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Here’s why I’m against Props 1, 3, and 4:

  1. I don’t like bonds on the ballot. Going into debt on things you could afford today makes no sense to me… I mean, we’ve got a $9 billion budget surplus. Why bonds?
  2. How many more water bonds can we put on the ballot? Seems like we just approved a water bond about 3 weeks ago, no?

This is original content from Adam McLane. © adam mclane

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Here’s why I’m YES on Measure G (SDSU West):

  1. Like many San Diegans, I wish that the city had been allowed to go through the normal process, whereby after an RFP and much public debate, a winner had been chosen for the current Mission Valley location of the Chargers. But Measure E (SoccerCity) forced the hands of civic-minded people to stand up for the university before the land was stolen by the hedge fund guys. Given that this is isn’t the process we want but it’s the process we’ve gotten, this is the best of the two options.
  2. Voting YES means saving taxpayers millions and 10 years of debate. I think it’s HIGHLY LIKELY that if the city were to go through a regular process, something like SDSU West would emerge from that process… just in 10 years and at a cost of millions of dollars.
  3. Living in the college area I know how much pressure the growth of SDSU is putting on the neighborhoods. The College neighborhood immediately to our north has been entirely lost to mini dorms, including developers getting an ordinance meant to protect the neighborhood from mini dorms in the courts. Building out MV for SDSU– even if it’s not that much housing– will take pressure off of the College area neighborhoods and move it down to MV which is better equipped for higher density housing.
  4. Unlike SoccerCity, SDSU West would sell the land to the CSU and any development going forward would undergo a complete environmental review.
  5. With a growing population in California every university in San Diego needs room to grow. Last year 93,000 people applied for 8,000 first-year spots. The current campus is pretty much maxed out, we need more space.
  6. Everything will be paid for via public/private partnerships and revenue bonds. This won’t raise the cost of education nor will it pass the cost off to citizens.
  7. All of the costs of upkeep, tearing down the existing stadium, etc immediately go to SDSU as soon as the deal closes. (This is a big difference between Measure G and Measure E)

I could go on and on. Given the circumstances, this is the best option for SDSU and the city. Voting no on it would only delay things by 10 years for no real reason, basically just making it all more expensive for everyone.

Full disclosure

I’m a season ticket holder and a relatively inactive member of the Aztec Club, who does fundraising for SDSU Athletics.

I am currently working with SDSU West’s spokesperson Fred Pierce on an unrelated neighborhood matter. He and I have no relationship beyond the discussions we’ve had on the neighborhood matter.

This is original content from Adam McLane. © adam mclane

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Continuing my trip through the California ballot, here’s why I am NO on Prop 10:

  1. There’s a reason rent control is used as an example of bad ideas in every economics class, it’s a bad idea. Controlling the price and supply of something just raises prices because it artificially inflates demand. (Anyone who has ever tried to buy a Nintendo product near Christmas has learned this lesson.)
  2. In yet another study just published in August, this one from Stanford about the long-term effects of rent control in San Fransisco the authors summarize, “Landlords treated by rent control reduce rental housing supplies by 15%, either by converting to con- dos/TICs, selling to owner occupants, or redeveloping buildings. In the long-run, we find rent control increased the gentrification of San Francisco” (source)
  3. But, the single biggest reason I’m against Prop 10 is that it’s a statewide solution to a local problem. I’m a firm believer in local leadership, let individual city councils rollout rent control instead of shoving it down the throat of 40 million people. Could some form of rent control slow gentrification in areas of San Diego? Maybe. But rolling that out statewide is– particularly considering most of the land mass of California is quite rural– unwise and impractical.
  4. If this passes it’ll just end up in court anyway. I find it highly unlikely that the state supreme court will take away the rights of homeowners statewide.

This is original content from Adam McLane. © adam mclane

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Here’s why I’m a YES on Prop 5 on the California ballot:

  1. The current law, Prop 13 from 1978, was designed to help homeowners stay in their homes. The worry at that time was that property tax increases would force many older Californians to lose their homes to the county. Prop 5 fixes an unintended consequence for many people who now cannot afford to move because of the increase in property taxes.
  2. Simply put Prop 5 will allow people to downsize. Let’s say you own a 4 bedroom house that you purchased 30 years ago for $120,000 that is now worth $500,000. Not only do you no longer have a mortgage, Prop 13 locked in your taxes so that you’re paying a tax rate far less than your current homes value. If you’re on a fixed income it’s perfect as long as you never move. Prop 5 will allow you to profit from the sale of your home, move into a home that fits your current needs, AND take much of your current tax rate with you, making it possible for you to downsize from that 4 bedroom house to the 1 bedroom condo you really want.
  3. Prop 5 will ultimately free up inventory for younger families. This is a real problem in Rolando where I’d estimate at least 50% of bedrooms don’t have an occupant. (Their kids grew up and moved away.) Since people over 55 can’t currently afford to downsize because the increase in taxes will eat away their savings, which locks them into a house larger than they need/want, their inability to move is actually locking young families out of the neighborhood simply because there’s no inventory.
  4. Creating tax portability for people 55+ will help with the statewide housing crisis. Yes, we need to build more housing, but we also just need to help get people into the right-sized property, too.
  5. I think this will ultimately generate more revenue for the state and counties. Think about it… if someone is currently paying $800/year for property tax on a $500,000 home and they move to a $300,000 condo, their property taxes would actually go down. But the flip is also true. A person under 55 who buys the house for $500,000 would start paying a little over $5,000 a year for a property that the county used to collect just $800 on. Factor in that people over 55 don’t live as long as someone buying that home who is 35 and you’ll actually see more transactions on both properties and more overall revenue on both the original home and the condo.
  6. More fluidity in the California housing market is good for everyone.

Learn more about Prop 5 here

This is original content from Adam McLane. © adam mclane

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When our teenage children were young my wife Kristen felt convicted about giving our kids lots of stuff for Christmas. To her, toys simply weren’t the point of Christmas.

Christmas is about Jesus, right? So if we make a big deal out of loading up the tree with toys it stops being about Jesus and starts being about toys.

Give Experiences, Not Things

As the years progressed this idea morphed as things do in a family. Along the way we shifted our thinking about Christmas and birthday gift giving from things to experiences.

We tend to help create ways for our kids to earn their own money to buy things. (Our middle child earned $800 in 6th grade to buy and build his own gaming PC, our high schoolers now pet sit to buy all the things they want.) And we tend to give experiences as gifts. (Excursions, day trips, weekends, and the occasional longer trip.)*

Making Memories Together

As I reflect on our 17 years of parenting I have a hard time remembering all of the day-to-day stuff. The millions of lunches made, drives to school, homework help, soccer practices… it all blends together.

But the memories I hold dear, the photos in my brain, mostly come from our shared experiences. These vivid snapshots of our family will last a lifetime.

  • Playing in rivers at Yosemite, squinting at the walls of El Capitan to see climbers.
  • Watching my 12 year old catch a fish half his weight.
  • Seeing Jackson play in the snow for the first time.
  • Hiking to an alpine lake.
  • The wonder of riding the ferries in Seattle.
  • Being overtaken by the smells of a Mexico City bakery.
  • Driving across Costa Rica just to see monkeys on a beach.

If life were a Polaroid camera these are layers of snapshots laying on the table.

Ah, San Diego

We’ve lived in San Diego for 10 years now. (Crazy, right) And I think we’re still tourists. I still regularly go somewhere and think, “I didn’t know this was here!”

While it’s a place known for big attractions it’s also a place of small wondrous corners.

Yes, the zoo is great.

But so is Barrio Logan.

Yes, Sea World is great.

But if you go to the tide pools at Cabrillo at just the right time, it’s way better.

Helping Families Make Memories in San Diego

This Spring, Kristen pitched the idea of starting her own business to help families visiting San Diego make memories that’ll last a lifetime.

She calls it McLandia and the scope of the idea is all of these things.

  • Helping families discover unique parts of San Diego, stuff that’s off the beaten path. We know people want to visit the main attractions. But we hope to help families visit really cool parts of our community, too. Each month she’s sending out a Beyond the Zoo Guide for free, sign-up here.
  • Helping families create memories with unique experiences. One of the things she’s been learning is that it’s just too hard for a family to pull off some of the cooler things you can do in San Diego. So she’s working on some turn-key experiences you can book directly on her website, like the perfect beach bonfire night on the bay.

*I want to be clear that this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Please see the phrase  “tend to” as sometimes we give gifts.

This is original content from Adam McLane. © adam mclane

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