Riechel Reports - Events - City of San Bruno CA

San Bruno CA Mayor And Council 2020 Candidate Answers 7 - 9





Article Source:  Riechel Reports Editor Robert Riechel

Riechel Reports editor sent 15 questions to each of the 2 candidates running for San Bruno Mayor and to each of the 5 candidates running for the 2 Council seats in the November 2020 election.

Due to the number of questions and the length of some of the candidate answers, I will be posting blocks of 3 questions in a single post.  You will need to read 5 posts to read all of the answers provided.  The answers are not edited and if a candidate(s) does not provide an answer, the wording "Candidate Did Not Provide An Answer" will be inserted where his/her answer should have appeared .

I plan to keep the set of 5 posts up until about 1 November 2020

 Below is the 7 candidates' answers to questions 7 - 9.


2020 November Mayor & Council Candidates Answer Questions:

Once again, with this election, I sent out a series of 15 questions to the 2 candidates running for San Bruno Mayor ( Rico Medina and Linda Mason) and the 5 candidates running for the 2 seats on the Council (Tom Hamilton, Stephan Marshall, Michael Salazar, Jeremy Sarnecky, and Stephen Seymour).

For those candidates who did NOT provide an answer, I have added the statement “Candidate did not supply an answer”.

I am pleased to provide this volunteer service to inform and better engage the citizens of San Bruno in making choices that affect the welfare of our City.

Q7.    HOW should the City help subsidize the building of more Low and Very Low income housing?

Answer from Current Mayor Rico Medina

Streamlining the building process, using an affordable housing fund that with interest is almost 4 million which developers provide. With the net new development i.e. YouTube, new fees will be collected and those monies should be invested and used with the current monies to provide needed housing.   

Answer from Mayoral Candidate Linda Mason

The City could apply the affordable housing fees it has, and continues to collect, to new developments in San Bruno.  Further, the City can leverage its existing land to build affordable housing with a non-profit developer.  Lastly, the SFHA can request Measure K funds from the County if funds are again accessible post COVID.

Answer from Council Candidate Tom Hamilton

I am a current member of the Planning Commission and this question is timely as we just recently discussed this topic. I support the current policy requiring 15% of new units in a development to be designated as affordable housing. Regarding the allocation of that 15% between Moderate, Low, and Very Low income housing, the Planning Commission recently reviewed a proposal to change the current allocation, wherein we would require a higher percentage of Low and Very Low income housing for newly constructed rental units than we would for ownership units. This is a reasonable approach which I support.

We also need to raise the in-lieu fees to encourage the actual development of affordable housing as part of new development, as currently it is nearly always more financially advantageous to pay a fee than to actually build the affordable units. The fees collected go into a fund designated for building affordable housing (we currently have approximately $4 million in this fund I believe), but building actual housing from this fund is a slow process and we would be much better off with actual affordable development occurring as part of new projects.

Regarding subsidizing and building dedicated affordable-housing projects using the funds from the in-lieu fund, we should identify suitable locations on public land and then partner with organizations such as MidPen Housing to develop this affordable housing.

Answer from Council Candidate Stephan Marshall

The city must promote and embrace the development of new housing.  Additional housing inventory will lead to more affordable housing (supply and demand), but we must also ensure that developers commit to allocating a percentage of new builds to low income families as well.

Answer from Council Candidate & Current Vice Mayor Michael Salazar

The City has a small fund for helping in this effort but it is nowhere near enough to start a project.  The City has to work with developers to include the affordable units in their market rate projects and also work with non-profit housing programs to identify projects in San Bruno.

Answer from Council Candidate Jeremy Sarnecky

“Candidate did not supply an answer.”

Answer from Council Candidate Stephen Seymour

Our goal should be to provide safe, affordable housing of high quality to those in need. The city collects affordable housing fees from new development. These fees should be used to help fund future projects. The council established a 15% threshold for all new development.  We should work with organizations like Mid-Pen.  https://www.midpen-housing.org/  

Q8.   WHERE should a parking structure be built in San Bruno and HOW should it be financed?

Answer from Current Mayor Rico Medina

It should be in our downtown district similar to SSF.  Parking in lieu of fees as they grow can be used toward funding of this project.  As we collect monies, they can be used toward paying for this overdue project.

Answer from Mayoral Candidate Linda Mason

The City should assess all the land that is owned by a government agency and determine which land would be the best fit for a parking structure.  If it is not the City’s land, the City should work on leveraging its own land in a land swap, purchase, or negotiate a long term ground lease for the benefit of San Bruno residents to have a parking structure.  Once the location has been identified the City can partner with a developer, use parking meter funds, general fund money (if not in a deficit), community benefit funds, etc. to pay for a structure.  We should also look to models created by other cities who have built and financed their own parking structures for guidance.

Answer from Council Candidate Tom Hamilton

We should build a parking structure adjacent to our downtown, on the site of the public lots along Mastick Avenue. As stated in question #6, we should seek grant funding at the state or federal level to fund the construction. We could also partner with a developer to build a parking structure or utilize a combination of both of these strategies. I would also favor, as part of the design process, studying the feasibility of opening all or part of the structure to the surrounding residents after business hours to help ease parking issues in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Answer from Council Candidate Stephan Marshall

Same as #5

Answer from Council Candidate & Current Vice Mayor Michael Salazar

As mentioned previously, a parking structure would have to be a shared cost project as part of a larger development.  The City owned lots on the east side of downtown could be contributed to the project as part of the cost sharing.

Answer from Council Candidate Jeremy Sarnecky

“Candidate did not supply an answer.”

Answer from Council Candidate Stephen Seymour

We could build one on city-owned land near San Mateo Avenue. It should be metered. This would generate revenue to fund a portion of the project. I support partnering with a developer to assist with funding. A parking structure will serve the community and will create income.

Q9.    HOW should garbage, recycled items, and yard waste collections be improved, including costs?

 Answer from Current Mayor Rico Medina

Community education is key to increasing collection numbers and lowering costs. There will be a ZOOM presentation for residents to learn about recycling practices at home in early September by Recology.

We had our green bin being collected every other week and now it is every week turned into to compost so food waste can be included.  We are required as a city to meet State requirements on diversion and we are. 

Answer from Mayoral Candidate Linda Mason

Recology has been excellent.  An immediate option to lowering cost would be to advocate for a smaller bin size, which has provided lower costs in neighboring cities.  Our contract for garbage, recycling and yard waste is the oldest in San Mateo County with 24 years and should be re-bid to ensure we have the most competitive rates in the County and to be in line with best practices.

Answer from Council Candidate Tom Hamilton

By most accounts, the actual service provided by Recology is satisfactory. The only minor service improvements I would suggest would be to increase communication and education of customers so that they know that they have two large pickups per calendar year, and to have Recology calculate how many large pickups per year go unused and use that data to sponsor a commensurate number of public waste drop off events throughout the year for residents to dispose of large items.

Regarding costs, we need to ensure that our key services, including garbage, recycling, and yard waste, be put out for competitive bidding at appropriate intervals to ensure we are paying market rates for these services.

Answer from Council Candidate Stephan Marshall

I don’t have any experience in the garbage industry, but I look forward to learning more and working with our service provider to find ways to improve services. I will not be that candidate that promises to lower garbage and water rates because just about everyone does and they are never successful.  What I will work really hard to do though is try to avoid rate increases over the next year so that residents can catch their breath from the pandemic.  I am hopeful that the council can figure out a way to do that.

Answer from Council Candidate & Current Vice Mayor Michael Salazar

We have a problem with illegal dumping that needs to be addressed.  One possible solution is partnering with Recology to create large item collection events.  Also, an education campaign in impacted neighborhoods could help.  San Bruno has to meet waste reduction goals imposed by the state. The state also requires that trash be removed at least weekly.  Any changes to the process have to be done with these constraints in mind.

Answer from Council Candidate Jeremy Sarnecky

“Candidate did not supply an answer.”

Answer from Council Candidate Stephen Seymour

Recology has done a good job serving our city. The city has a contract with Recology that spans nearly 30 years.  I would support any actions taken that would decrease the cost to those on fixed incomes and our economically disadvantaged residents.

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