In the second of three recollections of his time in office during the last big budget crisis -- drawn from his book Talk City -- Bill Fulton reminds us that people are willing to pay higher fees if they see the payoff -- but not to cover deficits if they don't see the benefit to themselves. >>read more
In the first of three excerpts from Talk City, Bill Fulton -- former Mayor of Ventura -- recalls how difficult it was during the last recession to make the tough choices when the chips were down. >>read more
A couple of weeks ago, the satirical newspaper The Onion reported that the City of San Francisco was looking to relocate because its current location had become too expensive. Funny though this was, I expected the follow-up story to focus on the economic development incentive package being put together to keep San Francisco where it is. >>read more
A week or so later, Gabriel Metcalfe - head of the respected San Francisco urban planning organization SPUR - published a provocative piece in CityLab blaming the city's affordability crisis on progressive politics - especially progressive politics of the no-growth kind. Progressive San Francisco, he argued, "had a fatal, Shakespearean flaw that would prove to be its undoing: It decided early on to be against new buildings. It decided that new development, with the exception of publicly subsidized affordable housing, was not welcome."
All up and down California - especially in the expensive coastal enclaves around San Francisco and Los Angeles - community activists have been lately decrying how the rising cost of housing is making it impossible for normal people with normal incomes to live in these towns. Yet, as Metcalf points out, most of the time these same community activists are arguing that the trend toward high housing cost must be countered with... less housing construction. Or at least less market-rate housing construction.
At about 10:30 this morning, I stepped out of my office a block from Main St. in Ventura to get a cup of coffee. Almost immediately, I noticed something different.
The parking lot on Oak Street, usually two-thirds empty in the morning, was mostly full. And the on-street parking spaces along Oak and Main Street, which are mostly occupied on a typical morning at this time, were mostly vacant.