Sunday, July 11, 2010

City growth in Pacifica - conversation on Riptide, what a crock!

A response to a Pacifica Riptide post by Bruce Hotchkiss "Opinion give up and go county"

Some of you may know and remember Pacifica used to have the largest land mass of any city in San Mateo County, before our city leadership gave it away.  And yes there are valleys and hills in Pacifica. Many successful cities have valleys and hills, locally such cities include San Bruno, Millbrae, Burlingame, Belmont, San Mateo, San Carlos, Daly City and San Francisco. Pacifica is a "Bedroom community", isn't that a structural issues from the past, which would also include Millbrae and Belmont? Any city needs to pay its bills and provide adequate services for its community, in that regard Pacifica is "dead last" (below East Palo Alto) in San Mateo county.       

Arguments in favor of Pacifica economic failure include: 1
) we're still figuring-it-out, 2) the quarry card club "was" our ticket to success, 3) housing tax revenue is not real money, 4) our location is geographically difficult.  Its early, there may be more salient failure arguments forthcoming. And, so far no response to 1) provide civilized services, jobs and tax revenue in the quarry and Palmetto/Beach areas, and no mention of 2) city council accountability. 

Summary of comments to date: 1)  Pacifica should "go county" to solve its economic woes and avoid paying the looming bills of its collapsing infrastructure, but 2) County is not looking for a "free lunch" city, and Pacifica would have to pay its outstanding bills and compounded debt anyway.  Therefore, 3) Pacifica must remain a city in order to fight "the freeway" (highway 1 improvement) and any other kind of city improvement.  Pacifica logic 101?  Bruce has a point, those who control this city are clueless. 

Posted by Kathy Meeh 



Bruce Donald Hotchkiss said...

Kathy I'm interested in your statement that "Pacifica is "dead last" (below East Palo Alto) in San Mateo county." Would you be able to provide stats for this and cite the source? Thanks, Bruce

Unknown said...

Why does Fox Pacifica just basically repost or piggy-back onto Riptide stories?

Kathy Meeh said...

"Dingo", look in the mirror, who is closer to being a "Fox", you or "Facts Pacifica"? Always happy to move a Ripfart conversation forward.

Kathy Meeh said...

Bruce, about two years back I did a San Mateo County study of monies spent from the general fund of cities on their citizens per capita, Pacifica was last, 12% below East Palo Alto. Previously (several months back) on this blog Steve Sinai made some spreadsheet economic activity reports of San Mateo cities. Pacifica was always the lager, unless the commerce comparison was a wealthy city such as Hillsborough where commerce is insignificant. I agree doing a new study is a good idea, and will plan to do that in the future unless someone else does a similar study (it takes some time and care with comparisons).

Even so, see any big tax revenue producing activity or city council effort to move this city forward toward "economic improvement and balance? During the 8 year tenure of this city council, that's an easy answer: no. So, in the spirit of "getting blood from citizen turnips" City council has move the tax base of this city away from significant business development, jobs and services to ever increasing residential, builder/developer and miscellaneous fees and taxes.

Its trash day here, so here's a small example of embedded fees. Scavenger Company cost is higher in Pacifica not just because we have hills, limited commercial business, and the highest franchise fee-- but also because in recent years additional cost has been passed-on to residential property owners and businesses who pay additional cost for 1) municipal, non-profit and beach clean-up, and 2) late payment "collections".

For about 48 years (of the 52 years Pacifica has been a city), this city provided the scavenger company partnership late-payment "collections" service and was reimbursed after 1 year from a San Mateo county lien-on-the- property if the property owner did not pay for service. However, with the private scavenger business now handling these late-payment "collections", the additional cost and liability are passed-on to the scavenger company, hence property owners and businesses pay. The private scavenger business must not only hire a late-payment "collections agency" or "do-it-themselves" and deal with legal/court issues, they are also liable to the city for the delinquent property owner/business trash/scavenger payments. And, delinquent/not collectible payments were mentioned by Coastside Scavenger as a significant cause of their financial default.

Steve Sinai said...

"Why does Fox Pacifica just basically repost or piggy-back onto Riptide stories?"

Occasionally people here will comment on a Riptide story, but it doesn't happen that often. Every so often I see items from Fix Pacifica discussed on Riptide.

Also, many articles/postings show up on both blogs, not because of plagiarism or laziness, but because they were emailed to both blogs. For example, Barbara Arietta, Ian Butler, Jim Alex and others will submit to both blogs.