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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:
Regarding the defunct car wash on the corner of Calif. Drive and Murchison (owned by Otto Miller, as referenced above by Pat G), it seems it is now a private parking facility (jammed packed with cars, and overseen by attendants). I realize it is private property, but is this usage kosher and in accordance with city code?
PUBLIC NOTICE For Provisional Appointment to the BSD Board of Trustees POSTED: December 8, 2015 The Burlingame School District Board of Trustees has a vacancy due to the resignation of Mr. Gregory Land effective December 3, 2015. The Burlingame School District Board of Trustees is announcing its provisional appointee of Mr. Doug Luftman as of December 7, 2015. Unless a petition calling for a special election, containing a sufficient number of signatures, is filed in the office of the County Superintendent of Schools within 30 days of the date of the provisional appointment, it shall become an effective appointment. Public Notice, Education Code 5092 For more information, please visit
As a follow up to my earlier post above, the Burlingame Elementary School District will be appointing a new trustee this evening to complete Greg Land's term. The five candidates under consideration are Michael Jarrett, Joelle Kaufman, Elizabeth Kendall, and Doug Luftman. PDFs of their letters of intent are included in the following meeting agenda link:
FYI, the following notice from the Burlingame Elementary School District: ------------ BSD Board Appointment Trustee Greg Land is resigning his position on the Burlingame School Board to join the San Mateo Union High School Board of Trustees. The BSD Board is accepting letters of intent to fill the remaining portion of Trustee Land's term ( 2 years). Letters are due November 30, 2015 and should be received by 4PM and should include candidates experience and reasons for wanting to apply for the appointment on the board. Letters can be dropped off at the District Office, 1825 Trousdale Drive or emailed to Kirsten Diktakis, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent at
I've seen the current election referred to as an "All Mail In Ballot" Election, which implies - whether inadvertently or not - that the only way to cast one's vote is via mail. Actually, the election is officially termed an "All Mailed Ballot" election - meaning the ballots arrive by mail, but voters can still vote the traditional way at specific polling locations should they desire:
FYI, in case anyone missed this into today's SM Daily Journal -- Financial filings update: Burlingame City Council candidates Emily Beach and Donna Colson are neck and neck in the race to raise to be top campaign fundraisers, both having piled up more than $27,000, according to financial disclosure forms. Colson has raised $27,676 in contributions, and has an additional roughly $7,000 in her war chest, $5,000 of which is comprised of a loan to herself. Notable contributors to her campaign include the California Apartment Association, which has donated $1,000, as well as JSR Karp limited practice, $750 from Spieker Companies, $583 from real estate professional William Sexton, $250 from the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association, the San Mateo Building Trades Joint Council, and creative service consultant Russ Cohen as well as $100 from Councilman Ricardo Ortiz, James Cannon, the vice president of the San Mateo County Board of Education and others. Beach has raised $27,829, with no loans. JSR Karp donated $1,000 as well, Mark Intrieri, member of the Burlingame Elementary School District Board of Trustees, and his wife Katie donated $583, along with Planning Commissioner Richard Terrones, Spieker Companies also donated $500, and Cohen matched his $250 donation, and Ortiz donated $100 as well. Candidate Nirmala Bandrapalli has raised $19,691, with a $9,000 loan. Engineer Lakshman Chinnakotla donated $150, insurance agent Roger Heighton contributed $100, along with producer Renuka Pullat and affordable housing advocate Cynthia Cornell gave $50. Financial documents were not available for candidate Eric Storey.
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2015 on Nov. 3 Council Ballot Order at The Burlingame Voice
Jennifer - It's very straightforward: The principal and interest on G.O. bonds are paid back with taxes based on property owner's assessed value - not current fair market value. If you need more detail than that, I'm happy to chat with you over the phone. Otherwise, you could speak with someone at the San Mateo County Tax Collectors office.
Toggle Commented Oct 16, 2015 on Our changing landscape at The Burlingame Voice
Thank you for your comments, as well, Jennifer. Just to be clear, my main concerns at this point are as follows: 1) Given the wide disparity in the two cost estimates that were cited the Council candidates forum, I wanted to get the facts and set the record straight, for the broader community's (taxpayers') benefit. 2) Regardless of whether the city/Council proceeds with a new building vs. patching/renovating, I'm more concerned about how these improvements would be paid for- and specifically, how the tax burden would be spread throughout the community. I'm happy to pay my fair share, but the burden should be borne equitably, particularly for a community center/asset which offers an equal benefit for all. As I've posted ad nauseam, general obligation bonds would shift the tax burden disproportionately and unfairly on newer property owners. How long someone has owned his/her property in Burlingame is not a determinant of his/her ability to pay his/her fair share for these improvements!
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2015 on Our changing landscape at The Burlingame Voice
I submitted the following letter which appeared in the Daily Post earlier this week: Dear Editor: A major issue facing Burlingame is how to address approximately $100 million of unfunded infrastructure projects, including a possible new community center. Indeed, the question of how to fund a new community center was posed during a recent City Council candidates forum. However, different cost estimates — $15 million and $40 million — were cited by two council candidates. I subsequently confirmed the estimated cost with Burlingame Parks and Recreation Director Margaret Glomstad. She confirmed $15 million refers to the current estimated cost of the new building, itself. However, the new building cannot be constructed without necessary site work, which includes relocation of the current playground and creating dedicated parking. The current estimated cost of this site work is between $8.9 million to $10.5 million. Additionally, estimated “soft costs” for the project total between $7.7 million to $8.2 million. Thus, the total current estimated cost of the new community center is approximately $32 million to $34 million. However, the parks and recreation director also indicated these estimates do not include the cost of a temporary facility while the new building is being constructed. And should the city need to issue voter-approved bonds to finance the entire project, these estimates do not include bond interest, which a new tax would also need to cover. Assuming an average 20-year bond maturity and 4% interest rate, interest could conceivably add another $15 million to $20 million to the cost. Thus, the total cost could be closer to $50 million.
Toggle Commented Oct 15, 2015 on Our changing landscape at The Burlingame Voice
In case anyone missed this-- "The officers who run the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) are proposing to lower investment targets, a move that could lead to higher contributions for government workers across California.."
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2015 on FWB: Calpers' New Approach at The Burlingame Voice
League of Women Voters hosting upcoming candidates forum/debate (I confirmed with the City Clerk it will also be streamed live as well as archived on the city's website via Granicus): Thursday, September 24, 2015 6:30 pm Burlingame Council Chambers 501 Primrose Road Burlingame, CA 94010 Candidate Forum: Burlingame City Council. Sponsored by the Burlingame City Council
FYI, Dan Walters' (Sac Bee) take on this issue - "A big mess 6 decades in making"
Have no idea how this plays out with BESD/Hoover. I did notice that, according to the July 23 board of trustees meeting minutes, BESD ammended and expanded the $ amount of their lease-leaseback agreement with the Hoover contractor. Here's a good article from the SF Chronicle about school lease leasebacks in general, and this legal case, in particular, before the CA Supreme Court chimed in earlier this week:
And just as a quick add on, I don't believe the link to the SM Daily Journal article in Joe's original post above works. Here's the correct link:
Still remain unconvinced as to whether we need a tear-down, as opposed to making improvements to what we already have (analogous to a lot of well-functioning, older homes in Burlingame, to which improvements have been made over time). Either way, my biggest concern with this project is how the tax structure will play out for residents. If this is paid for via general obligation bonds, newer home/property owners will get totally hosed - as they'll end up paying the majority of the cost/tax (due to the assessed value tax structure inherent with general obligation bonds).
Burlingame Elementary School District is among those mentioned towards the end of the article below, which appears in today's SM Daily Journal. Per the string above, BESD used the lease leaseback delivery method as part of the Hoover construction. Not sure what the exposure/financial ramifications may or may not be in light of the CA Supreme Court ruling: