Point proponents fire back
City leaders’ concerns about SunCal’s Alameda Point development initiative have grabbed the headlines over the past few weeks, as have mounting concerns about the potential impacts of the ballot measure. But proponents of the measure and SunCal’s development plan say they have concerns, too: That the city has other ideas for how the Point should be developed and that they are not negotiating fairly with SunCal.
Helen Sause, who is president of HOMES and a member of Alamedans for Alameda Point Revitalization – both groups that support the ballot measure and development plan – is firing back with a note saying she wants city officials to negotiate in good faith with SunCal.
The council is set to pick an election date for the initiative at its meeting tonight. In the meantime, here’s what Sause has to say.
NEGOTIATING IN GOOD FAITH? NOT!
A long time ago (late October) before city “leaders” began piling on about their dislike for the SunCal development plan, most of us citizens thought the City was negotiating in good faith with the Developer to ensure that we had a viable plan for the revitalization of our blighted and deteriorated Alameda Point Navy owned property. That’s what our City leaders said, at least, as recently as October 20th. Apparently, that is not so.
Now I am terribly confused. Not only are City leaders falling all over themselves to see who can grab the largest headline repudiating the SunCal/City development proposal, but these same leaders are expressing their vows of “transparency” with opaque hints that they have secret backup plans they will put in place as soon as they can torpedo the current plan. Now, I may not be an attorney but I don’t believe that fits the legal definition of “negotiating in good faith” that they so recently claimed to be doing. Or am I missing something?
Meanwhile, SunCal has gone over the allegations against their plan point-by-point indicating that the issues being used to repudiate their plan are under assumed good faith negotiations.
That has prompted our “leaders” to come up with “new” issues like the non-negotiable price the Navy wants for the land that has been in place for several years or the State grabbing tax increment, which the Courts found unconstitutional when the State tried to do that last year.
Our “leaders” talk about risks, but the real risk we now face is losing a plan and a developer willing to build a new community at Alameda Point and perhaps being sued for not acting in good faith (the City has an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with SunCal). Alameda Point, under the SunCal plan, has a decent chance of revitalizing the blighted deterioration of a third of our Island. It has a decent chance of not only providing amenities for the community, but of contributing to a positive financial outcome.
So when you consider the pitiful bleatings of “the sky may fall” consider the guarantees in your own lives and the efforts you make to ensure that you are making a decision based on the best information available. Alameda is in the same position now – we can choose a decent chance to develop an area that is an expensive drain on our budget or we can squat here on the finish line and whine that new discoveries are making us back away once again and succeed only in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
City leaders – try negotiating in good faith. You might like it and it might actually work!
Member, Alamedans for Alameda Point Revitalization