Ian Butler

Ellen Hage

Delia McGrath

Sierra Club

Coastside Democrats

Harvard Study

The above op-eds present real facts on Measure C (rent control). Below are major media news stories about rent control and Measure G (cannabis tax). In the end, Measure C lost (62 percent to 38 percent), while Measure G won (78 to 21), and only a third of Pacifica's registered voters even bothered to vote. SHAMEFUL!

S.F. Gate




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"Mike" has a unitary, single-minded approach to his situation, one that is built on a not-uncommon philosophical line that appeals to true believers. That the philosophy does not recognize many of the legal and social complexities of private-property ownership and regulation in Pacifica--or anywhere else for that matter--is of no matter to him. And though he seems to have a sincere approach to how he manages his income property that his tenants have been paying for, he has no problem with the use of outside petition circulators (who misrepresented what they sought to put up for election), lies, and piles of outside money used to sway a vote.

Don't worry, "Mike". You won't accidentally bump into me or anyone I hang with at SAMCAR or SAMCEDA events.

We provide a very good service at reasonable rents that don't gouge and are not at market by a long shot, and maintenance is always up to date. But we are not in the business of providing income redistribution via substantially below market rates, which amounts to a subsidy to the tenant.
The buildings we purchased were never intended to be controlled by an outside quasi-governmental agency that amounts to property control. Tenants who want subsidized housing are to look to the programs that have been designed and paid for that purpose.
You and your friends here are more than welcome to purchase property and charge whatever you want, BUT don't think for one minute you can mandate what others are to do with their property in which the responsibility for ownership lies with the owner. Of course, it is so, so easy to tell other people what they should do when folks like you probably haven't purchased property for income purposes. It has nothing to do with greed or all the other tags one wishes to bestow. We are so glad we have never met and never will.

Carl says, "BTW, building more market-rate apartments has little or nothing to do with the people at the lower-income end being stressed in multi-unit buildings built prior to 1995. Built-out Pacifica doesn't have a housing shortage; it has a people longage."

Okay, let me rephrase my question. How many BMI (Below Market Income) apartments has the City of Pacifica built since 1995? The only two I can think of are the small apartment building right on the corner by the Sharp Park Golf Course and the senior apartments behind Good Shepherd School.

Carl, I believe you live down on the other side of Devil's Slide and maintain a business here in Pacifica. Is that correct?

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carl is also a longtime supporter of, and contributor to, Pacifica Riptide.

Hello, tenants! It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood. Hope you're enjoying the overpriced, underfurnished, unsustainable tenement that I allow you to live in for that pittance you call "rent." So you thought you could take Mr. Landlord down with that Preparation C garbage you tried to sneak by the voters, didn't you? Well, better luck next time! Not...

Consider also the unknown -- but possibly large -- number of renters who might have been more active in working toward the measure but were chilled into staying silent by fear of pissing off their landlords.

Here's a question for Mike: In the spirit of your discontent and abhorrent feelings toward your fellow human beings, have you stopped abusing your tenants?

Here's a question to John, Ian, and Carl: Do you presently own any multifamily buildings? If yes, how are you managing them in the spirit of your discontent and abhorrent feelings toward your fellow property owners (taxpayers)?

(EDITOR'S NOTE: As far as we know, none of the above own any multifamily buildings, so the question is irrelevant, but for what it's worth, if any of the above did own such property, it's highly unlikely that they would manage them as described in your hypothetical question.)

And yet, when it comes to controlling property taxes, the "rent" all private property owners pay for the right to manage pieces of real estate with all the laws and regulations that go along with those pieces, landlords are more than willing to advocate for measures like Proposition 13. When they go to the salon, do they have to pay more for the extra work needed for two faces?

BTW, building more market-rate apartments has little to nothing to do with the people at the lower-income end being stressed in multi-unit buildings built prior to 1995. Built-out Pacifica doesn't have a housing shortage; it has a people longage.

The Yes campaign really needed a lot of the 70% of single-family homeowners (and renters) in Pacifica to set aside their own self-interest and consider the plight of Pacifica apartment renters.

What's the difference between Pacifica property owners asking for market rent vs. the people in Pacifica who won't allow any housing to be built on the Quarry property? Not counting a few 4-5 units, when was the last time an apartment building was added in Pacifica? The 1950s and 1960s.

To repeat what Pacifica's leading environmentalist John Curtis once said: "The 1969 plan never recognized that 'sound economics' and 'sound environmentalism' are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are mutually necessary ingredients for successful and realistic planning. You don't build a tourist tax base by covering and destroying natural tourist attractions -- open hills, beaches and clean air. No one wants to travel to the coast to tour endless housing tracts or to spread a beach blanket on asphalt."

YES on Measure C "organizers" never returned my requests for sign(s). It was designed to fail.

For promoters and supporters of Measure C and concerned non-supporters who recognize something's gotta give:

Of course "Mike" is illogical and all the other tags one wants to state; it doesn't change this:

Of the 28 precincts, only 2 precincts voted in majority for "Yes on C".
All the other 26 precincts voted in majority for "No on C".

And the NIMBY comment has been a Pacifica mantra for decades. Well, nothing stays the same. And "Mike" for one doesn't believe in growth for growth's sakes, eyesores or whatever, but change is a constant in life and there are those, present company included, who would like to see things slow down as to growth--alas, unless there is a major correction or calamity, the odds are against it.
Read this if you please:

NIMBY is a term for people who care about their backyard.

I have a new acronym for people who call us NIMBY: profit always in my backyard (PAMBY).

I agree that the Measure C campaign was poorly run. The measure was hastily drafted and poorly written, and -- in addition to putting more thought into the measure's wording -- the campaign should have spent more time getting out the vote in a calm, rational manner than stooping down to the level of the No crowd. That said, I find this comment to be hysterical:

From "Mike" (who is a member of the crowd who were telling people that Costa-Hawkins will be repealed AND that repeal means rent control would extend to single-family homes, notwithstanding language to the contrary in Measure C itself): "as I predicted that C would fail, so will AB1506 going after Costa-Hawkins."

Man, these guys can't even keep their BS straight.

If people in favor of rent control had just devoted a little time listening to valid concerns (there were actually some among all the noise), crafting a better measure, effectively responding to the messaging/lies on social media (which the No crowd was permitted to overtake), and getting out the vote, we would have had a different outcome.

Next time . . .

Mike: It's not just that voters were against government intrusion in their lives, they were against THIS government's intrusion into their lives, as there's very little evidence the city can manage an entirely new bureaucracy.

The city can't maintain its own infrastructure and budget. Hell, it took a freaking court order to get Pacifica to start maintaining its own sewer system, and the city couldn't even improve a short stretch of Palmetto Boulevard without first misplacing the funds specifically earmarked for the project.

Again we get this illogical nonsense from those who would build out the coast. Pacifica and the Midcoast are "desirable" exactly because of their open space and lack of density. Adding more housing and traffic would kill the golden goose, making this area LESS desirable. Isn't that obvious? Stop already, please, and go peddle your pro-development propaganda somewhere else.

Why is it always about the plight of the victim renters? People don't want more intrusion in their lives by government. What about the property owners and that C initiative was just unjust? The owners of property spoke loud and clear just like they did in San Mateo and Burlingame. And as I predicted that C would fail, so will AB1506 going after Costa-Hawkins. Please read Jonathan Madison's article in the SMDJ.
Large increases are usually the result of 2 items; the first is that the rent was massively below market and the second is that many are the result of the FIA and CLSEPA initiative and its draconian language about the caps, putting one's property in the hands of an unelected commission, and an eviction clause that is punitive toward the property owner.
Pacifica is too desirable a city to keep the status quo. Perhaps now the NIMBY contingent will be pushed back and housing will be built. Supply and demand are not going to change the price of housing until there is MORE housing. Rent control is not an answer except for those who believe that rental housing should be a nonprofit endeavor and regulated like a utility, and that it is the cause of income inequality. Well, not having an appropriate education and wanting to live in areas that change to be beyond one's means are the real issues for most. Yes, there are bad-apple landlords and those are the headlines, but they are not representative of the rental housing market.

It's not very complicated.

(1) Characterizing yes voters as standing up to "greedy landlords" and calling anyone who didn't support the measure "heartless" (and dozens of other incredibly nasty insults) turned people off.

(2) The campaign lacked any credibility as its messengers have led efforts to block new housing in Pacifica for decades.

(3) The three City Council members who put rent control on the ballot didn't act in good faith because they did it immediately after shutting down the new rent advisory committee (over the committee's objections and before it had a chance to make any recommendations to council).

It is best for the Mom and Pop small-time landlords to exit the landlord business and leave it to the big-business guys.

Yes on C's outreach to renters was organized and targeted; it was not a "scattered, ad hoc effort." It was definitely a top priority of the campaign. Volunteers knocked on doors of registered voters in apartments, left flyers, door hangers, made phone calls, texts, etc. Some apartment renters are not registered voters, some of those who are registered may be apathetic or uninformed about Measure C (they're not in Pacifica internet forums and don't see the local paper), but other apartment renters were very informed and committed to the Yes on C campaign. A number of renters said they were scared to vote, even though their votes would be private. If only a portion of the apartment renters who would be affected by Measure C and who were registered voters voted for Measure C, even with a fairly high turnout of those voters, the number would probably still be too small to make much of a difference in the election outcome. The Yes campaign really needed a lot of the 70% of single-family homeowners (and renters) in Pacifica to set aside their own self-interest and consider the plight of Pacifica apartment renters. Asking voters to think of others and not themselves is a tough sell in a ballot measure.

I said "seemingly" because a high percentage of renters voting might have been able to swing the vote in an election with a low overall turnout. This goes back partly to your note that the large percentage of Pacifica homeowners (and perhaps renters in single units and newer multi-unit buildings?) had no immediate personal reason to care. They were probably a big part of the no-votes. That leaves the realtor/landlord vote, which is small whatever it is, and those duped by the visibility, misdirection, and lies of the NO campaign against those who do have a personal reason to care and those who were not duped. I'm just an observer and my speculation is not as sophisticated as longtime Pacifica campaigners on issues that have to do with quality of life for all. But, considering the campaigns that are surely in Pacifica's future and all the past campaigns in recent decades against big money spending that succeeded, isn't it a good idea to slice and dice the results in the quest for some insights?

@Carl May. We don't know what percentage of renters voted. Why are you assuming apathy on the part of renters?

Second, Yes on C's outreach to renters was a scattered, ad hoc effort. It definitely was not a top priority of the campaign.

Sixty percent of 33 percent of registered voters is not 60 percent. But why bother correcting? Anyone still expecting the realtor side to be able to deal with even basic arithmetic after the No On C campaign is as crazy as they are. Be very careful who you hire to be your representative in buying and selling property.

Reflecting on the comments of Collins and Hill does raise a question for me regarding percentages. The relatively small percentage of renters in Pacifica, I'll grant even a smaller percentage when one considers the measure was only for older multi-unit buildings, could have had a disproportionately large impact on the results if they had voted en masse in an off-year election with a predictably overall small turnout. Principles and honesty aside--for these were heavily on the side of Yes On C--how was it that the renters most affected were seemingly not motivated to vote in high numbers?

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