On Point: War of the words
Into the great, screaming yawp that is my overstuffed news hole this week (Or maybe that’s just me screaming?) comes a letter to SunCal from Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant, essentially rebutting SunCal’s rebuttal to a city report that lays out the potential impacts of the developer’s ballot initiative for Alameda Point (that’d be Measure A, chuckle, chuckle).
In short: Ping. Pong. Ping. Pong.
My big takeaways from the letter were these: One, that the city is not convinced that issues that it sees in the initiative can actually be fixed, despite SunCal’s assurances that it is willing to fix them. The concerns in question include a $200 million cap on the amount of money the developer must contribute toward public benefits (the city thinks the actual cost could be upwards of $375 million) and developer exemptions from potentially millions of dollars in fees the city would typically charge.
“(T)he mechanism for resolving differences between the voter approved Initiative and the (city’s redevelopment bodies) is unclear,” Gallant’s letter says.
Second, Gallant’s letter takes sort of a sideways run at explaining what could happen if the initiative fails and SunCal exits the picture: The city would work directly with the Navy to develop a Plan B that could entail offering long-term leases on the base.
“Depending on mutual agreement by the Navy and the City on property disposition, the City will consider feasible scenarios, including entering into long-term leases of existing buildings … Long-term lease revenues, as you are aware, can be leveraged to generate capital improvement dollars for major infrastructure repairs, if necessary,” the letter says.
Last month, SunCal’s Pat Keliher offered a point-by-point rebuttal of the city’s initiative report, in a letter that claimed that city’s report-writers had ignored loads of information that backed up all their claims. (The city retorted that the information is confidential and they couldn’t disclose it.)
Using my fancy new WordPress plugin for PDF documents (thanks for the tip, MM!) I’ve put both letters in the viewer below for your perusal.
In the meantime, two quick final notes: The council and city staff said Tuesday night that they are trying desperately to get the county to change the ballot order for SunCal’s initiative so it’s not Measure A … folks who have been fighting to get Oak Knoll cleaned up may get some good news today … and did anybody else out there get a robo-survey on the initiative on Tuesday night? Seven questions, two minutes, outta D.C.?