The County of San Mateo offers citizens a unique opportunity to see firsthand their local government in action! Called Civics 101, the nine-week course is a chance for anyone who is 18 and older and lives or works in San Mateo County to learn about local government, meet local officials, and get behind-the-scenes tours of facilities like county jail and county parks. Participants learn about county programs, services, and finances; and interact with leaders in public safety, health, human services, parks, public finance, transportation, and other key agencies and departments. Civics 101 is free and begins September 15. Participants meet on consecutive Tuesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at various locations. Two Saturday field trips are planned. Deadline to sign up is SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5. Application and info at cmo.smcgov.org/civics-101
The City of Pacifica seeks proposals from qualified firms that wish to provide building division services in cooperation with the city Planning & Building Department. Proposals are due by Friday, September 11, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.
Schedule of Events August 21 - Posting of RFP August 28 - Questions due by 5 p.m.
August 28 - Meeting at 5 p.m. September 2 - Addendum posted September 11 - Proposals due by 1:30 p.m.
The Support Docs listed below are all the documents available. Filling out the Packet Request Form is not necessary to obtain these documents.
Support Docs Request for Proposal Main Document Attachment A - Consultant Services Attachment B - Master Fee Schedule Attachment C - Permit Summary Bid Packet Request Form
The League of Women Voters (LWV) has created Best Practice guidelines for privatizing government services (avoiding conflict of interest is a major point):
A guy is walking along a beach when he comes across a lamp partially buried in the sand. He picks up the lamp and gives it a rub. A genie appears and tells him he has been granted one wish. The guy thinks for a moment and says, "I want to live forever."
"Sorry," said the genie, "I'm not allowed to grant eternal life."
"OK, then, I want to die after the Republicans balance the budget and eliminate the debt."
At the Pacifica City Council meeting August 10, Caltrans' bumbling apology for its nine-hour August 3 traffic jam consisted of a bogeyman "lost" email, a midday traffic accident, and three subcontracted asphalt truck drivers who apparently did not own cell phones thus could not be inserted on Highway 1 from the south.
But the real story at the council meeting was the 60+ mobile-home evictees from 22 units of the Pacifica Skies Estates on Palmetto. A parade of visibly disabled veterans, seniors, and long-term Pacifica renters recounted tale after tale of fixed incomes, 60-day notices, and nowhere to go. Several residents mentioned new construction (four-wall) in the Coastal Zone that would probably fall under the purview of the California Coastal Commission if they choose to pursue that option. Those affected may be able to find some temporary assistance from San Mateo County aid agencies.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Palo Alto is going through a similar upheaval as the mostly low-income trailer park between Highway 101 and the bayshore is going to sell for some outrageous sum around $55 million, displacing many hard-luck tenants. A town without pity. Read about it here: Last Trailer Park]
On August 3, Caltrans completely botched a routine road repair and left Pacifica with horrendous traffic all day and into the night. This is unacceptable: · We expect Caltrans to serve our needs. . The traffic mess on August 3 and the proposed widening project show that Caltrans does not have Pacifica’s best interests at heart. · Those on city staff and council who have not asked hard questions of Caltrans need to make a change, and participate in finding positive solutions. · We don’t want a conversation about what Caltrans wants to do to widen Highway 1. · We want a Pacifica-centered dialogue about what WE want for our town.
Let the city know that you want city staff and council to work with the community they represent to ensure that the people of Pacifica, not Caltrans, determine what is best for Pacifica! Also remind them that: 1. There is a lot of community opposition to the Caltrans highway-widening plan. 2. The City Council can and should reject it. 3. The city should hire a traffic engineer consultant to find alternatives.
Keep Pacifica Scenic!
Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives (PH1A) Steering Committee
Since a standing-room-only crowd gathered at the August 14, 2013 Pacifica City Council meeting, Linda Mar residents have been fighting the city's proposed equalization basin in the SamTrans/Caltrans park-and-ride lot.
This 100-foot-wide and 85-foot-deep sewage tank holding 2.1 million gallons was scheduled (per a March 23, 2015 City Council meeting) to break ground this month at the parking lot across the street from Linda Mar shopping center.
We have obtained an opinion that published city contracts in play make it official -- the Linda Mar sewer tank is dead, but it may end up being built at the Community Center parking lot.
Big thanks to Wastewater Director Dave Gromm, Assistant Superintendent/NCCWD Board President Joshua Cosgrove, and the City Council members who listened to the people of Linda Mar.
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Don't let the walker fool you. Betty Duran is a 30-year Fairmont resident, mother, grandmother, and warrior who spearheaded a movement, along with her Fairmont, Linda Mar, and Pedro Point neighbors who oppose 7-Eleven's further penetration into Pacifica.
The video above is an edited version of Pacifica City Council's July 27 meeting, where Betty and her neighbors voiced passionate appeals to overturn a May 18 Pacifica Planning Commission ruling allowing 7-Eleven’s application to build a 24-hour gas station and convenience store in her beloved Fairmont neighborhood. (Story and video by Maxine Hines)
In addition to the huge (but partial) victory for those opposing the proposed Fairmont 7-Eleven, two other important topics briefly floated to the surface at the July 27 Pacifica City Council meeting.
Council member John Keener advocated for the right of residents (both renters and homeowners) to be notified in writing by the city Planning Department (equally to corporate property owners) on any planning, development, or zoning issue affecting their part of town.
Historically and according to California law, non-owning residents (renters) have always been ignored, but not a single one of the nearly 6,000 residents (renters and owners) in the 6027 census tract were "noticed" by the Planning Department of the original Fairmont 7-Eleven permit hearings on May 18.
As the cost of Bay Area homes and rentals skyrockets, renters are becoming more permanent members of the community, who many feel should have a right to know when a 24-hour 7-Eleven, or anything else, is moving within 50 feet of their front doors.
Keener said: "My feeling is that residents and property owners ought to be equal for notification on these sorts of issues."
Council member Mike O'Neill advocated for public comments at council meetings to be returned to the beginning of the agenda. O'Neill suggested moving "Oral Communications" on non-agenda items to the front, so that people with neighborhood issues don't have to wait through hours of procedural business, as occurred on July 27. (If you work a full-time job, it is a hardship to sit until midnight at a council meeting, particularly if you have school-age children.)
O'Neill said: "I would like to see Oral Communications moved up to the front of the meeting like it used to be... Maybe we move Oral Communication before Public Hearings, because I don't think it's fair to have people sit out there for three hours when they want to get up and talk about a light that's burnt out, or something."
Council member Sue Digre seconded O'Neill's motion to staff to find more evidence in Pacifica's General Plan that the 7-Eleven project DOES NOT COMPLY with Pacifica's General Plan.
Last night was a major but partial victory for the fight against 7-Eleven. Pacifica City Council voted unanimously to continue this issue to September 14, with a staff directive to build support (and I'm going to word this carefully) for a Denial of the Fairmont 7-Eleven (technically an approval of the Betty Duran appeal).
We would like to thank Betty Duran for her night-and-day volunteer work on this issue for more than the past two months; thank Loreen Cuneo, who has been speaking; and thank all the residents of Fairmont and Pacifica (it was a standing-room-only crowd) who spoke unanimously against the Fairmont 7-Eleven.
We're not out of the woods yet, but last night was a major victory in the fight against 7-Eleven, and opponents of both the Fairmont and Linda Mar 7-Eleven proposals owe Betty Duran their gratitude. Don't let the walker fool you; that woman is a warrior!
We at Pacifica.city believe that nothing about this proposed Fairmont 7-Eleven does anything to improve the community. We believe the City of Pacifica should have informed in writing at least one resident of the 6027 census tract (where the proposed 7-Eleven would stand) before holding the original Planning Commission meeting on May 18, 2015. The city did not do so.
We also believe that 7-Eleven has been a bad neighbor in Pacifica for 45 years -- the current stores in Manor and Sharp Park have been nuisances: magnets for crime that have been robbed twice in a two-week period, sold alcohol to minors, painted over disabled-parking spots, made parking spaces out of sidewalks that Ocean Shore kids need to safely get to school, and damaged the community in general.
7-Eleven's representative for the Fairmont location is Katy Schardt, the same person who brought the disastrous San Mateo location that was later revoked amid the documented threat of an $8.6M lawsuit by 7-Eleven.
Whether you hate 7-Eleven or buy your morning cigarettes there, please join us on September 14 and speak your three minutes to City Council on whether you want this or any 7-Eleven in your community.
When you arrive, fill out a parking slip and place it on your dashboard to avoid a ticket. Also, to make a public comment, fill out a yellow card in the back of the room with your name, city, and topic, and make sure it gets to city staff. Riptide readers, please stop by and say "hi" after the meeting. We'll be in the front row.
Circled areas indicate code violations and/or neighborhood nuisances (Pacifica.city photos).
"Sorry, but we have to occasionally include a political post -- we usually don't do these, but this one would impact us SIGNIFICANTLY and could even drive us out of business: We are for TRANSPARENCY in this project, and it doesn't look like we are getting it. We live AND work right next to this intersection and move through it several times a day from all angles. All you need to do is look at the traffic now that school is out to be really really sure that our traffic problems do NOT stem from a highway that is too narrow, but from the school traffic that clogs up Highway 1 and Reina del Mar. Widening the highway is NOT the solution, finding a way to mitigate school traffic would be far more helpful.
The city manager's plan and critical public responses are available on Riptide. Scroll down to page 3 and see "Pacifica City Manager Reopens Highway Debate" and "Highway Hijinks" (posted July 11), also "Multiple Groups Fight Highway Widening" (posted July 12). And don't miss Carol Fregly's Pacifica Tribune op-ed, July 22:
Author and architect Ann Edminster rips Pacifica City Council, city staff, and city consultant for kowtowing to Harmony@1's owner and developer, resulting in a collective betrayal of LEED environmental principles promised for this project. As Ann says, shame on all of them.
This story covers most of the issues, with City Council member Sue Digre's mention of newly available traffic signal technology by Siemens and Rhythm Engineering. But it would have been nice if the Examiner reporter had interviewed anti-widening advocates and new council member John Keener, who was elected on an anti-widening platform. (Editor's note to Examiner: It's Calera Parkway Project, NOT Calera Creek Parkway Project.)