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September 20, 2019


Jennifer Pfaff

I missed this event for the first time I can recall---- I got the dates mixed up (my bad, completely) but I watched most of it via Granicus. I noticed the sparse “crowd” and I think you make some good points, Russ.

No....It's not as if Burlingame-centric issues have gone away, they haven't. But the topic of housing has usurped them all-- and not just in our city.

On just that one issue, however, there were big differences and they boiled down to this: Regional broad-band fixes vs. local, community-driven ones. I feel very fortunate that the incumbents (and in fact the whole Council) have never waivered in emphasizing the importance of local control on land-use issues—they have a very good understanding of what relinquishing that control would mean for Burlingame.

I came away with the feeling that many of Mike's responses were boiler-plate ones-- Burlingame seen through a regional, panoramic lens; he hasn’t gotten his feet wet in Burlingame... at least not yet.

Barking Dog

Is there a link to watch this event still up? Thank You


Try this link:

If that doesn't work, you can find it through the City's council archives.

Barking Dog

Thank you JustVisiting

I think Jennifer has it right in her assesment of Mike.

I wish they addressed the Peninsula overpass and the Lyon Hoag neighborhood traffic with the Facebook buildings....maybe they did and I missed it. IMO, the traffic in and out of the neighborhood is going to be an absolute nightmare. Especially with the new complex on Bayswater and Myrtle starting up.

Bruce Dickinson

Interesting post, Russ. Bruce Dickinson thinks something explains the lack of candidates and lack of voter interest: the bubble economy. Let's face it, with such a high opportunity cost of time, how many people are you going to find that can set aside 20-40 hours for a City Council seat that is basically volunteer work? Also, with local unemployment being at probably less than 1%, you have people so engaged in their work and families that they don't have the time to focus on much else including civic activism, participation and voting.

Unfortunately, political cycles and economic cycles are somewhat counter-cyclical, if ya know what I mean? Displaced and disaffected people tend to be more active and vote more and frankly, have more time to do it. Now that people are so engaged with their day jobs and feel pretty good about their employment, the value of their houses, their stock portfolio, their local businesses, their "pending" IPO, their Tesla, their adopted dogs, Philz coffee, etc, hey life is pretty good! Not much to complain about!

I do think as some alluded to in the posts above, those who are keen, sophisticated observers of the body politic, such as yours truly, is that local government seems to be losing power. The state and supra-regional mandated rent control, development measures near transit centres, pressures to usurp zoning regulations, etc all serve to reinforce the message: your elected officials don't matter.

Secondly, all this is further reinforced by those who have seen our City Council in action see it increasingly beholden to the very conservative City Attorney and one or two Council members who seem to seek a complete avoidance of any sort of litigation, even if it is for the right reasons and even if the city has a strong case. I recall on a few occasions one of the council members say out loud in front of a developer "well we wouldn't want to be sued!" Seriously, talk about showing all your cards and taking away any sort of presumptive authority and ability to assert power! The last thing you want is for Burlingame to be viewed as a bunch of push-overs who cow-tow to every developer who brandishes the weapon of litigation!

I for one would love to see a return to the genteel, dignified era of stewardship politics, to wit, people who run for city council because they want to give back to society and really care about Burlingame and don't need the council seat to get better local real estate deals or use the position to run for a higher office. I think the majority of our council members DO fit this bill, thankfully, BUT they do need to be advised by a city staff and city attorney that has Burlingame's best interests at heart and is willing to give good advice to protect what citizens value the most! The council needs to do a better job at scrutinizing staff, assessing performance, and appropriately aligning incentives to ensure the right people are in the right jobs. And if they're not, then take swift and decisive action and replace if necessary!

Sadly, Bruce Dickinson knows how the city will respond to any item of controversy with a 90%+ success rate by answering the two questions: 1) will the city be sued for the decision in question? 2) will the decision better preserve my (the city staff member) pension and benefits amid Burlingame's current underfunded status? Things start to get mighty predictable when you start viewing issues through this lens! Issues such as taking a stance against cell phone towers, passing development fees, taking pro-development (local tax revenues) stances, approving on large capital projects (health care district), rent control, etc etc all become hot potatoes that no one really wants to deal with. Well sorry, but with great power comes great responsibility, and yeah, difficult decisions require perseverance, hard work, and brain power! Nothing should be deemed as "too difficult" for the council, the commissions, or staff.

Russ, please be reassured that not all is lost upon the citizens of Burlingame and that while times may be good with a booming economy, some of us have seen the replay of this over time and through various cycles.

My advice to everyone is:
Enjoy it while it lasts! *wink*


Barking Dog, they've been working on traffic calming for Lyon Hoag for about eight months now. Final meeting on recommendations to the residents is the first week in October, Burlingame Rec Center, 6;30pm. The flyer came in the mail and hopefully you received one. I've seen the recommendations and think most will help our area. I personally, would like a stop sign at every corner, but not realistic. Thus I am relying on the Consultants experience and recommendations and I'm cautiously optimistic. Please come to the meeting as it will be one of the last opportunities to voice your concerns or approval. Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread..


Mr. Dickinson, "what you said"!@!

Barking Dog

Thanks Laura as I did not receive a flyer in mail.

I hope that they add language to Facebook's lease, that no buses in the residential neighborhood. Only on Peninsula/Broadway.

The days of making a left on Peninsula off Bancroft safely or quickly are long gone for me. Once Facebook open on the Bayfront, it will be impossible. The lights @ Humboldt and Dwight are going to be packed. Unfortunate for those who live on those streets. More cars than now...


Dear Mr. Dickenson, Thank you for a very poignant comment.
The City of Burlingame Elders take the path of least resistance, always.
They just to not have the time, or heart to represent the People of Burlingame. Therefore, we are Stuck with mediocre City Hall Management.
A Council representing one of the Wealthiest Cities in the US should not have a problem removing and replacing a City Manager, City Attorney, Treasurer, ever. I would like to see a Top Down professional corporation evaluate the entire City Hall Managers, and Attorney. However, due to the lack of experience/Backbone Every COB Elder of running a Billion Dollar Corporation will continue to be detrimental to us all.
Hello Hillsider.


Regarding the City Council election, please read the following article written by Mike Dunham.


Don't look for Mike to introduce civility in the public debate.

I just mailed in my ballot with Colson and Beach as my easy choices.

Barking Dog

Thanks for posting Concerned. Appreciate it. Typical millennial/progressive mentality Mike, what's mine is mine and whats yours is mine.

Funny how he says Marshall Tuck(Hillsborough native and San Mateo High grad)political party in N/A, as he is as Republican as they come, and had the backing of major Republican contributors. Same people who backed Betsy DeVos.

Mike never had my vote. Hopefully the educated voters of Burlingame have enough common sense to keep Mike out of 501 Primrose.

Bruce Dickinson

Folks, just looking at his website, blogs, opinions, etc makes Dunham look like a whiny, annoying "know-it-all" with really weak credentials, and a limited track record of success relative to his opponents.

Bruce Dickinson thinks this election is more one of elimination vs selection, and it's pretty obvious to me who's gonna get voted "off the island"!

Call me unimpressed! The incumbents as the obvious choices are pretty much as no-brainer as it comes!

Juergen Pfaff

Mike Dunham thinks that the housing crisis is the single biggest problem in California and he might well be right. He also thinks that it is the result of the baby boomers dominating policymaking to make it difficult for the Millennials. We are baby boomers and we acquired our house in 1988; as I recall it was a big stretch for us. We worked hard for it and refuse to feel socially guilty about living in a single-family home. Here is some news for Mike: housing costs were rising rapidly those days, as well. This is not a new phenomenon to keep Millennials out. Why on earth would we baby boomers make policies to make it difficult for the Millennials, that also happen to be our own children, to live here? That is absurd! Mike Dunham's simplistic notion of voting for political candidates based largely on their age is very disconcerting. Mike is barking (or whining) up the wrong tree. I agree that living here has become much harder for Millennials, but not impossible, either. Right to “affordable housing” only exists in Communism, and we know how well that worked.

Growing income inequality because of unfair taxation is probably a key reason for the housing problem; the fact that the state of California has neglected public transit for many decades is in my opinion another key reason. Achieving higher density on the Peninsula without a viable mass transit system will be extremely difficult, even if you hand the developers the key to the city by taking all local controls away. That will only improve developer profits, without making much of a dent in the housing crisis. We would be better off if the state of California would focus on public transit rather that wasting money on that ridiculous high-speed rail boondoggle. Our City Council is doing a good job at increasing and creating housing where it makes sense in our city, with a number of projects underway, or in the pipeline.

Peter Garrison

Pfaff for mayor!

Jennifer Pfaff

Read the fine print, Pete...that would be the "other" Pfaff who never blogs.

Barking Dog

In his 40's Mike is considered a Millennial?? More like Gen X....


Mr. Dunham is "taking some time off" of working to become more engaged in civic affairs. It appears to be at least several years of "off". All of those advanced degrees he claims apparently did not cover the phinancial aspects of working in order to pay rent.

Bruce Dickinson

Yikes!! Considering the degrees and the resume, to be under employed in this economy!?!?

Sounds like someone had problems getting along with others in the private sector!

Just reading his platform/candidate stuff gives off a bad, like really bad, first impression!

Bruce Dickinson knows a thing or two about the "7 second hook" when it comes to making chart-topping music. If something puts you off within 7 seconds, you can kiss gold goodbye!

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