Opinion: Pacifica Must Choose the Lesser of Two Evils
Pacifica's Fiscal Emergency: City Task Force Recommends Solutions That "Might Not Be Pleasurable"

Opinion: Zero Tolerance for City Council No-Shows

(EDITOR'S NOTE: At the February 27 council meeting, Jim Vreeland's resignation was announced.)

I attended the City Council meeting the evening of February 14. I set aside personal plans to do so, as other folks likely did. If I understand correctly, the council itself set this meeting date. About 50 people attended, but apparently it was too difficult for two members of the council to attend. All the folks who showed up hoping to accomplish something were in essence told that nothing would be accomplished. This was a slap in the face to all Pacificans. You set a meeting date and then DO NOT BOTHER TO ATTEND?

If Mr. Vreeland and Mr. DeJarnatt do not care to be on the council, then they should just say so. Someone else can do the job; no one cares. This city needs help, and by not attending meetings and holding up our processes, absent members condemn Pacifica to failure at many levels. 

For future meetings, the council should inform people that the meeting is cancelled due to lack of interest, just as the Valentine's Day meeting was held for no apparent reason. 

Most people at the meeting spoke of wanting to keep our police, fire, and city services. Not one person endorsed using the county sheriff's office for policing. We like our cops! They are OUR cops! The police dispatch center is already gone, and evidently response time for our police has been slowed down dramatically. Imagine the response time if sheriff's deputies had to find some of our streets.

Committees that meet at the police station now need a baby-sitter to watch the lobby. Excellent planning: Dump the dispatch so now we have to provide a baby-sitter for our meetings? We have City Hall and the Community Center for meetings—use them. Lack of foresight has caused this issue.  

I was disappointed and insulted by our council and the non-meeting. Do not try to tell Pacificans about your work when we come to your changed-date meeting and your own members do not care enough to attend. Everyone must attend or someone else can do their job. 

We are proud of Pacifica. It's beautiful, friendly, and a bit quirky, and it's home. 

The entire populace of Pacifica deserves an apology for the fiasco of the "meeting" held on Valentine's Day. Aside from those present having a chance to voice an opinion, the evening was a joke. That sort of rudeness from elected officials to their constituents should not be tolerated.

Rebecca Lorenz

Comments

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John, the city does need to do its research on this and publish it. I met last week with Chief Tasa for an hour and a half, and was floored to learn that for all the drama coming from this finance committee and city hall, there has been absolutely no contact with the county sheriff's department to discuss options.

I think the city needs to get a bid from the county and that our PD should have a chance to match it. Regardless of all this senior staff, department heads, fire and police must take a scaled wage reduction.

Todd, I'm with you on many (most?) issues.

But the Pacifica Police Department is top-heavy. Roughly only half the officers patrol. The overhead is tremendous. That is what we'll save in switching to the county sheriff.

And I think it'll be significant.

Furthermore, in comparing what they make or cost or whatever, let's be sure we're comparing apples to apples: base salaries or total compensation, including overtime and benefits.

"Not one person endorsed using the county sheriff's office for policing. We like our cops! They are OUR cops!"

Other local jurisdictions that have outsourced police services to the sheriff's department kept the local cops. Why would Pacifica be different?

Dan, it's beyond me that you are defending an upward flow of wealth from the poorest to the richest. How can the sheriff's department that pays more per officer possibly be less expensive than our own PD?

I was there and I was disappointed also. I know that Mr. Vreeland has health problems and that he has come to the conclusion that he needs to resign. One could say that he should have come to this conclusion sooner, but one needs to try to keep a positive outlook to stand a chance of recovering from any kind of health problem. Quitting the council can't possibly have been an easy decision. Also, I can't claim to have never missed an important meeting.

On the subject of the considerable expertise of the Pacifica Police Department, my understanding is that it is normal, when consolidating law enforcement, to hire that expertise. The sheriff isn't going to take on any such additional responsibility without hiring the officers he needs to carry it out, and it would be irresponsible to overlook the years of training and experience that our Pacifica Police officers have.

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