There was cause for celebration with the demise of Senate Bill 827 back in April 2018. It might have seemed then that California legislators had come to their senses and rejected the idea of dense housing along all rail and bus routes regardless of neighborhood. However, Scott Wiener, author of SB 827, vowed to be back with another version of SB 827, and he has. Wiener introduced Senate Bill 50 in December 2018, and at present, the bill is being considered in the Housing and in the Governance & Finance Committees.
SB 50 does not seem to be experiencing the visceral opposition organizations, cities and counties hurled at SB 827, in spite of the fact that SB 50 is even more problematic than SB 827.
This website discussed the basic downsides of SB 50 in CA Senate Bill 50: SB 827 Redux, on December 9, 2018. Today, March 18, 2019, as the bill makes its way towards Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk, we offer a few comments posted on various on-line venues by a variety of authors.
Heard on the Web
Finally, Happy News from City Hall: Council Motions Oppose Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 50, CityWatch, March 14, 2019.
“The bottom line is that SB 50 and its local counterparts, like Transit Neighborhood Plans, are fancy real estate scams based on the same spurious free market assumptions and the same beneficiaries: commercial property owners and real estate developers. Furthermore, if adopted, both SB 50 and its local counterparts will fuel gentrification, without ever meeting its three politically-concocted goals: Increasing transit ridership, Increasing affordable housing, Reducing Green House Gases.”
Guest Opinion: SB 50 Undermines Single-family Neighborhoods and Diversity, by Greer Stone and Pat Burt, Palo Alto Online, March 15, 2019.
“Our greatest concern is the implications SB 50 will have for low- and modest-income residents. There is a myth that upzoning (changing zoning to allow increased building density) will lower the price of housing. Supporters argue housing is just an issue of supply and demand. However, according to two recent Chicago and New York City studies, upzoning has the inverse effect and actually leads to increased housing costs. They concluded that when land is rezoned for increased density, it becomes more valuable, and the price of housing and rents rise...
New market-rate housing does not create affordable housing for low- or moderate-income people, and building dense, luxury apartments in single-family neighborhoods will not have trickle-down benefits for those most in need. Rather than being a panacea for our housing crisis, it is a Trojan horse for big developers' profits.”
Support Grows for Bill That Would Legalize More Home Construction Across California, Reason, February 11, 2019.
“This year, Weiner [sic.] is gambling that the new SB 50, which is more modest in the kinds of development it would allow, and which makes several important concessions to powerful interest groups and will garner enough support to make it through the legislature.
Those concessions include a requirement that any developers taking advantage of SB 50's waivers pay a ‘prevailing’ wage, a gift to the state's labor unions.
The waivers could not be used on project sites that had rental housing on them within the last seven years. That provision is in response to critiques of upzoning from tenant advocates, who fear it will be used to tear down existing rental housing and replace it with bigger, more expensive units.
The more modest approach of SB 50 appears to be working so far. The State Building and Construction Trades Council—which represents construction unions at the state level—played a critical role in killing SB 827, but has since endorsed SB 50. Low income housing groups that came out strongly against SB 827 from the beginning are either holding their fire or even offering some muted praise of the bill.”
SB 50 – Opposition to Senate Bill, Westside Regional Alliance of Councils, Proposed Resolution, January 16, 2019.
“Whereas State Senate Bill 50 [Scott Wiener] weaponizes state government code to eviscerate local planning statewide and thereby increases financialization of land use; intensifies inequality; encourages predatory speculative activity; and masks massive wealth transfer by shifting property ownership opportunities away from small owners to corporate investors...”
Scott Wiener’s SB 50 is a WIMBY Bill, by John Mirisch, Vice-Mayor, City of Beverly Hills, Fox and Hounds, January 16, 2019.
“Zev Yaroslavsky, former LA County Supervisor and former LA City Councilmember, astutely noted that state senator Scott Wiener’s SB 827, which would take away local zoning authority from cities and replace it with Sacramento-mandated levels of density in certain areas, was a ‘real estate bill, not a housing bill.’
The exact same assessment should apply to SB50, Wiener’s latest iteration of SB827. And I can prove it.
Yaroslavsky famously took the acronym of the developer-funded YIMBY groups that supported SB827 (‘Yes in by back yard,’ which itself is derived from NIMBY, ‘not in my back yard’ — get it?) and put a new twist on it, describing the bill’s supporters as WIMBYs. That would be the acronym for ‘Wall St. in my back yard’.”
Behind the Headlines, Mayor Pushes Back On SB50, March 8, 2019.
“Palo Alto Mayor Eric Filseth discusses with the Weekly his concerns with Senate Bill 50, which aims to boost California's housing stock, and his own ideas for addressing the state's housing shortage.”
[In this YouTube interview, Mayor Filseth notes the following: SB 50 would take away voters’ ability to control their cities, cities do have a responsibility to balance commercial real estate and housing, and the state legislature would better serve residents by regulating balance between commercial and residential development rather than mandating the number of housing units that must be built.]
Senate Bill 827 was summarily dismissed during its first committee hearing, with committee members citing the bill’s aggressive takeover of local land use planning in transit-rich areas. Senate Bill 50 not only takes over land use planning around transit-rich areas, but also around job-rich areas with or without transit. However, SB 50 prominently appeases builders by mandating prevailing wages and appeases affordable housing advocates by supposedly adding more protections for existing tenants. We will see whether legislative committees are really concerned about aggressive takeover of land use planning, as they claimed to be in the case of SB 827, or they are more concerned about keeping powerful groups happy.
Meanwhile, whether or not developers, unions, and housing and renters’ advocates benefit from SB 50, remains to be seen. Cost of housing will not decrease if indeed cost has more to do with diminishing availability of land than increasing availability of housing units. The building-up-not-out strategy of current planners increases costs and prices, since costs increase with building height. Concessions to unions will increase prices by increasing labor costs. Concessions to affordable-housing advocates will shift prices from low-income to high-income units – or from rents to taxes – but will not decrease prices overall.
In Graphics: Welcome to Wienerville
Thank you to a Nine-County Coalition participant for sending graphics that offer a perfect visualization of the results of SB 50: Welcome to Wienerville.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission recently experienced significant leadership changes. On March 1, 2019, Therese McMillan, replaced Steve Heminger as Metropolitan Transportation Commission executive director. Ms. McMillan’s most recent position was chief planning officer with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; however, previously to that position, she worked at the Bay Area’s MTC for 25 years. Scott Haggerty, Alameda County supervisor and vice chair of the MTC replaced Jake MacKenzie, Rohnert Park councilmember, as MTC chair. MTC chairs serve for two years, and Commissioner MacKenzie was elected as chair in 2017.
Although both changes at MTC are significant, the departure of Jake MacKenzie as chair is worth a few extra comments by the Nine-County Coalition.
At the MTC meeting of February 27, 2019, in which Scott Haggerty assumed the chairmanship, Jake MacKenzie spoke with emotion about how difficult the past few months had been for him and his family. He was “personally insulted” over his vote in favor of CASA by people who did not understand the role of an MTC commissioner is to think regionally, he said. Indeed, it is difficult to visualize how amicable and effective discussion can occur between MacKenzie, who thinks cities and counties need to accept their region as something greater than themselves, and Rohnert Park councilmembers, who place their city’s needs above those of the region.
Jake MacKenzie’s sorrowfulness over what he perceives as a lack of gratitude on the part of his fellow Rohnert Park councilmemebers exemplifies the conflict we at the Nine-County Coalition have been discussing. On a recent NCC article, we spoke about the Mayor of Rohnert Park expressing the feeling that Rohnert Park “did not matter” in Jake MacKenzie’s vote in favor of CASA.
MacKenzie will remain as MTC Commissioner, until, as he says, Rohnert Park councilmembers deem otherwise.
You can view Jake MacKenzie’s farewell speech as chair of MTC starting at 34.10 on the video linked to the MTC website below.
You can read more about Scott Haggerty’s assumption of the MTC chairmanship in Meter Madness, a site often recommended by the Nine-County Coalition.
California Senator Ben Allen (Santa Monica) introduced SB 43 back in December, and the bill is now set for hearing on March 20, 2019.
What the Bill Says
This bill would require the state board [State Air Resources Board], in consultation with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, to submit a report to the Legislature on the results of a study, as specified, to propose, and to determine the feasibility and practicality of, a system to replace the tax imposed pursuant to the Sales and Use Tax Law with an assessment on retail products sold or used in the state based on the carbon intensity of the product to encourage the use of less carbon-intensive products.
* This bill is being presented as only a study. However, whatever the study comes up with, it would be logical to assume if legislators want to approve it and the Governor wants to sign it, there we have it.
* The study aims to determine how the current sales and use tax on goods – which needs voter approval for increases — could be replaced by an “assessment” on goods depending on their carbon intensity. Would an “assessment” need voter approval for increases?
* Common sense would most likely conclude that such an “assessment” on the carbon intensity of each product consumed by California residents would cost a bundle to implement and maintain, could result in endless argument and litigation, and would need to include a lot of guesswork. How would the Air Resources Board assess a child’s scooter manufactured in China containing a wooden platform, metal and rubber wheels, plastic handles, and colorful paint? What happens when the scooter manufacturer decides to replace the wooden platform with a plastic one?
* Assessments will be whatever bureaucrats say they will be.
* As with most taxes, the poor will once again be hurt the most.
Bay Area residents have been critical of how Metropolitan Transportation Commissioners are selected. Most recently, the Nine-County Coalition wrote about the success of Solano County residents in forcing their council members to follow proper procedure in the Commissioner selection process.
Last week, February 15, the Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG) sent to the MTC Commissioners a detailed report of violations made by the MTC and the county selection committees during the selection. PDF of the report is attached here. Introduction to the report states,
This BATWG report will set forth and describe recent instances where some members of the
MTC Commission were appointed to their four-year terms by Bay Area’s local and county
selection process that violated either the MTC Enabling Act or the Brown Act or both.
This unsatisfactory situation has evolved in recent years in part because MTC did not do all it
should have done to provide public information about the existence of the once-every-four-years
selection process and on how the public could observe and provide input to the proceedings.
The MTC Enabling Act clearly states that anyone with “special familiarity with the problems and issues in the field of transportation” may be selected for the MTC Commissioner position. In order for a member of the general public to make himself/herself available for the position, selection meetings must be properly announced. That does not often occur.
Also last week, February 14, Lafayette resident Jason A. Bezis filed demand letters with the Contra Costa County and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to “Cure or Correct Brown Act Violations” at their selection meetings. PDF of one of the letters is attached. The aim of the Brown Act is to ensure residents are aware of what their public servants do on residents’ behalf.
In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.
The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.
The point Mr. Bezis has made in his demand letters is that more often than not neither the MTC nor county selection committees observe the transparency requirements of the Brown Act. This is unfortunate since, as BATWG noted,
… the decisions made by MTC Commissioners have a direct effect on the mobility and transportation choices of the 7.4 million people living in the nine MTC Bay Area Counties.
“Housing Summits” might be coming to your neighborhood soon. Residents would want to be prepared to find out who is presenting the summit, attend, and participate in public comments. A Nine-County Coalition participant suggested that summit commenters consider posing the following comments:
* What each county pays by way of housing-related taxes and it gets in return. Note there is a difference between benefit to each specific county and benefit to the whole region.
* San Francisco Bay Regional Authority Measure AA and Bay Area Toll Authority/Metropolitan Transportation Commission Regional Measure 3 passed on regional aggregate totals, not county by county totals. This process essentially nullifies the will of voters in those counties where the measure did not pass.
* Legislation emanating from Sacramento supports the original edicts of Plan Bay Area and Transit-Oriented Development. Yet neither plan was ever approved by voters.
* Private organizations and foundations lobby in favor of plans such as CASA and Transit-Oriented Development. Who really benefits?
* Considering that subsidized housing is a prominent requirement of Plan Bay Area, Transit-Oriented Development and recent legislation, what will be the status of purely private property in years to come.
One example of such summits is one on May 10, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, with a non-member entry fee of $600, and the purpose as noted on the summit announcement: We are bringing together diverse representatives from all aspects of the land use and development lifecycle to deliver innovative solutions in the realms of financing, the cost of building, policy, and the public process.
Another sample is the summit on February 25, 2019, presented by Solano City County Coordinating Council. Admission is free. The summit announcement promises discussion on “the impact of new housing legislation and its proposed linkage to transportation funding,” “what the ABAG/MTC designed plan means for Solano County and your City,” and whether Solano will be a “beneficiary” or a “victim.”
Just showing up, some say, wins half the battle.
Kudos to Solano County residents for challenging their county leaders in the selection of MTC Commissioners. Their efforts were a partial victory, but a victory nonetheless. The Board of Supervisors agreed to follow proper procedure, but selected the same commissioner about whom concerns had been expressed. The Dixon Independent Voice published on February 8 the whole story, which we hope you will read and consider challenging your own city or county boards when something is being done in an unacceptable way.
The Independent Voice is published in print only at present. So we are attaching the article in PDF format.
California Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2019-2020 budget contains several trailer bills, one of which is the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water and Exide Cleanup, which critics have branded as “the water tax.” This trailer bill raises several questions that need equal concern as whether the bill is a tax or a fee, or whether Californians can bear the burden of one more government charge of whatever name.
Here is a summary of such concerns.
Tax vs. Fee
Proposition 26 in 2010 made clear that a fee has specific characteristics. Primarily a fee benefits those who pay the fee. Everything else is a tax. The distinction is important because legislators can adopt a fee with a simple majority vote, while a tax requires a two-thirds vote of both houses for approval. This trailer bill charges a fee on the following entities located in the state. Amounts are complicated and seemingly fungible, since the legislature may change them with a two-thirds vote.
* Confined animal facilities excluding dairies: Fee is payable annually in an amount commensurate with the actual risk to groundwater from discharges of nitrate as determined by the working group set up for this purpose.
* Licensees whose name appear on the label of bulk or packaged fertilizing materials: Fee is based on the dollar sales of fertilizing materials.
* Milk handlers: Handlers deduct the fee per hundredweight of milk from payments they make to producers of milk, even if the handler and the producer are one entity.
* Individual rate payers: The fee is collected by community water systems from the systems’ rate payers (water consumers) and remitted to the Water Resources Control Board.
A fee levied on all fertilizer producers, milk producers, and water customers in the state for the purpose of improving water systems in specific locations does not appear to abide by the direct benefit rule of Proposition 26; therefore, they look suspiciously like a “pollution tax” and open to legal challenge.
Perhaps in anticipation of challenges, the trailer declares adoption of the charges an emergency measure “for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare;” thus, claiming that the charges fall under California’s regulatory police powers, not its taxing powers. Also, the trailer frames the charges as a “social justice” issue – i.e., equal protection under the law – by pointing to the unhealthy water systems located in “disadvantaged communities.”
Critics’ Alternative Funding Suggestions
Critics of this trailer bill maintain new fees to clean contaminated soil and upgrade water systems are not necessary. The state could use the current budget surplus or issue water bonds. Some say the state should do nothing but hold local water agencies responsible for inaction and incompetence. These are alternatives on which to ponder.
The intent of the trailer bill is to provide on-going long-term funds to maintain water systems, not to do a one-time fixing and cleanup with the budget surplus. Bonds are a way of raising money, but they are expensive and somebody, often property tax payers, needs to pay for servicing the bonds. Perhaps clean and effective water systems are the responsibility of local water agencies, but they have not been providing that in some communities; so the state views taking over agencies’ responsibility as a practical solution.
Problem That Needs Fixing
The state is dotted with communities served by unhealthy and inadequate water systems. An example is the Central Valley, where farmers and other residents rely on scarce and often contaminated groundwater. The scarcity comes from water diverted to benefit fish and Southern California residents. The contamination largely comes from nitrate and other substances that seep into the soil from agricultural operations. Another example is Vernon, a city with industrial roots located not far from downtown Los Angeles, where regulators allowed Exide, a car battery recycler, to pollute the ground for 33 years.
Soil cleanup and upgrading of water systems are needed. Does this trailer bill accomplish that?
What the Trailer Bill Says It Will Do
Here is a brief summary of what this lengthy trailer bill says it will do:
* Establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund in the State Treasury to hold and allocate funds for the purposes indicated in the trailer bill. Funds will be dedicated to the uses spelled out in the trailer bill unless two-thirds of the members of each house vote to use the funds otherwise.
* Prioritize assistance to “disadvantaged communities and low-income households served by a state small water system or domestic well.” Prioritize use of funds for “costs other than those related to capital construction costs, except for capital construction costs associated with consolidation and service extension to reduce the ongoing unit cost of service and to increase sustainability of drinking water infrastructure and service delivery.”
* Provide grants, loans, contracts, or services to assist eligible applicants with water replacement when needed to “ensure immediate protection of health and safety” in the short term, and to develop and implement “sustainability” in the long term.
* Provide long-term funding for the costs of replacing, repairing, blending, or treating contaminated or failing drinking water sources; creating and maintaining natural means of treating and improving sustainable water quality; consolidating water systems; and extending drinking water services to other public water systems, domestic wells, or state small water systems.
* Ensure that agricultural operations observe the following requirements in relation to discharges of nitrogen that lead to nitrate formation that adversely impact drinking water: best efforts in implementation and practice of practicable treatment or control, monitoring and reporting, and applicable timelines. Operators cannot be held liable for contamination if they observe these requirements.
Can The Trailer Bill Fix the Problem?
* Costs to consumers not eligible to receive assistance from the funds generated by the trailer will go up, making drinking water less affordable.
* Water once intended for farmers and residents of the Central Valley is now going to Southern California sustain fish. It is not clear what this trailer intends to do about that. Maybe provide bottled water to residents indefinitely?
* Contamination of soil from current methods used in agricultural operations, as the trailer bill indicates, is difficult to control. Therefore, we need to expect contamination to be an on-going challenge necessitating on-going cleanup. Whether such cleanup should be funded by taxpayers would be for voters to decide.
California’s newly elected governor announced his 2019-2020 budget on January 10, 2019. The $209 billion budget is 4% higher than the 2018-2019 $201 billion budget, and it expands funding for items such as “building a childcare infrastructure,” medical care for a greater number of Californians including undocumented residents, and housing production.
Although all items in Governor Newsom’s budget deserve the public’s awareness, especially current hot-button items such as state debt and unfunded public employees pension liabilities, the Nine-County Coalition is especially interested in the governor’s plans for housing production. The big picture of the Governor’s strategy includes allocation of $1.3 billion for housing production, and could be summarized as follows:
* Cities and counties will not receive gas-tax (Senate Bill 1) money unless they meet their building quotas.
* The state’s general fund will receive a one-time allocation of $500 million to expand state loans to developers that produce moderate-income housing.
* Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) will be revisited to require higher housing production and increased state oversight of cities and counties housing performance. A $750 million one-time allocation will fund state efforts to “encourage” cities and counties to build more housing.
* $500 million will be allocated to help cities and counties build housing for the homeless. The state will streamline environmental review of new homeless shelters and identify state surplus property on which to build affordable housing.
* Expanded programs of infrastructure financing districts and use of federal Opportunity Zones will be encouraged to help poorer communities build housing and encourage developers with tax breaks.
Sticks and Public-Private Partnerships
The Governor wants more “sticks” along with “carrots” to solve the housing crisis, as exemplified by the withholding of gas tax funds and the call for an expanded RHNA.
Also, he wants private entities to provide housing funds, on the basis that labor-intensive large Bay Area employers are flooding the area with people that need a place to live. In response, Silicon Valley established a public-private partnership called Partnership for the Bay’s Future, which describes itself as follows:
The Partnership for the Bay’s Future is a collaborative effort aimed at advancing our region’s future by solving its interconnected challenges—housing, transportation, and economic opportunity.
The collaborative effort aims to expand and protect the homes of up to 175,000 households over the next five years, and preserve and produce more than 8,000 homes over the next five to 10 years.
The Partnership is being launched with the support of the San Francisco Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Ford Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Facebook, Genentech, Kaiser Permanente, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation.”
California for All?
Governor Newsom labeled his proposed 2019-2020 budget “California for All.” We understand his meaning: California for all income levels, not just for those who can afford the high housing prices. However, that label begs the question whether what the Governor is perpetrating is California for some, just not the same some. Are families with children that want a quiet yard and a car to transport the children included? Are the fast-disappearing neighborhood mom-and-pop enterprises challenged by taxes, regulation, and competition from the giant corporations included? Are those who fear the idea of public-private partnerships included? Given the efforts of Partnership for the Bay’s Future are Bay Area counties not in close proximity to “the Bay” included? We shall see.
Directors of ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) voted on January 17, 2019, to authorize the Executive Board President to sign on to the CASA Compact (Committee to House the Bay Area). Vote was 21 Yes and 9 No. This win occurred in spite of serious concerns expressed by those who contributed public comments and by ABAG directors present at the meeting. A video of the meeting is available on the ABAG website.
CASA is a “15-Year Emergency Policy Package to Confront the Housing Crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area.” It is really a package of radical proposals prepared by the MTC/ABAG staff, intended to support legislation already initiated by the California legislature. At various times during the meeting directors indicated that the “ship had already sailed,” and ABAG’s only choices were to follow the ship by signing on to the CASA Compact or be left behind without any voice as to what happens in Sacramento.
This website has expressed concerns about CASA since MTC/ABAG introduced the plan. Our concerns keep growing, not only about the CASA Compact specifically, but mostly about the inexorable march away from representative government. By not paying sufficient attention to the actions of legislators in Sacramento and the actions of regional agencies, we the people are voluntarily giving up our rights to representation. By not remembering that declarations of emergency – especially a long-term emergency, such as CASA’s 15 years – are often preludes to removal of rights and constitutional guarantees, we the people are falling into a well-known trap.
At the ABAG Executive Board Meeting of January 17, some directors revealed their view on representation: When they wear their local hat at their city or county meetings, they represent residents. When they wear their regional hat, they represent MTC/ABAG. Housing and transportation laws enacted by state legislators during the past five years have diminished the power of cities and counties, and enabled regions to create mandates that local jurisdictions must follow. Local hats representing residents become merely symbolic, while constitutional representation disappears.
Public and Directors’ Concerns
There were 65 public speakers at the ABAG Executive Board meeting of January 17. The majority of their comments fell into two categories: vehement opposition to CASA, and support for CASA because there was supposedly nothing else on the table to start the ball rolling to solve the housing crisis.
The majority of comments by ABAG Directors supported moving forward with CASA, again because there was nothing else with which to “do something” about the housing crisis, and besides, the ship had already sailed. Here are rough paraphrases of some of the Directors’ comments, followed by their vote on the CASA Compact. For information, also here is a summary of the counties that voted NO:
Candace Andersen, County of Contra Costa; Thom Bogue, City of Dixon; Monica Brown, County of Solano; Pat Eklund, City of Novato; Wayne Lee, City of Millbrae; Rafael Mandelman, County of San Francisco; Nathan Miley, County of Alameda; David Pine, County of San Mateo; Dennis Rodoni, County of Marin.
Directors’ Comments and Votes
Candace Andersen, County of Contra Costa: There are problems with mandating rent control, minimum zoning, and relinquishing city and county revenue streams to fund regional plans - NO
Jesse Arreguin, Berkeley: CASA’s process is not perfect, but unless we vote “yes,” we have no voice. A “no” vote also means loss of a funding sources - YES
Thom Bogue, City of Dixon: Small employers and landlords do not have room for more taxes. The finance part of CASA needs to work for these residents – NO
Monica Brown, County of Solano - NO
Cindy Chavez, County of Santa Clara: This CASA authorization is not an endorsement. There will be further opportunity later for outreach. Give robust discussion points to legislators so they can craft the laws – YES
Chris Clark, City of Mountain View: If ABAG says “no” we take ourselves out of the conversation. We need to share our thoughts with legislators and work with cities. YES
David Cortese, County of Santa Clara: MTC Executive Director must convey to legislators all comments made during this meeting, so that legislators know what to expect in the way of opposition to proposed legislation, and can best do outreach when time comes to place proposals for funding sources before voters – YES
Pat Eklund, City of Novato: Control demand via control of where the job are. CASA was put together without representation from a majority of cities, especially small cities. People are leaving because of high taxes. Developers are holding on to permits and not building anything. Corporations benefit unduly from Proposition 13, and reform is necessary - NO
Leon Garcia, City of American Canyon: We need to understand what a region is. We need a transportation summit. YES
Liz Gibbons, City of Campbell: CASA makes no mention of transportation, jobs location, labor costs. Additional sales taxes on individuals exacerbates the affordability situation - YES
Gibson McElhaney, City of Oakland: How is our vote tonight meaningful if the ship has already sailed? CASA does not adequately address middle-income residents, homeowners, housing quality, link of housing to jobs - YES
Barbara Halliday, City of Hayward. CASA is a start, but we need more time to address economic analysis of additional housing and infrastructure – YES
Dan Kalb, City of Oakland: At ABAG we play a role different than the one we play in our city halls. Here we think regionally. We need to add to CASA a requirement to fund undue rent increases. Tax abatements should only apply to below-market units, not any development. There should be no building outside growth boundaries - YES
Wayne Lee, City of Millbrae: Taxes are heaped upon individual taxpayers. Where are corporations? We need a multidimensional approach. We need to build where people want to live - NO
Jake Mackenzie, City of Rohnert Park: Everything in CASA has been in Plan Bay Area all along - YES
Rafael Mandelman, City & County of San Francisco: San Francisco supports a specific approach. CASA does not give enough thought to local behavior. Just focusing on zoning changes is not effective – NO
Nathan Miley, County of Alameda: NO
Raul Peralez, City of San Jose: We need to support CASA so we can move forward in finding funding sources. We need to demand that employers contribute in the funding - YES
Dave Pine, San Mateo County: People a leaving the Bay Area because of housing costs, so we need to act. CASA is like a rough draft or framework – NO
Rabbitt, County of Sonoma: People are leaving because there is no housing. If we had a health crisis, we would take action, so why not take action on the housing crisis. ABAG needs to act, since the ship has sailed - YES
John Rahaim, City & County of San Francisco: The entire region is unaffordable. We are voting on a framework. We should not be arguing details, but focusing on concept - YES
Belia Ramos, County of Napa: CASA is a tool box. We should move forward - YES
Dennis Rodoni: Marin County: NO
Carlos Romero, City of East Palo Alto: Local control has destroyed the Bay Area. We need to think regionally - YES