The audacity of John Ebneter’s opinion piece “Measure Y means new zoning opportunities” in the Dec. 28 edition of the Daily Journal is a stunning measure of his failure to recognize that San Mateo voters have legitimate concerns about the pace of wholesale development, the influence of developers and special interests, and the lack of confidence in a majority of our city council members.
Mr. Ebneter’s writings reflect an unmitigated blend of arrogance and ignorance as he brands more than 23,000 San Mateo voters racists. His baseless and insulting labeling is divisive and destructive to our community and does nothing to address issues. At a 2018 council hearing, Mr. Ebneter stated that the intent of Measure Y supporters was to keep undesirables out of the community. This in turn led a councilmember to question his ability to be impartial and council to reject him as a General Plan committee member. How are we to have trust in Mr. Ebneter’s position as a planning commissioner when our City Council rejected him for guiding the General Plan process? Mr. Ebneter’s exclusionary and racism rhetoric merely deflects attention away from the core issue: developers and special interests profiting from San Mateo without regard to the community.
Secondly, Mr. Ebneter fails to mention that his employer, Swinerton Builders, saw their potential profits dwindle upon the passing of Measure Y. Is it possible that Mr. Ebneter’s position at Swinerton lends to a predisposition to sacrifice single-family homes for the type his employer builds?
Perhaps Mr. Ebneter should not hold an influential commissioner post if a conflict of interest exists or if he passionately believes that residents are segregationists. If we are to regain or hold public trust in our government officials, we need representatives that are unbiased and without prejudice.