Thursday, January 21, 2010

"2010 State of the City Address" - Mayor Sue Digre

Pacifica Tribune follow-up by Barbara Arietta 1/21/10
Pacifica Tribune Announcement of meeting 1/16/10
Partial speech Q&A video, Jack Waldewoher

Continuing the "State of the City" conversation, the following are notes I took from the meeting, organized into an Introduction, Issues, and Vision for the next 4 years.  My comments follow.   
1.    Personal  background:  I am a shy person, come from a small, rural town.  I am a teacher, majored in biology, I have empathy for and am proud of teachers.
2.    View as an individual from city council.  This is a city of divergent views, we listen, and formulate our own view. Look for common ground.  Leadership is evolving. 
3.    The slogan I said:  "Our environment is our economy", which includes ecology, culture, history, small business. *(a)
4.    We are thriving (undefined whether as individuals, city or a species), as a nation we have problems, I am an optimist.
5.    City overview. There is progress some visible some not.  The city is frugal.  Library, no; Beach Blvd, no; relationship with schools, better.
6.    Open space.  50%, I like.  Natural beauty of the Pacific Ocean, rolling hills, etc.  More?  Yes, because of the view.
7.    Marketing.  Weak as a city, weak as citizens.  The city has a unique history. 
8,    Business. We're getting there.  More foot traffic is needed, connecting shuttle service between business areas is needed, people should spend a little more money here.
9.    Quarry.  I support mixed use, the amount of housing was a problem, but we were almost there.*(b) 
10.  Biodiesel.  Good idea (alternative fuels), perhaps a head of time, the investment got messed up, near school.
11.  Mega homes.  Where they fit and why, larger homes use a lot of energy.  With population growth, smaller home allow space to put more people.  
12.  Golf Course.  Flooding is an issue for residential.  Golf course continuation is not a done deal.  Regionally does it make sense, does it make sense economically? *(c)
13.  City economic sustainability is not within our jurisdiction.  Steps must be taken from all sides, common ground, look for  merits. 
14.  City Attorney - we do not want lawsuits, we talk to her.
15.  Coastal Erosion - listen to scientist, dealing with nature.
16.  Old WWTP - The city has tried outreach to develop. *(d)
17.  Term Limits -  Replaces citizens in control, city leadership is evolving, too easy to get away from Democracy. *(e)
18.  Dog Park - Important, supports POOCH. *(f)
19.  Voting - study, do research
20.  Sewer - the city is held to a higher standard because the plant is "tertiary" (g)
Vision for the next 4 years
21.  Marketing - positive
22.  Business - City friendly to small business, improve foot-traffic by encouraging entrepreneur shuttle between shopping locations, thrive. *(h)

* My comments, notes:
3.   (a)  "Our environment is our economy" is a social circular idea, not a productive economic business construct. 
9.   (b)  Quarry re-development support did not  happen, not from her, not from other 7 year city councilmembers, 2x.  Cal Hinton did supported 2x.
12. (c)  Sharp Park golf course issue translated:  Supports keeping the sea wall, not the golf course.     
16. (d)  Old WWTP development had some City "outreach", but city council blocked private development there over multiple years.  
17. (e)  Term Limits . "replaces citizens in control", a classic reason for term limits in this city. 
18. (f)    17-20% of the population have dogs.  The city should provide and maintain a dog park. "Pet" city council (and "friends") projects, on the other hand, are funded.
20. (g)   Held to a higher standard?  All those lawsuits over multiple years, leaky collection pipes and sewer laterals, plant maintenance issues "we almost lost the plant" (Storm 1/08) 
22. (h)   More vision for Pacifica from 7 year city council, along with give away more land, see number 6 above. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Jeffrey W Simons said...

great notes, Kathy. Thank you for your tireless efforts to attend these meetings and report back on them. I know is is frustrating to hear the same platitudes over and over again, only to watch the city fall deeper into disrepair and have our elected officials say, "well golly we gotta do SOMETHING!" and that "SOMETHING" becomes forming a committee, waiting for a report, and ultimately nothing changes.

Kathy Meeh said...

Yea Jeff, well Monday at city council looks like some more in fill, faster permits for businesses poised as "Economic Development" coming. I'm so thrilled, think I'll stay home for this one, and take notes on the congratulations city council gives each other.

This is almost as good as net zero revenue collected from the city for Sanchez Artist center. Rents are collected from the tenants, but the city gives back of 75% to the Artist Center, plus free utilities-- now by contract for another 10 years from 2011. Free utilities was suppose to stop after two years in the original negotiations with the city (city council minutes of that time).

While this city council has protected the gift of 75% kick back to the center and "free utilities", civic benefits to others go begging. Fair?

Fair? Meantime, the Artist Center management is back to some of its old tricks: They grandfathered old leases to lifetime (old guard) while restricting new leases to 6 years with 2 year reviews by a "board".

Parks and Recreation Agenda Summary (December 09) stated the Artist Center is part of economic development for this city. And, in approving the 2011 lease with the city (December 09), no actual lease was presented.

Failure of city council responsibility to review tenant provisions on city property subsidized by citizens of this city; spin from Parks and Recreation about the direct and indirect tax producing value of the Artist Center; an exaggerated importance of this art center compared with other peninsula artist centers, a "sweet deal" without concern for proper city oversight and scrutiny (for all the people)-- and, is this the "pet" padrone protection from ALL city council members (including Mary Ann), you bet it is.

Mr. Fernork said...

Lance sez:
Me thinks Sue talks with a tin ear.
Seems all her speeches are tone deaf.

Steve Sinai said...

I've been hesitating to say it because it will be taken as a gratuitous insult, but given her incoherence, I've genuinely wondered for awhile if Sue is displaying indications of early-onset Alzheimer's.

Kathy Meeh said...

Steve, if you had actually seen Mayor Digre's State of the City speech and how she handled herself, included a bunch of attendee pre-written combined question I think you might not have thought "that". The Video posted on this article (from Riptide) was taken at a lag time and is not particularly representational of Mayor Digre's presentation from my view.

Additionally, I found Mayor Digre to be very pleasant, light-harted, friendly, kept the speech moving, made a couple of good jokes, tried to consider the larger city perspective from her view, which is probably not that much different from other city council members (unfortunately). She also answered all the questions she could.

Her "State of the City" address seemed much more transparent than either Lancelle (last year) or Vreeland (the year prior to that). As you know every one of the current city council members are challenged by the larger "economic development" equation of -1+ -1 doesn't =2.