Lawsuits a major concern for Prop. F opponents

“Where we stand,” San Francisco Examiner Endorsements, Oct. 15
Lawsuits a major concern for Prop. F opponents

Oh, I’m so disappointed to see your poorly considered “Yes” recommendation on Proposition F. You could set back The City’s affordable housing another few steps.

Our family is one of thousands that could not afford to live here, if not for opportunities to share what we have with others, at a reasonable price. Artists, writers, social entrepreneurs and the whole creative community is being forced out of The City, and Prop. F is just one more shove.

If Airbnb is popular, build on the model. Don’t ban it. Make it easy for people to rent out our spare units and bedrooms — and to create more. Right now, we’ve got two giant bedrooms we would love to rent out, but we’d be idiots to offer them on the rental market. The magnet for abuse, ill-will and lawsuits is too powerful. We’ve learned the hard way.

You say the proponent’s concerns about lawsuits are exaggerated. I’m testimony that they are not. It’s cost me $40,000 to deal with a minor complaint by one neighbor over a shed he thought might potentially violate a city code. That’s years of debt for us, and it hasn’t even escalated into a lawsuit. Don’t imagine that the complaint-driven system is innocuous. It’s not just lawsuits, it’s the spying mentality that invites neighbors to use The City to punish their neighbors, rather than chatting across the fence and resolving matters as if we were a community.

The divisiveness that characterizes San Francisco politics and the neighbor-against-neighbor policies of a complaints-driven bureaucratic culture will only be worsened by this attack on residents trying to make ends meet by engaging in the sharing economy.

OK, Examiner, you’re a century-old institution. Step up as the Fourth Estate and help bring The City together. Don’t pander to, or choose between, the two sets of vested interests that masquerade as the progressive and moderate community here — each dominated by different wings of the business, labor and development community. They don’t offer us a genuine choice. You can. Push and prod and help us step ahead of them and do what’s best for The City. Be the hero you can be.

And, honestly, revisit that ill-considered position on Proposition F. It’s not too late.

Bill Shireman
San Francisco

“SFBARF keeps the Sierra Club in check,” The City, Oct. 14
Mission Rock masquerade

Is the glass 40 percent full or 60 percent empty? Don’t you just love it when people, such as Ms. Purchia, laud how 40 percent of a 1,500 unit rental home project will be designated affordable. If my math is correct, that means 60 percent of the homes will be UNAFFORDABLE. Do we want to continue to build projects that provide more to the wealthy than those who are less than wealthy? The affordable and unaffordable gap would continue to grow. Are voters really buying into this type of project?

Arthur P. Samuelson
San Francisco

“Gun scare prompts uncertainty,” The City, Oct. 14
Violence on campus

At City College, one of my students told us in class that she had been forced to evacuate the Louise and Claude Rosenberg Jr. Library on the day of the reported gun incident on campus. She had been hitting the books until the San Francisco police arrived to investigate and secure the normally tranquil premises.

Another student asked me for my “take” on what had allegedly transpired. As their teacher, I welcomed this “educational” moment. It’s unfortunate, I began, that people claim to brandish potentially lethal weaponry on a site entrusted to awaken young and growing minds to much higher purposes.

“I have a gun,” someone was heard to have uttered. Even if it was just tough talk, it’s sad that people get so mired in frustration that they are driven to shoot themselves in the proverbial foot by threatening others.

We must not be overwhelmed by such “toxic” news, I told my students. I hope we can find ways to filter out the bad thoughts, deeds and words reported in our daily newspapers.

A college is a temple of higher learning for our healthy, curious and freedom-loving community of student-scholars. It is neither a war zone nor a staging ground for the darker side of our personal and collective hang-ups.

Victor L. Turks
City College of San Francisco

“Protecting The City’s legacy,” The City, Oct. 8
Funding for Prop. J

Broke-Ass Stuart’s column on Proposition J, legacy business, attempts to defend the indefensible. He fails to mention that, under Prop. J, San Francisco taxpayers will be subsidizing businesses. He doesn’t ask basic questions like where the money, estimated to be $94 million after 25 years by the nonpartisan Controller’s Office, will come from?

Will it be taken from street cleaning, park maintenance, public safety? He doesn’t mention that there is no restriction on the size or profitability of the businesses to be subsidized or that the supervisors will get to pick the businesses to be subsidized.

Prop. J will discourage new businesses from locating in San Francisco. Why would entrepreneurs open a new, modern business when their tax dollars will be used to subsidize their competition? Prop. J is among the worst ideas the “progressives” have put forward in years that is sure to be a boondoggle.

Howard Epstein
San Francisco

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