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City of Alameda Recreation Commission to Discuss Measure WW Diversion

The City of Alameda Recreation Commission will meet tomorrow to discuss a proposed diversion of Measure WW money that voters approved for parks and recreation to be diverted to the Alameda Chapter of the Boys and Girls Club.

Councilmember Lena Tam sparked a debate among Alameda residents last week when she referred the item to City Council. At question is whether or not public tax dollars to be used for public parks can be diverted to a private organization, no matter how well-meaning, for private control in a non-public space.

It’s hard to see how the local chapter needs Measure WW money – according to the national website for the Boys and Girls Club, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, in its 2008 “Philanthropy 400” report, “reported gifts to the national organization and local Boys & Girls Clubs totaling $697 million in 2007.”

Alameda City Council is to re-consider the matter on September 15th after a study by City staff of the legalities of such a transfer.

1 comment to City of Alameda Recreation Commission to Discuss Measure WW Diversion

  • barb

    WW was passed by the voters for the specific purposes of increasing/improving “PUBLIC PARK LANDS”. Factual representations were made to the voters as to how the monies would be used, with the specific intent of having the voters rely on those representations, and upon which the voters did rely when voting for WW.

    Now the City Council wants to use its discretion to transmute the money approved for PUBLIC PARK LANDS into a private building with a specific limited purpose. Sounds like fraud under California law.

    What is more worrisome is that the Council is even contemplating such an exercise of its discretion. This kind of justification should scare the dickens out of anyone remotely following the SUNCAL fiasco. If it takes an avalanche of voter disgust to make the Council stick to the basis upon which WW was sold to the voting public, how is anyone going to keep such an arrogant misuse of judgement in check if SUNCAL gets its fangs further into our City?

    The point is not whether or not the Boys & Girls Club is a good project, it is how the Council uses its judgment (or lack thereof) when vested with funds by the public.