The results of the election for the Peninsula Community Planning Board were in. Three new faces were to be ushered in, and two incumbents retained their seats. Architect Jay Shumaker was the top vote-getter. In second place: fellow architect Darrold Davis.
Falling one vote shy of the top five: Sitting Chairwoman Cynthia Conger.
However, shortly after the election, a hitch emerged. Some noted that Resolution No. 112, approved by the planning board in 2000, made it mandatory for any candidate to have attended a planning board meeting at least once in the six months leading up to an election.
A review of the attendance sheets found that Davis hadn’t been in attendance once in the last six months. People clamored for him to be disqualified, though candidates hadn’t been notified of the requirement.
“Ms. Conger sent the candidate a letter asking him to verify he had satisfied an eligibility requirement. He could not. Ms. Conger is still the board chair,” board member Geoff Page wrote this week in a letter to the Peninsula Beacon.
But it wasn’t that simple.
The City Attorney’s Office said that, yes, there was a record of Resolution No. 112. But there didn’t seem to be any copy of an actual amendment. The resolution may have been passed by the planning board, but it appears to never have been actually integrated into the organization’s bylaws.
“It is possible the PCPB had second thoughts about seeking to amend the bylaws and, even though the City approved the change, the PCPB held off (maybe wanting to increase the meeting requirement to three as opposed to one meeting only?),” wrote local scribe Cal Jones.
And there was another twist.
Deputy City Attorney Alex Sachs declared Davis would’ve qualified for the position regardless, as he had attended a candidate forum where eight board members were present — a quorum that turned the forum into an official meeting.
Page and other disputed the interpretation, saying it wasn’t a true board meeting. He also defended Conger:
What appears as an impropriety to one is to another just someone doing their job. It is painted as devious simply because Ms. Conger was the sixth-highest vote getter and would then be seated. If the sixth were someone else, there would be no discussion.
But there was discussion, and plenty of it. How would it be resolved? Could it be resolved? Stay tuned for the final chapter.