Hi All! This last measure has two parts to it--to develop local and more diversified water sources and to return Hetch Hetchy Valley to the National Park Service so it can be restored to its natural state (no dam). The basic purpose is to study the issue for a few years and to cook up a charter amendment to submit to the voters in 2015/2016. It calls for "independent and qualified consultants," so we can assume someone stands to make a lot of money studying how feasible the measure is. It says that the City & County can "appropriate from any legally available funds an amount sufficient to pay for the development of the Water Sustainability & Environmental Restoration Plan but in no case shall total appropriation exceed .5% of funds previously authorized by voters of San Francisco for (the) Water System Improvement Program." I'm not sure what that amount is, but it sounds like tons of money to study something that doesn't need fixing,
especially when The City is always having budgetary problems.
To me, this measure is another "Back to Nature" dream of the environmentalists. While it might have made sense to oppose the dam before it was built, to study tearing it down now decades later when it's serving its purpose--at who knows what incredible cost--seems crazy to me. Please give your input on this one. Should this measure be one that the LPSF opposes? The other 3 measures are clearly anti-Libertarian, so I don't see much controversy there, but perhaps you don't agree with me on this one. As The Taxpayer's Best Friend, I think the LPSF should strongly oppose the wasting of taxpayer money for environmental nonsense. If there is no strong consensus on this one, I will back off and leave this one alone. Otherwise I would like to tackle a strong argument against this one and would encourage others to do the same.
Please comment on how you feel about this ballot measure.
firstname.lastname@example.org_20120716_195802.pdf (332 KB)
I "vote" for a very, very strong argument against this measure. Taxpayers are asked to bail out the dying SF public schools, provide funds for MUNI, fork over hard earned cash to fix streets -- at the same time state funds are getting scarcer, and tax payers are asked to bail out the dying state college system. And these folks have the cheek to ask that money that could go to schools and infrastructure be diverted to a "study" to tear down what is bothering nobody but them?!?!
This one is very interesting in a lot of ways. Here are some articles to review.
When running for mayor there was a SF bond measure on the ballot to upgrade the Hetch Hetchy infrastructure. There was lots of talk from "old-timers" about how the citizens of the City/County of SF paid for the dam and were supposed to get free water and power from it. And then gradually, as the region grew, the control of this "public" resource was gradually diverted out of the hands of the people of San Francisco into "middle-men" who profited enormously from it...while the citizens of SF were still being asked to pay for water, power and upgrades while the water was being diverted into the greater Bay Area. Of course that side of the argument was downplayed with all the "good government" people like SPUR and the Chamber of Commerce all out pitching why it was the right thing to do.
As with so much in politics...there is a lot more than what meets the eye. It might be fun to mix it up with the left and right by leaving the dam alone but getting free water and power for SF....something like that. Just some thoughts.
Hi Marcy! Thanks for that--it's just what I figured but I wanted to hear another Libertarian say it. I will write what I hope is a dilly on this one, even though I hope there is plenty of other opposition to it, which means we probably won't win the lottery on this one. But we might still be able to use it for a paid argument, so I will give it my best shot and bring it to the August meeting. By the way, in case I forgot to mention it, the cap is 300 words on the ballot arguments, not something you or Les will have a problem with since your arguments are always short and to the point. (Mine, on the other hand, tend to suffer from diarrhea of the keyboard.)
By the way, while we're on the subject of this Agenda 21 business, I attended the Mimi Steel presentation in San Mateo tonight. A very nice turnout--one of the private rooms at the Round Table Pizza was completely filled with an assorted variety of folks ready to fight this thing--perhaps 50 folks. Quite a few from the Ron Paul crowd (including Dan The Man) but also other liberty oriented groups that I wasn't even familiar with. Mimi did a nice job laying out the issues and what's at stake here. According to her, while the challenge of stopping Plan Bay Area is considerable, lately folks have been waking up and starting to make a big stink. This has actually given the bureaucrats pause. She was quite impressed (and almost surprised) that the over 1,000 folks that signed the recent petition requesting a delay in the environmental report made an impact and got noticed by Plan Bay Area. The number one listed comment on their list after all the
letters and the signatures on the petition was that there was much concern about their plan for the area. While that doesn't mean that will stop them, it does show that they have been forced to consider the will of the citizens who will be footing the bill. I asked her if it was hopeless, and she said no, otherwise she wouldn't have been there tonight. There will be another propaganda session of the beauracrats on Thursday night July 19 at 7 PM at the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland, and she encouraged everyone to schlepp out there in force in large numbers and get up and speak out against the plan for the allotted two minutes. I am going and made tentative plans with Dan The Man and also one of the Ron Paul kids to go together. We will bring signs too. She says there are plenty of groups (environmentalists, minorities (sadly), low income folks) that show up regularly at these meetings in support of the Agenda 21 and they bring signs showing
support, so we should do the same. She also says some (but not all) are paid to show up and are bussed in. Interesting also, Mimi advised when spreading the word of this disaster not to hit folks over with the head with Agenda 21 talk but rather show how these monstrous plans will affect their everyday lives directly (force them out of their single family homes and force them to use public transportation all the time). Best not to scare them away at first--they might think we're completely looney! Anyway, I'll be there and I will speak out. Come join us--the more bodies, the better!
Also, thanks Marcy, for adding the calendar to our website. It is a great little addition--a nice quick fix without getting Marc involved. If you could add a sentence to the July 19 event saying something about bringing a sign and plan to speak against Plan Bay Area's plan for up to 2 minutes (if they want), that would be great. Thanks for your constant resourcefullness in maintaining the best Libertarian website in the Bay Area!
Great you attended Mimi's meeting! Thanks for giving the OK on the quick fix LPSF Bay Area Events calendar. I have added the information on the opportunity to speak for 2 minutes and the signs to the July 19 announcement.
Regarding Mimi's advise not to emphasize "Agenda 21", I completely agree; we do not want to appear too conspiracy theorists. Plan Bay Area is a though situation. On one hand, it sounds great to develop efficient buildings and infrastructure, save water, clean up the air, keep the earth livable for our grandchildren. On the other hand, if this is done by force, rather than by incentives that benefit everyone and do not trample on anyone's personal liberties, not so great. Where does the new 900 employee PUC Building on Golden Gate Avenue fit on the good/bad continuum? Solar panels, on-site waste-water recycling, automatic light sensors that open/close blinds, low-flow toilets, water-conserving faucets --- and 4 parking spaces "to encourage alternate transportation." Some might argue that the idea makes sense, especially given the private auto gridlock downtown. In short, I feel we need to pick specific mandates that directly interfere with personal liberties, while supporting respect for Mother Earth.
Thanks for posting this, Mike! Good picture of funds diverted, promises broken, "municipal utilities" wanting a piece of the action, folks wanting free water, and the plain fact that indeed we are also talking about electricity. The part I liked the most was Mike Marshall's editorial: Water will still come from the Toualame River, we would "just have to store it somewhere else; and this project "will encourage restoration projects all over the world.". Yikes!! As I said, with schools crumbling, huge pension obligations, homelessness everywhere -- it takes an incredible amount of gall to insist on moving water "somewhere else."
Thanks Mike and Marcy! I will try to incorporate some of this into my argument, which will focus mainly on the wasting of taxpayer money. Thanks for the additional information and historical background--always good to have more of that.