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September 25, 2009


Journalists with Facts

In the interests of fairness and "on topic" and to include the whole of Heather's article:

High-speed rail tops candidate concerns
September (By Heather Murtagh)

Fighting to keep a physical barrier, in the form of high-speed rail, from splitting Burlingame will be the biggest issue facing the city in coming years according to four hopefuls running for City Council.

Mayor Ann Keighran, Vice Mayor Cathy Baylock and Council-woman Rosalie O’Mahony are challenged by Planning Commissioner Michael Brownrigg to serve the next four years. The four candidates dropped by the Daily Journal office Tuesday to discuss issues facing the cities and their thoughts on addressing them. High-speed rail topped the conversation, but raising revenue, meeting infrastructure needs and downtown development were also discussed.

... as above

... Each candidate would bring a unique set of experiences to the job.

Brownrigg, 47, has been active in the Burlingame community for more than 12 years. The venture capitalist served for eight years on the Planning Commission, including work on the Safeway Working Group. He worked on the city’s Green Ribbon Task Force, coached youth baseball and soccer over the years and serves on the Foundation for College Education board.

O’Mahony presents a 20-year history on the council. The five-time mayor joined the City Council in 1989. She originally was drawn to Burlingame in 1965 — the year she began teaching math at the College of San Mateo.

Baylock started her career as a neighborhood activist who ran unsuccessfully two times before joining the council in 2001. Her re-election in 2005 was a close one, a mere 28 votes was the difference in her second term or the first for John Root.

Keighran is seeking a second term. She joined the council in 2005 after serving more than seven years on the Planning Commission. Keighran is a longtime Burlingame resident who became active in the community long ago.



Time is money

If you want to read the whole thing go to the papers website. What you have put here doesn't add anything people dont already know. These writers must get paid by the word.

Holy Roller

Good article!
O'Mahoney has done enough for this City.
I spoke with her in person last week, and she is not capable to be a council member anymore.
Brownrigg' resume is just what is needed at this time.
He knows FINANCE.
The state of CA is taking from our city. The importance of having an Elder who can quickly and throughly understand the financial problems that face Burlingame now, and in the future is what the cornerstone of Burlingames goverment needs.

Ron Fulderon

what just happened at that HSR meeting at the rec center? I'd like to know who called the police?


Brownrigg - Auto dealers, for example, previously made up 40 percent to 50 percent of the city’s sales tax revenue. These dealers are hurting due to a need to keep inventory on hand. Working with those companies to change such requirements will allow those businesses to be more successful while opening space for small retail and possibly mixed use development, he said.


He knows finance? He doesn't know the auto industry. He stated this in even more detail during the debate. Again, he is completely off base.

Problem #1 - It is not the inventory levels that is the problem with the auto industry. It is demand which is off due to problems in the housing and credit markets. Inventory is actually very cheap to keep on hand currently because interest rates are historically low. Inventory levels can be adjusted based on demand issues in a few months time.

Problem #2 - A car dealership ideally needs to keep around a month and a half supply of inventory for each model in order to turn the inventory efficiently. Even if people reasearch a car purchase, they usually do not expect to leave the dealership with a new vehicle at the time they do. A car purchase is an impulse purchase and if they cannot leave the dealership with the car they are less likely to make that impulse buy.

Holy Roller Brownrigg knows finance? I would argue Brownrigg thinks he knows better than others. He obviously thinks he knows better than the local car dealers. A good politician would have asked any of them what their thoughts were about lowering their inventories to help them through the financial crisis before making this his campaign platform. Instead he thinks a thirty year old policy of just in time inventory is the solution to Butlingame auto woes. For just in time to work it would have to be done at a national level and done by the vehicle manufacturers. They prefer dealers turn the inventory given in order to earn new inventory on a monthly basis, some still use an annual allocation. If anything, mandating Burlingame dealers lower inventory levels would result in a competetive disadvantage and would drive business and sales tax revenues to other cities.

What part of this article or the debate gives you any indication that Brownrigg would be a better council member than O'Mahony, because I'm not seeing it.

Local motion

I heard Cahty Baylock say that she was against giving new dealers a tax break to come to Burlingame because it would not be fair to all of the dealers who have been here for years. That seems very fair to me because they all compete. Fred know way more than me and what he says worries me.


Love ya comments Fred about the auto business.

What do you think Burlingame can do to help the auto business during these times?

Holy Roller

For a City, any city in the US to base its future tax base on auto sales is a vey bad choice.
The auto industry is changing quickly.
The need for someone with a vision for the future is what is needed now.
Venture Capitalist.
I think anyone who adds Capitalist to their resume, is wrong for all sorts of reasons.
Brownrigg happens to be the one with his hat in the ring.
I seriously doubt O'Mahoney has her thoughts on anything..long term.


I have yet to hear any new ideas from Mr. Brownrigg. The whole inventory thing worries me. Why propose something like that without consulting with those in the industry. This venture capitalist strikes me as yet another of a group who thinks they know better and have a condesending attitude to those of us who disagree. O'Mahony can dance circles around him when it comes to City Finances.

Holy Roller: What exactly is it that makes Rosalie "not capable to be a council member anymore"? When I watched the video, she seemed to be the most capable by quite a bit.


OK...I just watched it again to make sure I didn't miss anythingm. There was absolutely zero new ideas. I have heard brining performing arts, convention center, biothech, high tech and environmental businesses for years and yet here we are: empty bayfront!!! I heard everyone talk about Ms. Love, the busines developement specialist but they didn't mention a single business that here efforts have brought to Burlingame. They're all for diversification of our tax base but only Rosalie was unequivocal with her support for our hotels. How long has the drive-in been gone?


Sam, there isn't much the city can do for the auto business or any business for that matter. I'm guessing, like many others that it is going to be a long, slow recovery. The best any city can do is support it's exisiting businesses and new ones coming to town.

Local motion, competition is a good thing for everyone involved. Unfair competition, not so much.

Holy roller, I'm not suggesting that the city rely on any one type of business. That being said Burlingame has a general budget similar in size to Redwood City, however Redwood City has three times the population. What I am saying is don't bite off the nose to spite the face. The auto business isn't chaning that drastically, Detroit saw two manufacturers go bankrupt due to pension and benefit obligations not unlike our local cities face. People still buy and service vehicles, business may be down about 30 percent but that's true for many other business types as well.


Check which candidate with a website endorsement list has one of our major auto dealers included on their list.


Mr. Slate

What can the City do? How about signage and a PR campaign to make the name Burlingame synonimous with car shopping? Let's protect our existing tax base before we look to diversify. Lets form a auto sales "working group" to find creative ways to promote our auto row.

As to budget vs. Redwood City, we spend close to three times per capita what RWC does. Interesting.......

Burlingame Redwood City
2009-09 Budget
$86,921,708.00 $82,097,133.00
Population 2006
27,573.00 73,691.00
Per captia budget $3,152.42 $1,114.07

Local motion

When I see numbers like this I don't think about Redwood City. Millbrae and Hillsborogh are the ones some people want to share services with. Sharing some things might be a good idea but only if the city we are sharing with is close to our own money levels. Millbrae isnt there. Isnt even close.

Holy Roller

Combining could bring up the value of one City-that boarders a "better one."

By doing that it also brings up the seating of both.

Holy Roller

I do not think the reason two american auto makers went bankrupt was due to pension and benefit obligations.
It was the product that "Detroit" was forcing down our throats, while the rest of the worlds auto manufacturers were building cars for the needs of the people, their market.
In a lot of the other (world)markets where cars are made.
Pension and Benefits are a right of every one who lives there.
Those two things have little or nothing to do with who or where you work.

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