Promises and reality - Page 4

Lennar's campaign mailers sound great, but do they paint a false picture of what voters can really expect from Prop. G?

G does nothing to clean up the shipyard — which city officials are seeking to take over before the federal government finishes its cleanup work — and notes that the initiative is full of vague and noncommittal words like "encourages" that make it unclear what benefits city residents will actually receive.

"Prop. G's supporters are pushing the misleading notion that if we don't give away all this landincluding a state park — to Lennar, then we won't get any money for the cleanup," Rizzo said. "But you don't build first and then get federal dollars for clean up! That's a really backwards statement."

The "Yes on G" campaign claims its initiative will create "thousands of construction jobs," "offer a new economic engine for the Bayview," and "provide new momentum to win additional federal help to clean up the toxins on the shipyard."

Michael Theriault, head of the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades, said his union endorsed the measure and has an agreement with Lennar to have "hire goals," with priority given to union contracts in three local zip codes: 94107, 94124, and 94134.

"There will be a great many construction jobs," Theriault said, though he was less sure about Prop. G's promise of "8,000 permanent jobs following the completion of the project."

"We endorsed primarily from the jobs aspect," Theriault said. The question of whether the project helps the cleanup effort or turns it into a rush job is also an open question. Even the San Francisco Chronicle, in a January editorial, criticized Newsom, Feinstein, and Pelosi for neglecting the cleanup until "when it seemed likely that the city was about to lose the 49ers."

All three denounced the Chronicle's claims, but the truth is that the lion's share of the $82 million federal allocation would be dedicated to cleaning the 27-acre footprint proposed for the stadium. Meanwhile, the US Navy says it needs at least $500 million to clean the entire shipyard.

Sup. Ross Mirkarimi said the city should wait for a full cleanup and criticized the Prop. G plan to simply cap contaminated areas on the shipyard, rather than excavate and remove the toxins from the site.

"That's like putting a sarcophagus over a toxic wasteland," Mirkarimi told us.