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May 23, 2007

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I'm somewhat new to Pacifica. Don't know anything about the controversy but am totally shocked by the behavior.

Summer - whenever I do show up and provide constructive criticism to City Council, I get labeled a "thug" or a Rovian agitator.

well at least I haven't reached the "embarrassment" stage yet.

Let's keep Riptide civil—and instead of complaints, how about constructive suggestions. Additionally, if you "don't like the City Council," instead of complaining, go to City Council and speak on issues in the open forum. Your constructive participation helps!

At the risk of losing some street cred with my posse, I'll jump in and say I think John has made great efforts to keep the debate as civil and factual as possible. I don't always agree with his opinions, but I respect where he's coming from and if I don't like the way he does things on this website, I'll just go create my own.

I'm not worried about who said what and how they said it. Some nasty stuff was said about me during the last election and some friends asked how I could take it without flinching.

Easy. I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters and I'm the second- youngest. I'm just happy people aren't holding me down and spitting on me when they insult me. :)

The guy in question has made a few out-of-bounds comments, but this is America and it's just words.

I'd proudly sit on a city council and get verbally abused for an hour knowing we've got young men and women dying overseas after far more crappy days than you or I will ever see.

I agree with Bruce that elected representatives are fair game, as long as we criticize them constructively and respectfully. It doesn't win points or make progress to slam people, even public officials.

I do not agree with Bruce that Pacifica is falling apart or that innovative projects such as the biodiesel plant are just "pet projects that do nothing to generate additional income."

The city's wise use of solar panels at Calera Creek already saves money for all of us ratepayers.

I have high hopes that the Calera Creek biodiesel brewery will be one of the smartest business and environmental decisions this city has ever made, saving on fuel costs for the city fleet and selling commercially to the public, bringing in serious revenues, not to mention priceless public relations goodwill that translates into dollars for city coffers and local businesses.

City Council members are not "staff," they are elected representatives. They are not hired, they are elected. They are political. Politicians are fair game; always have been and always will be.

Although Pacifica's financial woes are not entirely the fault of our elected officials, the Council members have to take responsibility for their attempts, or lack thereof, to mitigate our financial shortfalls. This Council has consistently spent money, money we do not have, on pet projects that do nothing to generate additional income. This Council is the Nero of Pacifica, content to fiddle while all around Pacifica falls to pieces.

Our financial plan whenever there is a crisis (such as another winter storm), is to look for someone else to pay. Our infrastructure is in total despair.

The blame for our continuing financial ruin can be laid squarely at the feet of this Council.

Since this thread began with the post titled "Enough," I have published everyone's comments. I vigorously deny Steve Sinai's charge of unfairness. I think that leaders of various groups in town will attest to that. I have been working very hard behind the scenes with all groups to make our public discourse more civil. To that end, and according to Riptide's stated policy of no name calling and personal attacks, I have not published the name of this well-known individual who speaks out in public meetings. His identity is known to most of you already, but it is not my place to identify him publicly. I have heard from several sources that this person has agreed to tone down his remarks in public. I welcome that change and to positively reinforce his improved behavior, I won't publish his name. But I am publishing Steve Sinai's comment here in good faith, not because I agree with everything he says but because I believe in free speech and free press. So, everybody, please continue to debate the issues, but let's all agree to quit gossiping about one another and get back to the serious business of making a better Pacifica.

JOHN MAYBURY
Editor and Publisher
Pacifica Riptide

"I've found him offensive at times, but he is becoming more respectful and moderate.

and he has certainly not been any more egregious in his comments than others I have heard. and what he does say generally turns out to be true, which is always a plus for public discourse."

Yeah, like the time I heard him say that Nancy Hall was making biodiesel in her garage (she doesn't have one!) and that she was going to blow up Vallemar.

Real truthful and moderate.

Even though I'm no fan of City Council, I also find the way [this person] conducts himself to be very irritating and embarrassing. Occasionally, he makes a good point, but it gets lost in the tone of the message. In trying to make a point, he's doing more damage than good. I find him analogous to Medea Benjamin and Code Pink in that respect.

I do find it hypocritical that some of the people who criticize him for his vendetta against the City Council include those conducting a vendetta against Peebles and realtors. I also think it's unfair that Riptide publishes some pretty nasty criticisms of Peebles, realtors, and people who don't like the City Council, while filtering out the same level of criticism directed at the anti-Peebles, anti-realtor, pro-City Council crowd.

[Editor's Note: Both sides are now commenting on a well-known individual who speaks out frequently at City Council meetings. Since this thread began with the post titled "Enough," I have published everyone's comments. I vigorously deny any charges of unfairness. I think that leaders of various groups in town will attest to that. I have been working very hard behind the scenes with all groups to make our public discourse more civil. To that end, and according to Riptide's stated policy of no name calling and personal attacks, I have not published the name of this individual. We have heard from several sources that this person has agreed to tone down his remarks in public. We welcome that change and to positively reinforce this improved behavior, I don't publish his name. I am publishing Steve Sinai's comment here in good faith, not because I agree with everything he says, but because I believe in free speech and free press. So, everybody, please continue to debate the issues, but let's all agree to quit gossiping about one another and get back to the serious business of making a better Pacifica. ---JOHN MAYBURY, Editor and Publisher, Pacifica Riptide]

I've found him offensive at times, but he is becoming more respectful and moderate.

and he has certainly not been any more egregious in his comments than others I have heard. and what he does say generally turns out to be true, which is always a plus for public discourse.

I've personally been on the receiving end of [this person's] crude, sharp tongue on more than one occasion. I guess I can't say that I'm surprised to hear that he routinely treats others with as little tact as he treated me. I suppose people like this are part of the price we have to pay for the privilege of freedom of speech in public discourse.

Todd, Ken,
You should get a reward for saying it like it is. I love it!
Kudos to both of you.
Mary E

Feel free to show up at meetings and say something positive in praise of Council and Staff. It's your right as a citizen! Council and Planning Commision meetings alternate every other Monday night, at 7PM.

The Councilmembers, Commissioners, and City Staff would probably love to hear from the "silent majority" who appreciates all their hard work and dedication.

I can't imagine sitting up there and having to take that kind of abuse. After watching Tod Schlesinger viciously, publicly, and personally attack Jim Vreeland, Julie Lancelle, and members of City Staff at a Council meeting last year, and hearing the City Attorney explain that public officials aren't very likely to win libel suits, I vowed publicly never to run for office in Pacifica.

I think it was Tip O'Neill who said "all politics is local". That may be true, but, in Pacifica at least, "all politics es loco".

Well hotshot Not a Lemming, lets start with your name. Who are you?

What is with the sissy stuff with this :
"a person whom" Blah blah- why don't you just say who it is? It sounds so milquetoasty on your side when you don't NAME who you are talking about.

These handful of realtors and brokers were working with Peebles Corp for over a year before the last election that included Measure L and four pro-development candidates.

They thought for a while there that they would have a council majority and Measure L would pass. These reactionaries really thought they were going to own the town. They thought they were going to be a whirlwind of destruction with mass firings of city staff and cancellations of things like the Hillside Preservation District ordinance. They were geared up for an orgy. Thankfully Measure L failed as did their four candidates.

I tried three times recently to get a meeting with their advocacy group Small Business for Responsiblity in Government and was turned down. Their reason was that in a simular posting here on Riptide I refered to them as thugs, which they are judging by their behavior at public meetings. I guess their real name should be Small Minded Self Interested Realtors and Brokers for Abusing the Public Process While Pretending to Give a Crap.

I don't think they know the difference between being involved and being disruptive. Too bad because some of them have some great ideas but the wall of noise they project clutters the message.

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