by: Bob Silvestri : marinpost – excerpt
On Monday evening, I attended an event held by the Coalition of Sensible Taxpayers (CO$T) at Piatti Restaurant, entitled “What they don’t want you to know about taxes, pensions, public education and services.” David Crane, the guest speaker and founder of Govern for California, made a compelling presentation about the coming financial crisis in our state.
Some of the many causes of Crane’s well-reasoned predictions included the State’s bogus accounting tricks, its imaginary investment return projections, and its skyrocketing retiree benefits and healthcare obligations. He also noted how California’s tax revenues have become lopsided and increasingly dependent on fewer and fewer super-wealthy individuals, so that the next recession promises to be long and painful and expensive.
In his words, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”….
It’s all about housing, or so they say
MTC is now unofficially the San Francisco Bay Area’s most powerful planning and housing agency. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the former nemesis of local control seems to exist only as a consulting firm to MTC or to justify its existence and huge budget by doing “studies” and managing projects set in motion before its planning functions were stripped away by MTC. Our elected representatives who continue to sit on its general assembly and committees, effectively have little say anymore on planning and housing issues.
How this “coup” of the planning and housing development funding powers of ABAG by an unelected state agency came about has been well documented in the Marin Post by Zelda Bronstein (ABAG leaders betray local cities and Regional government sells out Bay Area cities)…
A case in point of this power grab is a new sub-commission of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), our largest Bay Area, unelected, state-funded agency. It’s called CASA – The Committee to House the Bay Area.
Unbeknownst to just about everyone, CASA is now the most powerful committee for Bay Area affordable housing planning, even though most of us have never heard of it nor had any say in who was chosen to be on it…
The chairs and co-chairs of CASA and the conveners of their subcommittees are:
Fred Blackwell – Chief Executive Officer | The San Francisco Foundation (Bio), described on the web site as a visionary leader working to ensure shared prosperity, innovation, and equity in the Bay Area.
Leslye Corsiglia – Executive Director | Silicon Valley at Home (Bio), described as “the voice” for affordable housing in Silicon Valley. Based initially in the Housing Trust Silicon Valley, SV@Home is a membership organization that advocates for policies, programs, land use, and funding.
Michael Covarrubias – Chair and Chief Executive Officer | TMG Partners (Bio), a privately-held, full-service development company headquartered in San Francisco focusing on urban infill projects in the San Francisco Bay Area.