Harbor board member won’t get funds for Hawaii trip

Daily Post Staff Writer

Sabrina Brennan got nowhere in her attempt to get her colleagues on the San Mateo County Harbor District board to approve spending money on her trip to Honolulu to give a speech on women’s equality and surfing.

In fact, the board didn’t even vote on her request.

In order for the board to vote on an agenda item, one member of the board must make a motion and a second member needs to second it. Then the five-member board can vote on the item.

At Tuesday’s meeting, board member Ed Larenas made the motion to pay for Brennan’s trip, excluding airfare.
Only four of the five board members were present. Brennan couldn’t second the motion or vote upon it because that would be a conflict of interest. So the only two board members who could offer a second were Nancy Reyering and Virginia Chang Kiraly.

When it came time for a seconder, nobody spoke up.

So Brennan’s request died right then and there.

Brennan had said earlier she was invited by the city and county of Honolulu, which is updating its rules regarding coastside events.

Honolulu is paying her airfare, but she wanted the Harbor District to pick up the cost of two nights in a hotel.

Trip explanation

She wanted the district to pay for a portion of the trip because it relates to her work in fighting for equal surf time and equal payment of female surfers in surfing competitions.

These rules and regulations govern all surf competitions on the island of Oahu. Currently, the rules do not include women in surfing competitions.

Over the past few years, Brennan said she has been communicating with Honolulu’s mayor about the issue, which is why she was invited.

Gender equality in surfing has become a cause for Brennan. She co-founded the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, the group that’s campaigned for women surfers to get equal time in the water and pay equal to the male competitive surfers.

Brennan said that she will be flying to Hawaii on Sunday afternoon, going to meetings all day on Monday, and will fly back Tuesday morning so she can participate in meetings related to the Harbor District.


  1. San Mateo County Harbor Mission Statement:
    To assure the public is provided with clean, safe, well-managed, financially sound and environmentally pleasant marinas.

    What does surfing have to do with this mission? Brennan and Larenas clearly don’t understand the basic mission of the harbor board and should both be voted out once their terms expire. And kudos to the other board members who wouldn’t second.

  2. She was re-elected in 2016 with endorsements from the Democratic Central Committee, Sierra Club, Daily Journal and Senator Jerry Hill. Her behavior was known then, but they didn’t care. She has a documented history of harassing Harbor District employees, and the district has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims against her. All that was known in 2016 and her endorsers didn’t care. Now she’s running for the coastside seat on the county board of supervisors. What a look for San Mateo County.

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