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FYI as an addendum to this string, for what its worth, I recently found out a state bill was signed into law which makes lease-leasebacks for schools more stringent and transparent:
Here's more background from a recent NY Times article re: the state-wide school bond measure (Prop 51). Provides some additional context as it may relate to our own local school bond measure and BSD subsequently seeking state matching funds:
Toggle Commented Oct 5, 2016 on School Class Size Doubts at The Burlingame Voice
One impetus for this latest BSD bond measure I suspect is the statewide school bond measure also on the November ballot. Apparently this is one of 184 local school bond measures in November; districts are attempting to line up for state matching funds should the state school bond measure pass. See comments in this article:
Toggle Commented Oct 2, 2016 on School Class Size Doubts at The Burlingame Voice
Thanks Joe - Haven't watched SNL since the Belushi/Akroyd days, so I guess I'm just a bit out of touch with American pop culture. (What else would one expect from a Deadhead, anyway?) :)
Just a quick side note to our very own Mr. Dickinson- Nice to see "you" gracing the cover of the cover of this recent magazine (not sure how it came into my inbox...) :)
And let's hope this doesn't spur any new, creative notions here in Burlingame about how to replace and fund a new rec center. :) Thank goodness no one was harmed.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2016 on Millbrae Rec Center Lost at The Burlingame Voice
I'd be surprised if the City will be putting a bond measure on the ballot this November, as they would be competing with a one from the Burlingame school district (looks like BSD will be approving a resolution for this next week).
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2016 on Following the Money: +8.1% at The Burlingame Voice
FYI, below is a comment I posted in a string on in our community's site. Thought I'd share here as well. ------ With regard to the new rec center, among the funding mechanisms the city is considering are general obligation bonds. The principal and interest on general obligation bonds can only be paid with new taxes based on property owners' assessed (not current market) value. In terms of home owners under this scenario, those who bought their homes over the past 10-15 years would be paying the bulk of the cost for the new rec center, which I don't think is fair for an equitable community benefit. More specifically, there are currently approximately 1,200 single family residences in Burlingame (representing 20% of all single family residences!) with an assessed value of LESS than $200,000 - even though the current median sales price for a SFR is $1.8 million. (Note: See link below for Burlingame assessed value data source). The city is looking at floating $50 million of debt to primarily fund the new rec center. According to a recent presentation to the City Council, the estimated tax for $50 million of general obligation bonds would be $33 per $100,000 of assessed value. That means the aforementioned 1,200 single family residences would be paying no more than $66 per year for a new rec center, while those who have purchased their properties within the last 10-15 years would be paying MULTIPLES (i.e., several hundreds of $'s) more. Simply look at your most recent property tax bill and do the math: take the "Total Values" figure which appears on the left hand side of the tax bill, divide this amount by 100,000, and then multiply by 33. One's ability to shoulder his/her fair share is not a function of when they bought their home (which is what assessed value represents); as such, a general obligation bond/assessed value tax would be a huge, unnecessary subsidy paid for by newer homeowners. There are more equitable funding mechanisms available, such as a community facilities district. Our current storm drain fee, which is not based on assessed value, and on which revenue bonds are issued, is another example... Moreover, the city is projected to have approximately $4 million of additional annual debt service capacity from existing revenues in a couple of years, once some already-issued bonds (i.e. pension obligation bonds) are paid off. $4 million of freed up annual debt service capacity means the city could probably issue $60-$70 million of new debt without having to go to voters for new revenue. Bottom line, I support a new rec center and other improvements - I just want to make sure they are paid for sensibly & equitably.
Toggle Commented Apr 26, 2016 on Rec Center Upgrade at The Burlingame Voice
Update per my earlier posts...
See page 2 of the staff report below (for next week's Council meeting), which lists the individual Council members' project priorities for a potential bond/tax measure. I'm curious why downtown parking doesn't appear on the poll, as this was previously one of the top unfunded capital project priorities (perhaps the current thinking is this could be funded without a new voter-approved tax??)
Cathy, that's not my understanding; here's the actual resolution that was passed by the Council:
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2016 on Election Day at The Burlingame Voice
Thanks Cathy - I assume the definition below from Nolo would qualify as a "bond fide" association (and not a shell group!).
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2016 on Election Day at The Burlingame Voice
Noticed this item on the consent agenda for tonite's Council meeting. Not exactly sure what the underlying intent is, but it seems like a maneuver to complicate, and thus possibly impede, the process of submitting an "argument against" a Burlingame ballot measure (particularly by a group of individuals, as opposed to a bona fide association). RECOMMENDATION Staff recommends that City Council adopt the attached resolution establishing a selection procedure when multiple ballot measure arguments are filed. BACKGROUND When the City calls for an election on a measure, interested individuals may file arguments with the city elections official (City Clerk) in favor of or against the measure. Elections Code section 9287 states that only one argument in favor and one argument against the measure will be printed and distributed to the voters. In addition, Elections Code section 9287 states the hierarchy that the city elections official should follow if more than one argument in favor or against the measure is submitted: In selecting the argument the city elections official shall give preference and priority, in the order named, to the arguments of the following: (a) The legislative body, or member or members of the legislative body authorized by that body. (b) The individual voter, or bona fide association of citizens, or combination of voters and associations, who are the bona fide sponsors or proponents of the measure. (c) Bona fide associations of citizens. (d) Individual voters who are eligible to vote on the measure. DISCUSSION The Elections Code establishes a hierarchy to use when more than one argument in favor or against a city measure is filed within the time prescribed. However, both the Elections Code and Municipal Code are silent on how to identify a bona fide association and what to do when more than one argument is filed of equal standing. Therefore, City Council should adopt the attached resolution to establish policy concerning the selection of arguments when more than one is qualified. Pursuant to Elections Code section 9283, when a bona fide association files an argument it must contain “the name of the organization and the printed name and signature of at least one of its principal officers who is the author of the argument.” However, the code does not define bona fide association, nor does it state what if any documentation the bona fide association must provide the elections official to prove that it is a bona fide association. Moreover, a bona fide association of citizens’ argument is given priority over an individual voter who is eligible to vote on the measure. Therefore, it is important to identify criteria for establishing a bona fide association of citizens. The resolution proposes that if a group wishes to submit an argument as a bona fide association, they must also submit one of the following: articles of incorporation, letterhead with the name of the organization and its principal officers, or some other written document indicating the same. The recommended requirement is used by Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo County. Staff also recommends that the City adopt the resolution to clarify how an argument will be chosen if more than one argument in favor or against is filed that is of equal standing. While, the Elections Code is silent on this issue, under section 15651 when an election for municipal office ends in a tie vote, the code determines who is elected by drawing lots. Accordingly, it is recommended that the City follow this same principle when determining which argument to print.
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2016 on Election Day at The Burlingame Voice
Here you go, Joe: Here's another article which appeared in today's SM Daily Journal in case anyone missed it: I realize things are constantly in flux (which now includes adding Hoover School vicinity street safety as a major priority, obviously), but I'm a bit confounded as to why there doesn't appear to be more consensus of the Council's priorities beyond the rec center - particularly given the 2014 survey based on the public's input; the public's "very critical" top 5 priorities were (in descending order): 1) Downtown Parking Garage 2) Bayview Park 3) Downtown Streetscape (I guess this can be now be removed from the list) 4) Community Center 5) Fire Station Improvements Here's the corresponding staff report, with the rest of the rankings, for reference; see the table starting on page 2: Also, with regard to the rec center, aren't we still in the process of working on a final design (and my understanding is it will still not have a gym, like the current rec center)? Furthermore, exactly how much extra revenue is expected to be generated from event rentals? And what would be the incremental ongoing expenses of operating the new center (above and beyond the current rec center's operating expenses)?
Daily Post (Palo Alto, CA) City considering rec center bonds Published: March 1, 2016 Burlingame City Council is looking at a plan to use bonds to renovate the city’s antiquated recreational center, Councilman Ricardo Ortiz told the Post. Ortiz said the overall cost of rebuilding the rec center, located at 850 Burlingame Ave., will be between $37 million and $47 million. The bond proposal could go before the city’s voters this year or next, he said. City Council held a study session yesterday to look at when and how the council should propose a series of financial measures to the center, Ortiz told said. “It was not a discussion about if, but about when and how we will do this,” he said, adding that the council had over the past couple of years looked at a number of potential projects to work on before making the rec center the top priority. Ortiz said the center was seismically unsafe. The city will use bonds in order to fund the project and will take the proposal to the voters either this year or next year, but Ortiz was not sure exactly when that would happen. “We haven’t decided yet,” he said. “The study session was looking at the strategy of how to do this.” If the council chooses to take the proposal for bonds to the voters next year, it would mean a smaller voter turnout and the council needs to weigh the benefits of waiting until 2017 or bring it to the ballot this year, a presidential election, when the voter turnout will be at its largest.
Looks like the city is aiming for a bond/tax ballot measure in November, given the Council study session this coming Monday:
Oops, link above doesn't work -- here's another one for the Board presentation re: possible BESD November 2016 bond measure:
FYI,from the agenda for tonite's BESD Board of Trustees meeting: 17.2. Potential New Bond Measure (v) 8:25 p.m. (Action Item) Speaker: Dr. Maggie MacIsaac, Superintendent Requested Motion: It is requested the Board of Trustees provide direction to District staff with regards to a potential new bond measure. Rationale: TBWB and the District's Financial Advisor will present the process, timeline, and possible messaging for potential Bond Measure to provide the Board the opportunity to discuss potentially moving forward with a new bond measure in November 2016. Board presentation:
In case anyone didn't see the article below (second link) re: a forthcoming region-wide parcel tax on the June 2016 ballot. Glad to see the SF Bay Restoration Authority (which County Supervisor- and Burlingame's own -Dave Pine currently chairs) at least opted for a flat parcel tax, as opposed to general obligation bonds/assessed value tax. If the region can use this more equitable method for bay restoration capital projects (issuing revenue bonds backed by parcel taxes), then why shouldn't we do the same for our own unfunded capital/infrastructure projects here in Burlingame?,%20Attachment%20Recommendations.pdf
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2016 on Our changing landscape at The Burlingame Voice
Happy to report Otto Miller's defunct car wash lot has been vacated as mandated by the City Attorney's office. Here's a picture I took earlier today from my office building, which is nearby (hence my personal interest & skin in the game):!306&authkey=!AO5PNsG3EnBknHM&v=3&ithint=photo%2cbmp
Update: I followed up with code enforcement today in the City Attorney's office, re: 1875 California Drive (defunct car wash). They have served notices to the tenants (car rental, and car detail businesses), and have also informed the owner, that the property needs to be vacated by this Friday. The owner apparently conveyed to the City Attorney's office that he thought the current use was legal, given the property once contained a car wash. However, he was informed the code no longer allows this (nor has it for some time). I also informed code enforcement that I've noticed cars being parked ON THE SIDEWALK off Murchison Avenue, adjacent to the property. They were surprised to hear this, and suggested I inform the Police Department the next time I see this - which I conveyed I will do (I suspect the Police Department may already be aware of this, given they are located nearby).
Special Joint Meeting of the City of Burlingame and Burlingame School District Wednesday, January 6, 2016 6:00 p.m. Lane Room Burlingame Library 480 Primrose Rd., Burlingame The Board of Trustees and the City of Burlingame will hold a joint meeting to provide an update on Hoover School Traffic Safety and Pedestrian Access. The public is invited to provide comment. The agenda and supporting documents for all meetings are posted on the district web page. Look for this agenda to be posted around December 30th.
Whatever the history and the owner's current priorities may be, the lot is being used illegally.
Let's hope he doesn't carry special weight with the Planning Commission, etc. Given the nature and volume of his business, I imagine he might be a particularly attractive client for local architects and others affiliated with the building trade.
I subsequently spoke with code enforcement in the City Attorney's office. They confirmed they are in the process of issuing notices/citations for two businesses that are currently operating in that lot, for which it is not zoned: a car rental business, and a car detailing business. I imagine the property owner carries a bit of political clout in this community, so we'll see what happens: