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March 29, 2024

Comments

resident

https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/ex-caltrain-workers-accused-of-misusing-funds-to-build-homes-at-train-stations/

Joe

Let's stay within the general vicinity of the topic, please.

Per later reports, Worden was a station manager who hired the contractors, not a contractor himself.

While the authorities are at it, perhaps it's time to check out the hired contractors working without permits?

Paloma Ave

Now that it has been built, rent it out as a fundraiser for the Burlingame Historical Society!

Paloma Ave

Joseph V Navarro

Deputy Chief, Rail Operations
San Mateo County Transit District,

2021 $234,745.71 $0.00 $35,552.50 $270,298.21 $61,155.74 $331,453.95

Must have been difficult getting by on his meager wages and benefits?

Jennifer Pfaff

Everyone who does work on any part of that station (and all the historic stations on the old SP line) has to have the scope of work (down to the smallest detail) vetted by the South Bay Railway Association (Santa Clara).

The Burlingame Historical Society has done that (properly) for years, always asking permission and showing plans and diagrams, not wanting to cause any damage to the structure. That's why we've needed to construct several sets of freestanding walls, as no nails or screws of any type are permitted to pierce the stucco, for example.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that these folks bothered, even though it would be hard to believe they were unaware. That side of the building (The Stationmaster's Quarters) is its own separate entity, the blinds are always down. In any case, I hope any damage they caused is reversible.

Joe

Check out the buffoonish YIMBYs:

Crime or peak urbanism? YIMBYs can’t help but applaud the Caltrain officials who built secret apartments inside stations

“If they can build an apartment in Burlingame for $42,000, put them in charge of the state.”

Their alleged criminal activity — or ingenuity as some see it — has been met with admiration online from a few folks, especially housing advocates who say that so-called “transit-oriented development” like this is exactly what the Bay needs more of.

“If this isn’t a case for building more housing next to transit then I don’t know what is,” wrote one user on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.

Some on social media had to admit: living in a historic train station like Burlingame, which was built in 1894 and designated a historic landmark in California, sounded appealing.

Marc Joffe, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, said it could be worthwhile to consider converting some Caltrain stations — which sit on valuable real estate at the middle of town — into more housing. Legally, of course.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2024/03/30/crime-or-peak-urbanism-yimbys-cant-help-but-applaud-the-caltrain-officials-who-built-secret-apartments-inside-stations/?utm_email=945A740F8485348253E6F395EF&lctg=945A740F8485348253E6F395EF&active=yesD&utm_source=listrak&utm_medium=email&utm_term=https%3a%2f%2fwww.mercurynews.com%2f2024%2f03%2f30%2fcrime-or-peak-urbanism-yimbys-cant-help-but-applaud-the-caltrain-officials-who-built-secret-apartments-inside-stations%2f&utm_campaign=bang-mult-nl-morning-report-nl&utm_content=manual

Man Up Burlingame

Paloma Ave. That's sheet genius. Jennifer should get right on it.

Jennifer Pfaff

The shameful part is that the transportation "heads" seem to bounce from one agency to the next, sometimes (often?) after having "retired" from another agency position. Nobody ever comes in to clean house. How many CEOs has HSR had by now? They just ride "the train to nowhere" until they get something ($$$) nice out of it, and move on to the next.

HMB

Given that in the past stations usually had quarters for the stationmaster, one could see this as things coming full circle! Nevertheless, these guys shouldn't have been using public funds and helping themselves to a "housing allowance." Maybe these apartments can now be rented out as Airbnbs. Between their convenient locations and appeal to railroad buffs, these units could be a nice little revenue stream for the transit agency.

Phinancier

Al Capone boasted, “They can't collect legal taxes from illegal money.” He found that wasn’t true in 1931 when he was sentenced to prison for tax evasion.

After they ring these two guys up for misuse of public funds they can go after them for unreported rental assistance earnings.

Cathryn Baylock

Trust me, HMB, you wouldn’t want to live in Burlingame’s train station ( unless you like being wakened every half hour by earthquake like rumbles and hourly thru horns from freight trains). If this article had been posted on April Fool’s day, I would have thought it farcical! This goes under the category: “crazy but true”!

Joe

Here is a great example of how shoddy reporting can cause confused thinking in the general populace. If the SF Comicle or the Merc had bothered to ask any questions of locals beyond the press release about the arrests, they would know that Navarro didn't "build an apartment"--since it has had an apartment since 1894. The $42K scam was probably a light, unpermitted, perhaps not-to-code touch up. Is that what we want? Not Lerman's fault, just collateral egg on his face.

Here's the LTTE to the Comicle


Regarding “Ex-Caltrain pair accused of building themselves homes inside stations with public funds” (Bay Area, SFChronicle.com, March 28): Caltrain executive Joseph Navarro should not be charged for building a secret apartment for $42,000 at a Caltrain station. Instead, he should be required to build 10,000 more apartments at the same cost.

The fact that he was able to build an apartment with a bathroom and kitchen for this price in the Bay Area is an absolute miracle that needs to be repeated.

David Lerman, Berkeley

Joe

This story just keeps getting better and better. From the DJ


A former Caltrain executive charged with embezzlement for allegedly remodeling sections of the Burlingame and Millbrae train stations as private residences was rejected from the county’s Private Defender Program for financial ineligibility, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

But the presiding judge determined Navarro did not meet financial eligibility requirements to use the program, namely that he could afford a lawyer for the charges against him, Wagstaffe said. Navarro was granted a month to find a privately-hired attorney.
--------------------
I seem to recall the number $300K on compensation being thrown around.

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