Sister City Commission To China Presentation - Opinion

I had an opportunity to finally watch the sister city commission portion of the city council meeting. I apologize, as I've been working 65 billable hours a week at my audit firm, in the wake of the election. I try to stay as informed as involved as I can because I love my hometown genuinely - and I am scared for our future.

What I'm worried about regarding the trip is that the delegation had an opportunity to meet some prominent wealth business owners such as one of the wealthiest jewelry manufacturers in China who owns the chain Luk Fook jewelry (one of the largest and most successful jewelry chains in Hong Kong). The group also oddly met with multiple property development and construction companies, as well as some factory owners which I thought was strange. The full list was presented on the powerpoint.

Wayne said that there are proposals to have even more sister cities in China. He wants to open a "trade office" right here in Millbrae. I question a little as to what the purpose of a trade office serve to Millbrae? Our downtown can barely sustain itself.

One should watch the open communication section and see all the business owners angrily protest the dissolution of the Millbrae business advisory committee. The agenda of dissolving the committee and opening a trade office is puzzling.

It was emphasized several times as being a "friendly cultural exchange only" which should be apparent, not relying on restatement as assurance.

One can only assume that friendly relations will include foreign investment from China potentially. This may have both good and bad consequences for Millbrae. I am all for the development and growth of business - however I feel the complaints of the downtown business owners ARE legitimate. Things like the sanitation, parking (moving the farmer's market), and easing up on the code enforcement are all low/no-cost things to make their lives easier.

Propositions such as I made during the election like lifting the business license fees and permits could re-vitalize downtown quickly.

All in all, I have mixed feelings about the commission. I have nothing against foreign investment bringing prosperity to our town, as I am of half Chinese descent myself (and a Mandarin speaker). However if you wanted less Chinese restaurants and foot massage spas, I can't really fathom that happening now if the trip to China influences more investment here.

Millbrae will eventually shape to be the 626 Monterey Park/Alhambra of Northern California from what I can see.
Biemme November 18, 2013 at 11:31 PM
I moved to Millbrae three years ago and I keep noticing it's not so slow decline. Businesses are shutting downtown only to be replaced by Chinese store selling not so good quality stuff. How sad it is to see a jewel like Millbrae giving up to low quality businesses.


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