once again, digging through my archives, I found this spreadsheet comparing the growth of Pacifica's General Fund to 3 surrounding cities from 2004-2007 (all information was taken from each city's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report or CAFR for that fiscal year):
City 2007 2006 2005 2004 %chg from 04-07
San Bruno $30.5M $26.8M $26.3M $23.5M 30%
Daly City $68.0M $61.0M $53.7M $51.0M 33.4%
SSF $57.9M $53.9M ??? $49.0M 18.25%
Pacifica $25.4M $25.3M $24.3M $23.9M 6.15%
Not surprising, but Pacifica ranks dead last again, and managed a paltry 6% increase during a tremendous economic boom. I've reported before that the city fell woefully short of its housing obligation to its promise to ABAG's Regional Housing Needs Allocation, so let's take the data from the City Data Website and see what we did build:
Single-family new house construction building permits:
2003: 7 buildings
2004: 9 buildings
2005: 9 buildings
2006: 4 buildings
That's a total of 29 buildings.
Daly City, in the same time frame, approved 104. Think there's a correlation between single family home building permits and General Fund growth? Compare the 2 numbers.
29 buildings in Pacifica/104 buildings in Daly City = 28%
6% General Fund growth for Pacifica/33.4% General Fund Growth in Daly City = 18%
Pacifica now sits on the brink of bankruptcy, with city staff levels already cut to "bare bones" (according to our former finance director, who was fired most likely for pointing this out), while cities like Daly City struggle but will ultimately survive and thrive once California's economy gets back on track.
This is the legacy of Pacificans for Sustainable Development and their "no growth" City Council. Sure, when they swept in their candidates in 2002, and defeated Measure E, they said they had a plan. When they narrowly defeated Measure L in 2006 while their candidates said we were doing well financially, they said they had a plan. When their candidate bragged in 2008 that we had a $7 million reserve, they said their plan was working, see?
But their plan was all smoke and mirrors, and while liars may figure, figures never lie. They raided the Sewer Enterprise while neglecting the infrastructure, resulting in one of the worst ecological disasters in the Bay Area. The Regional Water Quality Control Board report clearly states the fine is so large because they felt the spill was preventable. The reserve was built by cutting city staff, selling property, and socking away a slush fund for a "rainy day" (which seems to have happened in January 2008). The City Attorney was given the largest budget of any municipality along the coast to pad the pocketbooks of her rolodex attorney friends as long as they helped fight growth and development in Pacifica.
By any reasonable measure, this PSD experiment is a colossal failure. You have 1 year to make a difference, Pacifica. Let's hope that is enough time to undo this damage.
posted by Jeffrey W Simons