South San Francisco, CA October 17, 2022 by Mary Denise Sullivan
The South San Francisco Elections for Districts 1, 3 and 5 are upon us. For those of us who live in District 5 there are multiple serious issues to be addressed. The foremost is “Who” will represent District 5 with the Respect, Integrity and Faithfulness that the residents, and those who do business in District 5 deserve? The answer clearly is Tom Carney.
I have known Tom Carney since 2006. From the get go he has been personable, friendly, respectful and his mind is always on the go to brain-storm and problem solve for the individual to whom is speaking, or about the group or individual who is clearly in need of help and advocacy.
I am an United States Air Force Veteran. I was raised to stand tall and to look people in the eyes. I also recognize when things in South City are not representative of the standards regarding what some might not realize are significant in actions taken by the local government. South City has started the wonderful practice of Ethnic Heritage Months, with demonstrations of culture, music, food and culturally related activities. It can bring a sense of pride for those who are part of the heritage as well as to allow the sharing of the culture with others in the community. However, the city has failed poorly when they have shown their ignorance and disrespect by raising the Ethnic/Country Flag ABOVE the Flag of the United States of America. NO Flag shall be raised above that of our own, or adopted country by Citizenship. Most recently, an Ethnic Heritage Flag was raised and secured on the flag pole during Hispanic Heritage Month Activities. Shame on you in positions of Leadership.
In South City, District representation started four (4) years ago. In 2020 Eddie Flores was appointed to a seat at large on the City Council. In his application (PDF HERE & ***below), he was specifically asked
*”If appointed do you intend to run for city council in 2022?”
His Answer: NO
Then 5 lines below on the Application is the statement:
*”By typing my name, I certify that, to the best of my
Knowledge, all statements in this application are
Complete and true. I agree and understand that
Any mis-statements of material fact will cause me to
Forfeit all rights to an appointment in the City Council.”
(Emphasis with my underscoring)
(Asterisk (*) on original application)
Well, obviously Mr. Flores has a short memory or was purposely falsifying his declaration on the City Council Application. With his running for the District 5 Seat he acts like he is the “heir apparent” for District Representation and is threatened that he will no longer “reign” for District 5, SSF. He acts like he is the Incumbent for that seat, but please remember he was appointed for a Seat-at- Large on the Council. Also, bear in mind that he only recently moved to a high priced condo in downtown SSF. Has he even familiarized himself with Fair Political Practices Requirements? Why should a candidate feel the need to exaggerate or embellish their work experience if it is True??
Speaking Spanish to the Hispanic community is no guarantee Eddie Flores will address community needs. It is only hoping the Hispanic community will assume he will act in their best interests based on Ethnicity. Does he even know their concerns? He has no long standing roots in District 5.
Numerous “endorsements” by politicians and corporate heavy-weights appears to be desperation in seeking influential names, but fails to reflect the content or quality of Mr. Flores’ character. The Volume of Names who support him only seem to allow him and others to maintain the “Status Quo.” Actions speak louder than words. Self-aggrandizement does not flatter Mr. Flores.
Downtown SSF is also known as “Old Town” but when one looks at the streets and sidewalks, one wonders if it is abandoned because of carelessness. I would shudder and be fearful of lab results should I take swabs from the sidewalks and curbs for the viral and bacterial diseases which would be the results. There are numerous facemasks “a la Covid” and trash littering multiple surfaces. There is the prevalent odor of urine and feces such that it reminds me of many areas in San Francisco. Is Blight the theme here? Has anyone considered the missing “curb appeal” in South San Francisco? District 5 needs Revitalization, Renewal, Respect. How come the city doesn’t provide a “sidewalk – street sweeper” such as is employed in Burlingame which Sanitizes the Sidewalks in the Early Morning, i.e. 5:00 am, in/around the downtown area. How refreshing it is and often reminds me of the fragrance after of good rain.
How does one measure the health and success of a community? District 5 does not need wimpy, lackadaisical leadership. Citizens and residents need consistency and Engaged Representation and not just waiting for leadership to have the energy and stimulus to make District 5, and SSF BETTER. The Health and Success is not just by $$$$$ brought in by Bio-tech Corporations. The answer is found in the Basics—the Health, Thriving Success of its Citizens and Residents, the local businesses through their sharing, contributions and open minds and hearts to work together to make things Better, and not just the “go along, to get along” Mentality or the Status Quo. It is Fire and Police staffing, services and response time; better lighting for pedestrians, families out with their children and repaired/replaced sidewalks. It is slowing down drivers who speed through our streets like their re-enacting a scene from the movie, “Bullet” with Steve McQueen. What’s a “Stop Sign?” Obviously, they failed the DMV test, or has DMV revised “Rules of the Road?” It is acknowledging short-falls and acting to improve, to follow through.
The City Hall sits as a beacon on a hill, but those in need of Access due to Disability or Mobility Deficits are denied what can come easily for an able-bodied, ambulatory person. The one Handicapped parking place along a narrow lane below city hall and behind the services building is not enough. And then how does the person needing access to the city call maneuver from there? Has the City considered installing a heli-port so those with disabilities can be air-lifted to apron at the main entrance?
Speaking of parks and family recreation. There is property located at Linden and Airport Blvd. Anyone familiar with the area also knows there a multiple Electrical Power line towers on that site. Yet, funding has been proposed to make it a city park, with no regard for the little known back-story that it is a toxic site. Residents should not have to leave SSF for the enjoyment of parks, picnic areas and fresh air in order to avoid exposure to toxins or electric-magnetic fields.
January & February 2015 there were city workers going around and spray painting sidewalks in what is now District 5. When I asked the team what they were doing and why they replied it was to designate areas in need of repair or replacement. Fast forward to August, 2019. I attended the neighborhood “night out” coordinated in the area by Tom Carney. A member of the city government was present and I brought up the situation of the worsening sidewalks which can cause a person to trip and fall, possibly with serious injury. I was told, “the painting never happened. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Yet, there is still evidence of where the paint was sprayed on the sidewalk near my, and other residences.
I am well-aware that true “due process” is not consistently applied or doesn’t prevail when citizens and residents of SSF attend council meetings and want to address a problem which effects them as individuals and, with correction or repair, can impact others for the better. For example, the recently (and some longer term) installed street and sidewalk curbs, barriers, medians or islands which have no Reflective Painting or Safety Markers, or Discs to direct pedestrian or vehicle traffic. There should be reflectors on the pavement to direct traffic so as to avoid the unmarked curb or median which deviates from the traffic flow, as in the intersection of Northbound Airport Blvd and _____________ adjacent the IHOP and Chevron Stations to the west. People trip, fall or have their tires and vehicles damaged and axles broken. The council skimmed over and shied on the messenger. No resolution or declaration to investigate and make corrections. Considering the questions or concerns presented to the council I can’t help but wonder, when the person is “shut down” whether the council is shooting the messenger or dismissing the concern as not worthy of their attention.
Let’s talk about the overused word, “Transparency” by those who prefer the darkness. Light stands out in darkness. There are those who want to remain in, and sustain the darkness so that the Truth and Motives won’t be revealed, thus allowing them to keep their deeds in secret and to Not be held Accountable. “ Transparency” is used to mislead the listener to think that those who nod their heads are actually on the same page and that something will be done to investigate, to correct, to improve. It may discourage the messenger of pursuing the problem towards a solution and that they should back off or be labeled a “whistle-blower.”
Tom Carney is a long-time resident of South San Francisco, and long before District 5 was established. He has worked in the SSF Fire Department, and specialized in Urban Search & Rescue, and responded to calls out of the area to wild-fire rescue and to Hurricane Emergency Response Teams out of State. He been the impetus for toy and food drives and for the Barbecue meals to Honor Veterans and First Responders at the SSF Produce Market on Veterans Day. He is the Candidate to improve and grow SSF and District 5. He is the man to quiet the messenger because the message is uncomfortable or will disrupt those in their comfort zones.
Tom Carney has demonstrated Stewardship and Service to the Well-Being of the Community.
He engages residents and brings the Impetus and Courage for the Soul of District 5 and South San Francisco. Abraham Lincoln stated: If you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
-Retired USAF Veteran, South SF, District 5 Resident