The City Council of Half Moon Bay, consisting of five members, is the governing body elected directly by the city’s voters. The Council sets priorities and policies, makes final decisions on all major city matters, adopts ordinances and resolutions, appoints the City Manager and City Attorney, and approves the annual budget.
City Council members are elected at-large to four-year, overlapping terms during elections administered by the City Clerk. There are no term limits in Half Moon Bay. The City Council selects one of its five members to serve as Mayor and one to serve as Vice Mayor, annually on a rotating basis.
The Half Moon Bay City Council meets regularly on the first and third Tuesday of each month starting at 7:00 p.m. All meetings are held at the Ted Adcock Community Center, 535 Kelly Avenue.
Mayor Debbie Ruddock
Council Member Debbie Ruddock was elected to the council again in 2014 after an 11-year hiatus. Debbie previously served three council terms from 1991-2003, including two terms as mayor. During that period she also served five years as an alternate member of the California Coastal Commission. Debbie currently is one of two City representatives on the Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside and serves as Vice-Chair. She also represents the City on the Association of Bay Area Governments, the San Mateo County Airport Land Use Committee, and the SFO Community Roundtable. Professionally Debbie is a legislative analyst with State Coastal Conservancy. She holds a MA in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a BA in History from the University of Rochester.Term ends December 2018.
Vice Mayor Deborah Penrose
Deborah Penrose was elected to the Half Moon Bay City Council in November 2014. She is a retired physician, practicing general medicine in Half Moon Bay for 22 years. She graduated with a BFA and worked as a fashion illustrator before volunteering for Vista in Washington, D.C. She moved to Montara in 1980 and opened her first practice in Concord. She serves on the Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee and the Board of the Peninsula Congestion Relief Alliance as well as San Mateo County's Office of Emergency Services. She is a member of the League of California Cities Latino Caucus. She has recently undergone CERT training. Term ends December 2018.
Adam Eisen was elected to the City Council in November, 2016. He is a business executive with Marriott International, and is an avid participant in American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) as a coach and referee, and a volunteer at local schools. Term ends December 2020.
Rick Kowalczyk was first elected to the Half Moon Bay City Council in November 2009 and is currently serving his second Mayoral term. He is a business consultant, specializing in the strategic planning and marketing services. He is involved in many civic organizations, including the Cabrillo Education Foundation and ASPIRE Education Services. He serves as the City's representative to the Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside (SAM) and as the City's representative to the Cabrillo Unified School District. Term Ends December 2018.
Harvey Rarback was elected to the City Council in November, 2016. He is a former Director on the Coastside Fire Protection District Board, Member of the San Mateo County Special Districts Association and Peninsula Clean Energy Advisory Committee, serves on the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter and Treasurer of the Sandy Cove Homeowners Association. He is a member of the Coastside Emergency Corps (CEC), and volunteers with several other community service groups on the Coastside. Term ends December, 2020.
City Council Strategic Elements - Adopted April 19, 2016Strategic Element: Infrastructure and Environment Initiatives
Strategic Element: Healthy Communities and Public Safety Initiatives:
upgrade, and maintain existing City infrastructure to manage and make
progress on the backlog created as a result of deferred maintenance
functional and effective usage of City facilities; Sustain efforts to
maintain the City as clean, inviting, accessible and aesthetically
pleasing, throughout all segments of the community.
to build and enhance a more sustainable and resilient community by
incorporating green and sustainable infrastructure projects and
- Utilize technology to maximize efficiency and productivity for improved City operations
Strategic Element: Fiscal Sustainability Initiatives:
- Foster opportunities for affordable housing for very low, low, moderate, and above moderate income households, including entry level housing, shared housing, etc.
- Enhance safety for pedestrians, bicyclist, and motorists through a “complete streets” approach
- Promote the health and well-being of children, youth, families, and adults of all ages and abilities
- Promote a sustainable, comprehensive, and forward looking environmentally/green conscious community
- Prepare City staff and community members for inevitable natural disasters and other emergencies
- Provide comprehensive and innovative law enforcement services to reduce crime and the fear of crime; Inform and educate the community around crime prevention and awareness
Strategic Element: Inclusive Governance Initiatives:
- Practice sound and responsible financial management, while providing fiscally sustainable government services that address the needs of the community
- Support and sustain a business environment that contributes to economic prosperity and revenue generation, and improves the economic well-being of the community
- Promote a balanced economic development approach that retains, attracts, and supports businesses Citywide for a strong, stable, complementary, and diverse business environment, including tourism, coastal resources, conservation, and farmland cultivation
- Manage the operations of the City as an engaged, collaborative, and responsive team of professionals who provide services in an effective, accountable, and inclusive manner
- Emphasize a high level of community engagement through public outreach and building mutually beneficial, innovative, collaborative community partnerships throughout the City
- Provide organizational development that invests in staff leadership skills development and other human resources, to attract, develop, support, and retain a highly qualified, valued, and diverse municipal workforce
- Maintain accuracy, consistency, and frequency in the City’s public communications, and increase Half Moon Bay’s efforts to build credibility and mutual trust with the community
- Provide and manage a repository of City records that is easily accessible to the general public
- Promote diversity by improving knowledge of and accessibility to City services among the Latino community with emphasis on bilingual access and inclusiveness and civic participation
- Continue and enhance transparency and accountability with community members, providing easy access to information, helpful and informed staff , and meaningful opportunities to participate in the City’s decision-making processes and other municipal and community activities