October 8, 2015
Special Interest Super Pac Attempting To Buy Millbrae Council Election.
Millbrae, Calif. – On Friday, October 2, 2015 Republic Urban Properties opened a new political action committee (PAC) with the stated purpose of opposing the re-election of Millbrae’s former Mayor Gina Papan, an outspoken advocate for retaining Millbrae’s community character and holding developers accountable to residents for the impacts of development. (See link to filing here)
The ironically named Super Pac has reported $26,000 in donations, almost all of which are from Republic Urban Properties, LLC, an out-of-town special interest. This would mark the first time in Millbrae’s history, a city of just over 22, 000 residents, that an outside entity has poured in such vast quantities of campaign funding to manipulate a local city council election.
“I am being targeted because I have opposed Republic’s development project adjacent to the Millbrae BART station,” said Papan. “The proposed development would yield huge profits for Republic and BART but cost the city a great deal of scarce dollars due to the impact on services such as police and fire. We must get a responsible project that includes revenue-generating assets that protects, not overburdens, critical city services for all Millbrae residents.”
The proposed office and housing project within the footprint of the Millbrae Station Area is slated to add roughly 400,000 square feet of office space, 79,000 square feet of retail and more than 800 residential units between two development sites, bringing more traffic and congestion, increasing the burden on existing public safety resources and aging infrastructure, and leaving Millbrae residents with the extra costs and headaches.
Recently, the City of Millbrae commissioned an independent economic analysis of the proposed project that found the project will have a significant negative impact on the City’s General Fund thereby compromising the City’s ability to pay for critical services such as police, fire, parks, and roads in the future. (See link to filing here)
“Millbrae residents already pay a fire assessment and will pay far higher sewer fees into the future due to major infrastructure needs,” said Papan. “We cannot afford this development as it stands. If done well and with community input, this project could be a great benefit. But to date, Republic has been unwilling to support a project that is good for Millbrae residents.”
With $26,000 on hand to spend in the City Council Election and so few voters in Millbrae, local voters can expect an onslaught of misleading negative campaign mailers. With just 3,592 ballots returned the in 2013 Millbrae Council Election, a $26,000 war chest would amount to an expenditure of over $7.00 per voter.
Gina Papan grew up in Millbrae and is currently running for re-election to the Millbrae City Council. As a former Millbrae Mayor and Councilmember, Gina brings decades of experience championing public safety and quality of life services that protect children, families, local businesses and economic vitality. She is a strong advocate of establishing emergency reserves; reducing waste, costs, and debt; and maintaining essential, quality of life services Millbrae residents and families rely on. Visit GinaPapan.com for more information.