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May 22, 2017


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City Council, until now, has primarily engaged in avoidance and procrastination regarding telling the higher authorities as to whether the city wanted to go ahead with Caltrans' highway-widening plan. I hope that council just says no and puts an end to it. Most people here don't want a freeway segment. If you want to see it on the ballot, go ahead and we'll see how big the margin is, but council making the decision is actually how it's supposed to work. It's just been such a dysfunctional council for so long that it surprises people when it actually start doing its job.

Say focused; the subject is highway widening, not the quarry, not SAMCAR, nor the price of pasta in Sicily.

It's notable that posting a factual observation (that City Council refused to place the highway widening on the November ballot after introducing a public vote requirement on highway widening) is now "whining."

Put it on the growing pile of very curious attitudes a certain group has toward voter participation.

You've been drinking the San Mateo County Association of Realtors (SAMCAR) Kool-Aid.
The way the process works is that you get ~2,500 valid voter signatures and Highway 1 widening goes on the November ballot today.

You can assume Realtors Sue Vaterlaus and Mike O'Neill will sign, plus I'll give you mine and then you've got only 2,497 left to go.

Stop whining and get the signatures. That simple.

"...But in the case of the highway widening, one can only guess what the public thinks because a group of Pacificans successfully lobbied City Council to disallow residents from voting on the issue in November." (Stars War?)

We know with certainty what residents' views of quarry development were because they were permitted to vote on the issue (Measure W). But in the case of the highway widening, one can only guess what the public thinks because a group of Pacificans successfully lobbied City Council to disallow residents from voting on the issue in November.

There is a curious overlap between this group and those who worked to deny Pacificans the opportunity to vote for Mary Ann Nihart in 2016.

Interesting, too, that one of the council members who voted against allowing the public to voice their opinion on the highway at the ballot box also sought to prevent a public vote on the library bond (Measure N), before he caved due to the understandable outrage his stance stirred up.

I sense a pattern here.

@Stars_War: Both Nihart and Vaterlaus were undecided on the Quarry Measure W, yet have always voted in favor of Pacifica Limestone Quarry development and spoke supporting it at numerous EDC meetings.

68.9% of Pacificans voted against Measure W.

If you have to massage the numbers and ignore the actual votes cast by City Council members for a claim to remain valid (votes for City Council members are proxies for a popular vote on an issue), it's probably a poorly thought-out claim in the first place.

The problem with counting votes for Sue Vaterlaus as "pro-widening" is that she did not publicly endorse the widening, so that ploy fails. Same for Nihart.
Nobody got elected or even campaigned publicly in favor of the widening.

Mary Ann was also a big mouthpiece for Harmony @ 1. Probably part of the reason why her base turned against her.

We all see how well Harmony @ 1 has turned out!!

"... candidate Nihart clearly stated that she had not yet decided on either the Quarry or Highway 1 widening ..."

When running initially, Nihart stated that she was environmental; she sought and got Sierra Club endorsement. What could she have told them that would convince them she did not support the widening?

Since, surely, the Sierra Club did not, would not, and does not support more coastal development, or the proposed widening of Highway 1 at Pacifica, what did Nihart say to get their endorsement?

After her first few months in office, it was clear that Nihart supported development. Her first action? An attempted dismantling of the two-year megahome ordinance being finalized. Failing total destruction, she was able to significantly weaken it in favor of development.

Was it an opportunity get on that double-dipping and triple-dipping government job ride?
Was campaign support promised by SAMCAR and/or other developer/realtor interests? Was there simply a direct quid pro quo?

Or, as we now suspect, was Nihart for building out the coast all along, like another Miami Beach, trying only to camouflage herself long enough to get elected?

Nihart voted yes on every pro-widening agenda item before her while on council.

(2016) Total votes cast for Vaterlaus + Nihart = 16,194
(2016) Total votes cast for Martin + Duffy = 12,120

@Stars_war, you have assumed facts not in evidence. At the Pacifica Democrats candidate breakfast, candidate Nihart clearly stated that she had not yet decided on either the Quarry or Highway 1 widening.


8,651 SUE VATERLAUS (In favor of widening Hwy1)
7,994 DEIRDRE MARTIN (Against widening Hwy1
7,543 MARY ANN NIHART (Undecided)
4,126 BRIDGET DUFFY (Against widening Hwy1)

12,120 (Against widening Hwy1)
8,651 (In favor of widening Hwy1)
7,543 (Undecided)


Bill Collins wrote: "Since City Council elections have been a proxy for a public vote on the widening..."

(2016) Total votes cast for Vaterlaus + Nihart = 16,194
(2016) Total votes cast for Martin + Duffy = 12,120

Wouldn't it be ironic if the very people who stopped Caltrans got stuck in traffic on the way to the ER?

The agenda item is for the City of Pacifica to send a letter to Caltrans asking it to redirect the funds allocated for widening Highway 1 to other infrastructure in town.

The agenda item should be available today, Friday.

Re going to a public vote, I asked City Council to put it to the public a few years ago but received no support. Since City Council elections have been a proxy for a public vote on the widening, did anyone get elected publicly supporting the widening?

Erin, did you hear any of the public comments and council discussion of this issue at the meeting? There were several good reasons given for why not to go to a public vote, not the least of which is that a federal court ruled that the environmental assessment for the Caltrans Calera Parkway project is invalid. Putting a non-project on the ballot is a waste of time and taxpayer money. Also, the council voted to implement the In Sync intelligent traffic system, and also adopted a resolution to have staff investigate other alternatives. We should wait for results of the In Sync data and other information about alternatives before putting something on the ballot. Even then, what would we put on the ballot? For all practical purposes, the Caltrans Calera Parkway project is dead.


Name the Pacifica revenue-producing projects that you have supported.

Recreational marijuana is also illegal under federal law. Therefore, pot shops cannot bank at any federally insured bank or credit union.

Being that federal law always prevails over state law, I can see the Feds and the Trump Administration making sweeping changes.

I'm all for true medical marijuana, but I'm against every Pacifica stoner and pot head having a pot card.

For the record, I don't use it, and I still wouldn't use it even if it were legal.

You just answered your own question, Erin.

I genuinely don't understand the opposition to a ballot measure. Based on public feedback about the project, the public vote will demonstrate to Caltrans that the overwhelming majority of Pacificans are against the widening.

Jay Bird:

You mean a high-rise like the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco?

I support revenue-producing projects in Pacifica. Fixing the highway is not revenue producing, but you know what is? Recreational marijuana sales, now legal in California. Follow the money.

Couldn't agree more, Bill.

The out-of-state developer/property owner of "The Rock" asked to put a high-rise on the tiny triangle of land at Fassler and Highway 1, between Sea Bowl and the Zeebros properties. He has contacted the California Coastal Commission about it, and the response was mildly encouraging.

The Pacifica City Council will do nothing. It will do what it is told by the objectors to any revenue-producing projects around town. What Highway 1 needs is an emergency lane for fire trucks and ambulances and police to get through. Maybe an extra on/off ramp at the bus zones and for the signal lights to be retimed. The morning backup doesn't happen as bad, so go back to zone schools. You go to the school where you live. Parents dropping off kids at school add to the morning commute.

I thought the city claimed that the Manor overpass is in serious danger of collapsing and it had to be replaced?

What's the item on the May 22 City Council agenda?

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