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City Council in brief

Submitted by on 1, November 19, 2009 – 5:50 am2 Comments

city_council_0612_groupphotoOkay, now that I’ve (almost) recovered from Tuesday night’s six-hour council marathon, let me catch you up on a few other, non-fire-related things that happened.

Boys and Girls Club: The council decided Tuesday night to make a decision on whether they’ll add the Boys and Girls Club’s new West End facility to its list of projects to put forward for Measure WW regional park bond money. On December 1, the council will decide once and for all whether they want to ask the East Bay Regional Park District to let the city spend $2 million of the $3.4 million in direct bond funding Alameda will get to help build the club.

The council had planned to wait to make a decision until the park district’s bond counsel offered an opinion on whether the club, which is not a city-run organization, would be eligible for the money. But park district officials told them the opinion won’t be available until after applications are turned in. (They told The Island last week that the opinion could come early next year, before applications are due.)

Park Street convenience store: The City Council voted 4-1 to uphold a Planning Board recommendation to allow a hotly contested convenience store to open on Park Street, north of Lincoln.

Councilman Frank Matarrese had brought the matter to the council for review, he said, because he was concerned the store would have a negative effect on the city’s efforts to redevelop its former Auto Row. He cast the sole vote to stop the store. But Councilwoman Marie Gilmore argued that the city would get the businesses it wants at some point, but that with the economy being as bad as it is, the store is what we can get for the space for now.

Planning Board President Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, who had cast the board’s lone no vote when it considered the store, argued unsuccessfully before the council that it would not contribute to the mix of businesses the city wants in the area. Robb Ratto, head of the Park Street Business Association, said the association supported the store.


  • Dave Kirwin says:

    Thank you Michele for this report. You seem to be the only reporter in town that cares enough about our community to make brief reports on CC meetings. I even wish yours had more complete bullet points. I had not even had time to look at the agenda. I think the community should be up in arms and get rid of any CC member who would give so much of our share of Parks money to the B&G Club. The city is struggling to maintain our parks and park programs. Our city network of parks have programs for the youth of our community. Many rely on these programs which serve for many as the 'after school' and summer programs for our kids – and this network of service is citywide. The Park facilities where these are held need to be upgraded, some are barley serviceable. Our city parks and their programs for our youth need our tax dollars – that's why we voted for the bonds – to serve us. We also need to improve our bike paths to and through our Parks and our city's green spaces.

    We need to stop the abuse of tax dollar giveaways – lets vote out all voter representatives who take needed pubic money and give it to private parties. It just seems so "criminal" – there oughta be a law; we gotta protect our pockets, I've heard our city doesn't have enough money for all OUR needs. Is that true?

  • Dave Kirwin says:

    I also thank Ms Ashcraft and CM Matarrese for trying to stand up to protect the North of Lincoln Plan. "Plan your work, and work your plan" seems like sound advice. With the city so short on money we still spent $10s of thousands of dollars for the plan. Even Ratto and PSBA supported it. After all the meetings, all the $$$ why are we abandoning the plan? What kind of "convenience store" is it? (Some thought the Purple Elephant or Cigs Cheaper was convenient.) Seem to me there is already a convenience store on the corner of Lincoln and Park now – does PSBA want to run them out? What underserved demographic is it planned to serve? Sounds to me like another 'rob Peter to lend to Paul.' Maybe we'll end up with two vacancies instead of one. I forget what the plan wanted to put where the existing convenience store is – can you refresh my memory?

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