Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vreeland Follies Continued

I know, he's in Texas, but so what!

This is interesting and no one is poking around like this.

Jim Wagner

Also submitted by Jim Alex 


The Watcher said...

I see that the city is buying a new $250,000 generator for the Linda Mar pump station. It's on the consent calendar (of course). Why don't they just take the generator they bought for Whole Energy. You know, the one that Vreeland shilled for. The one that was for our "state of the art Biodiesel plant". The one for the project that Whole Energy abandoned after breaking the law. The one we spent $250,000 on under the watchful eye of candidate Jim Vreeland. Why don't we use that one?

C. D. said...


Is that the same Biodiesel plant (aka, grease refinery) that presented potential hazards of the magnitude of those of the San Bruno PG&E gas lines? You know, the plant that was to be located in proximity to the Vallemar school? The very same one that City Council decided, in their infinite concern for the safety of Pacificans and the environment, that it didn't require an EIR?

And is that the same City Council that decided a tiny dog park at Sanchez did require a $60,000.00 EIR?

Just wondering...

Steve Sinai said...

The same public safety officials (fire and police) who had to fight the San Bruno fire deemed the biodiesel plant safe. The possibility of explosion was always highly exaggerated by the biodiesel plant's opponents. That claim is no more credible than the assertion that a dog park will destroy the supposed salmon fishery in San Pedro Creek.

C.D. said...

"The same public safety officials (fire and police) who had to fight the San Bruno fire deemed the biodiesel plant safe. The possibility of explosion was always highly exaggerated by the biodiesel plant's opponents. That claim is no more credible than the assertion that a dog park will destroy the supposed salmon fishery in San Pedro Creek."

I beg to differ:

Jeffrey W Simons said...

"The same public safety officials (fire and police) who had to fight the San Bruno fire deemed the biodiesel plant safe. The possibility of explosion was always highly exaggerated by the biodiesel plant's opponents. That claim is no more credible than the assertion that a dog park will destroy the supposed salmon fishery in San Pedro Creek."

these comments are patently erroneous. I was present for the school board hearing where the police chief and fire chief testified, and they never said they deemed the biodiesl plant "safe". They were never given design plans for the plan upon which to determine safety, and that was the gist of their comments. They said on paper, they had no concerns at that time (and I'm sure Jim Vreeland wasn't hovering over them threatening their employment and pensions unless they performed for him), but they had yet to see any construction designs to express any concerns. They also stated there was a general hazmat evacuation plan in place for the area.

The danger of exposure to toxic chemicals and combustion/explosion of an operating biodiesel refinery are very credible, in fact the Material Safety Data Sheet for methanol is very explicit about these hazards. Furthermore, this plant was being designed and constructed by a company who had never even built a normal biodiesel refinery, let alone a facility that was going to attach itself to an improperly functioning waste treatment plant.

To imply opponents of this plant overstated their safety concerns - and that this is somehow morally equivalent to the concerns of the opponents of the dog park - is not only factually inaccurate, but irresponsible.

We lost a friend in this accident, so some of us are grieving, but I'm not going to sit by and let Sinai rewrite history about what was said by whom. These dangers are real, and the infrastructure of the whole Bay Area is woefully at risk due to decades of neglect.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

to C.D.:

The biodiesel refinery was given a pass for an EIR and instead given an EIR addendum to suffice. The issue was cost. A proper EIR for this facility would have cost around $200,000 and neither the city nor Whole Energy wanted to foot the bill. So the City Attorney worked some magic and said an EIR addendum would suffice.

Two problems with that.

#1 - to believe this was proper, one had to believe that a cement pad poured for a storage facility (as was originally proposed for that site) was analogous to one poured for biodiesel refinery, and the storage facility and biodiesel refinery had an identical function.

#2 - previous EIR addendums were performed for removing a portion of a berm at the site, and changing the path of a road. This hardly seems equivalent to constructing a facility that would ship in and process potentially lethal chemicals.

The problem is . . . public safety and welfare is NOT a priority of this City Council. It never was and never has been and any sitting council member who signed off on this process put public safety concerns a distant second to the fake environmental rah-rah bragging rights of sticking a grease refinery in Pacifica.

This is an all too common problem in the city, and the bay area in general. Corporations don't put public safety first, but neither do politicians or environmentalists.

Anonymous said...

Jeff . Thank you. So said well. i am so proud that all this memories are still fresh.
On this election day this Nov. think about no more Vreeland enough of him. Thank you Jeff.

Steve Sinai said...

You're playing word games, Jeff. You're accusing me of quoting the two chiefs as using the word "safe" when I didn't do that. The gist of what the two chiefs said was that they thought the plant was safe.

So you think the Pacifica Police Chief (who publicly fought with city council over pay cuts in his department,) and Fire Chief don't have enough integrity stand up to Vreeland? As much as I disagree with Vreeland on most things, it's a bit much to believe that he threatened the two chief's jobs unless they covered up the dangers of the biodiesel plant.

They sell methanol in Home Depot and Lowes, so it can't be that dangerous.

C.D. said...

Jeffrey said, "This is an all too common problem in the city, and the bay area in general. Corporations don't put public safety first, but neither do politicians or environmentalists."

Case in point: the proliferation of build-it-and-they-will-come habitats/wetlands and the resultant proliferation of mosquito borne diseases, e.g., West Nile Virus. Is public health the priority here? I think not.

Many governmental agencies, including the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, have adopted The Precautionary Principle as a fundamental requirement in policy making decisions. In short, the PP states:

"When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the Precautionary Principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action." —1998 Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle

C.D. said...

"They sell methanol in Home Depot and Lowes, so it can't be that dangerous."

Steve Sinai conveniently ignores the article from Biodiesel Magazine...

"Despite biodiesel’s status as a safe, nontoxic substance, the production process can be dangerous and should be treated like any other chemical process—with utmost precaution and care. Hazardous materials, such as methanol, can leave plants vulnerable to fire and explosion if the plants are not properly engineered and operated. In this industry, skimping on employee safety training or explosion-proof equipment could have disastrous or even lethal consequences.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

Methanol is dangerous. Methanol being shipped in a tanker truck and used in a high heat, highly flammable transesterification process?? Only a fool would say this is "safe". They sell chainsaws at Home Depot but if I bought 3 and started juggling them . . .

as for Jim Vreeland . . . he fired Dave Carmany because the city manager wouldn't play ball with the cost overruns and environmental demands of the police station. He fired Mike Angel because the chief building inspector caught Vreeland doing a full home remodel without permits. Vreeland fired Maureen Lennon because she exposed the financial chicanery of the city attorney's department.

Do you honestly believe there is a single city employee under Vreeland who doesn't fear for their jobs and pensions unless they get along to go along? Again, file under the fool department if that is your argument.

Steve Sinai said...

They sell gasoline right by the school. Why are you not complaining about that?

The fact is the various public agencies that needed to sign off on the plant's safety did so.

Steve Sinai said...

DeJarnatt, not Vreeland, was the main force behind the Carmany firing. One of the first things DeJarnatt did when he became mayor was to come up with bs charges against Carmany.

No single councilmember can fire a city employee. The whole council had to vote on Carmany's firing, and I believe it was 4-1 in favor of firing. The sleaziness of the whole affair was what got me interested in Pacifica politics in the first place.

I think Vreeland's been very bad for the city and would love to see him voted off council, but the way he's blamed for absolutely everything is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

"They sell gasoline right by the school. Why are you not complaining about that?"

Are you for real? Because they are not manufacturing/refining gasoline right next to the school!

With your defensive attitude, I'll bet the farm you were suckered into supporting the grease refinery. How much did that little "lapse in good judgment" cost the city, anyway?

Jeffrey W Simons said...

"They sell gasoline right by the school. Why are you not complaining about that?"

because I understand the difference between manufacturing and distribution?? Of course, just because Nancy Hall brought this straw man argument to the table a half dozen times doesn't mean more enlightened people need to fall for it.

"The fact is the various public agencies that needed to sign off on the plant's safety did so."

Name ONE. Name ONE public agency that signed off on the plant's safety. Cal/OSHA? LOL!

Steve Sinai said...

Just from quickly glancing through the Coastal Commission report, I saw that the safety measures for the plant were signed off by the Coastal Commission, the San Mateo County Hazardous Materials Program, and the Pacifica Police and Fire Departments.

US Fish & Wildlife also permitted the site for the use of methanol.

I guess Vreeland threatened the Coastal Commission staff, San Mateo County Hazardous Materials Program staff, and US Fish & Wildlife staff with their jobs, huh?

OK, Jeff, now you provide us with some government agencies that said a biodiesel plant was too unsafe for that site.

Carmany Firing Historian said...

Steve Sinai asserted, "DeJarnatt, not Vreeland, was the main force behind the Carmany firing. One of the first things DeJarnatt did when he became mayor was to come up with bs charges against Carmany."

This assertion is absolutely baseless and is a classic example of revisionist history. There was NEVER any account of the Carmany firing which stated that DeJarnatt spearheaded the entire sordid affair. It was always Vreeland who wanted Carmany out. The following 3 part chronology (compiled by Pacifica Watchdogs in 2003) will clearly show this. So please pull up a chair. You're in for a good read...

Carmany Firing Chronology (Part 1 of 3) said...

David Carmany became our City Manager here in Pacifica in 1997. By all accounts, he has been a popular City Manager, well known for his open door policy and fiscal responsibility. When he started here in Pacifica, we had just $700,000.00 in our City reserves. In 2003, we have 2.5 million dollars in our City reserve. Certainly we looked to him to help guide us through this coming year and the budget challenges it is sure to present

In 1998, David Carmany was instrumental in our obtaining emergency state and federal funds when El Nino took 10 homes into the ocean. His efforts to fund revetment of the seawall saved 50 more homes from suffering the same demise, and prevented 12 families from suffering financial ruin. In 1998, David Carmany was a driving force in the city’s takeover by eminent domain of Oceanview Housing Complex, saving this facility for the many senior residents who faced eviction as the owners wanted to raise rents to market level. Ultimately the complex was sold to National Church Residences to be utilized as low income senior housing for the long term. In 1998 David Carmany was awarded San Mateo County’s Outstanding Leadership Award. He oversaw completion of the Milagra Creek Project and Phase I of San Pedro Flood Control, as well as the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. Pacifica continues to enjoy a low crime rate, and has recently completed construction of a new, state-of -the-art police station.

Even when his termination was announced, there are few members of this community who have anything negative to say about David Carmany as a City Manager, or as a man. Letters to the Editor describe him as
intelligent, understanding, calm, soft-spoken, honorable, pragmatic, effective, honest, competent, a man of integrity…and so on. We struggle to understand the REAL reason behind his firing, because based upon the facts at hand, it is certainly NOT a $1,470.48 dispute regarding a sewer repair and/or connection.

It is public knowledge that City Councilman Jim Vreeland confided to some active in his re-election campaign that he intended to get rid of David Carmany as soon as possible upon re-election. On November 20, 2002, he brought to our City Attorney an allegation of a violation of Pacifica Municipal Code 6-9.02. The Council members serving with Jim Vreeland at the time were not advised of this allegation by our City Attorney, therefore it was given no formal consideration at that time. Believing Jim Vreeland intended to fire David Carmany without cause, the sitting Council voted before leaving office to increase David Carmany’s severance pay from 6 to 18 months. Their reasoning was that David Carmany had been an effective City Manager, and they wanted to discourage removing him for blatantly political purposes. They felt David’s departure would compromise the City’s financial stability in the upcoming budget crunch.

Carmany Firing Chronology (Part 2 of 3) said...

Mr. Vreeland and the City Attorney clearly felt they had a greater opportunity to dismiss David Carmany for cause with the new City Council. On January 17, 2003, our City Attorney chose to disclose to the new City Council the allegation of Code violation that was brought to her attention by Jim Vreeland months before. The Council decided to pursue the investigation, and authorized the expenditure of up to $25,000.00 to an outside employment law firm for the express purpose of this investigation.

The dispute centers upon lateral sewer and clean-out replacement at 718 Rockaway Beach Avenue. After expenditures of approximately $800.00 in August of 2002 to clear the drains, Roto-Rooter informed the property manager (then mayor) Barbara Carr that they suspected serious damage to the lateral. Mrs. Carr authorized the expenditure of $250.00 for Roto-Rooter to use a camera to visualize the condition of the lateral. On August 21, Mrs. Carr accepted a bid proposal from Roto-Rooter to replace the lateral sewer line as well as install a new clean-out at the same location as the old one.

On September 3, 2002 Roto-Rooter arrived at 718 Rockaway Beach Avenue and proceeded to replace the lateral and the existing clean-out. When Roto-Rooter reached the point in the process where they intended to connect the new lateral to the main sewer line, they informed the tenant at the address that the main sewer line was damaged, and they were unable to connect the lateral to the main. Roto-Rooter indicated that the City needed to be called. At this point in time, the accounts of exactly what happened diverge.

Despite the differences in the accounts, the following facts seem indisputable. Roto-Rooter contacted Public Works, and was unable to resolve the problem. The receptionist from Roto-Rooter contacted Barbara Carr (the property manager) and advised her their crew was unable to connect the tenants new lateral to the main sewer line. Barbara was confused by the explanation provided, but knowing that the sewer lateral eventually needed to be connected to the main sewer line, she contacted City Manager David Carmany for help. David Carmany contacted Scott Holmes (Director of Public Works) and after some discussion, directed him to send a crew out to 718 Rockaway Beach Avenue to connect the lateral to the main sewer line. The City crew went out on September 5, 2002 and reconnected the lateral sewer line.

The alleged violation is that David Carmany directed the City crew to do work that should have been paid for by the property owner (one Gloria Carter). The value of the services provided is estimated by Public Works and the City Attorney at $1470.48. The City Attorney refers to the Municipal Code and makes the following interpretations: a new lateral and clean-out was placed by Roto-Rooter on September 3, 2002. The City crew arrived to re-connect the new lateral on September 5, 2002. Even though there was a clean-out in place when the City crews arrived, because that clean-out was new, the property owner is responsible for replacement of the lateral sewer all the way to the main, based upon subsection (a). Additionally, the City Attorney interprets the code to include the connection as part of the responsibility of the property owner even though the code is silent upon that matter. Additionally, the City Attorney relies upon the testimony of Scott Holmes, Director of Public Works. He states that he advised David Carmany that this repair was definitely the obligation of the property owner, and that if he authorized this work to be done by City crews, Mr. Carmany would be in violation of City Code. Mr. Holmes’ staff backs him up.

Carmany Firing Chronology (Part 3 of 3) said...

The City Attorney’s evaluation is fatally flawed. Certainly the argument can be made that there is no time requirement in terms of when the clean-out was placed in the Ordinance. It could be argued that if a clean-out was present when the City crews arrived, the lateral from the clean-out to the main as well as the connection would be the responsibility of the City. However, that distinction need not be made. The City Attorney as well as the employment law attorneys brought in failed to use due diligence in their investigation. They never contacted or interviewed the actual tenant. The person or persons who were actually present to observe all the work as it was done. The tenant has come forward and reports that there WAS an old clean-out present on the property before Roto-Rooter came out on September 3 to do the repairs. If you look closely at the proposal as submitted to Barbara Carr, it states “install a City clean-out same location”. Hence, based upon the ordinance subsection(b), the City is indeed responsible for the replacement of the side sewer to the main, starting at the property line. Certainly, the City workers having arrived on September 5, are not in a position to dispute this.

Additionally, the tenant observed that all of the City’s work was done on the street side of a small wall which was located at the approximate property line. And, the City crew put equipment down a manhole at a neighbor’s house. That would lead one to conclude that there was some damage to the main sewer line, as Roto-Rooter had reported.
Next we have the declaration of Maxine Gonsalves, mayor pro tem at the time of this incident. She indicates that she had a conversation with Scott Holmes regarding his advice to David Carmany on this matter. He told Maxine that he advised David this was a murky issue as to responsibility, and suggested the City just go ahead and connect the lateral to the main. His testimony as elicited by the City Attorney is quite different. However, it is interesting to note, Public Works never issued a billing for services to the property owner. If Scott Holmes truly felt that it was the property owner’s responsibility, why not bill?

This leads to the last obvious defect in the City Attorney’s logic. The ordinance clearly provides for the City to bill the property owner for services rendered should they arrive at the site and determine that the sewer work for them to do is clearly the responsibility of the property owner. The City NEVER billed the property owner. There is absolutely NO testimony that David Carmany made any stipulation that the property owner should not be billed. The unbiased observer would conclude that David Carmany instructed City crews to alleviate a health hazard, as was appropriate. Absent testimony to the contrary, one must conclude Public Works decided not to bill the property owner for the services rendered, based upon what they found at the job site. Why should the billing decision made by Puiblic Works reflect upon the integrity of the City Manager?

Carmany Firing Chronology (Closing) said...

To base the firing for cause of a valued City Manager on a single, convoluted incident such as this is ludicrous. City Council spent $25,000.00 of the taxpayer’s money to pursue David Carmany for this supposed $1470.48 violation! Talk about misuse of public funds! The consensus in the community is that based upon the facts, David Carmany will win big when he sues for this miscarriage of justice. Not only will he be entitled to severance pay, but compensation for the damage to his good name, as well as damages for the extraordinary pain and suffering this has caused him and his family. His wife is still in rehabilitation following a stroke last year, and this matter can only have made her condition worse. For the citizens of Pacifica, this firing will cause irreparable damage if it is allowed to proceed. Not only will the financial
cost of fighting and losing the lawsuit be enormous, we will also be left without a competent City Manager in the worst budget crunch for municipal governments in recent history. We are already facing a judgment against us of 3-5 million dollars on an unrelated development matter, with prospects of an additional 10 million dollars to follow. The prospect of bankruptcy for our City is not farfetched. Please halt this firing, let us exonerate David Carmany, and allow him to continue as our capable City Manager .

Steve Sinai said...

That's funny. I remember some of this same terminology from years ago, except back then I remember Pete DeJarnatt's name being where Jim Vreeland's name happens to be now. From what I recall, DeJarnatt, who had been selected for the mayor's position a year ahead of time, had said he wanted Carmany out. That was why the sitting council at the time tried to make it hard to fire Carmany. Vreeland was running for re-election, and there was no guarantee that he was even going to be on the next council.

Got a link to the original document? I don't see it on the Watchdogs website, and I wouldn't want to think a global select "Pete DeJarnatt" and replace with "Jim Vreeland" occurred with a word processor. And how about putting your real name behind your statements?

Jeffrey W Simons said...

"Just from quickly glancing through the Coastal Commission report, I saw that the safety measures for the plant were signed off by the Coastal Commission, the San Mateo County Hazardous Materials Program, and the Pacifica Police and Fire Departments."

Exhibit F, Section 3

3. Police Response Plan

Attachment 3 enclosed with this document is the plan developed by Pacifica Police Chief James
Saunders after meeting with Whole Energy and the City Manger to identify the protocols and
responses to potential emergency situations at the biodiesel plant. These do not differ from
emergency procedures in place for other commercial establishments.

btw, Coastal Commission issued approval based upon conditions which were not met by Whole Energy because they couldn't dig a TRENCH without violating state safety codes.

No one signed off on the safety of this refinery because it was never built. I can draw a tree house on a piece of paper and everyone can say "it LOOKS safe", does that mean it is safe if I don't build it to specs??

There was never a final walk through with ANY government agency.

As for US F&W, one of the conditions of approval was that a qualified biologist would be present during all construction phases. Guess who wasn't there when they dug the illegal trench?

Read through that document again . . . try to understand that when the California Coastal Commission issues a permit with a condition that starts: "PRIOR TO COMMENCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION" . . . this is not approval if the applicant fails to do so AFTER they start construction.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

I think we've discovered a new term in blogging . . . "Sinaize . . . the ability to accept pure fiction as basis in fact because it fits your narrative while dismissing glaringly obvious facts because you don't understand them or don't like them."

Steve Sinai said...

Come on, Jeff. You're playing word games again by trying to redefine what "signed off" means. The government agencies I mentioned looked at the plans and designs, and deemed everything safe enough to proceed. If they thought there was too much of a danger from explosions or methanol, they would have refused permission to continue the project.

The trench had nothing to do with the safety of the design or location of the plant. Whole Energy didn't have permission to dig the trench, so Cal-OSHA appropriately stopped them.

Steve Sinai said...

And if you have to resort to insulting me, that tells me you've run out of arguments and you've lost.

Let's try to keep it civil, please. The days of personal attacks and childish tantrums on this blog are over.

Carmany Firing Historian said...

"Got a link to the original document? I don't see it on the Watchdogs website, and I wouldn't want to think a global select "Pete DeJarnatt" and replace with "Jim Vreeland" occurred with a word processor."

How about you provide me with a link to your version? Didn't think so...

I suppose anything that I provide you that does not conform to your preconceived opinion you will accuse me of doctoring. Therefore, that would be fruitless effort on my part.

So I'll go one better. The above was extracted from a document filed with the Superior Court of San Mateo County, Judge Forcum presiding, circa 2003. It was part of a taxpayer's lawsuit to block the firing of City Manager David Carmany and was submitted under penalty of perjury. I suggest you contact the Court and pay for your own Court stamped copy so that you can rest assured I did not doctor the document. However, knowing the results will not be to your liking, I fully expect you to return with some sort of conspiratorial theory which includes me and the Court clerk.

Again, I ask you, "Are you for real?"

Steve Sinai said...

It's your responsibility to back up your statements.

I was here at the time. You weren't. I do believe you doctored it, so I'm not surprised you refuse to provide evidence of your claim, or put your name behind your statement.

Carmany Firing Historian said...

Mr. Sinai - You are just being childish and contrary. You refuse to provide me anything to back your wild claim and I point you to a means whereby you can obtain a Court stamped document signed under penalty of perjury that proves my veracity.

Really pathetic...

Kathy Meeh said...

Carmany leading to law suit recall of that time period... I remember Vreeland belittling Dave Carmany at city council meetings for several months. Maxine Gonsalves, Barbara Carr and Cal Hinton secured additional separation benefits for the city manager position (they had in mind to protect Dave Carmany's job). But, when the new city council came in in 2002 that city council fired Dave Carmany and the city ended-up paying the additional severance in the lawsuit. DeJarnatt (who works well with Vreeland) must have been Mayor at that time (that is Steve's recall).

Biodiesel project opinion. The city should never been doing business with a flaky, inexperienced company like Whole Energy Fuels, particularly on a first time ever integration projected connected to our Waste Water Treatment Plant-- irresponsible, and another ding for 8 year city council. We're lucky that project didn't happen.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

The bottom line is that I said Whole Energy was a bunch of crooks, Jim Vreeland and Nancy Hall weren't concerned with public safety, the project was being railroaded through the approval process (really, it should take more time to start building a dog park than a biodiesel refinery??), and it would cost the citizens of Pacifica a lot of money before it was ever built and met FINAL approval.

Thank God I was clearly wrong on all accounts.

jim alex said...

Hey Steve & Fix Pacifica

Instead of just putting the link to the article how bout cutting and pasting the whole article to the site. I think many people will read the whole article that way.


Steve Sinai said...

Which article, Jim?

Bigmouth Reader said...

Jim, et al:

Please go to Jeff Simons' blog
to read the full story (including supplemental documents) on the firing of City Manager David Carmany.

Scotty said...

I personally think that the safety issue was a red herring and that there were plenty of legitimate reasons to oppose the biodiesel plant. Regardless, it should be obvious to everyone that the council required much less oversight for a fuel plant than it did for a dog park. The fact that the environmental wing-nuts apparently have some kind of "special" relationship with most of the sitting council is disturbing and is cause in itself for voting them out.

It's also disturbing that these discussions so rapidly degenerate to a third-grade level, but they used to on Riptide too. I suppose I'd rather have some noise mixed in with the signal than having someone censor everything like Maybury does.

Steve Sinai said...

While I was in favor of the biodiesel plant, I also didn't like the way council went out of its way to clear a path for it. With every other project in town, they throw up impediments.

I just think that people too often get out of hand with exaggeration and fishy evidence in trying to make their points. It wrecks their credibility.

Anonymous said...

It was always Vreeland that wanted Carmany out dating back to Carmany's refusal to keep signing overbudgeted invoices for the beach rehab, Vreeland's pet project. I have heard De Jarnatt was a big fan of Turner and see where that City Manager got us. Carmany lived in town, his kids went to the schools in town and he cared. He was honest and played by the rules and that is why he ended up winning his lawsuit. Anybody ever wonder why the City Attorney is still here?
Just read above.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

well apparently Steve Sinai does not believe in being called out for the flimsy basis of his opinions. You can delete all my posts if you want, but you cannot delete your own lack of credibility. No big mystery why PLUS/PIE can't endorse a candidate, or why no candidate is seeking your endorsement.

Truett B. Told said...

Fix Pacifica has not fixed a friggin' thing. More appropriately you should be called Fractured Pacifica. You people have done nothing to bring this town together. You have turned away potential allies because it makes you sick to your stomach to be civil to conservatives and anyone else that does not share your extreme liberal views. Other than an obvious love affair between a the two main pricipals on this rag, there is absolutely nothing going on here. All of Fix Pacifica's content is stolen from other more creative and honorable sources - usually without attribution. You can't even come up with any candidates - you just attack those who had the courage to put themselves out there in the line of fire trying to serve their public. I don't seeing any of you doing anything other than complaining and "blogging".

Good job, Fix Pacifica! Pacifica is in good hands.

Steve Sinai said...

(Sigh) Jeff is going through one of his tantrums again. Please bear with it.

Kathy Meeh said...

Truett, Pacifica is "fractured" thanks to 8 years of "no growth" city council. Fix Pacifica is merely a public pro-economy forum. Yes, it would be helpful for Jeff and Steve to take their tag game off line. They are each honorable and have IQs of more than 135.

There are more than 6000 comment hits posted on this blog monthly, Truett you are posting, does this make you part of the problem, or part of the solution?

Pacifica need a new city council, vote-out the incumbents, vote-in those who will improve this city through business and economic development, seriously.

Censored by Sinai said...

Am I alone on this or is Scotty the alter ego of Sinai? They have the same initials, i.e., SS - Steve Sinai and Snotty Scotty. They are both arrogant, obnoxious and hypocritical. They both have some kind of twisted, sick love affair with themselves and each other (one and the same). They both completely lack a sense of humor, i.e., they take themselves and their opinions way too seriously. They both voted for DeJarnatt. They both were in favor of the financially disasterous biodiesel plant. I'm also pretty sure they both sell Amway, have been known to dabble in pig farming, and believe that cross-dressing isn't as much a perversion as it is a calling.

Scotty said...

"This blog is so horrible, and I don't know why you force me to read it and post to it all the time."

Those poor tea party people. It breaks my heart to hear the whining of white middle-class Christian males who have been so oppressed over the years.

Steve Sinai said...

I think I'll let Jeff's tantrum, in the form of a series of pseudonymed (Truett, Censored,,) posts, play out for awhile.

Kathy, your constant praising of Jeff only encourages him to keep coming here and dragging down the level of discussion.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

if only Steve Sinai accepted the same burden of proof for himself in accusing me of making anonymous posts that he demands of anyone whose opinion is contrary to his own . . .

Prove those anonymous posts are being made by me, or issue an apology and retraction. Otherwise, your credibility is the only thing taking a hit.

Steve Sinai said...

Let's leave it to others to decide issues of credibility.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

Prove those anonymous posts are being made by me, or issue an apology and retraction.

pacifica hyprocrite said...

I find it pretty funny. This blog was started because people where not happy with Riptide, not allowing posts and deleting posts.

Now Fix Pacifica is doing the same thing.

Hypocrisy at its best.

Steve Sinai said...

"Prove those anonymous posts are being made by me, or issue an apology and retraction."


Merriam Webster (special edition) said...

hy·poc·ri·sy (h-pkr-s)
n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
Example 1:
Fix Pacifica Submission and comment policy:
Want to share an article or opinion? Unlike some other Pacifica blogs, Fix Pacifica won't bury viewpoints we disagree with...People may comment anonymously...

Example 2:
Steve Sinai said: "I do believe you doctored it...[regardless of the evidence you provide me unless you] put your name behind your statement".

Anonymous said...

Kathy said, "Pacifica need a new city council, vote-out the incumbents, vote-in those who will improve this city through business and economic development, seriously.

and who might that be?

Scotty's Parole Officer said...

""This blog is so horrible, and I don't know why you force me to read it and post to it all the time."

Attribution, my poor misguided angry Snotty...attribution. That is the first rule of good blogging. Making up quotes only serves to reflect poorly on the honest, God-fearing pack of wolves that raised you.

Steve Sinai said...

"Want to share an article or opinion? Unlike some other Pacifica blogs, Fix Pacifica won't bury viewpoints we disagree with...People may comment anonymously..."

Gee, I'm sure it was an accidental oversight, but you left out this part, Jeff -

"People may comment anonymously, but any comments that degenerate into 1) personal attacks against individual blog participants; or 2) attempts to turn conversations into grade-school playground brawls, will be removed."

Nothing gets removed because of a point of view. Posts will be removed if they are uncivil. (Jeff's current tantrum excepted.)

Jeffrey W Simons said...

That's what I thought, Steve. Make all the baseless allegations you want, because you can't back it up. Because it isn't true. That is why no one wants anything to do with PLUS/PIE.

Steve Sinai said...

Jeff, from personally knowing you, and having seen hundreds of your emails and posts, it's not hard to recognize which pseudonymed and anonymous posts are yours.

I saw the tantrums and personal insults when you were on the P4P list and the PBRG list. You were thrown out of those groups as a result of your divisive behavior. Your posts in the early days of this blog also betray your identify. I'd expect that some people remember your posts from Pacifica-L, and can likewise recognize your writing style.

Kathy Meeh said...

No Jeff, your comment @12:34pm is way off, and has nothing to do with Pacificans for an Improved Economy. The problem is not entirely yours, but encouragement for this kind of ground hog day event continues to periodically plague this public blog.

Steve, Jeff was President of P4P, and removed himself. You guys are stuck, call it a truce and move forward.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

Again with the misrepresentations, Steve.

You have no proof it is me and you continue to publicly defame me, based solely on some specious "style" comment? And you wonder why City Council candidates are refusing endorsements from you?

Kathy Meeh said...

Back to issues: The biodiesel plant. Without Jeff's scientific background, I do understand the "slip-shot" financial and oversight failure of this project. Such a biodiesel integration had never been built anywhere in the world (try google). Yet, our city council (Vreeland) chose to build this rare biodiesel integration in "partnership" with a company that had never build even a stand-alone biodiesel plant. Whole Energy Fules (WEF) was merely a distributor, a "you want biodiesel, we have it" company, rather than an experienced developer equipped with knowledge, expertise and a solid reputation. In fact WEF had a background of regulation default in Bellingham, Washington, and was capitalized at only $3 million dollars. WEF opened a limited partnership for this location to avoid financial liability. WEF planned to NOT double insulate its transport trucks (a State law here), and in event of mishap offered a $3 million dollar business liability policy-- the kind that pays when someone slips on a banana and falls, not the kind that pays when the WWTP blows up. And, should such event occur, what then?

Kathy Meeh said...

I voted for DeJarnatt and Vreeland 12 years ago. DeJanattt's campaign sign was posted on my front yard. From their promises, somehow I had the impression that DeJarnatt and Vreeland would work for and protect Pacifica with a balanced city economy. By 2002 I knew better. DeJarnatt, Vreeland, Lancelle and Digre did not support quarry development in either 2002 or 2006-- Cal Hinton did.

Steve Sinai said...

I guess it's always fun to air some dirty laundry.

Kathy, Jeff was kicked out of P4P by Cynthia Montanez, who started the group. The whole reason PLUS got started was because Jeff wasn't allowed back into P4P. If he had voluntarily removed himself from P4P, he could have voluntarily rejoined P4P.

Also, the blog has not offered to endorse anyone.

Jeffrey W Simons said...

so let me get this straight . . . no one is allowed to post truthful comments about Todd Bray, but the blog master continues to lie about me with impunity? Nice.

don peebles left nut said...

hasn't anyone figured out that sinai is a mole for vreeland and the greenies? he is maybury minus the mustache.

Kathy Meeh said...

Steve, okay, I kind of forgot how that worked, split the difference. Jeff resigned as President, about the instant Cynthia (moderator) chose to pull him off email. Jeff said he planned to pull himself off email, but similar to any other member he could have remained on email.

Did Jeff resign from the Club? I don't remember that happening. He lectured about the city budget and attended other meetings prior to his departure to Texas. He and Robbyn chose a name initially for the new group, which has remained as our email.

This is the kind of commentary, along with the positions neither you nor Jeff have moved off-of that would better be as an email. Thanks for refreshing my memory of that event, even so I was a participant on those emails.

From my view (as always) more control on the blog would be better. The post at 2:00pm, and 2:12pm for example are idiotic.

Lionel Emde said...

"Got a link to the original document? I don't see it on the Watchdogs website, and I wouldn't want to think a global select "Pete DeJarnatt" and replace with "Jim Vreeland" occurred with a word processor. And how about putting your real name behind your statements?"

Yeah, I'm with Steve on this one. What's the attribution for all the lawyer-like writing purporting to tell the story of da' pow put-upon city manager who da big bad council fired?

I was here as well and Mr. Carmany was no great shakes as a city manager. The pre-election 2002 council had no business putting the poison pill in his contract so he could collect big after he was fired.

And people should get used to the idea that the council can hire or fire the city manager and city attorney as they see fit. I'm only sorry they don't use that power more often.

Kathy Meeh said...

Lionel, then again #1 after the pre-2002 city council passed the North Pacifica LLC development, a "joint and several liability poison pill" was dropped into that contract (as described in Maxine Gonsalves last letter-to-the-editor).

As for David Carmany, #2 the pre-2002 city council (Gonsalves, Carr, Hinton) just wanted to protect Carmany's job. The 2002 city council fired him anyway.

Difference in the two poison pills, #1 was never passed by city council (but inserted after-the-fact), #2 was passed by city council.

todd bray said...

Kathy, Carmany's extra parachute bonus was passed by the out going majority as a safe guard for David's job. Babs said so from the Dais. Besides being petty and crass, the out going majority showed no respect for their seats as lame ducks or the citizens that voted them out. They admittedly acted out of spite and it can be seen in the minutes of that meeting.

Ben Thare said...

"And people should get used to the idea that the council can hire or fire the city manager and city attorney as they see fit. I'm only sorry they don't use that power more often."

Correcto mundo, Lionel Emde. And if they do fire the City Manager without proper cause there are contractual considerations the City and the taxpayers have to deal with. What you seem to be forgetting is that Vreeland et al tried to do an end run around those contractual obligations by claiming Carmany's actions with respect to the aforementioned sewer lateral was criminal. That is shameful! And that little stunt cost all of us significantly more money than whatever you and Tod Bray want to attribute to the outgoing council members.

Kathy Meeh said...

Todd, that's correct that the outgoing city council intended to protect Dave Carmany's job, because Vreeland had been hounding Carmany for months prior and that city council majority did not agree with what Vreeland was doing.

Since the 8 year city council has shown no respect to protect the economy of this city, for starters its hard for me to be empathetic with their position. Also, what was the conflict between the city manager and Vreeland, that would be of interest and I don't recall that off-hand?

The minutes of that time period should be of interest, but of course they don't exist on the city website which archives through 2007.

"Been There @4:08pm makes a salient point "that little stunt cost all of us significantly more money."

Watchdog said...

"Yeah, I'm with Steve on this one. What's the attribution for all the lawyer-like writing purporting to tell the story of da' pow put-upon city manager who da big bad council fired?"

The Pacifica Tribune Letters to the Editor. The remaining docs are filed with the Court. You know your way around the Pacifica Tribune and the Court system Mr. Emde. Show a little resourcefulness.

BTW, the aforementioned taxpayer's lawsuit occured before the Pacifica Watchdogs were formed. You will not find those docs on the PW site. That has little to do with the credibility of their existence. The reason the Watchodgs was formed was per recommendation by Attorney Mejia that a recall of council members was more prudent than an appeal of Judge Forcum's decision. But you knew that. Just don't want to believe it...

I will make a wager with you and Mr. Sinai, however. I will wager you both $1,000.00 that I can produce verifiable copies of the documents you both seem to conveniently not want to obtain yourself. In the process I will also reveal my identity. I will allow Kathy Meeh to be the determining judge. So, put your money where your mouth is. Otherwise, STFU about credibility!

Steve Sinai said...

Nope, I'm not the betting type. If you want to prove your point, produce the legal document you said exists. Why do you need a financial incentive?

While you're at it, I'm still waiting for the documents that prove the claim that two local real estate agents were involved in an illegal transaction with Vreeland. You said you had the evidence, but you refused to produce it then, too.

Hey, I'd love to see Vreeland caught with his pants down, but not at the expense of phony accusations.

Lionel Emde said...

Lotta smoke blown on this site, not much to show for it.

The pre-election council of 2002 loved Mr. Carmany, no doubt about it. And they gave him a gift of taxpayer money which he took.

I don't care if people use pseudonyms, when trying to make a factual argument, don't expect credibility to be extended to you if you feel compelled to hide.

Steve Sinai said...

I suspect Watchdog is the guy (not Jeff, but his toxic, little buddy) who keeps boasting about all the dirt he has on Vreeland, but then never produces.

Sharon said...

I’m new to the political game here in Pacifica but not new to Pacifica. I really can’t comment on all that has gone on in the previous comments except to say that methanol is a dangerous good, methane is dangerous good and gasoline is a dangerous good and mixing up the three in a one area seems like a dangerous recipe. A million shipments a day of dangerous goods move in public commerce and many of those are not documented or shipped properly putting us all at risk, all the time. But I digress from the real intent of my comment. As a long time resident, I fail to understand why our city council or anyone else in this city would want to put a refinery or any manufacturing facility in an area that should be targeted for tourist attraction dollars. What is wrong with the people who run this town, have they no vision?

Heather Tanner said...

Sharon, I agree. We should not be going after blue collar dollars. A factory is going to cost us more in regulation, safety, and environmental factors than it will add to our community.

I do agree we should go after tourism dollars. Do you have specific ideas on drawing more tourists? Always interested in hearing ideas from others.

Tom Clifford said...

I have shared some of my ideas already, I was hoping that as a candidate for the most important public position in Pacifica you had ideas of your own.

Watchdog said...

Lionel and Steve:

Still waiting... $1,000.00 bet...Put your money where your accusatory, arrogant mouths are...LOL@both of you...still waiting...

Truett B. Told said...

"I fail to understand why our city council or anyone else in this city would want to put a refinery or any manufacturing facility in an area that should be targeted for tourist attraction dollars. What is wrong with the people who run this town, have they no vision?"

Ask Sinai and Scotty. I'm sure you'll get a real intelligent answer since they supported it.

Heather Tanner said...

Just trying to start a discussion. The poster mentioned bringing tourism dollars, which I agree with. I agree Council is an important position, but I also believe the council needs to be more in touch with the citizens of Pacifica. If someone mentions an idea, what's the harm in my asking questions to see if its viable?

Everyone uses buzz words "environmental" "economy"; etc, but unless you ask questions, do you have any idea what they mean? Or is it good enough to say what everyone wants to hear? I've thought your ideas are sound. You seem to be a good candidate.

I *do* have ideas, but I am not naive enough to think that I have all the ideas and all the answers to all of Pacifica's problems. As an average joe citizen, I know its frustrating to sit on the sidelines with ideas and have nobody listen to my ideas or even talk to me about theirs.

Since she mentioned ideas, I asked. She wanted to participate in the discussion, so I wanted to hear her out. Maybe that's not your style, but it is mine.

Heather Tanner said...

Tom: Since it is so hard to tell tone on postings, I just wanted you to know that I wasn't trying to make my earlier message personal or an attack. That's not my style. I re-read it and realize it could be read as trying to insult you. Not at all the case. I apologize if the message sounded that way to you. I recognize if I am elected (or not), I have to work with those who are - I have no intention of alienating potential council members during the election. Why make enemies when you'll need to work with them?

Steve Sinai said...

"Still waiting... $1,000.00 bet...Put your money where your accusatory, arrogant mouths are..."

I gave my response to your challenge previously. Since you refuse to provide evidence of documents without playing games, that tells me, to paraphrase Lionel, that you're blowing smoke out your ass.

If you wanted to get rid of Vreeland as much as you say you do, I would think you'd be more than happy to provide the documents. All you have to do is scan then and email them to me. I'll gladly post them.

Thomas Clifford voter said...

I agree with you that we all need to listen to any Idea that might help Pacifica. I asked my question of you because I am not only a candidate but also a voter. I want to hear what your ideas are so I can decided if you are someone I can vote for. We all have three votes for council members and can only vote for our selfs once.

Steve Sinai said...

"I fail to understand why our city council or anyone else in this city would want to put a refinery or any manufacturing facility in an area that should be targeted for tourist attraction dollars. What is wrong with the people who run this town, have they no vision?"

Ask Sinai and Scotty. I'm sure you'll get a real intelligent answer since they supported it.


The city needs revenues, and this would have provided some.

There's already a semi-stinky waste water treatment plant there, so the area is hardly pristine.

I thought it was hypocritical for people who wanted to fill the quarry with commercial and residential development (which included me) to oppose this. I felt the main reason for the opposition was because it was viewed as Nancy Hall's project, and people wanted to give her a taste of her own medicine.

The arguments against the plant, which included exaggerated scare stories about nerve gas and how the plant was going to explode and take out Vallemar Elementary School, convinced me even further that opponents of the plant were grasping for straws to oppose it.

Heather Tanner said...

Thanks, Tom. I didn't think you had a beef with me, and I certainly don't have a beef with you. I've found you to be very hospitable, thoughtful and devoted. All good things for our town.

My main focus is on job creation. Pacifica's unemployment rate doubled from 2008 to present. We have a lot of citizens struggling to make ends meet. If we increase jobs, we increase our tax base - so its a win-win for Pacifica.

I'd like to create a revenue stream - my current idea is by charging a nominal parking fee at our parks and/or beaches - and use the revenue to create a job corps. The job corps would be used to do things like clearing brush, painting, and staffing our parks and beaches. I would also like to see an apprenticeship program started with the revenue to give our youth some job skills, but that is not my biggest priority.

Just so it doesn't seem like I am hiding anything, I should tell you that I am a huge supporter of the Pacifica Resource Center. They do fantastic work in the community and are, imo, an underfunded, much-needed resource. Right now, with the economy being what it is, they are literally a lifeline for many Pacificans. It is the only *pet* project I have on my agenda.

My focus is nearly completely on bringing jobs back to our economy. I'd like to work with developers and the planning commission to bring viable businesses into Pacifica that will keep jobs here and *not* ruin the unique, small town feel of Pacifica. We don't need Walmart, but we need something that will draw traffic on a regular basis from nearby Serramonte.

I'd also like to create more events like fogfest - not every other weekend like in San Francisco, but enough to make Pacifica a "place" to travel! We have a fantastic artists' community and great food - yet, we have no effort to have any community projects to showcase them?

I think the hotel tax is not appropriate unless we do something to help drive traffic. Why take money from the hotel operators when we are doing nothing to help them earn it? The tax as it is now allows them to remain competitive.

Pacifica is a gem and we must sell it like it is one! I don't want to ruin Pacifica - I just want to make it more profitable. Carmel is a good example of what Pacifica could be.

Those are all the thoughts I have time to write right now. Tom, I am always happy to answer questions. I *know* one of my weaknesses is that I am so green. I'm not a politician, but I care about getting this right. If that reads as hesitancy or inability to make decisions, that's not the case. When I take on responsibility for other people's lives, I take it extremely seriously. If I'm not informed, I do what I need to to get informed before making decisions.

I haven't a clue who I am going to vote for right now, besides myself. So, I can understand your position.

Thanks for the discussion and the candor.

Heather Tanner said...


I typed out this fabulously long message, and it got lost in the netherworld that is the internet. So, this one isn't going to be as fabulous or eloquent.

First, a bit about me. I am a *huge* supporter of the Pacifica Resource Center. The work they do is incredible, and I find them to be an underfunded, much-needed resource. I say this only because I think people should know what I support because my agenda is focused on helping the people I think need it the most.

Job creation is the largest issue for me. My focus is on creating a revenue stream from which we can create a job corps to do projects for the city and city departments. To do this, I would like to charge a nominal parking fee for our beaches and parks. A yearly citizen pass would be made available for any Pacifica citizen for low cost (I'm thinking $20 or less).

Second, increasing business and revenue. Two ideas - 1) create incentives for businesses to come to Pacifica and hire Pacificans - either through lower fees or fee rebates if they hire more than one Pacifican. Pacifica's unemployment rate doubled in a little over a year. Our citizens need relief now.

Second idea - look at recreating fogfest in the form of a spring or summer festival which would drive traffic in. We have a fantastic artists' community and great restaurants, but we don't showcase them like other cities? Why not an art festival? Or something equally as cool?

Increase our employment, we increase our tax base. Win-win for Pacifica. The drive has to be from the council; whatever roadblocks are preventing businesses from starting and being successful in our town are roadblocks we can remove. I've started talking to small business owners to hear what impediments they have faced.

So, that's where I am. I *know* I'm green, but I take this very seriously. I want to help. I want to be a part of the solution, not a part of the crowd on the sidelines ticked off.

Heather Tanner said...

Oh, how funny - now both comments appear. LOL

Watchdog said...

"I gave my response to your challenge previously."

still waiting on the bet... What's the matter? Afraid to lose? How convenient you don't take bets now. You sure did before. Your credibility is shot.

You claim I have to put my name behind my comments to be credible. Jeffrey Simons has done that on numerous posts, in fact, the very ones you assert are "not credible". I call you a hypocrite. As I previously stated, you would accuse me of doctoring the documents if I sent them to you. You have as much as stated this. That is why I am sending you to an independent, trusted source, i.e., SMC Superior Court Judge Forcum's clerk, so that you can verify on your own. You refuse. How convenient. How disingenuous. You are a fraud!

Steve Sinai said...

When did I ever take a bet?

As I keep saying, if you want to prove your claim, you provide the documents. And why are you afraid to use your name. (BTW - it's Schlesinger.) Don't expect anyone else to do your leg work.

Scotty said...

The moon is made of cheese, and I'll bet you a $1000 that it's true. Unless you build a rocket ship, fly to the moon, and prove to me that it isn't, you are a fraud.

Sharon said...

Steve you are the one who mentioned Barbara Carr's vision of an outlet mall for the quarry area and I have supported you on this. I still do. Being a meeting planner, I know just how sensitive folks are to any little thing that bother's them when they are staying at a hotel. Because of the on going problems with odor in the area I have never felt it appropriate for more hotel or residential development there. But an enclosed outlet mall when there is nothing else for many, many miles around and there are so many folks asking for and willing to travel for that kind of shopping makes great sense to me. When they get done shopping there are all the restaurants and hotels at Rockaway they can utilize. It's a win-win situation as far as I can tell. Heather I hope this answers your question.

Steve SInai said...

"As I previously stated, you would accuse me of doctoring the documents if I sent them to you. You have as much as stated this."

An official court document will have an official court stamp on it. I want to see a document that says what you claim it says, and has that seal on it.

Heather Tanner said...

Hmm... an outlet mall could be good, as long as its tastefully done. We don't need a strip mall! That would just be a bad idea. I think we badly need a movie theater or some sort of entertainment venue, too. I miss the Seavue.

Steve Sinai said...

Due to requests from the peanut gallery, I'll start deleting any further uncivil comments after 1 PM. I knew there would be some incivility involved, considering the participants, but it went on longer than I expected.

Get your shots in while you can.

Sharon said...

I agree Heather, we have too many strip malls and our weather does not promote much enjoyable shopping at them. I finally got around to checking out Crab Landing this past weekend. It is not doing well and they are not promoting the outlet mall idea. But I like the covered mall concept. Steve works for or deals with Trip and has noticed one of the number questions coming in from travelers is about outlet mall shopping. In my humble opion it's theonly thing that could draw folks away from Serramonte and Tanforan. We are close enough to the city to make it feasible for tourists and city folks to shop it, especially if they get together with the other businesses at Rockaway and offer shuttle service to and from COLMA BART. I do believe it would be a hit.

Steve Sinai said...

I just participate on TripAdvisor. The SF forum gets tons of questions about outlet shopping from Asian and European visitors. They usually don't have a car, and are very disappointed to find out how hard it is to get to places like Gilroy or Vacaville.

An outlet mall is one of those things that would draw people to Pacifica regardless of the weather. I've been to a big outlet mall outside of New York City that had an early-American, colonial village theme. Maybe a Pacifica outlet mall could have some kind of nautical theme.

Heather Tanner said...

Sharon - I work part-time at a hotel in Burlingame, and there is definitely a request for an outlet mall here. The focus would have to be on outlet, tho - or else we'd be competing with all the other malls. I know a start-up travel website in Pacifica that would probably support the idea and work hand-in-hand on travel promotions, too. Someone also threw out an idea of doing some sort of indoor water park that could be operated year round. That maybe too big thinking for the moment, but I support big ideas for this big problem.

The shuttle bus idea rocks. Maybe we could work with Samtrans on that? It would be a small cost for potentially big return. Insurance would not be too costly, either.

Mr. Sir said...

There will never be an outlet mall constructed in Pacifica due to its close proximity to existing retail outlets selling those same goods.

Heather Tanner said...

Mr Sir - definitely understand your concern, but I think you are looking at one mall v. another. An outlet mall is very different from Serramonte. Petaluma and Gilroy support their outlet malls very easily, even though there are malls within close proximity. The point here would be to make an outlet mall closer to SFO to take the traffic here and not have people going to the ones in Petaluma, Gilroy or Vacaville.

Steve Sinai said...

The odds of an outlet mall being built in Pacifica are low, but the belief that they won't be built near existing retail outlets selling the same goods is false.

The outlet malls sell goods that are out-of-date, and aren't on sale anymore in the exiting retail outlets. Existing retailers like outlet malls because it allows them to sell out-of-date goods, where otherwise they'd just write them off as unsold inventory.

From what I've read, one reason people who build outlet malls don't like to build them in the middle of population centers is because they believe that customers feel obligated to buy lots of stuff to justify the effort in traveling to them. But there are exceptions, as the outlet malls at either end of the Las Vegas strip demonstrate.

Mr. Sir said...

The outlet factory malls are located in Petaluma and Gilroy precisely because they are physically far enough away from major name-brand retailers in SF so as not to compete with them (and thus upset their existing retail channels).

There are odd instances of "factory outlet stores" being situated fairly close to retail, but they tend not to be competitors and in fact offer clothing lines specifically tailored for their "factory outlet" stores (they aren't carried anywhere else). I know Anne Taylor carry and Marc Jacobs have an "outlet" line of lower-quality clothing specifically for these types of stores.

I use quotes because these aren't truly factory outlet stores, but are stores carrying completely different merchandise than that found in the manufacturers' other retail channels. A true outlet store would carry the exact merchandise you would find in, say, Nordstroms, but would be offered at a discount due to the store being operated by the manufacturer itself, thus cutting out the fees to the middle-man.

But of course, if the "middle-man" squawks about you putting in an outlet store next to them, you're going to listen long and hard as they most likely represent a retail channel for 95% of your remaining sales.

For more information about the outlet mall market, please refer to the following overviews:

"Exploring the Opportunity of Starting a Factory Outlet Mall"

"Factory Outlet Malls: The Ultimate Discounters"

"Customer Perceptions of Factory Outlet Stores vs. Traditional Department Stores"

Scotty said...

Unless one of you works for someone like Simon Property Group, this is all academic. Although we don't get to decide who develops what, we CAN decide to vote in a council that will stand up to the NIMBYs and embrace some type of smart development (if the opportunity ever arises again).

Markus said...

Not unlike Sharon, I am a long time resident but only been involved in politics for a relatively short time. As I’ve previously commented on several occasions, our city has been on a economic downward spiral for nearly a decade, while the national economy for 2.5 years. Obviously the past 8 years council vision of “OUR ENVIRONMENT IS OUR ECONOMY” has some revenue producing potential but hasn’t worked for a number of rather obvious reasons. I’m not advocating forsaking our scenic trails or environment. All I’m saying is we need to bring in more people to use them and spend their dollars. We desperately need more of a balance in our tax revenues base if we are to achieve making a viable, vibrant community serving needs of out of town visitors, travelers, tourists as well as locals. Only 12% of our work force has local jobs. Many of our citizens work and shop out of town due to lack of local availability. For example, we have a city owned prime beachfront property with a close by fishing pier, the old WWTP, appraised at $8 million, sitting there adding blight and vermin but no revenue. For a developer with a smart vision, this property can be a gold mine. Perhaps a hotel offering convention, meeting and events like weddings capabilities, with cluster businesses such as retail shops, restaurants, night life, art galleries, museum, roller skating rink or movie theatre and anything else to cater to convention meeting planners, hikers, outdoor and water sportsman, fisherman, tourists, travelers and of course us locals. This kind of development can be an anker for revitalization of Palmetto Ave. northward, as a commercial business center. We create local jobs, minimize locals spending their money out of town, minimize commute traffic pollution and congestion, etc.. With a little fix to our streets, proper signage, better lighting, facelifts and better marketing can have a positive impact on other hotels and commercial areas. Lets have our beautiful hills, trails, pier and beaches work for us for a change. Given the state of our economy, I realize this may not be a good time to begin with something which may not produce the wanted results for several years. However, we simply must start now to avoid not so distant financial ruin and bankruptcy. Apology for my verbose comment. I really could have said much, much more.

Steve Sinai said...

"Unless one of you works for someone like Simon Property Group, this is all academic."

It's academic, but it's still valuable to get a sense of what might or might not work in the quarry. We shouldn't be dismissing these kinds of discussions just because we aren't property developers.

It is correct that nothing will happen until we vote in a new city council that's not hostile to economic development.