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Alameda Citizens Debate Over Winners and Losers in Mif Albright Swap (Part 2)

By Erica Madison

[Go back to Part 1]

Bail’s dream come true is actually a nightmare for the opposition.

Jane Sullwold, who is president of the Golf Commission has many reasons for her opposition.

Here’s the problem the Mif Albright Swap presents:

  • The City of Alameda will give the Chuck Corica Golf Complex $3.5 million from the sale of the Mif Albright Golf Course. However roughly $2 million will be used to rezone the Mif. This means Golf only receives $1.5 million for the Mif Albright swap. This doesn’t provide enough money to make improvements to the golf course. This is a point City of Alameda staff have left out of their explanation of why they support the Mif Albright swap on their website.
  • Rezoning the Mif Albright Golf Course will make the course shorter.
  • Golf participation has been growing in the last year, and young players want to play the long courses.
  • The Community of Harbor Bay Isle Owners Association is opposed to the plan. They believe 130 homes will affect the quality of life on Bay Farm Island, because of the increased traffic congestion it will create.

Lastly, Sullwold doesn’t believe the appraisal of the Mif Albright Golf Course is correct.

“This property is worth a lot of money,” Sullwold said. “I believe Ron Cowan (HBIA) has a buyer who will pay more than $7.2 million. I was willing to consider sacrificing, if the money was enough, but it isn’t.”

In 2007 the City of Alameda conducted a study which revealed that the Chuck Corica Golf Complex needed $8 million to 10 million in repairs.

Sullwold disagrees with Patricia Bail and says Bail’s claim that there aren’t enough sports fields is all propaganda.

“These changes are not a benefit to golf. There are lots of sports facilities on Bay Farm Island. We need fields, but we don’t need them at North Loop Road. We need them at Alameda Point. North Loop Road is too far for the kids to get there.”

But Bail argues that North Loop Road is ideal, because people don’t want a sports facility in their neighborhood and children rarely travel by public transportation, because they have parents who drive them.

“It’s disingenuous to comment about something they (the opposition) don’t know about,” said Patricia Bail. “They don’t have good information and they don’t know what we have to do to accommodate our youth.”

The group Patricia Bail is talking about is Protect Our Alameda Parks (POAP) and they’re also against the Mif Albright swap. This group of Alameda citizens, which is spearheaded by Reyla Graber and Mary Theresa Anderson, specifically came together to stop the Alameda City Council from park swapping. Protect Our Alameda Parks is working to gather 6,400 valid signatures to put a “No Swap” measure on the November 2012 ballot. If the “No Swap” measure passes in November, the Alameda City Charter would be amended to prevent the Alameda City Council from having the option to swap parks.

Patricia Bail is crossing her fingers in hopes the measure doesn’t pass.

“They are within their rights, but I hope they don’t succeed,” she said. “I don’t disagree with them in principle, but we will gain recreation land that’s very important. I don’t know how successful they will be in getting signatures. People are leery of signature gatherers, ever since the SunCal issue. It’s more important to provide for our kids than to change the charter.”

Although Golf Commission President Jane Sullwold is not a part of POAP, she has volunteered to gather signatures and said that people are happy to sign.

“It has been very easy to gather signatures,” said Sullwold.

Protect Our Alameda Parks member Reyla Graber is aware that the deadline to gather signatures is tight for her group. POAP must gather all of their signatures by April 5th, 2012. Among the many places they go to gather signatures, is the Safeway on Bay Farm Island, every afternoon from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Harbor Bay Isle Associates were contacted for their position, but have not returned any calls.

3 comments to Alameda Citizens Debate Over Winners and Losers in Mif Albright Swap (Part 2)

  • cg

    This is exactly why it should go to the voters. Pat Bail has tunnel vision. As one who never participated in any team sports [my Alameda school didn’t even have a football team]& had MANY classmates who didn’t, I am tired of hearing there is a “crisis” in youth sports for lack of fields. Not for youth who dance or skate instead, are disabled or just don’t get picked for a team. But chopping down 169 trees to cram 130 homes in where traffic is already gridlocked will affect nearly all of us!

  • I’m told that the problem of finding practice fields for youth football is acute.

  • cg

    Acute? What does that mean? As opposed to chronic? Their whine is chronic-heard it for years! Since LBNL isn’t going to use that clean land now, they should set up fields there…AC Transit already serves AlaPoint.