Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Trump's victory makes some lefties happy...those who are tired of being bullied. The comments are not what you would expect from the locals
Donald Trump’s upset presidential victory coupled with a Republican majority Congress will have significant Marin implications.
A major change will come with the expected shake-up of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Marin has been under intense pressure from HUD, not only to develop more affordable housing, but to “affirmatively further fair housing.”
That’s HUD 2015 rule utilizing quotas by ZIP code to guarantee that sufficient affordable housing is provided in each city, town and village for “underserved” African-American and non-white Hispanic households.
HUD’s first test case was New York City’s prosperous suburb, Westchester County. That’s where HUD pursued litigation linked to a compact similar to the compliance agreement Marin’s Board of Supervisors signed under pressure with HUD in 2011. HUD’s goal was to bring the reluctant county into compliance with strict federal diversity guidelines.
Westchester is said to be New York’s Marin and Marin was widely expected to be HUD’s second test case in 2017.
Westchester was a reliably blue county until HUD pushed hard. The upshot was a voter revolt that elected a Republican county executive, Rob Astorino. The county’s elected combined mayor and chief executive, Astorino is a bantam-weight street fighter who consistently fought a rear guard action against the determined federal agency.
With Trump’s victory, the housing activist concept of “affirmatively furthering fair housing” is likely one of the new administration’s first casualties. Trump is expected to gut HUD’s headcount. That’s a strategy Republican administrations use to dispose of career bureaucrats perceived as being in their opponents’ ideological camp.
New York-area rumors are that Astorino, in other matters a moderate suburban Republican, is on Trump’s short list to be HUD secretary. Trump, who owns a golf course in Westchester, knows Astorino. The county’s top honcho supported Trump, despite the usual reservations.
With federal pressure likely trailing off in coming months, Marin’s commitment to provide a more diverse community will be tested. Many Marinites opposing HUD’s strong-arm tactics pleaded that the county was willing and able to move diversity forward on its own initiative.
Diversity is an overdue goal that can be achieved without blockbuster developments, but only if the political will is strong enough.
While local control is far superior to Uncle Sam calling the shots, the challenge now is for Marin to keep its promise absent threats of federal intervention.
In the highly contested race for a seat on Marin’s Board of Supervisors from the sprawling 4th Supervisorial District, the Corte Madera vote was decisive.
The race to succeed retiring Supervisor Steve Kinsey was between two permanent West Marinites, Olema contractor and North Marin Water District Director Dennis Rodoni and West Novato dairy rancher Dominic Grossi.
While the district’s geography emphasizes sparsely populated West Marin, the majority of 4th District’s voters are “over the hill” in Corte Madera, San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood and West Novato. In the early count, Rodoni and Grossi split West Marin, Grossi did better in incorporated northwestern Novato but Rodoni prevailed in more populated Corte Madera, bayside Larkspur and San Rafael’s Canal and Spinnaker Point neighborhoods, delivering him a narrow win.
Kudos to Marin campaigns for promptly removing roadside campaign signs. With the election past, these once useful campaign tools are just visual pollution.
Novato, whose entries traditionally boast large posters representing all political persuasions, leads the county in quickly removing signs.
The only exception I found were signs for Rodoni, Sheila Lichtblau, and Dale Mensing for Congress at Vintage Oaks Shopping Center’s entry.
Next to WinCup in Corte Madera, Grossi needs to take down his placard, and a few “Yes on A” cards still sprout countywide.