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January 30, 2013



geez why to families with younger kids seem to get the least consideration in this type of project?


Im not sure that's true on this project but you also have to consider that a lot of the fields at the schools and Washington and Bayside are pretty much all kids all the time. Bayside may be 50/50. The rest are not.


Can you create a new category for this topic. I remember it being discussed but it took awhile to find anything on it. It seems to be of interest these days.


An update was posted earlier this week on the city's website, per below link; I'm still interested in - and concerned about -how this is going to be funded (i.e. possible general obligation bond/assessed value tax):



Below is the latest update about the rec (community) center master plan. Estimated price tag per a recent staff report is $35-40 million. I remain intrigued - and concerned- about how this is going to be paid for (i.e., general obligation bond/assessed value tax):



The results of the recent community survey/input on unfunded infrastructure needs are now available. Below is a link to the corresponding staff report that will be discussed at this coming Monday's City Council meeting. Results appear starting on page 3.
Per the report's summary, "The Downtown Parking Garage received the most number of “Very
Critical” votes, followed by the Bayview Park. Both projects were far ahead of the next two on the list, the
Burlingame Community Center and the continuation of the Downtown Streetscape to neighboring streets."



"Pie in the Sky"
Is there not someone at City Council that has the sense to tell a Park & Recreation Director that:
Any Park placed on the Bayfront will be subject to the rising Salt Water Levels created by "Global Warming?
The Carriage House: continued funding of public money for a Private Enterprise?
Community Center: Seriously? Why?
Pak Yard: Plenty of room at the golf center or Street Dept. Yard
The ongoing problem regarding this combination of Yards and Departments is the City of Burlingame Manager.
This concept will GREATLY reduce "Middle Managers.
The lack of the joining of the Park/Rec/ Public Works is a leftover from the 1950's-60's, etc.
Library- Get rid of 50% of the books, and let move into this century.
Kindle, Computers, I phones.
It is time to admit that the Horse and Carriages did a great job-a long time ago.
However, Libraries are archaic.
Lets move on.
There is no reason not to.
We are talking about Public Money.


Here's the latest planning schedule for the new rec center. Still curious how it will be paid for, and whether newer home owners would be bearing a disproportionate amount of the tax (via a general obligation bond):



FYI, below is a comment I posted in a string on in our community's nextdoor.com site. Thought I'd share here as well.
With regard to the new rec center, among the funding mechanisms the city is considering are general obligation bonds. The principal and interest on general obligation bonds can only be paid with new taxes based on property owners' assessed (not current market) value.

In terms of home owners under this scenario, those who bought their homes over the past 10-15 years would be paying the bulk of the cost for the new rec center, which I don't think is fair for an equitable community benefit.

More specifically, there are currently approximately 1,200 single family residences in Burlingame (representing 20% of all single family residences!) with an assessed value of LESS than $200,000 - even though the current median sales price for a SFR is $1.8 million. (Note: See link below for Burlingame assessed value data source).

The city is looking at floating $50 million of debt to primarily fund the new rec center. According to a recent presentation to the City Council, the estimated tax for $50 million of general obligation bonds would be $33 per $100,000 of assessed value. That means the aforementioned 1,200 single family residences would be paying no more than $66 per year for a new rec center, while those who have purchased their properties within the last 10-15 years would be paying MULTIPLES (i.e., several hundreds of $'s) more. Simply look at your most recent property tax bill and do the math: take the "Total Values" figure which appears on the left hand side of the tax bill, divide this amount by 100,000, and then multiply by 33.

One's ability to shoulder his/her fair share is not a function of when they bought their home (which is what assessed value represents); as such, a general obligation bond/assessed value tax would be a huge, unnecessary subsidy paid for by newer homeowners.

There are more equitable funding mechanisms available, such as a community facilities district. Our current storm drain fee, which is not based on assessed value, and on which revenue bonds are issued, is another example...

Moreover, the city is projected to have approximately $4 million of additional annual debt service capacity from existing revenues in a couple of years, once some already-issued bonds (i.e. pension obligation bonds) are paid off. $4 million of freed up annual debt service capacity means the city could probably issue $60-$70 million of new debt without having to go to voters for new revenue.

Bottom line, I support a new rec center and other improvements - I just want to make sure they are paid for sensibly & equitably.



I only support a Rec Center that we can afford without taking on a lot of new debt. The city has to live within its means just like almost everyone else. It's time to stop spending money on nice-to-haves like affordable housing (for a tiny group) and save for the projects that help the many.


Unless a new City of Burlingame Park and Rec center comes up with a plan, regarding the future needs of City of Burlingame Citizens, having a Rec Center is a ridiculous concept.
Lets say for "shits and giggles" this "Recreation Center" gets built...
The opening day is 04/26/2026. Ten years from now... Believable.
The people making the decisions today will be long retired.
As will the values we have now regarding a Rec Center.
When we have the money, then we will pay for whatever is the Pop thing.

Peter Garrison

Pay down and fix pensions. Fix potholes. Cheer on elected officials who make decisions- not ones who hire expensive consultants or promote self-fulfilling phone surveys.


Just in case anyone missed this in yesterday's SM Daily Journal:



Why do we need a recreation department?

What is offered there that can't be had at local hobby shops, community college courses, YMCA and local gyms/tennis centers/soccer fields/libraries/church parish-halls?

47 million? Bulldoze that sleepy shack, expand the park, fix the roads, pay off the pensions.


There is no need for a new or remodeled "Recreation Center."
How is this concept even being considered?
The only "People" who will benefit from a "Recreation Center" are City of Burlingame employee's who need a $70,000.00-$130,000.00 per year salary.
I am sure that the only people interested in a new "Recreation Center"-whatever the heck that means, are only justifying their reason for feeding off the public trough.


Our Rec Center offers programs for Children, Seniors, teenagers, young and old and is used daily by all citizens of Burlingame. Take a tour of the facilities and you will see why we need a new rec center. It is packed with citizens daily and we offer some of the best programs on the Pennisula. For those parents that can't afford it, there is a scholarship program. The staff at the Rec center does a tremendous job and I support a new rec center.


For each man, woman and child in Burlingame give them $1566; that's $47 million. They can use that money anyway they want for recreation.


$47,000,000 divided by 30,000 residents = $1567 per resident.
The present Rec Center Facility is at least 50 years old.

Let’s assume a new Rec Center lasts 50 years. Instead of that new center, lets say we give each resident that $1567 over the life of a rebuilt facility.
$1,567 divided by 50 years = $31.30 per resident per year.

I think the value of a Rec Center and associated programs far exceeds $31.30 per person per year.


No way Lisa.
If you feel free to use your analogy to justify a City of Burlingame-Tax paid for, open ended, whim at the Park and Recreation Queen and King, Margaret Glomstead, and Sir Robert Disco.
Lisa, why not extrapolate those figures out another 50 years?
A new, or "Updated Recreation Center" is the most ridiculous concept Margaret Glomstead, and Robert Disco, have ever come up with.
Happy New Year.
How many "bottom employee's" at the City of Burlingame Public Works are related to "Upper Management?"

Should the City of Burlingame Upper/Mid managers be fired when these facts come out?
Nepotism ?
Check the San Jose newspaper this week.
I understand that this week or next, names will be published.
How sad.


Finally holyroller has some inside scoop. Lets see if the Mercury News has some goodies for us or not.


And don't forget the 47 million dollars have to be borrowed with interest; the tax/bond dollar figure is not magic number conjured at once and for all from people's pockets. Good bet staff will increase...

Bruce Dickinson

Listen, fellas, I be remiss if I didn't say that Bruce Dickinson thinks the problem isn't a new Rec center, per se, but the cost of it. At $35 million ish dollars, this is a $1,000 per square foot project! 100% ridiculous! This is 2x-3x more than residential construction costs for higher end Burlingame homes!

As others pointed out, the current Rec center is seismically unsafe and the thing does look run down. I think at a maximum, they should just put up a new building to be roughly the same size as the old. And they don't have to re-create the Spanish Colonial architectural movement. The current building is pretty non-descript and fits into the landscape. Just build something a little more up to date with the same height and square footage at $400 per square feet. Yes, it won't be as nice, but in this day and age, I think it makes more sense to "push" recreational activities to the public schools, many of which are more convenient for kid/family friendly activities because they are after school/in the neighborhoods.

Ric Ortiz, I must say, is wasting his time with this PR campaign, as very few in Burlingame will support a $35-$45 million cost for an over-priced Rec center when it could be easily cut down to $15MM with minimal disruption to playgrounds, parking, etc, and retain the size of Washington Park.

If we're going to do bonds or tax assessments, use it for the schools. Burlingame residents are going to get tax-fatigue and increasing public costs is going directly against the zeitgeist of the newfound confidence in the Trump regime, which promises to REDUCE taxes and be more business-friendly. Forget about passing more parcel taxes for the schools if this one goes through, but I'm pretty sure it will have strong opposition.

A word of advice to the City Council: use Burlingame residents' hard earned money wisely! If you don't, then counting on incumbency as a reason to get re-elected will be a sucker's bet. You can take that advice right to the bank!


Amen, Brother Bruce. When building large spaces like the auditorium even $400 per square seems high.


One of the problems with the current Rec Center is lack of parking. The residents in that area take a huge hit whenever there is an event there, which is weekly. There is only a few handicap parking stalls and it is very difficult for seniors to attend events as they are required to park down the street which makes it difficult for some.
The schools are locking up their facilities and making them cost prohibited to use. The cities no longer use the High School facilities as they demand huge fees to rent them. We've been told they'd rather have them sit empty then used and thus have forced non profit groups to use every inch of field space in our parks while High School facilities sit empty. As it is, many sports programs have been canceled and the children and residents are the losers.


Given the broad demographic use/concerns outlined above, all the more reason a rec center upgrade should be paid for equitably, by all demographic segments (instead of via a general obligation bond/assessed value tax measure, which would be paid for primarily by newer homeowners).

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