum would cost a big chunk of money but it is certainly ridable as it exists today.
    These links look to be mostly in the Loma Prieta area, which is a top rated project for MidPen. I'm not sure what patchwork of land is now owned and if it would allow opening of the roads. But there is a clear path through to Highland and Summit roads with the land they have now.

    However, new singletrack trails are what most here desire, and I've attended working meetings on those over the years. Those will take time to plan and create.
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    These links look to be mostly in the Loma Prieta area, which is a top rated project for MidPen. I'm not sure what patchwork of land is now owned and if it would allow opening of the roads. But there is a clear path through to Highland and Summit roads with the land they have now.

    However, new singletrack trails are what most here desire, and I've attended working meetings on those over the years. Those will take time to plan and create.
    fwiw, most of the land surrounding Cathermola Rd is owned by San Jose Water Co. the road has historically been maintained by them (sjwc) but is in fact patrolled by midpen. there was the Maas parcel in the middle section which has since been acquired by midpen.

    from 2009:

    The District will need to work with the Water Company to consider future use or disposition of the structures to protect the surrounding drinking water watershed and open space lands and evaluate future trail connections from Loma Prieta area to the Wrights Station Road area.
    http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/age...e_r_09-126.pdf

    5 years later:

    The Maas property has a house and accessory structures that were originally considered potentially useful as part of a Real Property exchange with San Jose Water Company, which owns the adjacent land. Real Property has determined this transaction is no longer feasible and recommends approval for the demolition of the house and accessory structures, which include a utility building, two small sheds, and a garage/carport.
    http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/age...ns_r-14-36.pdf


    hey, at least someone is using it!

    Apr 27

    A ranger discovered that a vacant District-owned residence had been broken into and vandalized. The area where the residence is located is in close proximity to a suspected marijuana grow. The intruders had made a fire in the stove using the window blinds. Santa Clara County Sheriff Deputies were requested but were unavailable to respond at the time of the discovery. Rangers returned with deputies a couple of days later to check the buildings and the area around the property.
    1
    IR 12F121
    Preserve Sierra Azul
    Location Former Maas house
    http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/age...es_R-13-31.pdf


    why not two separate entities? Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is clearly capable of buying up land, but imo not particularly good at creating open spaces in a manner that reflects the desired use of the public.

    maybe "Midpeninsula Land Holding Company" and "Midpeninsula Regional Open Space" will allow continued progress on both fronts?

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    Thanks to Big Larry and Modbog for some informative posts

    I apologize if this has already been posted here somewhere but I think it's a helluva good read:

    http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/age...on_r-14-46.pdf

    Skip to the end and you'll see how the $300M will be divvied up.

    Mind boggling...

    $8M for that ECDM single track! Woohooo...

    In my turf the Sierra Azul projects get almost $53M! (I guess I should be happy!)

    I'm still bothered that the land acquisitions aren't broken out in MROSD's disclosures.

    Keep in mind that these expenditures are spread over X (10 or 20?) years. (I may not live long enough)

    And, it appears that MROSD staff is cranking up the "more (bicycle) enforcement" machine with this upcoming (tomorrow) presentation to the Board:

    http://www.openspace.org/CGI-BIN/age...es_r_14-08.pdf

    I suppose the above deserves its own thread but I haven't the time.

    Go for it...
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    midpen in their wisdom have figured in inflation, it probably will cost $8M to build single track in 2044-45!

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    I second BigLarry.

    Midpen doesn't allow night riding for safety, to give animals some space, and the cost of hiring more rangers to save their properties from all sorts of a-holes. There may be other reasons but rangers have told me these. If you spend some time with rangers you can hear stories of how bad people can behave.
    There are plenty of public lands that are not patrolled at night and where night riding and what not is allowed. Observe the lack of chaos and destruction. Midpen on the other hand had massive grows in Sierra Azul area. Which was closed to anything. What rangers are telling you is a self serving myth.

    Main fact is that proposed tax increase is incremental, will not make a difference for strategic purchases (any purchases in the plan? No. ). And the goal of better access does not require that much of our tax money. Smoke and mirrors from a self perpetuating bureaucracy.

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    $8M for that ECDM single track! Woohooo...

    I wonder if this is for dozers and compacted gravel to prevent erosion from horses?

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    Thanks plienberg for the links. Very nice summary.

    To be fair, the ECDM projects are not just about one trail, but also completing Ridge Trail gaps, trails to parking area, restoring damaged trails to improve water quality, and preserve additional open space.

    The Sierra Azul breakdown is about what I'd expect.
    22: Cathedral Oaks. $6.7M
    23: Mt Umunhum peak. $28M
    24: Rancho de Guadalupe & trails. $10M
    25: Loma Prieta trails. $8M

    And like you said, this expense will be over a couple decades, hopefully less to get it sooner.
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    There are plenty of public lands that are not patrolled at night and where night riding and what not is allowed. Observe the lack of chaos and destruction. Midpen on the other hand had massive grows in Sierra Azul area. Which was closed to anything. What rangers are telling you is a self serving myth.

    Main fact is that proposed tax increase is incremental, will not make a difference for strategic purchases (any purchases in the plan? No. ). And the goal of better access does not require that much of our tax money. Smoke and mirrors from a self perpetuating bureaucracy.
    I agree that most night riding restrictions are based on unfounded bias. I don't understand myself. But MidPen is not at all alone in their attitude. There's a mass attitude that needs to change.

    The is definitely some marketing at play here. Pay THIS and get THAT. Well, uh, you might eventually get THAT anyway. Still, I think it's a good thing. The tax increase is incremental, but so are the funds currently available to these projects. Bigkidd84 said 64% of current funds are used for staff, debt and operating expenses. If only 36% of the current funds are available for improvements, then the incremental extra funds from this bond can greatly accelerate the process. It's not a lot to help see these projects completed in our life time.
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    Thanks plienberg for the links. Very nice summary.

    To be fair, the ECDM projects are not just about one trail, but also completing Ridge Trail gaps, trails to parking area, restoring damaged trails to improve water quality ,and preserve additional open space.

    The Sierra Azul breakdown is about what I'd expect.
    22: Cathedral Oaks. $6.7M
    23: Mt Umunhum peak. $28M
    24: Rancho de Guadalupe & trails. $10M
    25: Loma Prieta trails. $8M

    And like you said, this expense will be over a couple decades, hopefully less to get it sooner.
    this is what you'd expect?

    24 Sierra Azul: Rancho de Guadalupe Family Recreation
    Open Rancho de Guadalupe to public access. Develop accessible multi-use trails with amenities such as parking and family recreation. Restore habitat for rare species. Protect cultural and natural resources. $10,078,000

    Protect cultural and natural resources? am i confusing this with the supposed waste rock dump site? former future home of planned development that couldn't? myself, i want a better proposal when you're asking for $10,078,000. midpen has had time to prepare, i want a better picture of the proposals, a real timeline, and an actual breakdown the cost. this is lazy. midpen started at a big number and divided it across the domain.. pfft, $10,078,000..

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by modbog View Post
    this is what you'd expect?

    Protect cultural and natural resources? am i confusing this with the supposed waste rock dump site? former future home of planned development that couldn't? myself, i want a better proposal when you're asking for $10,078,000. midpen has had time to prepare, i want a better picture of the proposals, a real timeline, and an actual breakdown the cost. this is lazy. midpen started at a big number and divided it across the domain.. pfft, $10,078,000..
    Actually, yes, it's what I'd expect. Maybe I've lived in the Bay area too long, where even a little house cost $1M these days. Their numbers are on the high side. But that level of full funding will allow great progress to be made.

    I've seen numerous attempts to improve the Mt. Umunhum peak and the expenses are quite large. Just to demolish the buildings, repave the road, and built a small visitor center is $11M. Our representative Mike Honda tried to get us a few $M from the fed to help, but it was squeezed out of the federal budget at the last minute. (More here.)

    Many new trails and permits are going to be needed in the Loma Prieta region. It's almost like opening a new park.

    Same with Rancho de Guadalupe, which is in the middle of some endangered species (frogs?) that improvements need to work around, perhaps with bridges and other structures. Protecting cultural and natural resources is MidPen's main charter that is hard for us to understand sometimes. But the public that gives MidPen their money wants the green hills to be "all natural". And as I said, MidPen takes their stewardship seriously as their prime duty.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    Same with Rancho de Guadalupe, which is in the middle of some endangered species (frogs?) that improvements need to work around, perhaps with bridges and other structures. Protecting cultural and natural resources is MidPen's main charter that is hard for us to understand sometimes. But the public that gives MidPen their money wants the green hills to be "all natural". And as I said, MidPen takes their stewardship seriously as their prime duty.
    i'm all for the western pond turtle (from what i understood most of the frogs probably live in Guadalupe creek across Hicks?), but how is that money is going to help them exactly? bridge for what? what improvements exactly? a trail network already exists there. grade the lot, open the gate, plop down a crapper. right now it's just a dead end where teenagers go to screw in their cars and smoke pot. i'm not trying to be overly facetious, but come on. they might put in a deck to keep people from disturbing the edge of the small pond and an informational placard?

    give me real info, not fluff. acquired in 1995, soil tested in 2010. stewards? pfft. barely managing.. /rant

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by modbog View Post
    i'm all for the western pond turtle (from what i understood most of the frogs probably live in Guadalupe creek across Hicks?), but how is that money is going to help them exactly? bridge for what? what improvements exactly? a trail network already exists there. grade the lot, open the gate, plop down a crapper. right now it's just a dead end where teenagers go to screw in their cars and smoke pot. i'm not trying to be overly facetious, but come on. they might put in a deck to keep people from disturbing the edge of the small pond and an informational placard?

    give me real info, not fluff. acquired in 1995, soil tested in 2010. stewards? pfft. barely managing.. /rant
    Those level of details are best found on MidPen's site. Some have found such details buried in the meeting agendas. Or you can just send an email and ask MidPen how that cost estimate is broken down.

    You say a trail network already exists there. You know more than me. Where do these trails lead to? Around the mountain or up to Woods trail? They mention developing trails so I was thinking mostly new. Still, whatever is there will likely need restoration and improvements to current standards.

    The full description of the this project is as follows.

    Sierra Azul: Rancho de Guadalupe Family Recreation and Interpretive Projects
    Open RDG to public access. Develop accessible multi-use trails with amenities such as parking, family recreation, interpretive/educational services. Partner to develop family camping. Enhance habitat for rare species. Protect cultural and natural resources using traditional Native American stewardship practices.
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  75. #75
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    CRLF's on Dogmeat???

    Quote Originally Posted by modbog View Post
    i'm all for the western pond turtle (from what i understood most of the frogs probably live in Guadalupe creek across Hicks?), but how is that money is going to help them exactly? bridge for what? what improvements exactly? a trail network already exists there. grade the lot, open the gate, plop down a crapper. right now it's just a dead end where teenagers go to screw in their cars and smoke pot. i'm not trying to be overly facetious, but come on. they might put in a deck to keep people from disturbing the edge of the small pond and an informational placard?

    give me real info, not fluff. acquired in 1995, soil tested in 2010. stewards? pfft. barely managing.. /rant
    Yes really, on a rainy day they could possibly be crossing over from one creek to the next. They're hard to see but the brown lines denoting the range of the California Red Legged Frog reaches nearly to the top of all the ridges in Sierra Azul and as such; combined with the Rainbow Trout and Steelhead habitats make nearly the entire Rancho de Guadalupe property an area of special concern. 2 Western Pond Turtle habitats also.



    Given how the Mindego thing went for MTBing I doubt that we'll see much access to Rancho de Guadalupe.

    Anybody notice on that last link I posted how much pot farm activity is continuing in Sierra Azul? Almost all of that is on the RdG portion.
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  76. #76
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    Many biases rate based in a lack of understanding what is possible on a bike by sensible people. They cannot conceive how anyone could ride at night, climb a 20% grade......
    I don't rattle.

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    Many biases rate based in a lack of understanding what is possible on a bike by sensible people. They cannot conceive how anyone could ride at night, climb a 20% grade......
    Board is a bunch of mostly white baby boomers in loose fit dockers. Doubt they could make it up a trail without a horse.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLarry View Post
    Those level of details are best found on MidPen's site. Some have found such details buried in the meeting agendas. Or you can just send an email and ask MidPen how that cost estimate is broken down.
    option a is look for buried stuff in meeting agendas? (that's kinda of a warning sign, no?) option b is for the public to request a proposal from midpen via email? (also not really efficient) why isn't even basic information readily accessible? (i guess a few vague noncommittal sentences is not my definition of basic, and buried in pdfs inconsistently linked is not my definition of readily accessible)

    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Yes really, on a rainy day they could possibly be crossing over from one creek to the next. They're hard to see but the brown lines denoting the range of the California Red Legged Frog reaches nearly to the top of all the ridges in Sierra Azul and as such; combined with the Rainbow Trout and Steelhead habitats make nearly the entire Rancho de Guadalupe property an area of special concern. 2 Western Pond Turtle habitats also.

    moot. the trail is a distance away from those seasonal creeks and outside the boundaries on that map. the only portion that dips near is at the far (southern) end. (i'm referring to the loop around the pond and outcropping, not the dogleg back to the parcel on Pheasant.



    Pheasant Rd, public, goes right through that habitat on the northwestern edge. Hicks Rd, also public and with higher traffic, skirts the northeast side and goes right through the same boundaries - not through rather inside of and parallel with. how are anadromous fish swimming a Guadalupe bookended by dump and dam going to be affected by opening the gate? cultural / historical sensitive areas? (mine shafts? tailings?)


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    Quote Originally Posted by modbog View Post
    moot. the trail is a distance away from those seasonal creeks and outside the boundaries on that map. the only portion that dips near is at the far (southern) end. (i'm referring to the loop around the pond and outcropping, not the dogleg back to the parcel on Pheasant.
    Maybe not so moot; the Mindego Hill access road that was closed to bikes was well outside the normal range of the SFGS; it doesn't take much for MidPen to shutter access.

    BTW on that map those lines represent what were once roads; the may have disintegrated down to trails, it was like OMG 45 years ago I last traipsed across those specific lands.

    And those are not entirely "seasonal" streams; they have pools of water (enough to sustain trout) quite high up and is probably why this area is so popular with the dope growers.

    Very few mine shafts south of Hicks, most of the mines were on the north side of Guadalupe Creek. I'm really curious what the "Cultural Resources" at RdG are; Native American? Mining era??
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    I just have one word that MidPen doesn't - accountability. I didn't see them spending on what's matter for me. Shift in focus? I'll agree once I see it. The limitations they are imposing on bike trail users are artificial.
    With bond money not going for salaries, please. First overblown budget covers unchallanged/lobbied tenders. Sure house costs 1mil around here but half of it is land and public already paid for it.
    Second, MidPen always can purpose bond measures on the projects which are aldready part of the budget. Even proponents here saying it will helps getting old things faster, not more new things. So once money in, remainder of budget can be spent on rangers and trucks fleet.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    BTW on that map those lines represent what were once roads; the may have disintegrated down to trails, it was like OMG 45 years ago I last traipsed across those specific lands.
    those are still "roads" and some are somewhat recently graded -- more recently then your last visit

    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Very few mine shafts south of Hicks, most of the mines were on the north side of Guadalupe Creek. I'm really curious what the "Cultural Resources" at RdG are; Native American? Mining era??


    from pg 15:

    http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/sanfra...April_2012.pdf

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    ^^ Easy, bog.

    You're trying to apply logic to an insanity-based organization!
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    Nature is not a sidewalk (I'm looking at you, MidPen).

  83. #83
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    Half of the new money would be spent on that 'Roller Coaster' I keep talking about. The other half would be spent on sucking every stinking inch of fun out of it.

  84. #84
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    Has anything changed over the past couple of months to warrant the SLMTB to endorse Measure AA?

    Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers Endorses Measure AA! | Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers
    "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?" - Rodney King

  85. #85
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    Well I'm on the board of SVMTB so I'm biased.

    I came to the Vision process skeptical about what riders would get out of the process. I went to a number of meetings and found that MidPen staff and management listened to our input and although we didn't get everything we would like to see (who ever does?) riders will get more trails, more interconnecting trails and likely some bike specific trails at Skeggs.

    Even if MTB riders are skeptical about MidPen and our access to trails what is the benefit of not supporting the bond? By voting no you would be saying you don't want more trails or more protected areas above (and in) the Valley. What's to be gained by that?

    Thanks,

    Alex Anderson

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    At least we (SVMTB) are not alone.

    post

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    Wow, what a list. Who's against the measure, other than some people in this thread?

  88. #88
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    Sean- And I wonder how many of them are: 1. mountain bikers or 2. bothered by the fact that is costs millions of dollars to maybe/possibly/eventually open up a trail ("Hey, it's not MY money!").

    I think I'm okay being in the minority on this one! Please cancel my subscription to the resurrection of Midpen.
    Last edited by dirtvert; 05-16-2014 at 11:04 AM.
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  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruzSS View Post
    . . . By voting no you would be saying you don't want more trails or more protected areas above (and in) the Valley. What's to be gained by that?

    Thanks,

    Alex Anderson
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    I do understand the past frustration with certain land managers :-) However, the SVMTB BOD believes it is better to be a part of the process, that's why we participated in the developed of the Open Space 25 priorities. If you read the first sentence of the measure, it says to provide more opportunities for hiking and biking. I think it's important for SVMTB to be involved and maintain a professional working relationship.

    For more information: post

    Sean

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Hope you like increased ranger enforcement, like we just got in Marin.

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    As a matter of fact, I DO like increased ranger enforcement. I get annoyed by scofflaws bombing down shared trails. Particular targets of my ire are scofflaws who bomb down shared trails, then blame their victims because the victims should have realized that scofflaws ride on that particular trail.

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by the other Anne View Post
    As a matter of fact, I DO like increased ranger enforcement. I get annoyed by scofflaws bombing down shared trails. Particular targets of my ire are scofflaws who bomb down shared trails, then blame their victims because the victims should have realized that scofflaws ride on that particular trail.
    What? Victims? What victims?

    The only truly dangerous things on trails are horses.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Hope you like increased ranger enforcement, like we just got in Marin.
    I do not care about enforcement. I care about my tax money being wasted with zero benefit to myself.

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    Here's an important part of the bond measure that's worth reading...

    "Proposition AA was passed under the rules of Proposition 39, which directs that the Board of Trustees appoint an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee (ICOC) to monitor bond expenditures. This Committee is responsible for providing oversight of the District’s use of Proposition AA bond proceeds and reporting to the Board and public on their findings. Specifically, the ICOC will ensure that all funds are used in support of the projects included in the bond measure and not for unspecified projects, general operating expenses, or teacher salaries. The ICOC will also inspect facilities and grounds, review cost-saving measures, and review the annual independent audits that are required of general obligation bond funds."

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    Scofflaws and their blatant disregard for 15 MPH speed limits!!!
    I'm not sure how this works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean SVMTB View Post
    Here's an important part of the bond measure that's worth reading...

    "Proposition AA was passed under the rules of Proposition 39, which directs that the Board of Trustees appoint an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee (ICOC) to monitor bond expenditures. This Committee is responsible for providing oversight of the District’s use of Proposition AA bond proceeds and reporting to the Board and public on their findings. Specifically, the ICOC will ensure that all funds are used in support of the projects included in the bond measure and not for unspecified projects, general operating expenses, or teacher salaries. The ICOC will also inspect facilities and grounds, review cost-saving measures, and review the annual independent audits that are required of general obligation bond funds."
    lqtm. you either quoted a school board measure or mid pen needs to get better at plagiarizing*. either way nice job doing your homework guys...

    *http://www.sduhsd.net/documents/Depa...2004-22-14.pdf

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    What a coincidence! Maybe they hired the same lawyer : ) Either way, it's a part of the Measure AA. The ICOC will hold the board accountable for their actions, which I know was a concern for a lot of people on this thread.

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    Midpen's Bond Issue - Can / Should We Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I do not care about enforcement. I care about my tax money being wasted with zero benefit to myself.
    That's almost the definition of government.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverbiker View Post
    What happens when the ICOC consists of equestrians, sierra clubbers, and previous board members?
    It will be business as usual. Foothills pony housewives, Marin hysterical pseudo-environmentalists and ex-bureaucrats. And a token IMBA guy summarily ignored and ready to "be part of the process".

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