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ABOUT THAT CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Posted by xaviervir on April 21, 2011

The City Council met on  Mon. April 18.  Here are some comments by Shelby:

To: Members of the City Council
April 18, 2011

I object to approval of the General Plan 2030, the Housing Element, the Environmental Impact Report and related documents presented here tonight on the following grounds:

(1)    Notification of this public hearing was not published in the usual “Public Notices” of the local paper accessible on line.  It was available only to those who subscribe or buy the paper when it is well known few people in this low-income community can afford to buy or subscribe to monitor notices.
(2)    This General Plan is not a product of the wishes of the people of San Pablo.  The people were told at both the GPAC meetings and the public meetings they could choose only between Plan A or Plan B.  They were never told the General Plan was intended by law to be a product of their desire for what they wanted for their community.  I was on that Committee and missed only one meeting and I attended the public meetings.  I know what occurred.
(3)    The people were also told things that were not accurate as a matter of fact.  For instance, they were told the Plans “would not cost them anything as it was just bond money.”  I have that statement on recorded tape.
(4)    The Environmental Impact report does not address the new approved $50M clinic, which will have a huge impact on the 80,000 visits per year now transferred from Richmond to San Pablo, which will create increased air pollution, congestion and crime.  Nor does it address the effects of the approved International House.
(5)    The Housing Element plans to increase the population to San Pablo when the people have specifically stated in the City Survey and other documents they prefer the small town atmosphere. Moreover, the Plan adds many apartment units that will add transient population which the US Census shows invites people who do not demonstrate interest in community affairs, have children who score lower in school, increases crime and has other negative effects on community.
Perhaps most importantly, one of the most obvious economic advantages of this city is that is a small town.  Changing it into a mini-megalopolis, as this General Plan intends, will destroy one of its most important economic advantages.
(6) This General Plan is a product of people who don’t live in San Pablo and don’t
pay taxes here and know little or nothing of the desires of the people who live here.  Of the 190 people who are employed by the city less than one-third are residents, and most of them are in the Recreation Department and make no decisions regarding the physical environment. 
(7)    This General Plan will add taxes to the people by increasing population which
    will necessitate added services including police, recreation and senior services.
The people of San Pablo pay the second highest bond taxes in the county and have the highest unemployment.  This combination of high taxes and high unemployment leads to high foreclosures, homelessness and increased people on Section 8 costing all taxpayers more.
(8)    The people of San Pablo have consistently stated their desires for their city in the
      City Survey and other places.  They want jobs, schools affording good education,      safe environment, trees, and better and more community parks.  This General Plan does little or nothing to address what the people want.  In fact, it will add taxes and break up neighborhood communities,( as does the San Pablo Specific Plan) by ripping out the houses on the backside of San Pablo Avenue.

In summary, members of the city council, I doubt I am alone in that I rue the day I voted for the Casino.  I had hoped it would better the lives of the people here.  It has not.  Rather we got a bevy of high paid city officials who don’t live here or pay taxes here (including the city manager), who make decisions for the people who resultantly get nothing  but higher fines, fees, and confiscated cars. There has been nothing done for so called ‘blight’ in the neighborhoods, though we pay high bond debt taxes and that money under the law is supposed to address blight. The Community Redevelopment Act is specifically to give employment to those of low income in the project areas, yet there were no stipulations in any contracts specifically for San Pablo people. 
This General Plan and related documents is an economic disaster for the people and all tax payers. It ignores the people who live here, pay taxes and are the rightful recipients of the Casino revenue. I remind you that the reason all major religions have lasted for over thousands of years is that they are all premised solid economic principals, i.e. on care for the other,. the neighbor, the community.  The greatest economic asset in San Pablo is the people. They need only job training for higher income, help to better the schools and community space.  This General Plan does nothing to address their concerns.

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