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The Marin County “Community Service Contracts” Program - Investigative Report - PART IV

This is PART IV of a four part series (click these links to read Part I, Part II, and Part III) based on Community Venture Partners' detailed, 14 month investigation into Marin County's Community Service Contracts program. The information presented is interdependent, so reading each Part in numerical order is recommended. Exhibits referenced in footnotes can be found in Appendix A - Exhibits and Appendix B. This series raises a number of legal and ethical questions that will be discussed in a follow up article.


DISCUSSION AND SUPPORTING EVIDENCE

1. Lack of public process or criteria: Marin County has had no discernible methodology, logical process, or predetermined criteria or guidelines for selection of contract awards and made no credible distinction between payments for services or gifts of funds to nonprofit organizations.

As previously stated and as admitted by the County, the County has no formal process in place for third-party, nonprofit organizations to apply for community service contracts. This is because the County does not determine the need for the services, rather it is the recipients that propose the scope of work they want to be paid to do. After almost a year of reviewing County documents and records, in March of 2019, we asked County Administrator Matthew Hymel the following questions regarding County procedures:

“Are there formal procedures that your office/the County uses to receive or process proposals for services received from outside, third-party organizations/ service providers that are seeking to obtain contracts? If so, what are they and are those instructions available to the public?”

Mr. Hymel responded,

We have a formal, on-line application process for the community services grants and public hearings to allocate the community services grants two times each year. Many service requests are directed to the relevant County departments for review in their respective budgets. Since some services do not fit neatly into one departmental budget, we do have a non-departmental budget for services contracts that have a countywide benefit. For example, the Marin Conservation District, Marin Economic Forum and the Marin Promise partnership has been funded in the non-departmental budget for several years.

This response is quite strange on a number of levels. Mr. Hymel was well aware that we were one year into our investigation and that our questions were specifically about the “Community Service Contracts Program,” not the online “Community Service Grants Fund.” Yet, he cannot seem to help himself from conflating the two, which evidences the comingling of these programs in his mind, by lumping both together, indistinguishably, in his answer. It is either that or he is intentionally trying to avoid our question.

In addition, his claim that these funds are for “partnership” arrangements is nonsensical. There is absolutely no evidence that any of the community service contract agreements have been “partnerships” in the legal sense of the word. None of the agencies that are funded by ‘contracts’ are any different from the ones funded by ‘grants,’ other than the grants program now has a $10,000 cap and a one time limit since the so-called ‘reforms’ of 2016.

One cannot escape the feeling that when communicating with county officials they are either completely ignorant of the actual, legal meaning of the terminology they use, or they are just in the habit of throwing out important sounding words in the hopes that it will continue to obfuscate their behavior and satisfy an ignorant public.

I followed up his response by saying,

“I am not asking about the community service grants program or its process, which is for "one time grants of under $10,000." I am only asking about contracts for services.Is there an application form for service contracts, similar to the form available to apply for community service grants? If so, can you please provide me a copy?”

My Hymel finally responded,

There is not an application form for these service contracts. [Emphasis added]

We then asked,

“What are the procedures your office uses to receive and process annual “recommendation” lists or “suggestions” from County supervisors, regarding which organizations should be offered contracts for their services?

Mr. Hymel responded,

We receive budget requests from a number of sources, including departments and non-profit organizations during the budget preparation season. During the budget season, Supervisors will often express support for various initiatives and organizations at public meetings such as our spring budget workshops. [Emphasis added]

This answer does not correlate with the facts. In reviewing email correspondence, we found no “season” related to when and how Supervisors made “recommendations”-- which consisted of lobbying behind the scenes and lists of organizations and amounts to be given, sometimes years in advance.

We followed up again by asking,

“Why is the breakdown of annual service contracts (which we've asked the County Counsel's office to provide but have not yet received) not available to the general public in the County's annual budget publications? This omission has been confirmed to us by the County Counsel, who was also unable to find any specific information regarding specific amounts, dates or terms of any community service contracts in any published annual budget materials.”

Mr. Hymel responded,

There is no formal document that lists in one place the various annual service contracts awarded. However, my office keeps a running list of these annual service contracts for internal purposes and will release it along with the other documents you have requested pursuant to the Public Records Act. [Emphasis added]

Mr. Hymel’s claim of keeping a record turned out to be questionable. In fact, as confirmed to us by the Office of the Marin County Counsel, his office was unable to provide any record whatsoever for 3 out of the past 15 years of spending, with file copies of ‘contracts’ missing in many cases.

When asked about this, Deputy County Counsel Sarah Anker replied,

The lack of lists for FY 05-06, 08-09 and 09-10 was not meant to imply that there were no contracts those years. Mr. Hymel’s office does not have lists for those years.

We then asked Mr. Hymel,

“Have any of the services provided by any of the recipients of these contract for services (including MBCB and all others) been subject to publicly noticed Request for Proposals, or any other form of public competitive bidding, since 2005?”

Mr. Hymel responded,

As stated previously, the community services program is a competitive grant program. Other professional services contracts are executed consistent with Government Code 31000 and based on a variety of factors, including past performance and anticipated public benefits the services provider will provide to the County. [Emphasis added]

This response is non-responsive and again nonsensical. Once again, we are clearly asking about the “contracts” program, yet Mr. Hymel continues to respond about the “grants program,” which contradicts his own claim that the ‘grants’ program and the ‘contracts’ program are separate. Also, our question was about “competitive bidding” for contracts and he responds by explaining the online “competition” for grants. It is no wonder the county staff, the public, and the grants recipients themselves don’t know the difference between a contract and a grant.

In the end, after repeated requests, Mr. Hymel failed to directly answer any of our questions and failed produce any evidence of funding guidelines or performance criteria or any other kinds of formal rules or procedures that the County followed or that are made available to the general public, or any evidence to show that the payments made to organizations under ‘contract’ were anything but grants of general support funds.

2. Irregular accounting practices: The accounting of the sources of the funding paid to nonprofit organizations under the guise of “service contracts” is unavailable to the public and is so complex that even the County Counsel’s office was unable to decipher it.

On January 4, 2019, in response to our repeated questioning about where the funds for these millions of dollars of contracts were coming from, Sarah Anker of the Office of the County Counsel wrote,

As I had mentioned to you on the phone, there are different sub-programs within the Non-Departmental budget that community service professional services contracts are funded through, including: (1) Countywide Operations, and (2) Community Services Program.

The Proposed Budget document does not distinguish these specific subprograms as the county budget is allocated at the program level, not the sub-program level. All of the money that is provided through these sub-programs comes from the general fund. [Emphasis added]

The Office of the County Counsel also confirmed to us that there was no record of what budget line item or what agency each contract had been paid out of, only that they were all shown as a part of the lump sum of expenses under “Community Services.” On its face, this fails to comply with any normally accepted accounting practices.

3. Charitable gifts mischaracterized as contracts: The activities included as “services” in contacts with private nonprofit organizations were virtually identical to the organization’s mission and their ongoing activities and initiatives, which would have been undertaken or were already being undertaken by those organizations whether or not they received a “contract” to do so, year after year. This is the very definition of a “grant of funds for general support.”

Consider the following comparisons of the stated missions and activities of some of the nonprofit recipients of community service contracts and the description of services found in their contract agreements.

The California Film Institute

Its website currently says,

The Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center “exhibits independent documentary and narrative films, classics, retrospectives, features, international works and hosts special events with filmmakers from around the world year-round.” CFI offers “educational programs, 100 free annual screenings for school groups and their families, filmmaking workshops and a year-long cinema appreciation curriculum, CFI Education touches the lives of over 6,500 children annually through a broad range of activities”

The Mill Valley Film Festival screens “over 200 innovative US and international films for over 60,000 film lovers. MVFF has established an impressive track record for launching new films and new filmmakers, and has earned a reputation as a filmmakers’ festival by offering a high-profile, prestigious, non-competitive environment for celebrating the best in independent and world cinema.”

The 2018 CFI community service contract says,[1]

One-time funds will be used to partially support the California Film lnstitute's (CFI) core programs: the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center which provides the community with access to premieres, informative documentaries, and renowned programming for children and families; CFI Education which offers free arts education programs to 8,000 students ages 13-18 and their teachers; the Mill Valley Film Festival offering audiences an opportunity to see small-budget films from around the world that may not be released in mainstream theaters; the DocLands Documentary Film Festival launched in May 2017 to showcase nonfiction films in a variety of genres and with diverse content; and CFI Releasing, a developing national nonprofit film distribution initiative.

Other than semantics, these descriptions are virtually identical. This is primarily due to the fact that the nonprofit organizations wrote the descriptions of services that appeared in their contracts, themselves, which were then communicated to the County in unsolicited “proposals” that they submitted when they wanted funding.

Please also note that the phrase “One-time funds” appears on every CFI ‘contract’ for every year they have been funded. And the contract’s “scope of work” is also identical year after year as is often the total amount funded. Finally, like all of the other recipient’s ‘contracts,’ this one only asks that the recipient self-report the outcomes.

Wildcare

Its website currently says,

WildCare’s mission is to advocate for wildlife for a sustainable world, and we actively pursue this mission through nature education, wildlife medicine, advocacy and community outreach.

The 2018 Wildcare community service contract says,[2]

Funds will be used to partially offset the costs of WildCare programs and services, which provide critical wildlife treatment and environmental education services In Marin County.

Again, other than semantics, the organization’s mission description and the contract’s scope of work is virtually identical and appear, unchanged, on every Wildcare ‘contract’ for every year they have been funded, year after year, as is mostly also true for the total amount funded.

Note that in both of these cases the scope of work is extremely broad and open-ended to the point that the recipient can pretty much do anything they want within their nonprofit “mission.” This definition of “scope of work” is unheard of in the world of contracts, but is very common for general support philanthropic grants.

MCBC

The scope of services in the MCBC contracts appear more complex on the surface but are equally broad and essentially unchanged year after year.For example, in his June 10, 2006 letter of recommendation for approval of the contract for services between the County of Marin and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (”MCBC”), County Administrator Matthew Hymel writes,

This agreement will provide $40,000 for program support of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition to: 1) Identify grant opportunities for the County to pursue funding for pedestrian and bicycle projects; 2) Assist and support County goals identified in the Marin County Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan and; 3) Partner with the County on infrastructure projects that benefit the unincorporated areas of the County.[3]

This essentially matches what MCBC’s request letter stated.

On July 11, 2007, MCBC’s request changes the format and embellishes slightly and so Hymel writes,[4]

This agreement will provide $40,000 to support the programs of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC), a non-profit organization. Services to be provided for the benefit of Marin residents include, but are not limited to the following:

1) Assistance and support to the County goals and projects identified in the Marin County Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan;

2) Project Funding: identifying grant opportunities for the County to pursue for funding pedestrian and bicycle projects. Generating data for use in grant applications. Assisting the County in writing grant applications. Writing letters of support for capital grant projects;

3) MCBC's partnership with the County of Marin to work on infrastructure projects that benefit the unincorporated areas of Marin County, provides increased safety for bicycling by local residents and visitors, and ensures that cyclist input is included in the design of the facilities.

On September 9, 2008, MCBC adds MCBC’s basic mission / marketing materials and rewords the format slightly, so Hymel writes,[5]

This agreement will provide funds in the amount of $40,000 to support the programs of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC). MCBC continues to improve local transportation facilities resulting in the reduction of congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and other air/water pollution, increasing mobility, improving health, and maximizing efficient use of the current roadway network. It has helped to increase bicycling in Marin 66% since 1999. For the past several years, MCBC has helped the County of Marin implement bicycling projects in the County's unincorporated areas in two ways:

Marin County Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan will assist in the design of bicycle and pedestrian facilities; serve on Technical Advisory Committees for County infrastructure projects; and comment on technical documents to ensure implementation of safe and functional designs for bicyclists and pedestrians

Project Funding will identify grant opportunities for the County to pursue the fund pedestrian and bicycle projects; generate data for use in grant applications; assist the County in writing grant applications; and write letters of support for capital grant projects.

The September 29, 2009 letter has similar minor rewording changes.[6]

This agreement will provide $40,000 to support the programs of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC). MCBC continues to improve local transportation facilities resulting in the reduction of congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and other air/water pollution, increasing mobility, improving health and maximizing efficient use of the current roadway network. It has helped to increase bicycling in Marin 66% since 1999. For the past several years, MCBC has helped the County of Marin implement bicycling projects in the County's unincorporated areas and is now defined in the following three ways:

1) Bicycle and Pedestrian Design: provide technical assistance on project design related to bicycle and pedestrian facilities for consideration or under construction as part of Marin County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan;

2) Coordination with Other Agencies: help to facilitate one-on-one and multi-agency discussions that will result in the study of, design, funding, and implementation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities included in the Marin County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan;

3) Leveraging Additional Funding: assist with the identification and acquisition of project funding, and help ensure the availability and retention of allocated project funding.

This pattern by MCBC of ‘writing their own ticket’ repeats itself year after year. On August of 2010, Kim Baenisch, Executive Director of MCBC, writes to the Office of the County Administrator requesting a contract for services that mimics the past contracts.[7]

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) is writing to request a $35,000 contract for the 2010-11 fiscal year, as a result of the Board of Supervisors' approval of their 2010-11 fiscal year budget at their July meeting... Our countywide work occurs in the following three ways:

• Bicycle and Pedestrian Design - provide technical assistance on project design related to bicycle and pedestrian facilities for consideration or under construction as part of the Marin County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

• Coordination with Other Agencies - help to facilitate one-on-one and multi-agency discussions that will result in the study of, design, funding, and implementation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities included in the Marin County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

• Leveraging Additional Funding - assist with the identification and acquisition of project funding, and help ensure the availability and retention of allocated project funding.

The County then copied and pasted this “scope of work” into its ‘contract.’The evidence shows this was the method used by almost all nonprofit recipients of funding (gifts). They created their own proposals for services, proposed their own scope of work, submitted that to the County as a “request” for a “contract” and payment, and were then “hired” at the discretion of the County Administrator: a process that was guided by “suggestions” from individual County Supervisors.

In the case of MCBC, email correspondence and other evidence suggest that MCBC contract’s contents were generated by MCBC and / or resulted during private discussions with the County Administrator or a County Supervisor, without a transparent or competitive public process as would typically be the case for contracts for services.[8]

4. Lack of public disclosure: The existence of these contracts for services and payments to private, third-party organizations have been concealed from the public to the fullest extent possible.

When the Marin County Grand Jury examined the operations and practices of the County’s Community Service Fund in 2001 and 2013, this parallel operation of entering into Community Service Contracts escaped their scrutiny.However, the Grand Jury may be forgiven their oversight, because as explained above, unlike the Community Service Grants Fund, the distribution of these funds is not specifically disclosed or documented in any of the County’s Annual Budgets or on the County’s website.

These expenditures were not even noted in a separate budget spending category. Instead, they have been included within a catch-all line budget category called, “Community Services.” It is, therefore, unlikely that these expenditures would even have been discovered by an independent accountant unless they were specifically directed to look for them.

There is also evidence that following the public scrutiny of the Community Service Contracts funding in 2016, the County started to off-load costs by having agreements shifted to other County (budget line item) agencies. For example, MCBC contracts for services started to be with the Department of Public Works (DPW) instead of coming out of general funds. Correspondence shows that this practice had been used in the past by Supervisor Kinsey, to “find funding” for his pet projects.

5. Circumventing Grand Jury criticism: The “community service contracts” funding scheme allowed the County circumvent its own rules regarding grants of funding to nonprofit organizations, following the criticism by the Marin Grand Jury.

The projects, initiatives, and services funded through the award of contracts for services are virtually identical to those that have historically been funded by the Community Service Grants Fund program (i.e., to further the initiatives and programs local nonprofit organizations are undertaking of their own volition). However, because they have been categorized as “contracts for services” instead of gifts, they have been able to exceed the “slush fund’s” stipulated $10,000, one-time funding limit and could continue to be granted on a purely discretionary basis up to $50,000, annually without limits.

6. Arbitrary funding amounts: The amounts of these ‘contracts’ were arbitrary and simply reflected the amounts the “applicant” requested, untested by any actual cost analysis or comparisons to market rates for the proposed services.

After reviewing hundreds of documents, records, emails, and correspondence we found no evidence whatsoever that the amounts of the contracts between Marin County and MCBC were based on any type of cost analysis, bidding, or other kind of cost breakdown / estimating methodology. The amounts appear to be solely derived from unsubstantiated, large round numbers (e.g., $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, etc.) found in the “requests” submitted by MCBC.

7. Failure to separate public and private interests: Over the past decade MCBC’s role has become increasingly integrated into the workings of County business.

What one can see from the wording of the agreements in #3 above and from other evidence we’ve reviewed is that MCBC’s role over time became more and more integrated within the staffing structure of the County.

It is very curious why our highly-compensated county staff needs any outside help from MCBC to “facilitate one-on-one and multi-agency discussions that will result in the study of, design, funding, and implementation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities included in the Marin County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.” Certainly, the County has adequate staff for that and no one at MCBC has any technical design or engineering credentials that add any value to the County’s work.

This ‘too close’ relationship has woven its way into many County activities related to parks, open space, and public access and management issues, to the point that MCBC has essentially been acting as staff or as a Supervisor’s personal assistant.

For example, in anticipation of County officials, including Supervisor Sears, meeting with the Scott’s Valley Homeowners Association, in the County’s push to “sell” the public on the benefits of opening the Bob Middagh Trail to mountain biking, on March 29, 2016, Tom Boss, the Off Roads and Events Director at MCBC writes to Kate Sears to ask,[9]

Hi Kate,

Did you want to take the lead on setting up a meeting of Scott Valley residents to discuss the Bob Middagh trail?

Thanks, Tom

We see this kind of assumption of county staff duties by MCBC staff as a common occurrence.

8. Lobbying and political influence: The process used by the County of Marin to engage in contracts for services with third-party organizations was influenced by lobbying, political access, and the personal preferences of individual staff members and County Supervisors rather than being based on their merits or the interests of Marin County taxpayers.

The following is a typical example of this.On March 27, 2014, Kim Baenisch, Executive Director of MCBC sent this letter to Supervisor Kate Sears, which.’[10]

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) is writing to request a $30,000 contract with the County of Marin for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Our work with the County has annually required additional Community Service Funds, so this year's contract request reflects a total of the essential funding to complete our basic contractual work. MCBC has been an instrumental County of Marin consultant for the past several years, helping implement the Marin County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

Our countywide work occurs in the following three ways:

• Bicycle and Pedestrian Design - Provide technical assistance on project design related to County roadway and bicycle and pedestrian facilities as part of helping to implement the Marin County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

• Coordination with OU1er Agencies - Facilitate one-on-one and multiagency coordination to support the study of, design, funding, and implementation of bicycle and pedestrian facilities included in the Marin County Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

• Leveraging Additional Funding - Assist with the identification and acquisition of project funding, and help ensure the availability and retention of allocated project funding.

Curiously, Kate Sears had created a funding list that included that $30,000 payment to MCBC, weeks before, which she’d sent to Matthew Hymel to recommend the funding of $30,000 to MCBC through a ‘service contract.’ It appears then that Sears and MCBC had already agreed on their strategy and contract amount, so MCBC’s request letter was just to backfill the file. [11] It is also not a coincidence that the wording in this proposal subsequently became the scope of work described in the actual contract.

It is obvious from the record of the evidence that Supervisor Sears has played a central role in directing funding in the form of contracts, at her discretion, to recipients. Consider this thread between Jenny Choi, Management and Budget Analyst, County of Marin, and Leslie Alden, assistant to Supervisor Sears.[12]

On March 10, 2015, Jenny Choi writes,

Here’s what I had on Kate’s set-aside memo for 14-15. I added the rollovers below. Those agencies never got their requests in. Let me know if you want to discuss further.

The same day, Leslie Alden responds, saying,

Jenny, these look like carry-overs from FY 13-14 – and I contacted all of them and told them to submit letters requesting the funds. Are you telling me that none of them did?

This seems unlikely, but I suppose it’s possible. Before I go back to any of them – or to Kate to see if she wants to redirect unrequested/unused funds, I thought I’d better double back to you and make sure we’re all on the same page. [Emphasis added]

This is a remarkable exchange for several reasons. First, because it is an admission that Kate Sears was directing funding at a very specific level and in personally targeted ways, and secondly because it indicates the proposal letters submitted by the funding recipients were after the decision was made by Supervisor Sears to fund them. Not only is this a completely opaque process, but it can only happen in a grants-giving situation. It would be unheard of in a competitive contract bidding situation.

Or, consider this exchange between Kate Sears and her staff, who are obviously having a side conversation (for approval) with officers of MCBC.

On April 19, 2012, Sears pings her staff, saying,

I think I requested $30,000 for MCBC, perhaps I should cut it back to $25,000 .

Leslie Adlen writes back,

Sure! $25 K sounds like it’d make them happy.

We must ask ourselves, does this honestly sound like a contractual negotiation? Obviously not. But this discretionary funding relationship has been in place for a long time.Supervisors have long weighed-in and made sure that MCBC and others got what they were promised.

On November 10, 2015, Supervisor Arnold did just that when she wrote to Matthew Hymel to ask,[13]

Matthew,

Have we given the bike people their $40 000 yet?

Notice that she says, have we “given” them “their $40,000” yet, not ‘have we paid them the money we owe’ or ‘made the payment on their contract,’ or other such phrases that might typically be used in describing payments for work on contract.

Or consider that on August 4, 2010, Kim Baenisch wrote the following to Supervisor Charles McGlashan, Kate Sears’ predecessor,[14]

Charles,

I understand that the County finished its budget hearings last week so I wanted to check with you on what amount you were able to suggest for MCBC's contract for the new fiscal year. Thank you for making this ask on our behalf - we are very grateful for it.

Kim

Again, does this sound like a competitive negotiation? Why would she be thanking him for “making this ask” on behalf of MCBC?An “ask” is a term commonly used in nonprofit grants giving. In a contractual situation, one might say something like, “for endorsing our bid.”

More remarkably, McGlashan responds as if he’s the one paying them and says,

Hi Kim,

I'll have the check when back at the office on Monday (Or, Maureen can you ask Mathew to confirm my recollection? - he has a copy of my memo). I recall it being $30K or $35K. I think this will result in a loss from last year since I won't be able to back fill much of anything from the D3 account as this was cut significantly this year too.

--C

We wish we had the opportunity to inquire what “back fill much of it from the D3 account” means.

Similarly, the hands-on assistance from County Supervisors in crafting of MCBC’s so-called contracts, smacks of favoritism and shows how MCBC benefitted from ongoing insider access. MCBC, more than most other ‘contract’ (grant) recipients under the community service contracts program, seem to have enjoyed special access to county staff and all the County Supervisors.

Some examples are as follows:

On February 1, 2017, Jim Elias, Executive Director of MCBC wrote to Supervisor Sears about a meeting they subsequently took, saying,[15]

Hi Kate & Maureen (Parton),

I was hoping that we could schedule a meeting with Kate in the coming weeks. Tom Boss, Policy and Planning Director Bjorn Griepenburg and I would like to learn more about Kate's direction for 2017, and discuss MCBC's ambitions for the year.

Perhaps you could suggest a few possible times when you'd be available.

Best,

Jim Elias, Executive Director

Marin County Bicycle Coalition

Similarly, on February 21, 2017, he followed up after a meeting with Supervisor Damon Connolly about the proposals MCBC were going to submit to the County for funding, saying,

Damon & Chris,

Thanks again for a productive session this morning. Following talking with you guys, we ran into Katie Rice and briefly discussed MCBC's county contract with her. She filled me in on some things that informed my thinking about next steps. Rather than scheduling another meeting now, we'll work through our proposal a bit more, then get back to you. I really appreciate your support on this.

Best, Jim

Again, we question how many other organizations enjoy such close coaching and guidance from our County Supervisors, who are elected to represent all our interests. This series of conversations that Mr. Elias had in early 2017 also begins to smack of seriatim-like meetings[16] between elected officials, by means of knowingly using an intermediary.

Equally interesting is that although Supervisor Connolly is well-known to be a huge MCBC supporter, in response to our PRAs, he responded by essentially contending that in his entire tenure as a county official, he had only one email, text or other types of correspondence or written communications with MCBC or any of its officers or members.

This claim defies credulity.

Our findings are supported by the documents and records referenced herein and provided as Exhibits in APPENDIX A: Exhibits


[1] Exhibit 18 09 27 18_2018 ND California Film Institute

[2] Exhibit 18 04 09 18_2018 ND WildCare

[3] Exhibit 06 10 10 06_Hymel -- BOS to MCBC contract 40k

[4] Exhibit 07 11 20 07_Hymel--BOS to MCBC contract 40k

[5] Exhibit 08 09 23 08_Hymel -- BOS to MCBC contract 40k

[6] Exhibit 09 09 29 09_Hymel --BOS to MCBC contract 40k

[7] Exhibit 10 08 23 10_MCBC request for 35k

[8] Exhibit 14 03 18 14_Sears-Hymel -- Sears Funding List

[9] Exhibit 16 03 29 16_Boss-Sears--County Alto Bowl Meeting

[10] Exhibit 14 03 27 14_MCBC-Sears--30k contract request

[11] Exhibit 14 03 27 14_MCBC-Sears-Hymel--2014-2015 funding list

[12] Exhibit 15 03 10 15_Alden-Choi--Sears funding priorities and carryovers

[13] Exhibit 15 11 20 15_Arnold-Hymel - 40k

[14] Exhibit 10 08 04 10 - McGlashan-Baenisch MCBC County contract amount

[15] Exhibit 17 02 01 17_Elias-Multiple--MCBC-Sears discussions

[16] Exhibit 17 02 21 17_Elias-Multiple--Seriatim like County meetings


CLICK HERE TO READ PART I

CLICK HERE TO READ PART II

CLICK HERE TO READ PART III


Bob Silvestri is a Mill Valley resident and the founder and president of Community Venture Partners, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization funded only by individuals in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area.