Peninsula harbor board changing hands

Although it is presiding over major development plans at Oyster Point in South San Francisco and Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, the San Mateo County Harbor District is hardly a household name on the Peninsula.

“I don’t think that most of San Mateo County even knows that we exist,” said Sally Campbell, the current president of the Board of Commissioners that oversees the district. “But we do some exciting stuff here.”

That lack of familiarity could change by Nov. 2, when Peninsula residents will elect two people to the five-person board.

With incumbent Ken Lundie opting to not seek re-election, Jim Tucker is the only incumbent running this fall. At least one of the three challengers vying to fill two spots will become the harbor board’s first new member in 12 years.

The three challengers for the openings are Sabrina Brennan, a small-business owner from Moss Beach; William Klear, a retired airline supervisor from Moss Beach; and Robert Bernardo, a South San Francisco resident who works for the Port of Oakland.

Members of the Harbor District Commission serve four-year terms, and there are no term limits for the position.

Tasked with paying back $10 million in debt to the state, overseeing a $53 million commuter ferry line set to open at Oyster Point in 2011, and managing a slew of revitalization projects at Pillar Point, the board will have a lasting impact on shoreline development on the Peninsula.

Tucker, a former corrections officer who has been with the district since 1998, has been endorsed by four current members of the harbor commission.

State Sen. Leland Yee has endorsed Bernardo and Brennan for the two openings, and state Assemblyman Jerry Hill is backing Bernardo.

Lundie, who is not endorsing any candidate, said change will be good for the district.

“The commission is ready for some new blood,” Lundie said. “Any time a new person comes on, they bring new ideas and new energy, and that’s what the commission needs right now.”

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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