Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Letter to the (Tribune) Editor
Fed up by the blight, stagnation and "NO business as usual" in Pacifica? City Council incumbents Vreeland and Digre have had 8--12 years to fix Pacifica's financial mess and have failed miserably. (If you harbor any doubts about our predicament, see Councilwoman Mary Ann Nihart's "My Turn" opinion column in the 10/13/10 Tribune, in which she concedes: "we face running out of money in 2012.")
Mindful of Einstein's definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result), I am voting for a change in the composition and direction of Pacifica's City Council this November 2nd. I am voting for Barbara Arietta, Susan Vellone and Len Stone.
While watching the candidate forums and reading the candidates' answers to the Tribune questionnaires, I have noticed a few common themes. The incumbents running for re-election are quick to blame the economy as a whole for Pacifica's structural deficit and dire financial straits, even though Pacifica's fiscal crisis pre-dates state and national economic downturns by several years.
I have, also, noticed that, when questioned about the numerous missed opportunities at generating revenue in this town (an empty, scarred rock quarry; a vacant, rubble-strewn old Waste Water Treatment Plant site; Palmetto Street dreams but no money to make those dreams a reality), the incumbents merely shrug and attribute perpetuation of the status quo to the "will of the people." Bunk. If Pacifica's City Council had exercised some leadership and not just passively (cowardly?) allowed the distortions, misrepresentations and outright lies to circulate unchallenged, we could have had some world-class projects on their way to fruition. Granted, the economy may have temporarily stalled such plans, but Pacifica would have been poised to reap economic benefits once overall recovery resumed.
Empty, unfulfilled incumbent promises, misdirected excuses, and repeated failed and misguided leadership (can you say "Biodiesel Boondoggle"--?) have thwarted progress and threatened municipal solvency in this town for far too long. I believe that Barbara Arietta, Susan Vellone and Len Stone share a new vision for Pacifica which promotes smart growth, progressive, balanced and green business development which would, concurrently, respect, protect and preserve our amazing natural resources and environmental gifts. I am confident that these three new council members will work creatively, cooperatively and energetically with Ms. Nihart to not just endlessly "meet and confer" about potential revenue-generating schemes, but actually effect the change Pacifica critically needs to remain a vibrant and self-sufficient community.