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Alameda Public Affairs Forum Honors Jean and Jim Sweeney With a Good Citizenship Award

Alameda Public Affairs Forum honors Jean and Jim Sweeney with a Good Citizenship Award for Community Service
Sat. October 17, 2009

Alameda Free Library
1550 Oak Street
Alameda, CA

Note: our meetings are usually held on the 2nd Saturday of the Month; October 17th 2009 is an exception.

Join us as we honor the magnificent contribution that Jean and Jim have made to the city of Alameda in preserving a defunct 21.4 acre rail yard, known as the Alameda Beltline, for park land. Their efforts to preserve this land for public use grew out of recognition of the natural beauty of the site and the need to preserve open space for the citizens of Alameda to enjoy.

When Alameda Beltline Railroad Company ceased operations, they offered the land to a developer for $18 Million dollars. Before that transaction could be made, Jean sponsored a citywide ballot initiative to preserve the land as open space. With the help of Jim and others in the community, the initiative was certified and the voters overwhelmingly approved the measure in 2001. While researching the history of the Beltline, Jean unearthed the original 1924 agreement that stated the city of Alameda had the option to repurchase the Alameda Beltline Railroad at the original cost of $30,000.00, plus the cost of extensions and investment costs (determined to be $996,207.00). The case was recognized as one of the top ten real estate cases of 2003 by the California Real Property section of the California Bar Association. The case went to trial court and the California Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the City of Alameda on June 6, 2009; the railroad company did not appeal.

The efforts of Jean and Jim are an inspiration to all local community activists who wish to preserve the beauty of our island environment.

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