Friday, February 12, 2010

My Turn: Where's the Plan?

Co-author Frank Vella
Pacifica Tribune Guest Columnist

Like a blast from the past, I was cruising the Internet and came across this article about the defeat of Measure E in 2002.

Some select quotes from the article emphasized, in my opinion, the lack of competency and leadership the City of Pacifica has suffered from.

The article was from SF Gate, 11/22/2002.

"They spent their money on this propaganda campaign that was full of wrong information. They assumed we were stupid. They treated us in a way that was not cool," Nancy Hall said.

"The development that was proposed was really out of scale not only with Pacifica but with the whole Coastside," said Dinah Verby, co-chairwoman of Pacificans for Sustainable Development.

"The forces that defeated Measure E are now in control of the City Council and Pacifica," said Ed McGovern, veteran political consultant who managed the Yes on E campaign for Trammell Crow.

"It's going to be squarely on their shoulders to produce something better because that city has some very dire economic issues to deal with and no potential source of new revenues."

Trammell Crow projected the development would produce millions of dollars in sales tax revenues for the city through the hotel and retail proposals.

But to make the project work financially, it needed the 315 units of housing said McGovern and Aikens. "We were not kidding" said Aikens. "A project without residential is probably doomed from the outset. Either (opponents) thought we were tricking them or they didn't understand the necessity for the plan we were showing them." 

Ask the opponents what should go in the quarry and the answer is that they're working on it.
Pacificans for Sustainable Development's steering committee met last week to consider what should be built at the quarry. Mostly they agreed to meet again.

If some people think the quarry can become a natural habitat "they're deluding themselves," said Aikens. "It's not fine with the owner. That's a $20 million piece of property and the owner intends to develop it.

"It's a blasted, bombed-out reconfigured wasteland of a rock quarry. It's not a pristine natural habitat."

Meanwhile, Pacifica is facing what some city officials predict will be a $1.8 million budget cut when the full nature of the state's budget deficit is calculated.

"They can gloat about defeating an effort by people to provide an increased tax base in that community" said McGovern.

"Are you going to gloat when the council is faced with reducing police officers or firefighters or cutting back on park repairs? They say they deserve better? Show me better."

Have Pacificans for Sustainable Development shown us "better" since then? Do they even have a plan at all, or are they just Lucy, forever pulling the approval football out from under every development proposal for the Quarry? Meanwhile the City of Pacifica suffers endemic budget deficits during economic booms, during recessions, in the best of times and the worst of times.

How come PSD hasn't checked in with their brilliant plan to solve our $14 million projected deficit over the next five years?

If ever was a time to show us common folk some leadership, now is the time. SHOW US THE PLAN!

But, THERE IS NO PLAN! The city's economy has just been a shell game, moving money from the Sewer Enterprise, selling property, and a fire assessment.

The last Economic Development Committee dissolved because it failed to meet on a regular basis. Where's Dinah Verby, John Curtis, Peter Loeb, Nancy Hall and the rest of PSD? 

Where's the leadership promised? Where's "The Plan?"
In 2006 we had two incumbents re-elected under the promise that we had the "healthiest economy in years," and then they immediately ran into a $1.2 million budget deficit. SHOW US THE PLAN!

One candidate won re-election because he went around town telling everyone the city had a $7 million reserve, a comment the City Manager later classified as a "misstatement." The city then immediately tried to pass a 1-cent sales tax claiming the city was nearly out of money. Was THAT the plan?

New leadership for Pacifica is sorely needed. We are in an election year - an extremely important election that will set the tone on whether Pacifica remains a viable, self-governed community, or a ward of the county.

Pay attention to history. We all need to vote smart. We need a real plan, not smoke and mirrors and Orwellian gibberish.



Mr. Curtis said...

My plan is to go to McDonald's.

Kathy Meeh said...

Great article, its late but think we can figure-out "the plan" now.

City council support: PSD = "Pacificans for Simple Destiny". Mission: "I'm for development just not this development." No interest in an economically viable city, the more 3rd world the better.

Lance said...

Vreeland, Lancelle, DeJarnett have all been the beneficiary of PSD. As long as they delivered the goods of no growth, no business, no nothing they were overwhelmingly supported by Curtis, Hall, and the rest of the Hobbitt Hovel lovers. My vote in November will be an automatic NO for any of the incumbents. I'm absolutely positive that Vreeman is conjuring something up to show how great he is. Don't let the voodoo fool you. His ego supercedes any civic goals he may pontificate on.

I'm glad the Who reminded us last Sunday. "Don't be fooled again"!

Richard Saunders said...

It's like watching fixpacifica in the mirror:

Anonymous said...

this website/blog is absolutely ridiculous -- a forum for the pin-headed psusilaminous among us.

Unknown said...

to Anonymous who has posted the same tripe on every thread - is that why you are here? Plus, if you are going to use a big word, spell it correctly pusillanimous = cowardly.

Zombie Rockaway Sue said...

But is it SUSTAINABLE????