Letter to the Editor: Preserve MSB for Senior Center

South San Francisco, CA – January 20th, 2023
Submitted by Fionnola Villamejor
A typewriter and a text beside it, “Letters to the Editor” (300x158)

It is unsustainable to cripple and severely impair and abolish opportunities for our seniors in South San Francisco. Instead, we must prioritize South San Francisco’s seniors over conglomerate corporations, political ambitions and major donors by preserving the Municipal Services Building (MSB).


The City must preserve and protect the MSB and dedicate it for the purpose of converting it into a thriving SENIOR CIVIC HISTORICAL & CULTURAL ARTS BUILDING, located at 33 Arroyo Drive, in SSF.  Without doing so is to compromise the health and welfare of our seniors and any decision to the contrary demonstrates that South San Francisco (SSF) officials represent SSF but they despise its residents.


A member of a legislative body who intends to deprive the public of information to which the member knows, or has reason to know the public is entitled, is guilty of a crime.


For years, the City has embarked on an opportunistic marketing campaign to shape and influence outcomes with skewed narratives to convince the public that the building is “unsafe” as the City’s plans to demolish the MSB isn’t palatable with SSF residents.


The MSB is a significant community asset that is an historically significant building. Official records reflect that the building is up to code, it is ADA compliant, it is structurally sound and it is a hugely robust culturally contributing factor to the sense of place, as well as the heath and wellbeing of our seniors.


Downplaying the MSB as though its broader political social cultural and economic history is of no value is indeed shortsighted, and to the contrary, as it has all the more significance historically now with our own native South San Franciscan, US Congressman Kevin Mullin being elected honorable member of the 118th United States Congress.


Underscoring this historic nature is the fact that the 118th US Congress will conduct unprecedented investigations into the biggest crime ever committed against humanity by the biotech and pharmaceutical industries that has resulted in the epidemic of people who are dying suddenly from mass murder and the genocide that has been perpetrated and committed against the world’s population.


The US Census reflects that our senior population in SSF is significant and growing at more than 24% of the population, yet our city leadership has succumbed to the whims of biotech companies east of 101 and subjugated every man woman and child in SSF to its misdirection of steering investment of city revenue to everything biotech.


But our leadership is putting the cart before the horse it seems because residents have not yet laid eyes on evidence of the study sessions, reports, and independent analysis by the City exploring the significant negative impacts that will be suffered by SSF seniors and all other age groups by the removal and loss of the MSB.


As previously requested of the City: Where are those reports? Where is the public record with citations, points and authorities from outside independent experts that the City, and each planning commissioner, as well as member of city council has individually and independently relied upon to determine the MSB at 33 Arroyo Drive in South San Francisco is fair game to demolish?


To deprive South San Francisco and especially our seniors of the MSB is not just a dereliction of duty, it’s a crime.


Honorable officials, if you haven’t figured it out yet, people don’t accept what you’re pushing so don’t act like residents are all in with the misleading rhetoric as it’s purely an act of predators who are fiscally and morally irresponsible. Additionally, it is unbecoming and shows a lack of moral core to turn a blind eye to your constituents’ needs.


SSF’s Housing Element of 2023-2031 earmarks the MSB site by default for demolition. No, the intent to demolish it isn’t SPECIFICALLY SPELLED OUT IN BLACK AND WHITE because the overall plan is to pave a path for political ambitions, to benefit big donors and deprive SSF seniors and residents of what is long overdue: A robust and thriving SENIOR CIVIC HISTORICAL & CULTURAL ARTS BUILDING, at 33 Arroyo Drive, in SSF, on the west side.


To these ends, I’ll go back to my original question:


What studies, what independent expert analysis reports and historical preservation criteria have you considered in ruling out the historical significance of the South San Francisco Municipal Services Building (MSB) in moving to slate it for demolition?


Seven years ago, then mayor, Mark Addiego, and then city manager, Mike Futrell marketed the “unsafe” narrative with the intent to defraud the public of its historically significant infrastructure, asset and resource.


It is time to redirect attention from the exorbitant expansion east of 101 for the benefit of biotech, and start to care about South San Francisco residents once and for all by investing your focus on preserving, protecting, strengthening and dedicating the MSB as it should be: A senior campus. Thank you.




Fionnola Villamejor


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1 year ago

Save the MSB, the Municipal Services Building!!

Dolores Piper
Dolores Piper
1 year ago

please email the Planning Commission directly Tony.Rozzi@ssf.net and tell him to put your comment into the public record. Otherwise it doesn’t do much here except for all of us who agree with you to comment. also link for these commission meetings for EComment is https://ci-ssf-ca.granicusideas.com/meetings/1880-planning-commission-on-2023-01-19-7-00-pm-virtual-meeting/agenda_items?page=2

Wendy Sinclair-Smith
Wendy Sinclair-Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Dolores Piper

Thank you so much for this information

1 year ago
Reply to  Dolores Piper

Yes, thank you, Dolores, for reminding our residents to continue to contact the City Council and the Planning Commission.

It only takes a minute of your life to do it. But, we must be prepared that the housing advocates will come forward to demand that the MSB be developed into high density/low-income housing.

Housing can be built in other areas of the city, and we want this one building, the MSB, preserved as a senior/multi-use building that has historical significance to all South City residents.

It still is not safe from development. Although Chief Planner Tony Rozzi said that they were not specifically voting on the MSB that evening, in fact, they actually did vote on the future of the MSB as the Planning Commission approved the 700-page housing element for presentation to the City Council for its approval — and the MSB is STILL listed as one of the possible housing development sites.