City Manager attempts to ‘manage’ South City residents

A look behind the scenes

April 2018

“It was like being called into the principal’s office” a South San Francisco resident said relating an invitation received to meet with the City Manager. “I thought the topic would be on the Civic Campus because I’ve been actively watching that and had questions. I was surprised the topic was pushing the PUC development.”

The City Manager appears to be busy attempting to ‘manage residents’ and selling them on the 8-15-story development telling them basically it is a done deal although no developer has signed on and the property has not yet been sold.

The intent had been to choose a developer from a group of 12 who had presented plans to the City as part of the bidding process. The two finalists were at the Successor Agency Meeting on March 28th anticipating a decision which was put on hold as a crowd of South City residents came to oppose this massive development.

“Why are they trying to sneak this through? Why haven’t council members told us about these plans before they were ready to go forward? Who said they wanted such high rises in the middle of our City?”  Ramona asked.

“Don't turn Sunshine Gardens into Sunshine Ghetto with a development in a neighborhood that doesn't even have a public park. 800 apartments could bring an additional 3,000 people to an already congested area.” Melissa Y said. “If I wanted to live in San Francisco I would move there” Erik K wrote echoing the sentiments of most South City residents.

James and Eleanora R agree “t will cause too much congestion. Rethink this plan!” Judi S said “Height limit and number of units are too many for this area”

Patrica C believes “Residents should have the right to vote on any project that affects our quality of life.”

The majority of residents do not even know the City has these plans ready to sell and those that do are working hard to get elected officials to work with them. There is a small group that are in favor of this massive development citing the need for more housing as reason enough to destroy the small town feeling longtime residents have worked hard to create. Pro-development groups, YIMBY’s as they are called, mostly from outside our City have been aggressive in bringing their vision to cities where they do not live. And those from within our City are either newcomers or those who have yet to purchase a home here and do not like renting.

"I find it laughable that most 'YIMBY's are renters. If you do not own your backyard you have no right to want more in your landlord's yard." Steve K said "If you missed the economic downturn (2007-2012) when there were literally hundreds of local foreclosed homes on the market, get prepared now. Analysts predict 2019 as a turning point to another downturn. Be smart, save your money and be ready to become a homeowner." This is perhaps the reason City officials are pushing to get all these developments underway now so they can cash in on the fees. What happens next year is of no consequence to them, they'll be gone and onto something else.

Another factor pushing these unbridled developments stems from the fact South San Francisco has been aggressively bringing in more businesses, more employees which forces our City to build housing for newcomers. Residential units had been proposed for east of highway 101 closer to the biotech area of the City. “Put housing where the employees work, they can walk or bike to work thereby reducing traffic.” Paul M. reasoned. However, the plan was shot down by the biotech industry stating they did not want housing in that area. "I think it is time to start a moratorium to halt any more expansion east of 101" Angela T wrote. "It's not fair to entice people with work opportunities and then not have the infrastructure needed to help them, including housing."  This is not the first time residents have talked about a moratorium on this issue and might well be worth exploring.

Meanwhile City Manager Futrell continues to use his political savvy to sway residents to his way of thinking “So are you on board? Can I count on you?” is the constant reframe from this busy politician as he works to fatten his resume which has grown considerably in the three years he has been in our City. Common knowledge among insiders acknowledge he has his sights on the San Mateo County Manager position because John Maltbie has announced his intent to retire by the end of the year.

"We all like to think we live in a democracy but the SSF government has shown us this is not true. They make decisions without public input. Plan meetings at times people can’t attend. Lied about the real reason Measure W funds were for. This has to stop!" long time resident Lynn E wrote. "Voting is the only power we have along with raising our voices in protest. This is exactly how prop 13 gained momentum in the 70s. People have just had enough."

“Can’t we just do a Go-Fund-Me and send him and his family back to Louisiana?” Kathy R. asked. “Why is he trying to ruin our City? Why is he trying to be the go-between us and those we elected to represent us? Who is this guy? And more important why are those we elected to represent us allowing this to happen?”

If you were called into the Manager’s office and would like to share your experience, let us know at

Make your voice heard!

Sign the petition now!

Let other South City residents know what is being planned!

Let your voice be heard at the meetings;

Wednesday April 18, 2018 MSB 33 Arroyo Drive South San Francisco

First session: 10:00am-Noon    Second session:  6:00pm-8:00pm

The sessions will have the developers at different stations in the MSB allowing residents and non-residents the opportunity to hear the sales pitch while looking at shiny new buildings and enticing amenities promised that SSF history shows will NOT happen. Do NOT be fooled again.

and by writing your representatives at:

SSF City Hall
400 Grand Avenue
South San Francisco, CA, 94080

Email your elected officials now - copy us at :

Mayor Liza Normandy
Mayor Pro Tem Karyl Matsumoto
Councilmember Rich Garbarino
Councilmember Mark Addiego
Councilmember Pradeep Gupta
Elected City Clerk Krista Martinelli

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