As a homeowner who has been actively involved in this community for 25 years (3-time PB&R Commission Chair, Pacificans Care, Family Fun Fest and Fog Fest Board member, Alternative Class Parent, etc.), I too want a quality project in the Quarry. I was willing to keep an open mind on Measure L but the negatives kept piling up. My vote is based upon integrity, due diligence, trust, fair play, and civility. Would I buy a used car from this company without looking under the hood? No. Do past negative actions and tactics speak louder than words and promises when evaluating future choices? Yes. In addition to the ballot arguments, here are 13 things that have triggered my No vote:
- Win at all costs tactics and massive spending - almost one million dollars. If the plan was so good and obvious, why the need to spend all that?
- Questionable and misleading signature gathering processes in securing the ballot initiative.
- Bogus "sock puppets" who posted messages online in support of the measure and were traced to Davies Communications (of course they denied it.)
- Figures that don't add up. $17 million of revenue? 3,700 jobs? Do the math.
- Promises to anyone and everyone about anything they'd need that supposedly would be satisfied by a yes vote.
- The use of anti-incumbent "push-polling," tactics that are condemned by the American Association of Political Consultants.
- Patronizing, misleading characterizations about the poor quality of life in this community (schools, parks, etc.) and how Measure L will finally save us.
- Threats about big box alternatives.
- Some history of litigation and contentious business disputes on the part of the developer.
- Undeserved personal attacks by the developer on members of the opposition. Plus, uncontrolled vitriolic attacks by members of the audience to the City Council incumbents at the Realtors forum.
- Contradictory statements about endangered species. Are they to be protected or are they a roadblock to project development?
- Last but not least Did you know that two of the key lessons highlighted in Don Peebles new Donald Trump-type book are entitled: "Political Power is the Ultimate Trump Card" and "Coop (sic) the Opposition Without Revealing Your Game."
- The future? In the next days who knows how much more money will be spent and what new tactics will be used. If you want to find out more, do some Googling on your own.
I know there are good people on both sides of the issue who really sincerely care about Pacifica and want what's best for the community, even if they do have different visions. After the vote citizens are going to have to work together to move forward in a civil positive way, and not throw salt on the wounds. I remember when I served with a wide range of people on the advisory committee for the building that is now the Community Center. When the city first acquired and renovated it, it was very controversial in some parts of the community. Yet in the long run we pulled together and we now have what everyone would agree is a well used valuable community asset. We can do that again.
Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University
The above was printed as a Letter to the Editor in the November 1st, 2006 Pacifica Tribune, and is republished here with the author's permission.