Government & Politics Feed

Pacifica: City in Crisis

Perfect Storm

Bankruptcy in Paradise?

Creative Accounting or Stonewalling?

The City of Pacifica is at loggerheads with the California Coastal Commission over the Pacific Skies estates development plans and evictions. The city also is coping with widespread blufftop erosion, storm-damaged or demolished apartment buildings on Esplanade, displaced renters scrambling for housing, Beach Boulevard sinkholes, a storm-damaged seawall and fishing pier. And to top it all off, the beleaguered, bewildered city wants to build a new library a short block from the surging Pacific Ocean. Oh, and at the same time, the city is asking the state and feds for emergency relief funds to repair all the damage. Who's in charge of this circus?

California Coastal Commission Fires Executive Director Dr. Charles Lester

Reaction to the firing:

Passive-Aggressive Jerry Brown

Steve Lopez, L.A. Times

San Jose Mercury News

Sacramento Bee

Save Dolphins

Earth Island Journal

High Country News

Los Angeles Times

Science Grrrl!

Before the firing:

Lester's Statement

Lester's Defense

New York Times

Los Angeles Times

L.A. Times Analysis

L.A. Times Op-Ed

San Jose Mercury News

Lennie Roberts to Gov. Brown

State Legislators to Gov. Brown

State Legislators to CCC Chair

Protest Action:

Email the governor, the commission, and your state representatives. See below for email addresses or websites for contact info. Also see below for the talking point you can use in your email. It's fine to be brief and just make your main point: Protest the firing of Dr. Charles Lester.

1. Governor Brown:
2. CCC:
3. State Senator Jerry Hill: Contact Form
4. Assemblymember Kevin Mullin: Contact Form
5. Assemblymember Rich Gordon: Contact Form
6. CCC Central Coast rep Carol Groom:

TALKING POINT: The attack on Dr. Lester is an attack on the Coastal Act. This power grab by Governor Brown's pro-development commissioners and others is an attempt to undermine the integrity of the Local Coastal Program, gain control over an independent staff, and make CCC more “developer-friendly” without any public accountability or transparency.

Pacifica Seeks State Aid to Fix Storm Damage; City Council Approves Emergency Work

Beach Blvd. RFQ Responses

City Press Release

City Repair Estimates

Pacifica City Manager Lorie Tinfow says a third crack has appeared in the Sharp Park seawall 50 feet south of the second sinkhole. She has written to Governor Jerry Brown asking for storm damage relief, including $1.2 million to replace the Milagra stormwater outfall. City Manager Van Ocampo says there are no capital funds to replace or repair the seawall, which suffered a sinkhole in 1997 just north of the pier. The seawall is actually a retaining wall, not a traditional seawall, and was built by an Ohio company in 1984 based on a retaining wall it had built on one of the freshwater Great Lakes. (from a report)

Pacifica City Council Rejects Rent Control, 3-2

Pacifica City Manager Gets Raise Despite Protests

Pacifica City Council met January 11 to give a pay raise to City Manager Lorie D. Tinfow. In this new addendum to the contract, she receives a 3 percent salary increase in 2016 to $213,996; 24 days of paid vacation leave; 96 hours of paid administrative leave; 11 paid holidays; two "floating" holidays; and deferred compensation of $5,000 paid annually in October. (The reason for this was not put forth.)

It would be business as usual, I suppose, were it not for the fact, by this city manager's own admission, that $4.75 million is missing from special funds in the city budget. In other cities, such as San Francisco, they exhibit more curiosity about these sorts of things. In Pacifica, we still haven't even initiated a forensic audit to find out what happened to all of this money. In fact, this city manager has made the absurd statement that these missing monies are "loans." What sort of "loan" is made to unknown parties, with no idea where the money is going, and when it will be recovered?

Lionel Emde

EDITOR'S NOTE: As Lionel Emde notes above, Pacifica City Council took up the issue of City Manager Lorie D. Tinfow’s proposed raise and benefits package at its January 11 meeting (and subsequently voted for the raise around midnight, after most protesters had left the building). This agenda item was postponed from the Saturday morning meeting December 19 at which only seven members of the public appeared, all of them opposing the city manager’s raise and criticizing the city's last-minute scheduling of this important agenda item during a holiday weekend. Please be sure to read the comments below this post and join the conversation thread. And if you like to do your own research, visit the website of Transparent California for interesting numbers on what local, county, and state officials make. Politicians may lie, but numbers don't.

John Maybury, Editor & Publisher


New Revelations in Walnut Creek Sex Abuse Case

Here is a disturbing 2013 report on a sex abuse case involving the City of Walnut Creek when Lorie D. Tinfow was assistant city manager there. Click the link below to see the results of the investigation (courtesy of