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Alameda City Council is Divided Over New Alameda Point Vision

By Erica Madison

On July 27 during a special Alameda City Council meeting, Councilmember Matarrese said the vision for Alameda Point needed to be focused around job creation and commercial development.

In order to re-launch the discussion on what to do with Alameda point, Matarrese suggested that the City Manager focus on four areas:

1. New leasing polices for the Point, presented immediately, with the goals of: attracting new businesses, increasing investment in historic buildings by current/new tenants and furthering success of existing maritime specialty foods/beverages, technical, light industrial and recreational businesses.

2. Review the current Housing Element including Alameda’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment to guide forming a residential development targets that align with the housing/jobs balance and City housing policy.

3. Work with the Navy, the VA, the State Tidelands Trust and the Bay Area Congressional delegation regarding next steps, highlighting regional job creation as a top priority.

4. Explore and propose a plan for the Council/ARRA to consider a non-profit local development corporation, chartered and mandated by the City of Alameda to facilitate this plan for Alameda Point.

“Steering clear of private corporations puts us in control of our own destiny”, said Council member Matarrese.

Council member Tam however, disagreed with this new vision

“It feels like we’re reinventing the wheel. We need to create a project that is supported by the public. This is more important than job creation. It is premature to be directing staff to look at alternative plans. We need to find  a project that is fundable,” said Council member Tam.

Councilmember Gilmore also wasn’t supportive of this new plan.

“I don’t think we should be limiting city staff in any direction, we need to be open to public discussion”, said Gilmore.

Needless to say, the meeting ended without anyone suggesting a clear direction on how to proceed with Alameda Point.

2 comments to Alameda City Council is Divided Over New Alameda Point Vision

  • Barb

    “We need to create a project that is supported by the public.” TAM. “[W]e need to be open to public discussion”, said Gilmore. Where have these two been the last 15 years? They City has planned, the voters have spoken. 85% plus said NO to SUNCAL.

    How did these two respond? TAM emailed attorney client privileged documents to SUNCAL’s Pat Keliher. SUNCAL denied receiving such emails. GILMORE received blindcopied emails from TAM, without reporting those potential violations of the Brown Act under the Elctronic Communications Protection Act. Just like SUNCAL, neither Councilmember seems to have noticed the decades of planning and input that the citizens have put into the plan for the Point. These plans recognize the reality that Alameda is an island and development must be limited by our phsycial transportation constraints to development which will not ruin life here for the rest of the citizens. It appears TAM & GILMORE are doing what is legally best for SUNCAL. They are obstructing any plan the City makes at getting started on the Point. This delay will enable SUNCAL to sue as it said it would, and then put SUNCAL back in charge because nothing has really been done. So the City cannot argue in court that we can do it, we are doing it, we don’t need SUNCAL.
    Positions on campaign limitations were aimed at letting SUNCAL pump tens of thousands into campaigns aimed at electing councilmembers it can “work with”. Picture Mayor Gilmore, Councilmembers TAM, Easy $ Crafty, and Bonta. Four votes for SUNCAL to do whatever it wants to our city and our lives. And firing Gallant the only Manager with the courage and brilliance to counter SUNCAL. And Highsmith, the only City Attorney strong enough to put errant Councilmembers in their places. SUNCAL, TAM, GILMORE, Easy & Crafty, and Bonta will make one heck of a team.

    There are plenty of competent engineers, planners, and workers in Alameda. We can develop the Point ourselves, for ourselves. And keep the hundreds of millions in profits for the city and school district. Why send it down to a “billionaire” in Irvine? Why make a couple of councilmembers wealthy? Hasn’t the City had enough of councilmembers who have sold out the voters interests only to get rich off those very same interests? Or doesn’t anyone else remember?

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