An interesting take on one of the many public comments made in our varied development discussions. [T]here’s not enough transit there because there aren’t enough people there, yet. Transit is easy to add in response to seriously transit-oriented development, but…
One of the hallmark’s of the last eight years of planning at Alameda Point was a decisive unwillingness on the part of the City Council to get actively involved in any of the planning of decision-making. While this isn’t to say that specific council people didn’t have ideas, or try and influence what was happening at the Point, as a body, the Council (or more appropriately the ARRA) never actually did anything. Plans long-term decision making issues came to the board, where as a body, the members remained silent, never accepting or rejecting what was projected.
This was by design.
To me, Measure B is a choice between moving forward to develop a very good, sustainable (environmentally and economically) vision for Alameda Point. The question before us is, will we (the city) be able to see this vision come to fruition, and after much research and thought, I’ve decided that yes, it does.
I wanted to talk about the conversation around the leases, especially with Darcy Morrison running around claiming that Alameda Point has generated $126 million in net income over 12 years. As proof, she points to David “Action Alameda” Howard’s “analysis” of the ARRA’s cash flow analysis (wonky terms, but stick with it for a second). That should have been her first tip off that she should check her math.
I really think that when the dust settles and the lawsuits begin (those filed by SunCal for breach of contract and not negotiating in good faith), last Tuesday’s meeting will be included in the list of places where City Staff stepped away from their legally required neutrality and fell head first into advocacy by presenting inaccurate (or more specifically, incomplete) information to the City Council, the School Board and the citizens of Alameda.
At that moment, City Manager Ann Marie Gallant summed up the difference as “the problem is the intent and the initiative language are two different things, and we opted to go with what the initiative language says.”
Two of the things I’m hoping will be discussed at tonight’s council meeting are Fiscal Neutrality and Public Benefits. A lot has been made of a supposed “$500 million dollar shortfall” despite the fact that it’s a made up number that doesn’t withstand the smell test.
A while back, I wrote about how the City posted a press release on their website in a manner that was incredibly inappropriate. And it’s fair to suggest that my characterization of the incident leaned towards it being a purposeful act on the part of the City (read: staff).
Tuesday night, the City Council took up the issue of holding a presentation on the City’s two election reports. The referral was brought by the Mayor, and if you watch the full meeting the City Manager. (Interpretive video of the discussion below)
Mayor Johnson’s waffling on the Alameda Point issue was hardly a big secret. Just about everybody in town was talking about it weeks before last Tuesday’s press release. What was surprising, and strange, and possibly worrisome, is how it rolled out.