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Kathy Moehring of WABA Reads Statement of Opposition to Measure E from Members

At last night’s City Council meeting, a clearly uncomfortable Kathy Moehring, Executive Director for the West Alameda Business Association (WABA) read a statement of opposition to Measure E from WABA members. City Council went on to endorse the measure in a 5-0 vote, and gave the Interim City Manager direction to schedule a session with Council to explain how the redevelopment mechanism relates to school funds.

Ms. Moehring noted that in a poll of WABA members, 66% of respondents asked the WABA board to oppose Measure E. Moehring prefaced her reading of a written statement of opposition by the WABA board with her own remarks, but ran out of time before she completed reading it. However, Mayor Johnson permitted her to continue speaking and finish reading the statement. Members from both Committee Against Measure E and APLUS, spoke both against and for, respectively, the measure, as well.

In the end, Alameda City Council voted unanimously to endorse the measure, with Councilmember Gilmore, who had referred the matter to Council originally, motioning and Councilmember Tam seconding Gilmore’s motion to approve.

Council also gave Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant direction to schedule before Council a briefing on the relationship of the use of redevelopment law and financing to fund development projects, and local school financing. The City of Alameda holds, on behalf of Alameda Unified School District, several millions of dollars in two funds, the District Housing Fund, and the District Capital Outlay Fund, which receive redevelopment pass-through allocations each year. However, the use of this money by the District is restricted – it cannot be used to reduce class sizes or fund teachers’ salaries and pensions.

6 comments to Kathy Moehring of WABA Reads Statement of Opposition to Measure E from Members

  • Let us not forget that this is the same Kathy Moering who signed on Measure B, the SunCal Plan, and who receives a stipend of over $100K/yr from City funds to operate WABA.

    Let’s also see if the Chamber steps up. As a Past President and Lifetime Member, I have been urging them to take a stand on Measure E, which will heavily impact their members. The challenge is theirs: Live by your Mission Statement, which promises that you will “take a stand on local issues affecting business,” or play it safe and just go on being a Cheyenne Social Club.

    Dennis Green

  • propubliceducation

    Thank you WABA for having the courage to speak the truth, even though it’s “politically incorrect.” Measure E helps Southshore and similar large developments because of the $9,500 cap and shifts the tax burden to Webster, Park, & Encinal small businesses. That’s what a cap does. The reduction from 15 cents to 13 cents per lot sq. ft. isn’t enough for our small businesses that are already hurting, especially those on the West End. And Measure E is for 8 years – that will have longterm consequences, forcing our struggling businesses out of business. The school district has a cap so that it doesn’t have to face opposition from South Shore; it’s a strategic move. I feel sorry for our small businesses that we love and make Alameda special. Alameda won’t be the same without them.

  • The cap means that the wealthiest property owners in Alameda – those with the largest parcels – pay a lower tax rate (per sq ft) than the less wealthy…

  • Tired of paying

    500 billion plus in unfunded public employees retirement is currently bankrupting our municipalities. When the teachers and administrators have to work until 66 like the rest of us and they consolidate the schools in an efficient manner, then I’ll vote for additional funds. Why should they be able to retire at 50, while I have to continue working until 66 to pay their early and generous retirements? Sorry kids. Let your parents pay for your education the way I paid for my children’s. It’s not about the children. It is about their children and their early retirements.

  • AUSD schools have 407 ‘inter-district’ students. These are students from families outside of Alameda, who use the schools, but won’t pay the parcel tax. These students are primarily in west-end schools, and artificially keep the schools “at capacity”, so that pro-parcel tax people can argue that consolidating schools won’t work. But these seats could be freed-up, allowing for school consolidation and the corresponding cost savings. It might not completely eliminate the need for an increased parcel tax, but it might mean for a lower tax, rather than one that doubles the existing rate.

  • propubliceducation

    Measure E will also tax rentals of 5 or more units at the commercial rate (13 cents per parcel square foot up to the cap of $9,500 per parcel). This is a change – prior parcel taxes taxed rentals like one house (no matter how many units). So previously a huge apartment building was taxed like one house and now it’ll be taxed like a commercial building which could greatly increase the tax from hundreds of dollars to thousands.