Dan Stegink, a Pacifica resident challenging incumbent Don Horsley in the June 5 primary election to represent District 3 on the county Board of Supervisors, says he's running because of inaction on the part of San Mateo County government: on reducing spending and traffic congestion, and on increasing affordable housing and help for the homeless.
Horsley says his motivation for seeking re-election is about unfinished business, including pushing for action on some of those same concerns: to help nonprofits that build affordable housing to build more of it; to look at lowering rents for second units; to improve traffic flow by increasing the number of trains; by restoring the Dumbarton rail line to Fremont; and by advocating for the half-cent transportation-oriented sales tax likely to be on the November ballot.
District 3 straddles the coastal range and includes the communities of Atherton, Half Moon Bay, parts of Menlo Park, Princeton, Portola Valley, San Gregorio, Ladera, Los Trancos Woods, La Honda, Woodside, Skylonda, Pacifica, Vista Verde, Menlo Oaks and West Menlo Park.
Horsley, a former county sheriff, is running for his third four-year term on the board. Stegink said he serves on the Pacifica Planning Commission and the board of Shark Stewards, an advocate for the well being of sharks. In a 2016 election record from smartvoter.org, Duffy described herself as a homemaker.
A traffic signal at Alpine Road and Interstate 280 is an item on Horsley's list of unfinished business, one of several projects he would like to conclude during another term. "The cohort of traffic that comes in (along Alpine Road)," he said, "you never get a break."
A crosswalk across Alpine at Piers Lane – the Dish parking area – could be another item, he said.
Further east, the Y intersection where Santa Cruz Avenue meets Alameda de las Pulgas should be made safer for pedestrians and cyclists, probably through road engineering, Horsley said. "Just lowering the speed limit will never do it," he said. Neighbor participation would be essential, he added.
For Caltrain, grade separations – railway bridges over roadways, or tunnels under train tracks, or a combination of the two – will be vital for high-speed rail, Horsley said. "You're not going to be able to maximize the system unless you have grade separations," he said.
Supervisors participate in grade separation decisions in that they must approve the county transit authority's plans for the railroad, Horsley said.
A renewed Dumbarton rail line "would be a real boon," Horsley said. "I think we have a real possibility of a public/private partnership with Facebook and others. ... We could take a lot of traffic off bridges and ultimately off our freeways."
East Bay traffic has a presence here, he said. For 70 percent of the members of the San Mateo County Credit Union – which has a current membership of 82,000, the credit union website says – home is the East Bay, Horsley said. Of the 300,000 jobs in the county, 62 percent are held by people who don't live here, he said.
Sites for affordable housing are hard to come by because developers buy the desirable sites, Horsley said. The county, since the voters approved Measures A and K, has allocated $45 million in sales tax revenues to nonprofits that build affordable housing, he said.
Building housing affordable to people with low to moderate incomes is a priority in that without that housing, "we're going to have nobody (working) in our stores, nobody in our restaurants, nobody in our hospitals," Horsley said. "We're even going to have trouble recruiting doctors."
Skegink's priorities would have him hitting the ground running, according to his email to The Almanac. He outlined 100-day agendas for traffic, housing and senior citizens.
On traffic, Stegink said he would push to "remove all constraints on traffic including tollbooths," ban nonlocal commercial vehicles on feeder roads during commute hours, and bring underground trains to Menlo Park and elevated trains for travel between the Bay side and Half Moon Bay. "We need to make public transportation an attractive alternative to driving," he said.
Stegink said he would advocate increasing the speed limit in freeway carpool lanes by 10 mph, make more vehicles eligible for those lanes, and put artificial-intelligence-controlled traffic signals on congested roadways in the county's jurisdiction.
He would push to have the county assist the growth of housing at "job-density hotspots" and allow "micro-apartments" of 200 square feet to 250 square feet. He would also expedite permits for people wanting to add floor area to single-family homes provided the expansion is less than 50 percent of the existing floor area, he said.
He would advocate automatically exempting from new parcel taxes all properties owned by seniors, he said. The current system requires seniors to apply for the exemption.
As for the homeless, "We need a strong intervention from the county and an ironclad commitment not to simply move homeless around from unincorporated county land to our cities, which has happened all over District 3," Stegink said.
He said he would advocate for capping overtime for county employees at $100,000 per year and total compensation at $400,000, and lower that cap to $300,000 for new hires and require five more years of employment to receive a pension.