Ferry is focal point of S.S.F. council race

With three City Council candidates for two seats — including an incumbent — South San Francisco is not the Peninsula’s most hotly contested race, but for a city looking to grow as a business leader and destination for residents and teachers, the next four years could be crucial.

Mayor Rich Garbarino is attempting to win a second term, while multimedia producer Kevin Mullin — son of state Assemblymember Gene Mullin — and health care consultant Kamala Cynthia Silva Wolfe are each seeking first terms.

Implementing ferry service into the city — heavily supported by the businesses east of U.S. Highway 101 whose employees commute to and from the East Bay and San Francisco — is a disputed point. Garbarino and Mullin would both like to see it built within city limits, while Wolfe said they should look at utilizing the existing facilities near Monster Park, a short drive up the highway.

“I have to question it when there is one built down the road 10 minutes that we’re not utilizing,” Wolfe said.

But Garbarino said a location north of the city would not solve the area’s traffic problems, because cars would still be needed to carry ferry-riders to and from the terminal.

“To me it’s very logical to have a ferry terminal next to businesses and employees who have said they want to use it,” Garbarino said. “Even if you’re only bringing in 400 riders, that’s 400 cars off the road.”

All three candidates said they would work to encourage a better partnership between civic leaders, the community and local law enforcement to combat South San Francisco’s gang problems, with an emphasis on holding parents accountable for the actions of their children.

“We’re at the point where if we actively put the resources in, we can actually stem that tide and change that trend,” Mullin said.

Finding housing for teachers is also a vital goal according to the candidates, because, Mullin said, the district is viewed as a training ground for young teachers; they spend a few years in local schools and leave for better pay or lower cost of living.

Garbarino suggests partnering with local school districts to look into developing surplus property into possible low-income affordable housing that can be offered to teachers and other local service providers first.

Rich Garbarino

» Age: 63

» Occupation: Business management

» Time in South San Francisco: 40 years

» Council experience: Four years (current mayor)

Kevin Mullin

» Age: 37

» Occupation: Video/communications producer

» Time in South San Francisco: 32 years

» Council experience: None

Kamala Cynthia Silva Wolfe

» Age: 50

» Occupation: Health care consultant

» Time in South San Francisco: 50 years

» Council experience: None

jgoldman@examiner.com

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