There was a time when the Midcoast Community Council was about as effective as drinking a slug of bleach to ward off the coronavirus. Members feuded over issues that had nothing to do with the Coastside, and when they did take up cogent issues, their response was often incoherent. A dozen years ago, then-San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon wondered aloud whether “the MCC has served its purpose and possibly outlived its usefulness …”

We are happy to report those days are long gone.

Today, the Midcoast Community Council is a vibrant, focused, clear forum for issues of paramount import between the city of Half Moon Bay and Devil’s Slide. It is an advisory board, so it doesn’t make decisions on things like traffic mitigation and land use, but it does shine light on these issues and serves as a clearinghouse of pertinent information. Perhaps most encouraging, there are four candidates for three seats on the board, and Coastsiders can’t go wrong with their choices.

Incumbent Dan Haggerty declined a virtual meeting with our editorial board to discuss his tenure and priorities for the years to come, but the other three did. Because of that unusual circumstance, we aren’t offering an endorsement, per se, but focusing on the unique capabilities of the candidates who did take the time.

You won’t find a neighbor with a more informed opinion about local issues than Gregg Dieguez. He possesses a master’s degree in finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and organizes panel discussions around climate and clean energy issues for an alumni group. He’s held a number of executive positions with biomedical firms before retiring.

Dieguez has trained his considerable analytical powers on Coastside issues, from traffic to water management to fire protection. He is particularly concerned about drought and the coming California water crisis. His foresight would serve the Midcoast well as residents navigate sustainability issues that will increasingly dominate public discussion here.

We were similarly impressed by Andra Anderson. She is a political newcomer who manages facilities for a division of a global corporation. She’s given a lot of thought to environmental health and safety as well as climate issues. She volunteers with her local Community Emergency Response Team and has committed to her community since moving to San Mateo County in 2014.

Anderson says maintaining and building relationships with decision-makers is paramount. She says the community needs to support everyone who calls the Midcoast home, regardless of income level. She doesn’t claim to have a solution to the traffic problems, but promised to look for solutions in other like communities.

Jill Grant is a trained wildlife biologist who these days helps to manage projects for a construction firm. She has a plain-spoken, get-it-done style that every organization needs.

Grant says affordable housing should be a priority. And she spoke knowledgeably about fire prevention, which is suddenly more important than ever to Coastsiders. She is painfully aware of the traffic gridlock that affects quality of life here. She says that her family uses “our bikes, our feet and other non-gas-powered things” whenever possible, but notes that even the cherished Coastal Trail is sometimes overcrowded.

None of these three candidates have all the answers. All of them have your best interest at heart. There was a time when that seemed an impossible goal for the MCC. We’re lucky to have people like this willing to devote their time to public service.

— Editorial board

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