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Thursday, April 26, 2012


Two years ago - hundreds of small contractors led by the Residential Builders Association - gathered in front of City Hall. I was there and have hundreds of photographs of this unique stand-off.

Mayor Gavin Newsom was in his Room 200 - listening to the many speech. Many of them in the strong Irish accent. Passionate and to the point - the economy was in dire straits - and small developers were in the doldrums.

Some small developers - down on their luck - committed suicide. I knew one of them - and I was shocked and this fact - affected me for months - I could not believe some one taking their life.

The economy was so bad - it had come to a point - that for many it was a life and death - issue.

After the strong speeches - on cue - and no one expected the sudden appearance of the  many trucks, rigs, cars - moving in a circle around City Hall and blowing their horns - to the cheers of those that gathered - and the honking of other cars that were passing by.

I had never, ever seen something like that - before. The SF Police Department stood at bay - and I knew it was just a matter of time - that the coward, shallow, inept Gavin Newsom would succumb to this pressure - and yield.

Right and enough there he was at the podium - and he assured the small contractors - that permit fees would be deferred and that certain amendments to the -  SF Planning Rules would help the small contractors.

Soon after - some Memorandum of Understanding was signed - and I got a copy - and I did appreciate the fact - the small contractors were given a chance to survive.

There is no doubt that the 2008 economic crash - impacted everyone.

It impacted mostly - those who wanted to survive, worked very hard, and had to go the banks to borrow money.

As far as I know the banks were slow to lend and loan any money. Even though we tax payers bailed them out. The U.S. Government did nothing for years - until recently to listen to the pleas to the small contractors and those home owners who went under water. Millions of them all over this Nation.

Only those contractors that had some savings, could begin some work, and those that showed they had some qualified equity; were given small loans.

Those small contractors who were mandated to pay permit fees and other fees up front to the City and County of San Francisco - and who now had some reprieve - thanks to the luck of Irish - could make it some; and float their businesses.

To digress a little bit - I have a soft corner for the Irish. In my youth in Nairobi, Kenya - I was educated by the Holy Ghost Fathers; all Irish - all very strict, and all very fatherly after you made your grades.

I interject this fact here - because when I came to San Francisco - some of the Holy Ghost Fathers came to San Francisco to retire - and many of them stayed here in San Francisco until their dying days.

Some years later - I met the Residential Builders Association members and more some of their leaders. All fine Irish men and women - who work hard and do not want anything for free on their platter.

At the last Land Use Meeting - this issue of affordable housing - those affordable units built to fulfill the mandate of affordable housing - on any large project - on an average 12% to 15% - being affordable - has been the norm.

The richer Big Developers prefer paying the City and County of San Francisco millions - just to fulfill these mandate and not building any affordable housing on their project on site or off site - but contributing to a pool where the Mayor's Office of Housing and the Mayor's Office of Economic Development can create affordable housing.

As you might imagine with the demise of SF Redevelopment Agency - behind, whose shadow the Mayor's Office of Housing and the Mayor's Office of Economic Development were hiding - has done a very - POOR - job.

The dream was that a rogue developer like Lennar would build 10,000 homes and about 33% would be affordable - that simply will not happen.

Lennar a Rogue Developer - is swimming in the cesspool of debt - and soon it will sink to the very dept of this cesspool - it is simply called - KARMA.

Any other model - anyone uses to mess with Hunters Point Naval Shipyard and Candlestick Point - will not succeed. The contamination, issues with liquefaction and flooding - cost money. No one has the type of money needed to do a - sound, quality job.

Paradoxically, the small contractors are the only ones that against great odds have contributed to any decent, quality, needed affordable housing.

Building quality homes for San Franciscans by the Residential Builders Association (RBA) has been their forte.
Be it they do it their own way; without the interference of other ill trained workforce - inferior in nature and devious when it comes to standards.

As I said -  I know the Residential Builders Association (RBA) and I am cognizant of their good works and motto.

I also know most of the contractors that fall under the Local Business Enterprise and the other titles - dime a dozen that the Human Rights Commission - can issue for a fee.

Enforcement on projects by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has been - nil.

Of all the above groups - only the RBA builders have made a significant impact. The reason is very simply -  because they are Catholic which mean united.universal when it comes to standards.

The Luck of the Irish - so far has made a significant dent - helping hundreds of San Franciscans - live in affordable housing.

There are many Local Business Enterprise (LBEs) who also participate in building so called affordable housing - I have monitored these buildings - but, what I have seen does not meet standards. The Department of Building Inspection - talks the talk but has failed to walk the walk.

Simply put short cuts are taken - and when you take short cuts - you mostly land in the cesspool of utter - sordidness.

Big Developers have nothing to lose - they have the backing of the filthy rich - and they have SF Planning Department - and crooks on the outside - one of them being  "Platinum Consultants"- who can bring the permits to any Big Developer - on a platter for a fee - more consultant's fee.

Head of this Mafia Operation - a former Black Mayor - I call him the "thug" mayor - a disgrace to the human race.

Our City and County of San Francisco pretends that it helps those that help themselves - but in reality - those that help themselves have to create a niche to - survive.

Anyway, at the last Land Use meeting three SF Board of Supervisors who are on the Land Use Committee - all three reprimanded by the Ethics Commission - linked to the Park Merced Project. Supervisors Eric Mar the Chair - and his side kicks Malia Cohen and Scott Wiener.

Read the following:

The above SF Supervisors were pretending to listen to the many RBA supporters; were defend the current ordinance linked to "deferred fees".

Other models to help the small contractors - but these SF Board of Supervisors - vermin of a kind, corrupt to the core; truly do not have the better interest of anyone - but themselves.

The many ploys and machination linked to Infrastructure Financing Development (IFD) - other devious ploys - brought to the fore by the Mayor's Office of Economic Development and the Mayor's Office of Housing - will all fall by the wayside - chaff that not even the hogs with sniff at.

For too long the Land Use Committee, the SF Planning Department, the Department of Building Inspection, the SF Board of Supervisors - have relied on big money from the Big Developers. The writing is on the wall - corruption begets corruption - and those that do evil - will perish - never mind - how.

Better a dog with fleas - then a Big Developer with no soul.

Again and again these Big Developers - have shafted the small developers - and have the audacity to challenge the tax payers - the constituents of San Francisco.

Time to unite - meet in front of City Hall - time reenact the scene around the walls of Jericho!

Let the wall come tumbling down - complete with the scum bags that make their abode  - therein.

We count on the luck of the Irish - and don't mind that you contributed well to the Campaign Coffers of some of those in power.

I will not name the long list - nor the wrap sheet I have on them.

We must stand united to do the RIGHT - thing. Time is running out.

Letter from the Ethics Commission: