Clipper Cove marina boondoggle is back

By Hunter Cutting : sfexaminer – excerpt

Over the holiday break the Mayor’s Office quietly submitted to the Board of Supervisors a proposed 66-year lease to build a controversial private luxury marina in Clipper Cove at Treasure Island. Currently the Cove hosts the sailing programs of the non-profit Treasure Island Sailing Center that put thousands onto the Bay each year, including over 1,500 4 th graders from San Francisco public schools.

Disturbingly, the Mayor’s proposal disregards a stakeholder agreement and Board resolution approved last year that established a set of development guidelines to protect both the public interest and the pocketbooks of City taxpayers…

Under the proposed lease, the developers will not be held responsible if their project causes the rest of the Cove to fill in – as has occurred elsewhere around the Bay after construction of other marina projects…

New sedimentation also threatens to smother the protected sea grass beds on the south side of the Cove. In an inexplicable twist, City staff recommend that the Supervisors approve the 66-year lease now before the threat is evaluated, arguing that the analysis will be done later.

All of these issues were addressed by the Board resolution approved last year. So, it is surprising that the developers are now trying to work their way around the Board’s direction… (more)

This will be a big test for the new Board of Supervisors’ ability to stand up for their constituents in a show of unity.

RELATED: Proposed Treasure Island marina faces hurdles

 

Election 2018: SF voters just kicked the YIMBYS right in their backyards. Where do things go from here?

By Joe Eskenazi : missionlocal – excerpt

Laura Foote sat alone in “the clubhouse,” the YIMBY movement’s inner sanctum on Mission Street. Streamers of Pepto Bismol-pink Sonja Trauss fliers, emblazoned with the candidate photogenically staring into the middle distance, still dangled from the ceiling like Christmas decorations. Literature, paraphernalia and window signs for perhaps half-a-dozen San Francisco candidates were stacked on every table…

An organization attempting to transform the way our dysfunctional city does business fritters away its clout when it backs all the wrong horses and antagonizes people. An organization known for the fervency of its volunteers gives pause to even ostensible allies when it gets out-hustled on the ground.(more)

 

 

 

Why the cops get a raise without accountability

By Tim Redmond : 48hils – excerpt

An obscure 1990 law, that passed with a lot of progressive support, forces the city into a very bad deal that lets the POA keep blocking reforms

An arbitration panel has decided that the San Francisco cops don’t have to back off from their efforts to delay or block reforms and will get a nine percent raise anyway.

The decision undermines the position of the mayor, the supervisors, and many of the city’s communities, who have been frustrated by the Police Officers Association and its constant resistance to reasonable changes in department policies(more)

How many obscure laws have been passed that tie the hands of our elected officials?  How do the citizens take back control of our city from the rogue agencies that are out of control and appear to be beyond the ability of our elected officials to regulate or even review?

SF needs a mayor who will tax, spend, and regulate

By Calvin Welch : 48hills – excerpt

City-Hall-Chessboard

A new life-size Chessboard has appeared in front of City Hall as a reminder that old-fashioned political strategies can work as well, if not better, than money, media buys and sound bites. Sim City does not exist in the real world, people do and people vote. Regardless who wins, new games will begin after the June 5 election. photo by zrants.

Consider a short list of the realities facing our next mayor:

The social/economic/cultural transformation of the city through unchecked hyper-gentrification caused by a development policy that has, at its heart, maximizing speculative real-estate profit at the expense of existing residents and the businesses and activities that serve them…(more)

A local-government public sector dominated by bureaucrats, policies and programs that see “facilitating the market” as the primary goal of government…

An alarming under-investment in our urban public infrastructure …

A growing assault on local democratic government specifically aimed at San Francisco led by, at the state level, real estate speculators and their legislator allies seeking an end to “local control”…

The rapidly growing re-segregation of our civic life involving the toxic brew of race and income inequality,..

Given these realities, the June 5th election for mayor has the unmistakable feeling of being a directional election defining San Francisco’s future… (more)

The tax and spend part will be a matter or who is taxed and how the money is spent. There is a growing resentment of government overreach into citizens’ lifstyles and pockets that runs counter to government priorities that appear to favor more government employees and larger tax bases to support them. Workers and consumers, overwhelmed by the load now, are being asked to sign onto more debt. They may balk and repeal some of the taxes. At least one recall is in play now. More could follow.

Evictions in SF decline for first time since tech boom

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

One of those gentrifying new Mission Bay properties photo by Zrants

Evictions in San Francisco overall are down 21 percent in the past year for a total of 1,881, according to the newly released annual report by the Rent Board for the period between March 2016 and February 2017.
This is the first annual decline in overall evictions since they began to rise each year with the tech boom beginning in 2010.
Owner move-in evictions totaled 397 during that 12-month period, down 5 percent from the previous year when there were 417. Owner move-in evictions were the second highest type of eviction… (more)

Thanks to Kim, Peskin and Farrell for working on this problem. Maybe all it takes is a threat to stop the illegal Ellis Act evictions. There are plenty of those coming out of City Hall these days. When all the supervisors agree that enforcement is lacking the writing is on the wall for landlords considering using that method to evict long-term tenants in order to raise the rents.

The peculiar priorities of Mayor Ed Lee

by Susan Dyer Reynolds : marinatimes – excerpt

Tents in the Mission photo by zrants

According to recent data compiled by American City Business Journals, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is the highest paid mayor in America with an annual salary of $289,000. I guess with a $9.6 billion budget, that’s a drop in the proverbial bucket. It’s certainly not merit-based: As San Franciscans grow angrier about the condition of their once fair city, Lee’s approval number has plummeted to the low 40s, with those who “strongly approve” of his performance in single digits.

Perpetually perched atop glorious lists such as “best places to visit,” San Francisco now takes titles like “worst roads in the nation.” A November 2016 study by the National Transportation Research Group found that 71 percent of San Francisco’s roads are in poor condition — that’s worse than any other city with a population of 500,000 or more. Drivers here pay nearly $1,000 on average for auto damage caused by those rough rides. Lee’s answer is of course to add another layer of bureaucracy called “the fix-it team,” with a “fix-it director” (yes, that’s the official title) who reports directly to him. Are you telling me with a budget bigger than the nations of Haiti, Belize, Aruba, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas combined, bigger than 13 U.S. states, bigger than every U.S. city per capita except Washington, D.C., that we can’t get potholes fixed without creating another six-figure middle management job?(more)

A lot to think about. San Francisco has a lot of priorities lining up for a handout. The public needs to be involved in priority discussions, as there will be cuts coming soon. A hiring freeze would be a good place to start. We don’t need any more six figure staff. We also need to admit which of the experiments on our streets are not working. The figured out that removing trash cans was leading to more trash on the street so they are returning the cans. How much money did we spend on that experiment?

Breed’s oddly conservative attack on income taxes

tim redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Supes will start to look at Trump’s budget after board prez makes surprisingly conservative speech against progressive taxes

So now we know for sure what Donald Trump and the Republicans have in mind for their first budget:  Cut everything that is good for cities, for the environment, and for poor and working-class people, and give more money to the rich and the military. (Oh, and to his weekends in Florida, which will cost the government more than the cuts to senior services and the arts.).

We don’t know exactly yet how much this will cost San Francisco, but it’s going to be a big number. And equally important, San Francisco will need to spend more money, not less, on protecting vulnerable communities; just think about health care, and how many more people will be lining up at SF General if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

So far, the mayor hasn’t said much about how he’s going to address the problem, but we will hear from his office, and from the controller, Thursday/23 at a special Budget and Finance Subcommittee hearing. It starts at 1pm in the Board chambers…

Today, San Francisco has some of the worst economic inequality in history, and is up there with countries like Rwanda for radical gaps between the rich and the poor. It’s an embarrassment – and one reason for the high housing costs and huge numbers of homeless people on the streets…(more)

There are a few ideas floating around City Hall about raising revenues, most having to do with increasing taxes one way or another. It will be interesting to see which scheme wins approval at City Hall this time. It will also be interesting to see how the voters feel about taxing themselves. Rejection of the sales tax increase proved that. They seem more likely to favor increasing taxes on the wealthy. The hungry SFMTA may have to take a seat in the back if voters find it more important to replace federal funding for health care, housing and food. There is also widespread concern over loss of funding for the environment, education and the arts.

 

Voters had no stomach for raising sales tax last time they faced that choice. So far they seem to favor taxing the rich. Of course a lot of these options depend on changes in Sacramento. We anticipate a lot of public debate before this is settled. Outrageously high public servant salaries (over 100K plus 50K in benefits) do not help City Hall’s argument that it needs more money. The high salaries add to the pension problem that we know is looming large. These are issues that should be addressed before City Hall asks for more taxes.