Councilmember Posner Postpones Asking Questions About the Bearcat

I just posted the following addition to an earlier story ““Homeless People Matter” Protest Gets Honks, Volunteers, at Cop Corner” on at  .  Go there for further information and background around the
Bearcat armored personnel vehicle, which the City Council gifted to the SCPD for Xmas.

Posner Punts Again

by Robert Norse

Thursday Dec 25th, 2014 4:02 PM

In the last week, I spoke with Santa Cruz Councilmember Posner requesting he get a specific and written reply from Deputy-Chief Steve Clark of the SCPD (or some other weighty there) as to the final deadline for agreeing to accept the Bearcat–the specific date.

As mentioned in the main story, I’d already sent the department a Public Records Act demand, which they have ignored so far (even beyond the deadline). Posner expressed anxiety at dealing with Clark, but said he’d make the request to City Manager Martin Bernal, who supposedly oversees the police (and has the power to hire or fire the police chief, I believe).

At the “whisk-it-through” December 9th Council meeting, Posner asked Clark when was the deadline. Clark didn’t specify a clear cut-off date, though he made a vaguer reference to “the end of the year”.

What Clark said was this: “We have a limited window with UASI [Urban Areas Security Initiative] for the $220,000 which is the base for it. And then we have a window until March to have it completely expended, billed, shipped, and placed here for the additional $31,000, And that’s coming from the state Homeland Security, so a delay would imperil our ability to get the $220,000. We have just a short amount of time REALLY THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR to expend that money and seek reimbursement from the City and County of San Francisco.”

Those who want can confirm Clark’s comments and draw their own conclusions. Go to the Community TV video (still not posted by the City staff on the City website) at about 112 minutes into the file.

Clark may have honestly and accurately meant that the deadline cutoff with December 31st, 2014. But his failure to specifically name a date bothered me. So I filed a Public Records Act seeking any relevant documents to confirm the date. Clearly the SCPD must have them. But, thus far, they have not produced them.

Accordingly, I turned to Posner for help (usually a questionable move).

Micah: Some days ago, you told me to e-mail you a reminder regarding the specific deadline Steve Clark had in mind that required responding to the Homeland Security BEARCAT request. I have received no response from Lane or from the SCPD.
Please get this information and make it public. Or let me know you’re declining to do so.

Ran into your dad today circulating a petition around Sleeping Spaces. Good to see he’s still hanging in there.


From: MPosner [at]
To: rnorse3 [at]
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 08:12:56 -0800
Subject: Re: Reminder
Dear Robert,

I think I am going to deal your reasonable request after I get back from vacation next year. It is quite touchy; too touchy for me to do on my way out the door.

Obviously a public record request would be a way for you to get this information directly. May I suggest you talk to John Malkin about doing so.

Micah Posner

From: rnorse3 [at]
To: mposner [at]
CC: jsmalkin [at]; keith [at]; abbisamuels [at]; spleich [at]; pecolbe [at]; john.roncohen.colby [at]
Subject: RE: Reminder
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 13:16:00 -0800
I’ve already done so, Micah.  And they’ve failed to reply or ask for an extension within the 10-day response period.
What’s so “touchy” about simply asking in writing for the date of the supposed Bearcat cutoff for accepting the grant?

You ill-serve your constituency by (a) not keeping your word, (b) not showing some leadership here, and (c) not modeling what needs to be done.

The more you bow, scrape, and delay, the more you leave it to other more militant voices to risk their asses (not just their “political capital”)  to make sure the machine doesn’t roll forward over the body of the community with you timidly looking on.

Oh, yeah, I forgot.  You “voted against it.”

(And this was after conceding you’d vote for it if there was a “don’t use this against protesters” hope and prayer)


Another activist, John Colby, interviewed Posner, who stopped by the protest on 12-17. He had kinder words for the former bicycle advocate-turned-politician who I’ve alternately termed “Mouseheart Micah” (for his failure to ask hard questions of staff and police on numerous occasions) and “Portapotty” Posner (for his failure to press for open restrooms–instead being content with the portapotty set up at Front and Laurel streets).

Not to mention “Bikechurch Betrayer” for not taking stronger action to expose and fight the SCPD’s right-wing “no bikes for bums” bikenapping campaign in 2012 (See “Restoring Bikes to the Bike Church For Distribution is NOT on the Agenda” at

Colby’s interview is archived at .

Videojournalist Brent Adams, who posted his own video of the December 9th Council Shut-Out, spoke with Peter McGettigan. McGettigan is the video worker who films Council meetings for Community TV and then posts them, sometimes the next day. His video of the City Council meeting is posted at on the Community TV website. However, normally he is paid to post the same video on the City Council’s website at .

According to Adams, McGettigan told him that he went in to post the tumultuous Council session the next day as usual, but was told to go home, that an intern would be taking his place, and then, presumably to return at the end of the Xmas break in time for the next Council meeting. He was not given any advance notice of this change. He said it was unprededented, unusual, and done without explanation.

In the days that followed (and currently) the Council’s website had the following message: “December 9, 2014 City Council Meeting – Due to technical difficulties with our audio system, this audio file is not available.” And there was no video posted.