Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ruff Thoughts About Last Night's City Council Meeting

Martin, Keener and Digre, who voted for the ordinance preventing the city from pursing highway widening without a city-wide vote, were not happy campers when Vaterlaus and O'Neill had the gall to actually ask for a city-wide vote. "Run  MKD" didn't want to allow it.

What's wrong with directly asking the people what they want?  It's hypocritical to pass an ordinance that says a city vote is required for action on highway widening, and then not allow a vote.

A few people got up and tried using the argument that having three council members who oppose widening proves the voters are against it. Sue V. had a good counter-argument about how she got more votes than Keener, so doesn't that show people were OK with widening? I also noticed that none of the people trying to make that argument specifically mentioned Martin, knowing that if she and her supporters hadn't gamed the election rules to force Nihart out of the race, Nihart would be on council rather than Martin.

Sue V. agreed to postpone a discussion of a vote. As of now, it looks like the issue of putting a highway widening vote on the ballot will be formally discussed at a council meeting in late April.  

As an aside, I have to give Keener and Digre props for joining Vaterlaus and O'Neill in denying an appeal to the storm overflow system to be built near the community center. Lots of people spoke in an attempt to stop the system from being built there. It would have been very easy for Keener and Digre to do what's too often done by Pacifica council members, and that's to keep kicking the can down the road. Instead, they bit the bullet and made a hard decision.

Linda Mar isn't my neighborhood so I never paid much attention to this particular project, but the city would have taken a huge financial risk by approving the appeal and delaying it. Fines for allowing a large sewage spill that resulted in untreated sewage flowing into the ocean could have been in the $80 million range. For comparison, the city budget for this year is about $30 million.

Posted by Steve Sinai


Anonymous said...

Hilarious. A classic case of be careful what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

First, it'll take a majority vote of council to put this on the ballot. It puts the No-Nothings in a bind; they either put their money where their mouths are and allow the people to vote or deny a public vote and look like absolute hypocrites.

This crew believes itself to be playing three dimensional chess, but any rookie politician could see this switcheroo coming a mile away. They could have just officially killed the funding request for the project, but they got greedy and O'Neill and Vaterlaus just drank their milkshake!

Be sure to put this on a NOVEMBER ballot (and not June) so that traffic is nice and heavy when people vote. Bonus points if it's November 2018 and Keener is forced to defend this turd of a decision while running for reelection. It'll be a nice way to highlight that he's been against every single project in Pacifica during his time on council.

Larry said...

I understand stestromboni got all agitated when he was called on some of his bullshit. That's a wondrous thing. Why did he resurface? I thought he had had enough. Oh well

Anonymous said...

Lots of sour grapes on council when Vaterlaus took the Three NOmigos up on their ordinance and suggested an immediate vote on the highway. The look on their faces was priceless as they gaped at each other, realizing they'd been snookered. I laughed long and loud.

If the NO-NO-NOs were as clever as they thought they were, they would have crafted the ordinance in a way to prevent exactly what happened on Monday night. It would have only taken an additional sentence, and no, I'm not gonna share or these braniacs will rush to amend.

I can't wait to pop some popcorn, sit down, and watch the Three Stop Signs twist themselves into knots explaining why the public can't be allowed to vote on the highway after they demanded the public be allowed to vote on the highway!

clark the communter said...

The 3 stooges may be surprised how many people are caught in that traffic and how effective a group of pissed off commuters can be in getting the vote out.

Anonymous said...

2:16 Who the heck is "stestromboni"?

Steve Sinai said...

That's Dan S. He had a bit of an "episode" after the meeting, which I relayed to a few people.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Did he freak out because he got called on his BS while he was at the podium?

Steve Sinai said...

I'd guess that's part of it. He spoke in favor of the storm overflow appeal, which was denied. And I doubt he was happy about the prospect of a vote being held on highway widening. So overall a bad night.

You win some, you lose some. Some people get too emotionally wrapped-up in these things.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, it's kind of tough to be passionate about something and then react well when things don't go your way, but I agree with you...politics is about the long game.

I have no idea if I'm right or not, but I'd put the highway vote at 50/50 right this second. A no vote would have been much stronger a year or two ago, but I think people are fed up with a marginal group that opposes anything and everything in town, and a city that hasn't done a thing about crumbling, empty storefronts, roads that are never repaired.

Trying to convince increasingly frustrated residents that they shouldn't vote to improve the highway is going to be a very tough sell, though I suspect the Greenies think they've got the votes to prevent widening because they're pretty much an echo-chamber that thinks they're right and that everyone else agrees with them because of it.

We'll see how it shakes out if the majority on council ever "allows" the public to vote. This was their idea to begin with, so I don't see that they have any other choice otherwise they'd be complete hypocrites.

Steve Sinai said...

Both sides say publicly that they represent the will of the majority, but deep down I suspect both sides are worried that they'll lose. That's why nobody's proposed a vote until now.

The NIMBYS overplayed their hand with the ordinance. There was no need for it because this council wasn't going to move forward with the widening in any event, and it can easily be repealed by the next council. All it did was force the idea of a vote out into the open.

I was sitting in council chambers Monday night, and seeing the NIMBYS panic when Vaterlaus and O'Neill started pushing for a vote was glorious to witness.

The Ghost of John Curtis said...

If it goes to a vote, the widening won't happen. Of the 25% of this community who choose to exercise their right to vote, the majority are historically "No" voters. The problem with any and all construction improvements to this city is that the extreme enviros have the ideology, time, money, manpower and favorable campaign sign posting and media logistics to execute their will. And face it, they just plain work harder for their causes/beliefs than those on the other side. The low info voters who make the difference in all local elections tend to get swept up by the overflowing cesspool of negative hype put out by the no-growthers and there is no amount of logic, reason or facts that can counter that.

wake up Pacifica said...

The NOBY'S stole our free council election through manipulation and perverse application of the Hatch Act. They campaigned hard to fool the general public into believing a vote for Mary Ann Nihart was a wasted vote and then tried to create plausible deniability for their unethical behavior. So what has their slimy behavior wrought?
Removal of the extremely competent and effective Councilperson Nihart.
Switching the 3-2 majority on council back to NOBY majority.
Loss of an extremely competent and experienced City Manager Lorie Tinfow.
The reversal of Palmetto Business District improvement effort.
The tamping down of the Beach Blvd development project.
The rejection of future support for development of the Quarry.
Propagandized for obstruction of Highway One improvements for safety and traffic relief.
Lied about Sea Level Rise to block construction of a new library.
Usurped discussions about construction of affordable housing with Rent Control hype.
They're not done.
Watch for more loss of competent staff members.
Get used to more deterioration of our infrastructure and business districts.
Expect more lawsuits as this group of NOBY'S continue to trample private property rights.
Plan for bankruptcy.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the the Orange Orangutan in DC to authorize ANY grant money to bail out our welfare dependent city.
What a deal these hypocritical creeps have in store for little 'ole Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

sure, sure, Ghost, it'll be voted down, that's a baby

easily voted down

which is why the Three NOmigos were having a major freakout and wetting their pants about putting it on the next ballot

because it'll be so easy for the public to shoot down the project

uh huh uh huh tell us more oh wise one

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the Tribune has a blockbuster expose on the election, Nihart and Vaterlaus each got 3/4 of their campaign funds from out of town realtors, while Martin got all of her funds from local contributors. It's tempting to start calling Vaterlaus the illegitimate one!

Steve Sinai said...

There might be about a hundred NIMBYS in town who get worked up about campaign contributions from REALTOR® organizations. Pacificans elect REALTORS® to city council all the time, so being a REALTOR® doesn't seem to be much of a problem for the great majority.

On the other hand, people like to be allowed to vote for who's on council, and resent it when a candidate games the electoral process to prevent that. That's the only way Martin was able to get herself onto council.

Anonymous said...

First off, you keep saying Martin gamed the system, which is a blatant lie and you know it. An anonymous member of the public ensured that Nihart follow the letter of the law. You can disagree with them for doing so, but there is no reason to believe Martin had anything to do with it.

The key part here is "out of town" realtors - nobody here wants non-locals to vastly outspend locals in our local races any more than they want Russians meddling in our presidential elections.

Larry said...

If you watch Martin she's a conniving sniveling mean woman. Pay attention, she may be more damaging to Pacifica than Keener.

Anonymous said...

An anonymous member of the public ensured that Nihart follow the letter of the law.


My dearest dumbass, Nihart was cleared to run by the Office of Special Counsel.

It was until Stegink et al. filed multiple complaints that the OSC had to change course, citing the complaints themselves as the reason the election had become partisan.

So yes, Martin and her minions gamed the system.

Anonymous said...

This is how it works with the Hypocritical NO-NOTHINGS:

Kicking Nihart off the ballot is "following the letter of the law," but perfectly legal outside donations that are "following the letter of the law" are a horrible Russian-hacking-level events.

Anonymous said...


Don't forget the push for a public vote on the highway widening while opposing putting the highway widening on the ballot for a public vote.

That's another good one!

Anonymous said...


Don't forget the crying about the cost of housing and rents while opposing every single new housing construction project.

That's another good one too!

Anonymous said...

Hey Pacificans if you fail to inform yourself about the serious existential issues in Pacifica and if you fail to vote against these faux-enviros, you really have no right to complain.
Get off your asses and start being proactive. Otherwise these screwball hypocritical NOBY's will continue to destroy Pacifica unabated.

Steve Sinai said...

"It was until Stegink et al. filed multiple complaints that the OSC had to change course, citing the complaints themselves as the reason the election had become partisan."

It's natural to think Dan had something to do with this, but to be fair, there really is no proof. No matter who filed the complaints, the reality is that Martin is only on council because they forced Nihart out of the race. Martin doesn't deserve to be on council.

Jim Vreeland spent many years on council while a government employee. None of his opponents stooped to the level that Martin's supporters did and forced him out of any council races.