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September 30, 2005

Comments

Resident


Lots more to come, I'm sure on the debate wrap-up, but on Root's assessment that ALL current members of the Council are part of the collaboration challenges doesn't seem all that wrong. Certainly Coffee and Galligan have been key components of the contentiousness, but with a 5-person Council, I don't really think any of the incumbents currently running for re-election is completely without fault.

I unfortunately wasn't able to stay for the whole debate -- how was Root wrong on Safeway? What was Dan's take on the city's finances?

Fiona

Mrs. Keighran and Mrs. Baylock were on top of the top. Liked some of John Root's quiet ideas, Russ was excellent, Anderson was too much on DBIDs/Chamber group hug stuff, shivered many times over Mahony's vacuous comments (did she really believe her crossing guard words and DBID?) and Condon disrespectfully slouched in his chair as if he was in a bar and whispering to his neighbor as if he was in kindergarten. Interesting to see the battling Divas of Broadway! Easy winner.

Closing speech - Mrs. Baylock's was brilliant, so was Mrs. Keighran who looked like she knows what is going on especially around planning commission issues. I liked her point that the planning commission can be respectful to each other. Something our council cannot do. Why didn't Condon use up his closing time with productive ideas and tell us more about what he is going to do. He seemed to have run out of words.

Thanks to the Daily Journal, the CBB and the candidates for an interesting debate.

I was struck by how respectful all these candidates were of each other. It was positively refreshing. I looked at all 8 present (Lembi would have been no different) and it occured to me that we can really move in a positive direction. Each has started defining his or herself from the others; it is refreshing to see.

John Root's made a remark about how Safeway couldn't be entirely blamed for their project going down, because we (the city) have not given them enough direction. Ann Keighran jumped on that one, because as part of the Planning Commission, she and the others gave the grocer loads and loads of input, that they were not willing to use.

I can only assume he probably meant to say the process should have been handled differently from the start, before it even arrived at the Planning Commission. The downtown plan is so outdated and we have not kept up with changing times where pedestrians should be given at least as much attention as traffic flow. That is also why so many candidates last night stressed completion of a downtown specific area plan.

al

What did Rosalie have to say about Safeway? I recall her having some misgivings over her vote. Did she say anything new?

No on Safeway. There were many remarks about property rights, and the FAR however. She has always been against anything that she perceives as anti-property rights. She was a hard sell on design review, as was Galligan.

However last night she did concede that many remodels and new buildings are contentious, and that disturbs her. She has not made what to me is an obvious connection, of why exactly these projects turn contentious. It isn't because people have nothing better to do than pick fights. I think because such large buildings are allowed, and usually built out (to the allowable FAR), by developers who will not live in them, there is a disconnect to them and the neighbors, and this causes tension. Design review has improved design, but good design can only make bulk appear less boxy. It cannot take the bulk away.

Patrick Jensen

It is absolutely remarkable, what a different and informed electorate we have due for the most part to forums such as the Burlingame voice(and frequent contributors such as Fiona, Jen, Fred, Politicalblunder, etc), editors such as Jon Mays (DJ)who know the issues, organizations such as Citizens for a Better Burlingame who care about the issues... Absolutely fantastic! This city has gone from elections that maintained the status quo, to this 5 year revolution led by dedicated visionaries like Vice-Mayor Baylock. Burlingame has taken steps towards being more inclusive, respectful, and most importantly the citizens of Burlingame have REPRESENTATIVES not merely nameless-faceless council-members. While at times things may be contentious, we now have a dialogue that did not exist 5 years ago.

Thank-you!

Joe Baylock

Patrick,

I'm tickled by your comment because I was thinking the exact same thing last night at the debate. I'm hardly an objective observer, but I am struck by the changes that have happened since CathyB joined the fray. It was 8 years ago that she said "enough already" and threw her hat in the ring. Back then she was a Radical and a Preservationist and a Fringe candidate. A lot of the people who opposed her are gone now and that's no accident. Today when you listen to 8 candidates espouse their positions, they all sound like Cathy Baylock 1997.

Mind you, I'm not complaining. The fact that her views have become mainstream is very gratifying, especially when it means heartfelt support for bike paths, crossing guards, libraries, tree lightings, local merchants, parks, trees, teen activities, and seniors.

She isn't going to spend boatloads of money to get re-elected. She's just going to "stay on message". I think most Burlingamers will remember that she really does Put Burlingame First. It's not just a slogan, it's her mindset. Thanks again for recognizing that.

I liked Paul's idea of the Wells Fargo building as a temporary teen center. A six-month/one year trial? The pluses are that there is parking (now not being used), it is situated away from residents, it is centrally located, and it would be a better use than the urine smelling empty shell it now is. Maybe some good volunteer roofers, painters, us, could help get it habitable for them? An added bonus - good "feel-good" PR for Safeway.

I also liked Ann's idea of an internet cafe though one candidate sniffed that all these kids have laptops anyway. Wrong ... some kids aren't so lucky and besides kids just want to hang out together and they feel comfortable around computers and java and each other!

Come on, Starbucks and Peets, a Starbuck, Jr or a Peets, Jr with a few computers, a pool table and caffeine! The kids would love it!

The best idea of the evening was renting a space somewhere, Wells Fargo, or wherever, and it isn't really a new idea. Cathy Baylock brought it up years ago when she asked that a lease for the empty antique store be looked into. Central it was not, but it was empty.

Since there was no money in the kitty, some teens decided they would try and come up with some of the money by having some kind of fundraiser. I want to say the the price came close to about 110K a year. A lot of money. I'm not sure if that event ever happened because everyone was getting burnt out at the point. Anyhow, the idea of a trial place and trial period was great. I think all of the council supported the idea part, but the money just didn't flow in.

The Wells Fargo building has the advantage of being very central, but at the time, Mark Hudak made a statement that Safeway would turn that into temporary rental space for retail (which obviously never came to pass). I would be very surprised if they allowed anyone on that lot, or in that building. Remember they roped off the place for "safety reasons." Ironically, it is probably less safe now, than it ever was when cars were parked there. Too bad, there would probably be enough space in back for a temporary basketball court.

Paul Prendiville

Lady Fiona,I'm just worried that the kid's would use these cafe's for all the wrong reason's.If we get this teen center rolling they should be encouraged to do more physical activity's.I not at all opposed to internet cafe's,just want to keep them going in the right direction.

I'd still like to see some establishments step up to the plate and have a once or twice a month under 21 club, with bands, dancing, (pool?) and non alcoholic beverages. I think they would be pleasantly surprised that these events could bring in a fair amount of money, and be good for the community at the same time. There are garage bands all over town, and some are very good. Some have played at the rec. center, the best ones could perhaps be tried out in our downtown. If the restaurants didn't like the idea, then maybe a few times a year we could block the streets, and have various bands perform outdoors. In the very early days of Art in the Park, this was the case. It was loads of fun for everyone, young and old alike.

An idea came to me that the Burlingame Youth Advisory Committee would be a good place to start and so I looked at their website. Looks like a great bunch of kids and they seem like they do alot. http://www.burlingameteens.com/yac.htm

"Here are some activities that Youth Advisory Committee have sponsored/participated in over the years: All City Dances, High School Concerts, Dive in Movies, Movies in the Park, Fundraising at Music and Art in the Park, 3 0n 3 Basketball Tournaments, Parents Night Out, Yellow Ribbon Week, Teen Forums, Coastal Clean up and Prom Alternative".

Are these events well attended by our teenagers and would they want more events? And if so, is it because of funding, etc. that they don't? This might be something our candidates should be asking of these teenagers?

I have to say that for once I am glad that this site got spammed. I would like to reexplore the teenclub idea. Can someone, maybe Cathy, Russ or Terry, tell me the status of the teen club?
Jeriann

The spam has been removed but bloggers are welcome to revisit old postings and the issues they address

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