SUNCAL THROWS IN THE TOWEL
But the developer’s insisting that voters still want their vision to be carried to fruition at the Point, and they say they intend to continue to work to make that happen.
“Revitalize Alameda Point today announced that despite a vigorous and intensively executed Yes on Measure B campaign, recent polling suggests that the initiative will not secure enough votes to pass on the Feb. 2 election,” SunCal’s reps wrote in a statement release to the media late Monday afternoon.
But they insist voters are turned off by the “ballot box planning,” and not their plan.
Opponents of the Point plan dismissed the announcement as a cheap trick intended to lull potential “no” voters into complacency and to keep them away from the polls.
“I’m very happy to hear that SunCal believes they are going to lose,” said Dave Needle of Protect the Point, which opposes the ballot measure. “However, let’s recognize that their political skills are very good. This is one more textbook mechanism to convince people that it’s all over and they don’t need to vote.”
The announcement was the latest twist in what, if I can editorialize for just a moment, is the most bizarre election this reporter has ever covered.
The developer’s plan had the support of the majority of the City Council and of many people who had long been involved in putting together a plan to redevelop the Point – until SunCal submitted a ballot measure with a business deal that many saw as a poison pill.
As a result, SunCal’s reps fought a rising tide of discontent with the measure that saw group after group rise in opposition, culminating in Mayor Beverly Johnson and Councilman Frank Matarrese switching positions to oppose the measure and Councilwoman Marie Gilmore issuing a last-minute endorsement opposing it.
The company fought to convince leaders and the electorate that their issues with the measure could be fixed (and it remains to be seen what voters think). So far, they have spent close to $1.3 million on their campaign, disclosure reports show.
The developer had said it didn’t have an alternate plan for developing the Point if Measure B failed. But on January 14, it delivered one to the city for city leaders’ direct consideration.
“We are committed to working with the City and the community to ensure the successful re-use of Alameda Point,” SunCal’s vice president of public affairs, Dave Soyka, said. “To that end, we submitted an Optional Entitlement Application to the City and are actively engaged in the environmental review process.”
We’ll keep you posted on all the latest Measure B madness, so stay tuned.