Residents Concerned Over the Increased Costs for Civic Center; June 2018 Staff Report Attached

South San Francisco, CA   June 20, 2018

Many residents continue to be upset over the subject of Measure W and the Civic Center and how things have been moving forward. Some of the concerns that have come our way include: Why is it that Measure W monies from the 1/2 cent sales tax is not kept in a separate coffer rather it is mixed in with the General Fund making long term financial accountability nearly impossible? Why does it feel like a bait and switch, that Measure W was to cover safety issues, when did the Civic Center become the main purpose? And why did they City work to pass this tax during an election they knew would not have a large turnout?

While we do not have the answers we do share what neighbors send us as that is our mission; to share news and views from local folks to local folks with the hope this information will if not answer the questions, at least give insight to what others are thinking as well. Below is the latest staff report sent to us by a concerned neighbor who has made it their mission to ‘follow the money’ and share with us what they can. If you have information to share please send to

What is important to remember; whatever costs we incur today our children’s generation will be paying it off for a long time as costs continue to escalate for something taxpayers didn’t know they were voting for when they said yes to Measure W.

14 comments for “Residents Concerned Over the Increased Costs for Civic Center; June 2018 Staff Report Attached

  1. your neighbor
    June 21, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    the issue of Measure W is an ethics dilemma that City gave itself when they presented it to the voters as a rainy day fund and used up the money for other things. It is an abuse of the public’s trust.

  2. Cynthia Marcopulos
    June 21, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    What was the cost to remodel/retrofit whatever needs to be done to the current MSB? It has served our community well, maybe not the state-of-the-art project we’re viewing, but it’s paid for and it won’t cost the taxpayers until 2046 to pay it off.

    Seriously, was this even considered; if so, what was the cost to fix the MSB?

  3. Peggy Deras
    June 23, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    C’mon Neighbors.
    I know we are all accustomed to hearing ” A million $$ here and a million $$ there…But have you read the City’s budget plan for this?
    I quote:

    Cash for project $70 million
    Bond proceeds for project $105 million
    –Issue bond end of 2019
    –Interest $153 million

    THIS MEANS WE NEED TO PAY $258 MILLION DOLLARS IN TAXES BEYOND THE $70 MILLION WE ALREADY HAVE (SOMEHOW – Probably selling valuable land to developers).

    Note: $70 million + $105 million = $175 million (short $15 million from current $190 Million budget). So it’ll be EVEN MORE!

    Measure W revenues for other projects (WHAT WE VOTED FOR)
    –$2.5 Million/year
    –2024 – 2046

    VOODOO ECONOMICS!!! We are mortgaging our grandchildren’s futures to give our Councilmembers a shiny new playground! Let’s haul them up short before this get’s away from us for good.

  4. Cynthia Marcopulos
    June 23, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Peggy, you make good points, and I hope you are able to attend the Measure W study session that is *tentatively* set for Friday, July 13th (how appropriate) from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the MSB.

    • Peggy Deras
      June 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm


      They are good points. Aren’t they?
      Unfortunately I cannot attend the study session due to health reasons.

      However: I was also unable to attend any of the meetings we encouraged others to attend on the Civic Center Highrises issue. And look what we accomplished.

      It’s not too late to throw the new Civic Center under the bus as well.

      • Cynthia Marcopulos
        June 24, 2018 at 2:17 pm

        I shared this on the ESC FB page and tagged over 35 SSF residents

        • Peggy Deras
          June 25, 2018 at 11:53 am

          Thanks Cynthia.

          I shared it on NextDoor. I don’t understand why it doesn’t seem to be generating as much interest as the high-rise issue did.

          Can anyone explain that to me?

  5. Peggy Deras
    June 25, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I see in the SMJ that sensible San Bruno is planning a new Rec Center that sounds like a lot more in line with what we need here:
    Maybe we have the wrong designers (as well as the WRONG COUNCILMEMBERS!).

  6. LG
    June 27, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Follow the dinero. Peggy write letters if you can’t show up to the press, or to the City. I am going to most meetings, and we shall see what happens. We can repeal the Measure W tax with 1500 signatures and put it on the ballot ourselves. Angry citizens are doing that for the gas tax increase, and the car reg. fees imposed by the State . Measure W funds are not going to be used for the purpose intended, or getting the one thing the community asked for on those civic center drawings: a swimming pool at Orange Memorial Park. In 2015 and the community was asked and they want a pool !! But we’re getting things we didn’t ask for: a library, new fire station, and over budget so they’ll have to sell the MSB and/or sell more city properties. The other important thing is the whole city is waking up to is the traffic problem that won’t go away, but the city’s expensive band aid ‘solutions’offered new traffic lights etc., except the ONLY solution: no more building. If they don’t build it, they won’t come. The Ponderosa auditorium was packed with neighbors on Monday 6/25 from the area giving the City an earful way into the night: unsafe cross walks, the street sticks at Smart and Final, parking and a roundabout. They offered” speed humps”. I joined their HOA. So City needs to unite, big time. We’re ready.

    • Cynthia Marcopulos
      June 27, 2018 at 9:39 am


      Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
      Measure W is a ballot measure that, if approved by the voters, would authorize a one-half percent (0.5%) transactions and use tax. Because Measure W does not limit the use of tax revenue generated by this tax to specified uses, it is a “general” tax. Therefore the City may use the funds for any legitimate governmental purpose. If approved by the voters, the tax will be deposited into the City of South San Francisco’s general fund and may be used to pay for services, such as maintaining neighborhood police patrols/911 response, programs for seniors/disabled residents, crime/gang suppression programs, repairing potholes/streets, maintaining youth/teen educational/recreational programs, providing a police operations center that meets earthquake safety codes, and other city services. Tax revenue could also be used to pay the debt on bonds or other financing to accelerate projects. The tax would terminate automatically 30 years after collection begins unless extended by voters.
      If approved, Measure W would also require independent citizen oversight, mandatory financial audits, and yearly reports. Additionally, the City Council would be required to appoint a five-member citizen oversight committee that would review expenditures and an external auditor’s report annually on the use of the tax funds. In the event that bonds were issued, the committee would also review use of bond funds.

      While Measure W, which was placed on the ballot by the City Council, is a “transactions and use tax”, it is commonly understood by residents as a sales tax. The proposed transactions and use tax would add half a penny to the price of an item that costs a dollar (if the item is normally subject to sales tax). Currently the cumulative tax on retail sales in South San Francisco is 9% of the purchase price. On a taxable sales transaction of one dollar, South San Francisco currently receives one cent from the State and the remainder is paid to other public agencies, including the State and the County.

      A transactions and use tax is levied on the same purchases as the existing sales tax with some minor exceptions. Examples of sales that would not be subject to the tax would be: unprocessed food, such as groceries from a grocery store or farmers’ market; real estate transactions and services. Retailers and other businesses that collect the tax at the time of sale remit the funds to the State of Equalization which administers the tax. The State Board of Equalization then transmits the City’s share of the tax to the City. Revenue from the tax would go to the City’s general fund and be available to support the full range of municipal services.

      A “Yes” vote is a vote to approve a one-half cent transaction and use tax for 30 years. A “No” vote is a vote against the tax. Measure W would be approved if it received a majority of “Yes” votes.

    • Peggy Deras
      June 27, 2018 at 12:24 pm

      LG. Thanks for your input and the update about the 6/25 meeting. That’s ENCOURAGING. Is there an online petition going yet? I’d sure sign it. I’ll also send letters.

  7. katy williams
    June 27, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    is anyone going to the study session tonight about the ssf plans for development?
    this is Daily journal article about it sounds like a mouthpiece for the city, don’t’ we already have a Communication Dir? Is this guy on our payroll too?
    There is so much $$ trading hands in our area and our local independent paper’ is focused on appeasing officials

  8. LG
    June 28, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Cynthia: the ordinance does not say it will be used for a capital project. Misleading the public matters,legally.

    Katy: Kilroy @OYP had a first meeting at the OYP with boat residents on 6/20. They said 15 buildings will be jammed into 600K sq.ft.but their report to the City was 11. SF now has 2 bldgs. tilting. How many have to tilt before we take notice here in SSF? And building on sand near a rising sea coast? Cautionary tale

    Alex Greenwood. is a high salaried director of whatever in charge of presenting more building to the community so it is palatable. What he’s NOT saying is important. He’s not saying we’re going to be sensible and listen to the community and stop building. He’s not saying we’re going to widen the main arteries in town one lane on each side to deal with the extra cars. He’s not saying we’re going to get more public transportation to remove the cars from the roads. They’re going to get new and fancy stop lights,at great expense to the taxpayer, that is a band aid to the problem; they’re called ” flush lights” The SMJ write up is a fluff piece.

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