The San Mateo County Harbor Commission is responsible for discussing and voting on issues related to maritime resources in San Mateo County, emergency response and public access at Pillar Point Harbor and Oyster Point Marina. Board members attend monthly meetings.

Two seats on the Commission are up for reelection. Residents who belong to districts 4 and 5 will vote for one seat depending on their district. This is the first year of a vote-by-district election for the Harbor District following a 2018 decision to change from an at-large election process.

DISTRICT 4 (Vote for 1)

Name: Lemoine “Lee” V. Fernandez

Age: 76

Residence: Half Moon Bay

Fernandez, Lee
  • What are your top priorities?

I support public access to our coast and environmental protections. My priorities for the Harbor District include: improving ocean and bay water quality, addressing polluted beaches at Pillar Point Harbor, improved facilities and adding playgrounds for families and restrooms with outdoor showers as well as dog watering stations. In addition, preparing for climate change and sea level rise, pedestrian-bicycle safety incluing bay and coastal trails, Johnson Pier safety renovation, outreach, accountability, transparency including multilingual signage and media, and expanding San Francisco Bay ferry service.

  • What has prepared me for this role?

My 18 years serving as a family programs administrator for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force (at Moffett Field), where I managed 100-plus employees, multimillion dollar annual budgets and navigated stringent federal and state regulations while assisting thousands of military families. Also my public service on the Redwood City Water Task Force, initiating recycled water use on city parks and landscaping, the $43.5 million purple pipe project. I served on the Measure C Bond Oversight Committee, a $25 million construction bond for Sandpiper Elementary School in Redwood Shores, which came in on time and on budget.

  • Why do you want to sit on the commission?

My goals are to work with fellow Harbor commissioners to ensure public access to our coast and bay, and to support commercial and recreational fishing and boating by providing safe, working harbors. I will ensure fiscal responsibility while preparing for sea level rise and protecting our beautiful natural environment. I am looking for creative ways to solve legacy problems like water quality in Pillar Point Harbor and Johnson Pier inadequacies. New eyes can find new solutions. San Mateo County is blessed with incredible coastlines. I support local, sustainable commercial fishing. Though I have lived and worked in many places, San Mateo County has been my home for the past 26 years. What is most important to me is ensuring we have a safe and beautiful place to live and work, so we are able to nurture and educate ourselves to care for each other and the world around us. The best way to build respect and appreciation of our natural environment is to experience it. That’s why I want to protect public access to our shorelines and harbors.

Name: Dawn Korth

Age: 56

Residence: El Granada

Korth, Dawn
  • What are your top priorities?

Keeping the harbor safe and clean for the visitors, people who call the harbor home, the commercial fisherman and the wildlife that reside in the harbor.

  • What is one thing that has prepared you for this role?

I have over 15 years of project management experience.

  • Why do you want to sit on the commission?

I want to bring function to the dysfunction that has been the history of the Harbor Commission. I will do this by making rational decisions based on facts and data not based on my personal agenda.

Name: Tom Mattusch

Age: 71

Residence: El Granada

Mattusch, Tom
  • What are your top priorities?

To continue providing the Harbor District with stable leadership; to continue to ensure the district is financially healthy, especially as we get through the COVID-19 pandemic; to continue supporting our local fishing industry at Pillar Point and opportunities for ferry service at Oyster Point; to continue voting for necessary infrastructure improvements as well as environmentally important projects, such as shoreline protection and water quality.

  • What is one thing that has prepared you for this role?

My consistent leadership representing San Mateo County residents since 2015. I hold an MBA in nonprofit and health care management and have brought this experience to the Board’s finance committee for important work such as paying down $2.3 million in unfunded pension liability, budgeting for infrastructure work and adjusting the budget to prepare for the pandemic, ensuring we had enough funds to harbor evacuees from the CZU Complex Fires when we opened up our parking lots.

  • Why do you want to sit on the commission?

To continue providing stable leadership, ensuring the public’s work is completed in a cost-effective and timely fashion.

DISTRICT 5 (Vote for 1)

Name: Kirsten Keith

Age: 53

Residence: Menlo Park

Keith, Kirsten
  • What are your top priorities?

Ensure strong environmental stewardship and improve water quality at our beaches; complete the strategic and facilities Master Plan. Implement facility upgrades in a fiscally prudent manner; enhance public safety and outreach; ensure there is always a balanced budget and a plan to pay for facility improvements. Subscribe to OpenGov. to proactively, transparently share Harbor District financial data with the public.

  • What is one thing that has prepared you for this role?

My seven years of experience as a Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency director, San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority director and eight years as a city council member illustrate my commitment to public service and my ability to serve the residents of San Mateo County as your first District 5 Harbor Commissioner. Especially pertinent to the Harbor District position, I have dealt with sea level rise and flooding issues. As a director of the SFCJPA, I helped complete a $76 million flood control and sea level rise project to prevent East Palo Alto, including over 1,000 homes, from flooding.

  • Why do you want to sit on the commission?

I’m running for the San Mateo County Harbor Commission because I love our beautiful county beaches and harbors, and I recognize the important role they play in our environment and for our community well-being overall. I’m running to protect the precious coastal and bay environment, while supporting recreational opportunities and a strong sustainable commercial fishing industry. For more information, please see kirstenkeith.com or email me at kirsten@kirstenkeith.com. I would appreciate your vote.

Name: Virginia Chang Kiraly

Age: 56

Residence: Unincorporated West Menlo Park

Chang Kiraly, Virginia
  • What are your top priorities?

Financial management and planning, focusing on the Harbor District’s business recovery through the pandemic; workplace stability for a calm, productive and harassment-free environment for Harbor District employees; funding capital projects for environmental protection, combating sea level rise, and supporting ferry transportation at Oyster Point Marina; ethical governance so that the Harbor District is transparent and accountable to the public; continuing to foster diversity and inclusion at the Harbor District.

  • What is one thing that has prepared you for this role?

My work as a Harbor Commissioner and the only Commissioner and District 5 candidate with a financial background have allowed me to help develop budgets that protect our environment, operate the Harbor District and be a fiduciary of tax dollars. Sound financial planning and management keep the district fiscally strong, enabling capital projects to be completed, such as shoreline protection and beach nourishment, with a budget free of debt and paying down pension liabilities.

  • Why do you want to sit on the commission?

Serving San Mateo County residents on the HarborCommission since 2015, my reelection would allow me to continue using my financial background on business recovery through the pandemic, accomplishing the Harbor District’s business by working with the general manager and fellow commissioners, and representing the racial diversity of San Mateo County on the board. I am the only woman of color ever to be elected to the Harbor Commission.

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