Managing growth or not? What Can California Cities Control?

Managing growth or not? What Can California Cities Control?



Another City in Pension Liability Swamp

“Millbrae officials are defending themselves against a recent report alleging the city is the most leveraged among all municipalities….
The California Policy Center claims the $3.7 million owed to CalPERS makes Millbrae the city with the highest pension burden across the state. But Millbrae (population about 22,000 ) asserts the report is inaccurate…primarily citing the city’s slim payroll of $6.3 million makes the 59 percent owed in pension costs appear more severe than actuality.”


Polishing the Apple

“Apple is gearing up to build another corporate campus in a yet-to-be-announced American city and increase its workforce across the U.S. by 20,000 new employees over the next five years…”
Silicon Valley Business Journal

Ed. Comment: We note endless Apple success and just like the other “Big A” (Amazon) geographic dispersion across the US seems to be the new best thing. But nobody knows where the two A’s will land. This action fails to address dilemma of the jobs/housing balance in Cupertino and San Jose. Apple’s US employment is estimated at 47,000 with 37,000 in California.




Worsening Gridlock Sparks an Idea

New York City known for its mass transit is stumbling forward. Driving a car into the busiest parts of Manhattan could cost $11.52 with a proposal to establish first US city with a pay-to-drive plan.
The newest plan embraces the twin goals of easing Manhattan’s choking traffic while raising badly needed revenue for the city’s failing subways and buses.
New York Times

Ed. Comment: Residents on the SF Peninsula have Manhattan traffic and real estate costs so why not learn from NYC? Will local cities implement any solution for severe gridlock? Who has a credible plan? Our impolitic diagnosis: Traffic constipation. Our prescription: Show us a solution and the money!


Menlo Park Plays King Solomon
Faced with a tough issue…. Menlo Park Council and staff implemented major traffic restrictions to protect neighborhood quality. However, the decision will intensify east/west traffic and congestion on Willow Road.
Almanac News

Ed. Comment: Getting across town from Highway 101 won’t be a picnic. Perhaps there are long-term solutions….perhaps not. Palo Alto Council may soon face identical problem for its east/west University Avenue from 101.




Mayor Seeks Affordable Housing for Children
San Jose mayor announces a 15-point plan for 25,000 new homes in five years, 40% of new dwellings will be affordable for unspecified residents while protecting the character and quality of single-family neighborhoods.
San Jose Mercury News

Ed. Comment: No question about noble intentions and political promises! Do these fifteen programs represent well-honed economics or anti-gravity physics? We look forward to reports from Captain Liccardo sailing on the Good Ship San Jose.


Unfriending the News
“Last week, Facebook rolled out the biggest change to its News Feed in years. Content from publishers and brands—which have spent the last decade obsessing over even minor changes to the news feed’s algorithm—is out. Posts shared by friends and family, the foundation of Facebook’s initial village square appeal, are back in. Coming in response to heightened scrutiny for its role in promoting fake news during the 2016 election, these changes mark not only a shift in focus for Facebook, but also a retreat from its ambitions to become one of the primary arbiters of America’s information ecosystem.”
New Republic

Ed. Comment: We hesitate to comment on an issue above our paygrade. Facebook may reform itself in response to its conscience and external concerns from markets and government officials.

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Editors Neilson Buchanan and John Guislin are unpaid, private citizens on the SF Peninsula and have no ties to developers or government organizations.

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