Want to know what is going on with the Open Space Advisory Board (OSAB) these days? Nothing. For nearly a year now the agenda has been hijacked by the Planning Department bureaucracy. Read: Larry Nichols, Director of Planning. Read: Tommy Gonzalez, part-time City Manager. Although OSAB is charged with advising City Council regarding the Open Space Master Plan and acquisitions of open space, members of OSAB are no longer in the position (at least through their meetings) to advise. Why? Most every item on the OSAB agenda is for "Information and Discussion" only. No ACTION.
In advance of the most recent meeting the Chair, Lois Balin, sent Planning a final agenda with every item marked "Discussion and Action". It got changed—changed from the top—changed by Larry Nichols. A major OSAB concern has long been the revised Natural Open Space zoning ordinance. Last November in a meeting with Chair Lois Balin and myself as Vice-Chair, Larry Nichols promised to move the NOS item forward. At this point his words must be considered to have been misleading.
The Board should be setting its own agenda and Planning should be assisting. Instead it is the tail wagging the dog.
So where is Open Space money going (that 10% of the stormwater fee that you pay) plus all that Quality of Life bond money? Try park ponds and, I suspect, other non-Open Space budgetary matters.