Outside ‘Influencers’ Push Public Policy in South San Francisco, Not Residents

South San Francisco, CA – December 22nd, 2022

by Fionnola Villamejor

A typewriter and a text beside it, “Letters to the Editor” (300x158)

South San Francisco (SSF) officials have total disregard for SSF residents.

Take the Lindenville Specific Plan for example. The wide range of increasingly exacerbated problems with SSF’s construction development planning operations goes full spectrum corrupt in the Lindenville Specific Plan resident “feedback” component with SSF deploying “influencer groups” to sway building and planning outcomes by diluting residents’ opinions disenfranchising resident input and underhandedly influencing building and development plan outcomes.

Under outgoing City Manager, this opens the door to questions about ethics, to credibility and quality of SSF leadership from the top down of elected and unelected officials, of internal decision making and decision makers’ adherence or lack thereof to regulatory requirements given the demonstrated disregard for and sabotage of SSF’s residents’ overall and inherent quality of life.

The fox is indeed guarding the henhouse and clowns are running city planning operations suppressing SSF residents’ concerns and voices about the rampant and chronically accelerated super high density and other developments in SSF encroaching on freedoms and liberties of its residents.
The demonstrated penchant of SSF officials to invite engage and involve influencer groups, who by their own testimony have been involved previously in “other” SSF planning meetings, is corrupt.

Moreover, these unreliable distrustful actions of SSF officials have materialized into a rigged process unethically orchestrated by SSF planning staff and calls into question retroactively approved projects and future development projects in South San Francisco.
As a decades long SSF resident who has attended recent meetings in SSF City Council chambers at the Municipal Services Building (MSB) and other locations for the Lindenville Specific Plan, having observed a sampling of public policy planning’s unlawful, unethical, corrupt, shenanigans, and having discussed with fellow neighbors also decades long SSF residents and meeting attendees, it is time for serious steps and action to be taken such as to indisputably reverse course.

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CYNTHIA MARCOPULOS
CYNTHIA MARCOPULOS
1 month ago

We have a restaurant owner, Sam Shihadeh, who lives in Burlingame on our Planning Commission. We know how wonderful it is to live in Burlingame, and how they value their quality of life. And, we have an architect on our Planning Commission. The deck is stacked against the residents in South City who love our homes, and want to preserve a quality of life — before it’s too late.

Concerned citizen
Concerned citizen
1 month ago

Automatic disqualification if not a resident of South San Francisco.

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Cory Alan David
Cory Alan David
1 month ago

Ms. Marcopulos, are you trying to say that our city’s future is being dictated by individuals who do not call it home and others who might benefit from designing future developments? This is an outrage. Next thing you know someone will allege that SSF’s city manager used our city as a springboard to bigger personal opportunities by handing our community over to special interests. What’s that? He did? He’s “outa here?” Count me not surprised.

Cory Alan David
Cory Alan David
1 month ago

Well said Fionnola and at risk of repeating myself, this is what happens when your local government is overrun with officials who have lost sight of the fact that our city is primarily a home for its residents, not the domain of multi-billion dollar corporations and developers who want to exploit our town in their self-interest. These “special interests” do this by offering revenues to the city coffers, what some of us might consider bribes, so they can lay waste to the existing community and install their own vision for maximizing profit.

Lindenville is a classic example. Last time I looked, it wasn’t an empty plot of land but a gathering of small businesses. A handful of city officials chose to optimize the land usage by displacing those businesses and offering the development rights to the highest bidder. All this is sanctioned by Planning Commission members with motives unknown to most of us. Are they long term residents? Who is in their ears? Whose vision for this city are they instituting? Important questions considering the ongoing negative impacts to the quality of life for existing residents.

The General Plan “calls for 17,800 new housing units to cope with tens of thousands of jobs planned to also pour into the area.” What residents lobbied for this creation of jobs that obligate us to create high density housing to satisfy our growing RHNA numbers while destroying the very character of our city? I don’t know of any residents but I’m sure our city officials can name some corporations and developers that welcome these changes. When Flor Nicolas boasted at a council meeting that the handful of housing units created at the new life science campus south of Spruce would help satisfy our RHNA numbers, I challenged her logic as this sparse housing is accompanied by the creation of hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs and that it would exacerbate our RHNA obligations.

I don’t think she grasped the rationale. That leaves us with city governance that willingly creates the problem and then sheds “crocodile tears” when they explain to the residents the destruction they need to support to fix it. Bottom line, who asked them to invite industry and the accompanying jobs that come with it? It wasn’t me, was it you? No, it was a handful of city officials who have taken it upon themselves to impose their vision for the future of the quiet little town we call home. Does Hillsborough, Atherton, Woodside, etc. have city officials inviting industry into their seemingly protected communities? You already know the answer.

Our city officials’ election to office or employment was not a mandate to do as they please but permission to represent the interests of the existing residents. They have blatantly neglected their responsibility and the time is long overdue for the residents to take our city back.

stephanie
stephanie
1 month ago

What I get a kick out of are the Transplants pulling in our Old Town Names to give to area projects as if they have been here the entire 120 plus years… Lindenville — I have not heard the old timers even refer to the neighborhood as such in half a century

We have all these outsiders coming in claiming to be Locals…. You came in over the last 25yrs took advantage of its residents – blue collar hardworking people …. Some of My classmates who have grown up here who have grandparents that helped industrialize South City can barely afford to stay in the community they helped built.

You should live in the the City you represent especially if you work in a position that determines the quality of life of it’s citizens

steve m
steve m
27 days ago
Reply to  stephanie

yep these transplant’s social media (stars) facebook /tic tok /instagram /youtube /
twitter. mostly youngsters with no real world experience . and no common sense
are our future? mixed in with intrenched special interest. I say it does not look good. un-elected lobbyist and others are calling the shots. not we the people.
we are heading for an oligarchy type of government. if we are not there already.
follow the money trail.