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November 01, 2016


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Did the city even get the $400,000 drawings? Or are they cancelled? Or will the city simply get its money back since there is no project at all?

Whether or not, as Laurie Soca states above, "Eric Ruchames and the five other signers of the "Argument in Favor of Measure N" (including Caroline Barba, Allan Hale, Mary Bier, Matthew Lee, and Nicole Ortega) committed perjury" or "simply don't have their facts straight", they need to be held accountable.

It is clear that a shiny new library (to replace the existing two libraries in Pacifica) is important mostly to developers et al., who are busily tearing down the old neighborhood houses and replacing them with million-dollar condos in the immediate area. The location is insane, considering the history of Beach Boulevard and nearby Esplanade, where homes were washed away a few years ago by El Nino storms that periodically visit our coast. Was it a coincidence that only Bridget Duffy and Deirdre Martin bothered to attend the environmental meeting in the City Council Chambers last Monday?

@Todd_Bray, for comparison, the 2016 Certified Annual Financial Report shows $57M of debt existing on Pacifica's books as of June 30, 2016.

WOW!!! Thank you, Bill. Great detective and follow-up work. Yeah, I didn't remember the CCC staff communicating that they "vetted" the proposal, just as your research shows.

Former Pacifica Police Sergeant Eric Ruchames is a staunch believer in a new one-library town, but that doesn't make it OK to bend the facts to suit his argument.

$60 million for a new public building is madness.

When you ask for public money, the least you can do is ascertain what you are requesting it for. Surprised City Council, city staff, Planning Department -- someone -- didn't catch this before it went to the ballot.

@Laurie Soca, I'm less inclined to believe Eric Ruchames and the five other signers of the "Argument in Favor of Measure N" (including Caroline Barba, Allan Hale, Mary Bier, Matthew Lee, and Nicole Ortega) committed perjury, and am more inclined to believe they simply don't have their facts straight.

Nonetheless, we'll probably be sending cease-and-desist orders out to all six of them just so everyone is aware of what the true facts are, and that we're all working with the same set of facts.

One thing is certain: The California Coastal Commission (which has powers second only to the governor's) has unequivocally stated that it has neither vetted this location nor evaluated it for coastal hazard risks such as flooding.

Shame on Ruchames?
"Coastal Commission Denies Vetting Beach Boulevard Property as Safe from Flooding or other Coastal Hazard Risks.
The ballot Argument for Measure "N" submitted by Eric Ruchames for the voter information packet stated that: 'The Coastal Commission and third-party experts thoroughly vetted Measure N to ensure our library is safe from flooding and sea-level rise...'"

Quoted from this story:

We got 78 emails on this story yesterday and two of them pointed out a smoking gun in the Coastal Commission's November 26, 2014 letter:

"n. Hazards. A coastal hazards analysis shall evaluate the effect of geologic, flooding, erosion, tsunamis, and other hazards, including the effects of sea level rise, for development proposed at the Beach Boulevard Redevelopment Site to ensure its stability and structural integrity for a minimum of 100 years without a reliance on shoreline protective devices...

The effect of any existing shoreline protective devices may not be factored into the required stability analysis."

See that excerpt of the letter here:

Big thanks to the Coastal Commission for stepping up on a time-sensitive deadline.

The ballot argument in favor of Measure N submitted and clearly stated under penalty of perjury:
"The Coastal Commission and third-party experts thoroughly vetted Measure N to ensure our library is safe from flooding and sea-level rise."

The Coastal Commission denied that today:

"Coastal Commission staff wrote the attached filing letter... It is not really accurate to say that the library’s been 'vetted' as safe from flooding at this point, in the absence of the analyses we laid out in the attached letter. ...Further, our District Manager, Nancy Cave, wrote a letter generally supporting the inclusion of a library in the plans for the redevelopment...However, this letter was silent on coastal hazard risks such as flooding."

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