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 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.
So back at the end of September, Renewed Hope released the much ballyhooed “Doubtful Promises” report. Upon reading it, I had some questions and reached out to Eve Bach and Bill Smith, the authors who graciously offered to answer them. Time availability being what it is (see:JKW:lack of blog posts), it took me a while to dash off a list of the things I was trying to understand.
The responses that I received were great, a lot of time and effort went into them and I wanted to post them in a way that respected that.
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.
I was glad to see someone else picked up on the interesting comment in SunCal’s response to the mayor last week. Michele at The Island not only noted that SunCal let drop that they have been negotiating an amended Development Agreement (DA) with the City, in response to some of their concerns, but also got Deputy City Manger Lisa Goldman (DCMLG) to confirm and to indicate that there are legal ways for the city to lock in changes pre-ballot.
Last week, The City released its Traffic Impact Report for the Alameda Point project. And it’s a pretty good report. Honest, conservative (meaning likely overstating traffic), and presenting the information in a way that give readers (non-technical readers) the ability to understand the overall concepts and results.
Not an article can be written or cited about SunCal these days without what is becoming an almost ubiquitous comment posting from alamedapointinfo.org. The site is totally anti-SunCal, but I wanted to give the creators props as an example of moderated criticism that has so far been missing from the discussion of Alameda Point and island development.