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Submitted by on 1, July 13, 2010 – 5:00 am26 Comments

An attorney representing SunCal Companies has accused Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant of engaging in a “malicious campaign” to stall the developer’s plans in an effort to put the city in charge of development at Alameda Point – and demanded the city extend its exclusive agreement to negotiate a development deal for the Point beyond its July 20 expiration date.

Attorney Louis R. “Skip” Miller, who put the city on notice that it could be facing legal claims as a result of Gallant’s alleged actions, also sent the city a sweeping public records request seeking records relating to efforts by SunCal – or others – to develop the project and communications between city officials and SunCal’s reps, a pair of local developers, leaders of the local Chamber of Commerce and a local blogger as part of a trio of letters to city officials Monday.

“We understand that the Alameda staff intends to place on the July 20, 2010 agenda of the City, the ARRA and the CIC (collectively, “Alameda”) a vote on whether to extend the term of the (exclusive negotiating agreement). This vote on the ENA is wholly unnecessary,” Miller wrote. “The ENA will be extended by its own terms and by operation of law. Therefore, we request that the vote be removed from the agenda.”

Failure to extend the agreement “would be an unlawful violation of the rights of SCC Alameda,” Miller wrote.

Gallant said the city disagrees with Miller’s assessment and that the vote will proceed as scheduled. And she accused him of mounting a “slanderous, libelous attack” against her.

“Some of the stuff they say is not factual at all. People can say whatever they want in an allegation,” Gallant said. “This is deflection. And that’s what works. But ultimately the truth will come out.”

As part of its agreement with the city, SunCal is required to finalize three key documents before its negotiating agreement expires: a development proposal, a deal with the Navy to purchase its land and a disposition and development agreement, one of two key development agreements they must reach with the city. The development proposal has been submitted and deemed complete by city officials, and Miller said the developer intends to submit its “best and final offer” in place of the disposition and development agreement this week.

But a deal with the Navy has not yet been reached, and Miller claimed Gallant and city staff are to blame, not SunCal. He said Gallant halted negotiations with the Navy in May 2009 and that city staff falsely told the Navy that SunCal was “backing off” of its commitment to paying the Navy’s $108.5 million asking price for the Point, costing the developer a promised letter from the Pentagon supporting extension of the negotiating agreement.

City officials have said they have held off on presenting SunCal’s plan to the Navy until they feel they have a viable plan to present.

He accused Gallant of putting up roadblocks to SunCal’s plans because, Miller said, she wants the city to take over the job of developing the Point. And he said letters written by an attorney hired to investigate City Councilwoman Lena Tam for allegedly leaking confidential information to the developer and others were libelous and an attempt to keep Tam, who has supported SunCal, from voting on whether to extend the negotiating agreement. Tam, with whom Miller said SunCal’s reps had “frequent and open communication” about the project, has denied the accusations.

“We are writing to put you on notice that Ms. Gallant is exposing not only herself, but also the City and possibly other City officials to serious legal claims seeking millions of dollars in damages. SCC Alameda has worked long and hard on this project and is now being dragged through the mud, causing potentially very substantial harm to its reputation and business as a result,” Miller wrote.

The attorney is also seeking a wealth of city documents related to the project and communications with or about SunCal’s reps, and communications with developers Aiden Barry and Ron Cowan; Alameda Chamber of Commerce executive director Melody Marr and former president Blake Brydon; the Navy; and local blogger David Howard. Miller accused Gallant of secretly supplying information to SunCal’s opponents and destroying the evidence, though he offered no evidence to back that claim Monday.

Miller is also seeking disciplinary records of Gallant and City Attorney Teresa Highsmith, and agreements with and invoices for Michael Colantuono, who the pair hired to investigate Tam. He also raised questions about Gallant’s job performance in other cities, noting her short stays in other top positions and her lawsuit against one city that fired her after she blew the whistle on contracting improprieties there.

Gallant said Miller’s public records request will “go through the city’s standard process” and that the city attorney’s office would determine what records are public. She said the city has a policy of destroying e-mails after 30 days because its servers can’t handle the load.

Gallant questioned Miller’s version of the facts. She denied supplying information to the developer’s opponents and said claims that she torpedoed a pair of efforts in Desert Hot Springs, where she once served as city manager, were false. And she said a statement Miller attributed to her as proof she is seeking to have the city develop the Point instead of SunCal did not reflect her personal views.

Of Colantuono’s letters regarding Tam, Gallant said, “they are what they are,” and she called Miller’s claim that they were issued to stop Tam from voting “red herring logic.”

“I knew this was going to happen,” Gallant said. “That’s just how it works.”

Here are the documents in question.


  • Barbara Thomas says:

    We knew this one was coming. This is the way SUNCAL does business. It is not a developer and must sell rights to develop our land to profit. It has limited ability to follow through on its contracts, bankruptcy, and suing the other parties to the contract has become a way of business for SUNCAL. Ask people from Oaknoll and the 30 other cities that SUNCAL has left. Threatening Alamedans is not a real charmer designed to win any friends. “We are writing to put you on notice that Ms. Gallant is exposing not only herself, but also the City and possibly other City officials to serious legal claims seeking millions of dollars in damages.” TAM’s climbing into bed with SUNCAL as evidenced by sending privileged information to SUNCAL has allowed to rear its ugly head. TAM should be held financially liable for the millions SUNCAL says she may cost the City with her deception and breach of fiduciary duty. Except I don’t think she has that much money. Which means you and I the taxpayers are going to have to pay for the damages she caused. Sure you can blame Gallant, but all you can blame her for is being competent and catching TAM. TAM was in such a rush to reveal strategies she could wait to get to her own computer but sent them from CITY HALL as early as March 2010 from her City Computer. Only after being advised by the City Attorney that some of her actions were actionable did TAM start harassing City Staff.
    When SUNCAL officials spout verbatim confidential material to GALLANT within 30 minutes of it being released to TAM, they have no cause to complain. There is a maxim in the law referred to as unclean hands, “The rule is settled in California that whenever a party who, as actor, seeks to set judicial machinery in motion and obtain some remedy, has violated conscience, good faith or other equitable principle in his prior conduct, then the doors of the court will be shut against him in limine; the court will refuse to interfere on his behalf to acknowledge his right, or to afford him any remedy.” [Lynn v. Duckel (1960) 46 CAl.2d 845 at 850].

  • Scott says:

    No one cares about SUNCAL. When is a new developer going to be named so the bull dozing can start sooner than later. Everyone knows how bad of a company SUNCAL is. We need some new news.

  • Jon Spangler says:

    “Some of the stuff they say is not factual at all. People can say whatever they want in an allegation…This is deflection. And that’s what works. But ultimately the truth will come out.”

    Although I have never been on the inside of any of the alleged communications by the ICM to opponents of Measure B, nor been a Suncal insider, these letters and their allegations are not a surprise to me. The City Council and the ICM have never acted as if they were fully responsible and responsive partners to Suncal.

    1) The City Council forced Suncal to write and submit its own initiative to change the density restrictions in the City Charter (sec. XXVI, the 1973 Measure A/sacred cow of Alameda politics).

    2) When the ICM assumed her post she dismantled the city’s negotiating team, eliminating city staffers with years of Alameda Point expertise from the new team and bringing in staffers who had zero prior exposure to Suncal and the developer’s plans.

    I heard all kinds of things about the ICM or other city officials feeding confidential information to the opponents of Measure B during the campaign,
    including the ICM’s claim at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast to have a “secret plan”or “backup plan” in case the Suncal proposal fell through.

    I certainly would rather believe that the ICM is blameless and innocent of wrongdoing, but her public statements and behavior (at the Mastick Senior Center joint meeting, for instance) has indicated that she was, indeed, biased against Suncal and has been actively opposing it to the best of her ability. (It isn’t as if she has hidden her opposition from view, after all.)

    I wonder if Barbara Thomas feels as outraged by the ICM’s alleged “crimes and misdemeanors” as she is about Council member Tam’s. The former will cost the city far more money in the long run, if they are true…

  • JS says:

    The ICM claims that Alameda needs to delete their emails after 30 days because the city’s servers can’t handle the load?! That is ridiculous. My Gmail account alone could hold all the councilmembers e-mails for 2 years.

    Surprisingly (or not), the California Secretary of State office doesn’t seem to be of the same opinion. I’d like to know of the specific government code that would permit this destruction in such a short timeframe. Does anyone know?

    State policy usually points to an email preservation of TWO YEARS, not 30 days. Also, if server space is running low, I would think E-mails from high-level officials, such as the ICM, Mayor, etc, should certainly be preserved for two years, if not longer.

    What is the ICM pulling? If she’s trying to thwart Suncal’s Alameda Point, she’s destroying a great opportunity for our city. If she thinks another thirteen years of an abandoned base at Alameda Point is the best decision for our city, we should re-think our contract with her…

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    What crimes and misdemeanors is Jon referring to? All the ICM did was follow the written policies for retention of emails (the provision allowing for destruction has been cited in Michele’s column in another article), issuance of contracts that were set and voted on by TAM. Just the code sections of alleged violations will suffice. TAM’s are spelled out code section by section. Over and over. Not just unsupported generalizations being fomented by vested interests. There is a need to check the “facts” or perhaps their hearing. The ICM has always said there is no backup or secret plan.

    We know that SUNCAL is the root cause of all this evil and negativity in our community. By blind copying SUNCAL/PAT KELIHER of confidential strategies TAM has undermined the entire process and future of Alameda Point. TAM has set off what may amount to years or more of infighting and bickering, and litigation while we try to get rid of TAM/SUNCAL and go through elections. TAM has also created causes of action for all the employees whose personnel matters she publicized, and every resident of Alameda whose trust she violated.

    No one wants SUNCAL. The Council did not force SUNCAL to place an initiative on the ballot to lose by more than 85% of the voters. Saying it is so will not make it true. That is the benefit of writing on a blog instead of having an investigative report presented. SUNCAL knew the laws at the time it entered into the ENA, and tried to change the laws to increase its profit. The voters said NO! SUNCAL now wants to delay everything so that it can elect 3 candidates to officer and do whatever they want with our city. With the current campaign laws they can buy 3 or more very good campaigns. The voters need to take this back with an initiative that will flush SUNCAL down the toilet.

  • RM says:

    Over 85% of the voters said they do not like SunCal’s plan for the old navy base.

    The plan SunCal has now requires more housing and more commercial space than the one we voted against on Feb. 2.

    The voters have spoken about SunCal. SunCal and their financiers, DE Shaw do not belong in Alameda.

  • Dennis Green says:

    Perhaps the ICM is more in touch with the citizen voters and the best interests of Alameda than Tam is. How quickly they forget. We kicked SunCal to the curb with our vote on Measure B.No, something, anything, is not better than nothing. Back in the Mid-Nineties, many of us spent hours on “Base Closure” committees, analyzing and debating what would work best at the Point, while complying with that “sacred cow,” Measure A, which has saved, just barely, the character of our beloved island.

    I’ve seen the plans for what all of Alameda would look like if the developers had had their way: one huge Bayport. Many thousands more homes, nearly 5,000 at the Point alone, and all those cars, with no new tubes or bridges, high density housing that doesn’t work on an island! See South Shore and all those L.A. Style apt. buildings and you can imagine the whole island filled with those.

    Now we’re re-thinking our contract with Lena Tam, if the D.A. doesn’t nail her first! If you think the ICM is the only one opposing SunCal’s plan, its reputation, and its way of doing business, I don’t know what planet you’ve been living on. Their threats now to sue us all for millions are no surprise. Time for a change of plans!

  • Neal_J says:

    Stay classy, SunCal. Whoops too late!

    So, despite 85% of Alameda voters telling SunCal to take a hike, the problem is not SunCal but the big bad ICM? Seriously??

    Alameda needs someone like the ICM – who will represent the interest of its citizens and not the developers.

  • Incredulous says:

    I doubt that anyone at City Hall is quaking in their boots upon receiving Skip Miller’s letters.

    He is the lawyer chosen by Bruce Elieff and SCC Acquisitions, Inc. and related SunCal entities to sue, in Orange County bankruptcy court, various Lehman Brothers entities for “being mean” to Elieff and SunCal. The case has been pending for close to 18 months, and the Orange County based bankruptcy judge has forced poor Skip to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite his complaint because of aggressive lawyering by Lehman Brothers’ California lawyers.

    In the time poor Skip has represented Elieff and the SunCal entities in Orange County bankruptcy court, Skip has made little headway in the case; the Bankruptcy Appellate panel for California whacked a huge hole in what he wanted to accomplish (take away Lehman’s mortgage liens on the Lehman/SunCal properties); and then when Skip’s cohort Paul Couchot went to the New York bankruptcy court with jurisdiction over the Lehman bankruptcies to ask for “permission to sue the bankrupt Lehman entities in California”, Couchot got his head handed to him on a plate by Bankruptcy Judge James Peck, who presides over all Lehman Brothers related cases.

    To add insult to injury, Judge Peck ruled that not-bankrupt Lehman Brothers related entities could assign mortgage loans on the Lehman/SunCal properties to bankrupt Lehman entities, thereby preventing poor Skip from suing the mortgage lenders on even more of the Lehman/SunCal projects in bankruptcy in the Orange County bankruptcy court. In doing so Judge Peck chopped even more holes in poor Skip’s laundry list of projects where Elieff and SunCal had any hope of conducting viable litigation against solvent Lehman Brothers subsidiaries.

    Typical of the juvenile rhetoric in Skip Miller’s letters posted on The Island, in one court pleading, filed in September 2009, Miller and Couchot complained that “The Debtors and their counsel have been compelled to file this motion to protect themselves from an insidious campaign of repeated threats that would find itself at home on the Sopranos”. See:


    However, by June 2010 Judge Peck himself had figuratively knee-capped Couchot, Miller, Elieff and SunCal, by taking the actions described above.

    Some of the documents in the New York Lehman bankruptcy court docket, concerning SunCal’s lawyers skills are really hilarious. Talk about the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. If you are looking for entertainment, got to:


    Type the word SunCal into the Docket Text blank, and start reading from the earliest documents.

    And a word to the City staff in Alameda, if you are looking for some lawyers to defend you against Skip Miller’s threats, try Lehman Brothers’ California lawyers Dean Ziehl and Rich Pachulski at Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl & Jones in Los Angeles. They, and Lehman’s lawyer Shai Waisman in New York, just love to make mincemeat of Skip Miller and his fellow lawyers for SunCal, and have been doing so for at least a year.

  • Incredulous says:

    Oops. Forgot to mention that Skip Miller is “that Miller”. Former second-in-command at Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP of Century City. Miller claimed to have been that firm’s top litigator.

    Fortunately for Miller, he bailed out of that firm just before the lead attorney at that law firm, Terry Christensen, was indicted and ultimately convicted of racketeering in connection with a whole lot of illegal wiretapping and other covert actions against the firm’s adversaries. The Christensen case involved Anthony Pellicano, the “private eye to the stars”. See:


    One of the recipients of the illegal wiretapping information was represented by John Keker, according to Mr. Keker’s own public relations information. Now where have we heard that name before? Oh, yes, Lena Tam’s lawyer.

    Christensen is mentioned in a compendium of major corporate lawyers convicted of serious business crimes committed. See:


    That compendium also mentions another of John Keker’s clients William S. Lerach.

    Do some Google searches on “Louis R. Miller” and Los Angeles, Terry Christensen and Los Angeles and the law firm of Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP. There are more interesting stories on them than I could possibly recount.

  • Richard Bangert says:

    “It will be the voters — not the city council members, developers or special interests — who will have the final say on whether this plan makes sense for our community.” (Source: SunCal campaign ad for Measure B.)

  • Incredulous says:

    Further investigation discloses that Skip Miller, the SunCal attorney who sent the 3 threatening letters to the City of Alameda, WAS still the #2 name partner with Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP of Century Cityof Century City at the time his partner Terry Christensen was indicted in the Pellicano wiretapping mess.

    One of the funniest stories, below, is from the Huffington Post describing Chris Rock’s testimony as a hirer of Pellicano the wiretapper. After that detail is a brief story about the testimony of one of Miller’s clients about the hiring of Pellicano the wiretapper.

    All in all the stories below, show that soon after the indictment of Christensen, Skip Miller got seriously crosswise with Patti Glaser, the powerful woman litigator who ultimately defended Christensen, and ended up replacing him as co-head of the firm’s litigation department. Miller and Glaser vehemently disagree about the circumstances under which Miller departed the law firm after the Christensen indictment. Bottom line, Skip Miller got beat up by one of L.A. most famous “Mean Girl” lawyers in L.A., Patti Glaser, as described in the news stories below.

    Perhaps that experience somewhat explains why Mr. Miller’s letters are so emotional in their rhetoric against the women who are the Interim City Manager and City Attorney of Alameda.

    Enjoy reading about the exploits of the lawyer SunCal has hired to threaten the City of Alameda, its Council and its employees:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/16/business/16hollywood.html 02/16/06

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allison-hope-weiner/pellicano-trial-chris-roc_b_95086.html 04/04/06

    http://www.deadline.com/2006/04/pellicano-probe-attorney-patty-glaser-says-absolutely-not/ 04/24/06

    http://legalpad.wordpress.com/category/kellie-schmitt/ Scroll Down for Story 05/03/06

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/146499501.html 05/15/06


    06/26/06 [Note that Christensen, Miller, Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP defeated some of the litigation against them, arising out of Christensen’s involvement in the wiretapping, on statute of limitations grounds.]

    http://www.articlealley.com/article_76020_18.html 7/25/06

    http://www.callawyer.com/story.cfm?eid=884286&evid=1 02/07

  • Dennis Green says:

    Wow! This is stunning. Wonderful. I once worked in L.A. at the Mark Taper Forum theater, in audience development, and hung out after work in Century City a lot. I knew some of these attorneys from the University, and some from the theater program. I lost touch with them years ago, but I’ll see if I can put some feelers out there and get some personal observations. No privileged documents, of course. But I’m knocked out! And delighted.

  • Jon Spangler says:


    “Crimes and misdemeanors” was a descriptive turn of phrase and identified as such by the quotation marks. In fact, the ICM’s solicitation of contracts in excess of $75,000 without competitive bidding is illegal, according to city ordinance.

    The fact that Alameda voters did not approve Measure B or that they disapprove of Suncal is no excuse for extra-legal behavior on the part of any city official. I would hope that those who oppose Suncal would be genuinely interested in uncovering conflicts of interest or illegal behavior on the part of city officials, no matter whose interests were being (mis)represented during illegal or inappropriate acts. (And just to recap: deliberately working against a developer with whom the city has signed an exclusive negotiating agreement is a clear violation of both the letter and spirit of said ENA. And the ENA is still in force through at least July 20, 2010.)

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    So crimes and misdemeanors has no substance or merit when JS is referring to the ICM? It is just a phrase used by the author without any basis in fact. Apparently to inflict some sort of malicious damage to the ICM. And published here. That meets the definition of libel in the books I read. Which Alameda Municipal Code ordinance are you suggesting she broke? Not the procedures set forth in the AMC:
    2-61.1 Informal Bid Procedures.
    Public projects, as defined by the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act, of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000.00) or less may be let to contract by informal procedures as set forth in Section 22032, et seq., of the Public Contract Code.
    (Ord. No. 2473 N.S. § 1)

    It is apparent that many above (not JS) have superior legal qualifications and experience to render opinions about TAM’s activities, which are not legal and SUNCAL’s which are despicable and laughable. The only question is how long SUNCAL and their defenders will contrive garbage against their accusers as their defense. We know the appropriate response for those with a duty to act when confronted with acts such as TAM’s, by an officer of the Court i.e. SUNCAL’s attorneys, GILMORE or Highsmith, is to take action to halt such transgressions. Only Highsmith acted appropriately. Incredulous, enjoyed reading your citations, delightful and enlightening. Now we now exactly what SUNCAL will try next.

  • Incredulous says:

    These two gems describing SunCal’s prior conduct, in other cities, popped up when I was searching for more information on Skip Miller, the SunCal lawyer who saying SunCal will Alameda’s City Manager and City Attorney:

    http://www.ocregister.com/news/suncal-76014-city-disney.html (SunCal stiffs Anaheim on reimbursement of attorneys fees)

    http://ocresort.ocregister.com/2009/07/28/what-happened-to-controversial-hotel-plan-in-disney-area/12657/#more-12657 (SunCal sues seller of Anaheim land, even though SunCal never closes escrow)

    Of course, Skip Miller was the lawyer for SunCal in the case involving the city of Anaheim. I loved the second article, where the seller detailed what he thought of SunCal and its lawyers.

    Starting this afternoon, SunCal has had a San Francisco public relations flak named Sam Singer bombarding business publications all across the United States saying that SunCal is suing Alameda’s City Manager. That is the headline of the article he is planting. So here we go. Cities and City Managers get sued quite frequently, so I don’t think anyone is going to faint from emotional distress at City Hall. If anything, these sorts of lawsuits make public agency employees stronger, wiser and more savvy about not getting their cities involved with scoundrels.

  • Dennis Green says:

    IF Gallant had leaked privileged information to some other developer she favored for the Point, to give that firm an unfair advantage, JS would be livid. But that is apparently exactly what Tam has done, and he is defending her. I can hear him sputtering all the way over here on Otis and High!

    We’ll see how this news site and the two newspapers handle this story. The one in the Sun today mentions no dates, uses the word “Brouhaha” in its headline in a dismissive way, but then, they’ve been in favor of SunCal all along. This is all a wonderfully revealing test of journalistic standards!

  • ct says:

    Mr Green,

    The ICM had her “Civic Center Vision” plan produced without public input; does that make her “more in touch with the citizen voters”? She tried to obtain a $6,000 pay raise without review through City Council’s consent calendar at a time when other government workers are being laid off; was this done in “the best interests of Alameda”?

    Also, in February 85 percent of voters voted against Measure B (85 percent did not vote against SunCal or Peter Calthorpe’s land plan). And according to a poll taken here at “The Island” in March, 40 percent of that 85 percent did not like the land plan. Statements like “we kicked SunCal to the curb” have been carelessly tossed around as though they are true, but they aren’t.

    It’s also disingenuous to say that anyone might think “the ICM is the only one opposing SunCal’s plan”; others who oppose development at Alameda Point have long been vociferous participants in public dialogue on the matter. And no one is trying to silence the opposition the way the ICM is trying to silence Lena Tam.

    Tam has advocated for more transparency in government so that corrupt impulses don’t become corrupt actions. Ann Marie Gallant, an unelected government functionary, prefers to operate without oversight or accountability behind closed doors. If lightning rod SunCal were out of the picture, I hope you’d finally see the necessity of Tam’s efforts and the suspect nature of Gallant’s.

  • Dennis Green says:

    ct, you honestly believe the poll taken here in March represents the voters who overwhelmingly nixed Measure B? The audience here, I’m sorry, is hardly a cross-section. Regardless of what John Knox White and Tam say, SunCal’s plan itself is ridiculous, even more so since the election. And now that SunCal is threatening to sue us all into bankruptcy, I suppose you’re going to side with them still? I don’t call that “Progressive.”

    No one is trying to “silence” Tam. Exposing attorney/client privileged information is illegal. If she has done that, she will be found guilty. Your quibbles about Gallant are insignificant alongside a real investigation. Let the Grand Jury decide. In the meantime, Tam gets half of the front page of the Sun to make her case. Silenced? Let’s see how much of the front page ofmthe Journal she gets tomorrow. I suspect SunCal’s advertising will pay off.

    Let the chip pies fall where they may!

  • TruthSeeker says:

    One thing is for sure, Alameda is in for a fight. Skip Miller is a tough and effective lawyer. He left his old firm when managing partner, Terry Christensen, was indicted for wiretapping. Another partner, Patti Glaser, was implicated in the wiretapping but was never formally charged. Christensen was later convicted of two felonies in 2008 and sentenced to 3 years in federal prison. Miller formed a new firm in 2006 and his success has continued.
    Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and this project will get back on track. It could be a great project for the City. Certainly better than costly litigation.

  • Dennis Green says:

    Seeker of Truth: You say that AlPo could be a “great project for the City…” But what about the citizens? We the people? Current residents, those of us who have been paying our taxes, volunteering for civic causes and generally supportive of the town we love for many years? Tell me exactly how this project is “great for us.” Simple request. Great for the developers, sure, if they get a suspension of Measure A. Great for Peter Calthorpe and his “vision” which will relieve the need for all that rural/suburban sprawl, and redirect those commuters on-island. Not so great for Alameda residents on the West End who work in San Francisco or Oakland and try to drive to work. With 4500 more homes on the island, not so great for pollution, trash, the pressure on the police and fire, infrastructure, (already “deferred”), and other city services. As for the schools..? Will SunCal build new schools? Will those new homeowners vote to pay some of the highest school parcel taxes in the nation? You just toss off a glib comment like that without asking yourself, yes, but what about the people? What about the island? What about US?

  • William Smith says:


    I agree with you that their are many potential adverse impacts that the SunCal development plan may have on the citizens of Alameda. There are also many positive impacts such as jobs, better shopping, sports facilities, and community facilities that a successful development may bring.

    The Sierra Club, Greenbelt Alliance, Renewed Hope Housing Advocates, the building and trade unions, and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association all stated in their ad in yesterday’s Alameda Journal, sponsored by SunCal, that the City of Alameda needs to complete the full EIR for SunCals’s plan to answer the questions you raise. It is premature to answer those questions now without professional analysis of the proposed plan’s impacts on traffic, schools and other public services.

    I support continued development and analysis of SunCal’s plan as the plan and the SunCal / D.E. Shaw team, with proper oversight from our City, is the best option I’ve seen for implementing the Community Vision for sustainable environmental and economic development of Alameda Point. The EIR will identify mitigations for some of the inevitable adverse impacts on travel in single-family automobiles and other City services. With the defeat of Measure B, our City is in a good position to require SunCal to contractually commit to implementing the mitigation measures before approving the detailed development plans that will be developed and submitted later.

    With Measure B out of the way, I’m finding it rewarding to work with SunCal to implement the Community Vision posted by John KnoxWhite and accessible through the Alameda Point tab on Michele’s The Island Home Page. I am not wedded to SunCal though, as I know they face many difficulties, including financing and market absorption, to implementing their ambitious plan, and we need to keep our options open as long as possible.

    Can you suggest a better alternative to working with SunCal and D.E. Shaw to develop a sustainable environmental and economic Alameda Point? Do you agree with me that the Community Vision of a mixed use transit oriented community is what we should be working towards at Alameda Point?

    Perhaps a vigorous and spirited discussion of those topics will better suit John Piziali’s taste!!


  • Barbara Thomas says:

    What exactly does “rewarding to work with SUNCAL” mean? Yes there is a far better alternative. Do it ourselves, do it right, and do it within the limits of the existing infrastructure. Or build a new bridge.

    The anticipated subsidies to mass transit of billions of dollars per year, suggest that even where mass transit works, it does not generate sufficient ridership to pay even a good portion of its costs. SUNCAL is not going to bear this cost. We are. The citizens who are left with its massive overdevelopment designed soley to maximize SUNCAL’s profit, will be the ones to suffer the decline in quality of life brought about by SUNCAL.

    No thanks. SUNCAL and its plan lost by more than 85%. I am amazed that the proponents continue to parse that overwhelming defeat into some sort of victory. I read the ad paid for by SUNCAL. It couldn’t even get 50 persons to put their names in support.

  • William Smith says:


    By rewarding, I mean non-monetary rewards.

    To me,the major reward of working with SunCal is to adapt to our Island City the ideas of one of the world’s best designers of economically and environmentally sustainable developments, Peter Calthorpe. SunCal and D.E. Shaw, with support from the local community, could prove to have the resources needed to develop a mixed use transit oriented community at Alameda Point that will set new standards for urban development and benefit Alameda for centuries, long after our nation’s transportation systems have moved away from fossil fuels.


  • ct says:

    Mr Green,

    Based on past comments I’ve seen concerning Measure B, I’d have to agree with you that the audience here does appear to tilt one way more than the other, i.e., anti Measure B, anti SunCal. So voters who did not like the land plan could possibly be overrepresented in the poll.

    When you say “No one is trying to ‘silence’ Tam,” what do you call 1) excluding Lena Tam from the normal course of City Council business because of politically motivated allegations made by the interim city manager, and 2) the ICM’s attorney trying to have a grand jury remove Tam from office? It looks to me like the ICM is using the Brown Act for a very specific and personal reason — to quiet dissent — not out of any genuine concern about openness and transparency.

    In answer to your statement “Your quibbles about Gallant are insignificant”: Ann Marie Gallant initiated a Civic Center revitalization plan without the public’s knowledge or input. She tried to sneak through a $6,000 pay raise for herself without City Council review. She gave former colleagues city contracts without an open bidding process involving local business owners. She squandered $150,000 on an amateur-grade city branding scheme (devised by former business associates) but can’t allocate City Council time for a nonprofit’s business plan to save the Mif Albright golf course, a plan that was drawn up so impressively by volunteers (not the City’s highly paid consultant) that a foundation agreed to contribute $250,000. Do you really consider these to be insignificant quibbles?

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