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UPDATED: SUNCAL SUES CITY

Submitted by on 1, August 5, 2010 – 7:55 am29 Comments

Updated at 10:35 a.m. Thursday, August 5

SunCal Companies is suing the city in an effort to be reinstated as developer for Alameda Point.

In a 26-page complaint filed Wednesday in a federal court in Santa Ana, the Southern California developer claims the city violated the exclusive agreement it signed to negotiate a development deal with SunCal by blocking its efforts to meet the terms of the agreement.

The developer accused Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant of sabotaging their efforts to develop the base, saying she secretly wanted the city to develop it instead. They’re saying the city breached its contract with SunCal, which they said violates the U.S. Constitution.

“By their scheme, the City staffmembers are seeking to destroy a development that will significantly enhance the environment and add value to the community, all so they can perpetuate their positions and ensure their own job longevity. SCC Alameda is highly qualified and experienced in land development; and is ready, willing and able to move forward in good faith and develop Alameda Point,” SunCal’s attorneys wrote.

They want the court to reinstate the developer’s exclusive agreement to negotiate a development deal for the Point, nix the council’s July 20 vote effectively firing the developer, and stop the city from moving forward on any other plans to develop the Point.

City Attorney Teresa Highsmith could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.

SunCal had hoped to build more than 4,800 homes, 4.57 million square feet of commercial space and more on the former Naval Air Station. City staff are now putting together a list of options for developing the base.

SunCal’s suit alleges that negotiations were proceeding well until Gallant was hired on as interim city manager in April 2009. After that, they said the city put up a series of roadblocks intended to frustrate their development efforts.

City staff questioned the company’s financial assumptions and said the developer failed to address concerns about traffic and the endangered California Least Tern, among other things. But SunCal’s attorneys dismissed those claims, saying the issues were resolved prior to Gallant’s arrival.

City staff also argued that SunCal failed to win over the community, citing the overwhelming loss of its ballot measure, which included a land plan, business deal and exemption from development-limiting Measure A.

The developer said they spent more than $17 million to work out a deal at the Point, but they are not asking for their money back.

The city inked a negotiating agreement with SunCal in 2007 that was to expire July 20 if a development deal for the Point wasn’t reached. The agreement had an automatic extension provision if certain milestones were met.

City staff argued that SunCal failed to meet one of the milestones – reaching terms for transfer of the Point with the Navy. SunCal’s attorneys claim the city blocked the company’s efforts to reach that milestone; city staff had said they cut off negotiations with the Navy because they didn’t think SunCal’s project financials penciled out.

SunCal wants to continue the development of an environmental impact report that would lay out traffic, noise, environmental and other impacts of the development plus possible solutions. The document could take up to two years to generate.

The suit is below.

29 Comments »

  • Bill says:

    No surprise here. Suncal attorneys announced at a city council meeting that this was coming. Isn’t this the second developer that is suing the city of Alameda since Ann Marie Gallant accepted the Interim City Manager position? When will city officials get a new manager in place???

  • DaveL. says:

    I believe the Boatworks developer sued the city over “density bonus;” one of the main issues of the SunCal plan.

    The city was very late adopting the state statute. If they had done so earlier, there would never have been a need for the election for Measure B.

  • Bill says:

    I believe it was Francis Collins and his boatworks property (northern Alameda).

  • David Howard says:

    The Francis Collins lawsuits against the City over their “Boatworks” project do indeed predate the promotion of Gallant to the ICM position by at least a three years, and they predate the City’s adoption of its density bonus ordinance in December 2009 by an additional year or so beyond that. The Collins lawsuits may well go back to 2004, but my memory is fuzzy. However, I just found a related Alameda Sun article dated 2006 talking about a judge throwing one of the suits out of court.

    California state law provides that a landowner/would-be developer can apply for the density bonus even without a local density bonus ordinance in place. The developer needs to merely say “Oh, by the way, we’re asking for the density bonus in accordance with state law.” In the absence of a local ordinance, implementation of the density bonus in the development would be governed by state law; the local ordinance sets up specific controls about how the density bonus is granted on a per municipality basis. The purpose of the local ordinance is to season the density bonus provisions of state law to local tastes.

    Collins did just that – they applied for the density bonus under state law, in the absence of a local ordinance. I have theorized that the City of Alameda was deliberately frustrating Collins’ implementation of their project under the density bonus, because the first density bonus development that occurs in Alameda would undermine all the arguments against changing Measure A for Alameda Point. Keep in mind that this was going down several years ago, as criticism and activism against Measure A was reaching a crescendo. How can you change Measure A when the Boatworks project shows how transit-oriented, multifamily development with low-income housing for teachers, etc. blah, blah, blah, can be done under the density bonus, without changing Measure A?

    Earlier this year, to my great amusement, SunCal made this very same claim, citing the Boatworks case, that the Mayor and the City of Alameda were deliberately frustrating any development with the use of the density bonus law, out of a desire to change Measure A. How ironic.

    I concluded in 2007 that the density bonus law approach provides a viable means to develop Alameda Point along the lines of what people SAY they want – “transit-oriented, multi-family housing, low-income housing” etc. etc. (the latter a requirement for the “bonus”) etc.) back in 2007. (Now that the density bonus law cat is out of the bag, it seems like Kathy Moehring has jumped on it as the basis for the 5-story Webster Street “vision.”)

    That same year, I sat down with SunCal and encouraged them to look at using the density bonus law for their Alameda Point plan – but keep the total number of homes at 2,000 or lower, consistent with the 2006 PDC.

    It’s a shame they didn’t adopt my recommendation at that time as readily as they adopted my theory about the City’s deliberate frustration of density-bonus-law projects. Such an development approach might well have won support from all quarters of Alameda, and kept them in continued engagement with the City, instead of in this court battle.

  • David Howard says:

    Oh! And this lawsuit… it’s not about the stated merits of the suit… one of the very few statutes they cite is a general civil rights statute, the one you would cite in your lawsuit if you felt that the local police used excessive force in their arrest of you.

    This lawsuit is about biding time and tying things up through the November election, so they might get their “suncal slate” of Tam, Bonta and Gilmore elected.

  • Incredulous says:

    David’s theory above is spot-on. With respect to its huge Northlake Project in Castaic, California, which was to be co-developed with and financed by Lehman Brothers, SunCal had a severe problem: The property did not have a natural water supply for well water. As a result, SunCal applied to Newhall County Water District for water to serve its project. Newhall County Water District was already chronically short of water to serve its existing customers, because of State Water Project water delivery cut-backs, and because Newhall’s main ground water wells were closed because of perchlorate contamination from an old munitions factory. As a result, Newhall County Water District denied water supply to SunCal’s Northlake project.

    As a result, SunCal implemented its “standard operating procedure”: (1) Sue the public agency, (2) identify candidates to defeat in the next election to the public agency’s board, and attack them using hit mailers and robocalls funded through a political action committee which does not report to the local election official (e.g. County Clerk), and (3) identify existing board members who can be bought with consulting contracts directed to their families’ businesses.

    Don’t worry SunCal partisans, SunCal’s got this process all figured out. It’s part of their standard operating procedure. The only question is whether they have the cash to implement it with respect to Alameda Point…and if they do have that cash whether they can successfully keep it hidden from that very angry creditor of SCC Acquisitions, Inc. and Bruce Elieff, Gray1 CPB, LLC which has $9 Million in writs of attachment they are actively trying to execute, as well as keeping it hidden from Arch Insurance to whom Bruce Elieff owes uncounted millions of dollars on defaulted subdivision improvement agreement bond guarantees. See:

    http://www.ocregister.com/news/marblehead-260691-work-pico.html

    That story describes just one of roughly 20 projects where SunCal entities have defaulted on subdivision improvement agreements and where SunCal’s bonding companies have failed to make payment on the bonded obligations to the cities and counties involved.

    The task, with respect to those who oppose SunCal puppet candidates for the Council is to keep up the local publicity about SunCal’s financial troubles and foibles. The 4 Alameda Council members who voted against SunCal on 7/20 made an intelligent vote for the economic benefit of those living in Alameda. Voters would be well advised to vet each Council candidate to make sure they are solidly against renewing any contractual relationship with SunCal, and then be careful to watch the less fiscally and legally savvy Council members like Marie Gilmore, who is the quintessential personality type to be flattered by SunCal and then flipped in the manner specified in (3) above. She has a female doppelganger in Castaic whose company began receiving consulting engineering contracts from SunCal’s friendly subcontractors, as soon as her vote changed in SunCal’s favor.

  • Lauren Do says:

    Marie Gilmore has an undergraduate degree from Stanford and a law degree from Boalt. To call her “less fiscally and legally savvy” is insulting and just plain wrong. Of all the City Councilmembers she probably has the most firm grasp on the legal implications. Considering how “Incredulous” was falling all over herself over Adam Gillitt’s undergraduate degree from Brown without requiring any verification if he has any experience in municipal governance, surely the combination of Stanford and Berkeley’s Law School should be enough for “Incredulous” to be confident in Marie Gilmore’s fiscal and legal savvy.

  • Incredulous says:

    @ Lauren

    The State Bar of California has no record of any Marie Gilmore as being a lawyer permitted to practice law in California.

    Previously, Action Alameda wrote that Marie Gilmore’s real name, according to the State Bar, is Marie-Elaine Lucianne Robinson, and that she practiced law for a total of 4 years: From December 1986 to April 1990 (3 1/2 years), then was put on inactive status in 4/90, was readmitted to active status in 8/91 but went on inactive status again on 1/1/92. Ergo, Marie-Elaine hasn’t practiced law in 8 1/2 years, and Marie-Elaine had only 4 years to learn what little she could about her trade, complex California law.

    Any well-experienced practicing California lawyer will tell you that when people come out of law schools they know very little of value and are generally useless; and after 4 years of experience are at a sophistication and skill level of those who negotiate form leases, proofread securities prospectuses, read documents in due diligence matters, write research memos and try or defend misdemeanor and minor felony cases.

    Essentially, when someone gives up the practice of law after only 3 1/2 years, by not paying Bar Dues and not taking the required Continuing Education courses, that shows you they are not serious about becoming a skilled, experienced lawyer. They are happy with being a glorified form-completer and proof reader.

    Marie-Elaine’s name does not show up in any news article on any civil or criminal legal matter where she appeared as a lawyer, nor does her name show up as having participated in the litigation of any California appeal, the true proving ground for honing a lawyer’s intellectual skill.

    In other words, Marie-Elaine doesn’t hold a candle to Teresa Highsmith, Michael Colantuano, Nancy O’Malley or even Skip Miller in terms of experience, and if working with any of them Marie-Elaine would be reduced to being a researcher, proof reader and “bag carrier” for those real lawyers.

    Having watched Marie Gilmore at many council meetings, my view is that she comes off as inarticulate, air-headed, naive (or intentionally playing dumb-bunny )concerning real world legal issues and financial issues.

    Marie Gilmore’s disingenuous performances on the night of 7/20 were the piece de resistance in her intelligence and skills, or lack thereof. Just my opinion. I know my comments won’t change Lauren’s mind but it’s important that someone describe Marie Gilmore for what she is.

  • Lauren Do says:

    Incredulous wrote:

    Good luck to Adam. Having graduated from Brown, Adam is capable of learning the City Charter, the Brown Act, the Public Records Act and all of the other fundamentals necessary to being an honorable elected official.

    I’ll take a regular smart person any day of the week over egotistical engineers and attorneys with aspirations for higher political office.

    Apparently it’s not sufficient for Marie Gilmore to simply be a “regular smart person” who decided that after having accomplished completing her studies at two prestigious schools and spending a few years in the legal profession to change courses and start a family. In addition to serving the City of Alameda on various boards and commissions prior to serving on the City Council. It’s interesting that your criteria for Mr. Gillitt to be a “honorable elected official” is limited to just his degree from Brown but despite Marie Gilmore having a superior educational pedigree you feel the need to cast aspersions on her intelligence because she has decided to not actively practice the law.

  • David Howard says:

    Advice to local voters – simply watch the local bloggers and see who they defend, promote and support to see who SunCal is backing this November.

    Here is Rodney Gilmore’s (Councilmember Gilmore’s husband) apparent current position, with a bay area real estate firm: http://www.cbcproperties.com/management.htm

    And here is the background on Marie Gilmore (nee Robinson), including her inactive California State Bar number.

    According to UC Berkeley Alumni records, and the Cal State Bar records, Marie-Elaine Lucianne Gilmore (nee Robinson) – #124907, was admitted to the bar in 1986, and as of April 30, 1990, her license went inactive. Perhaps she let it lapse, because she wasn’t practicing…. It went active again a few months later, but by Jan 1, 1992, it was inactive again and has been so since. So she practiced law for no more than 4 years. She and her husband Rodney got a J.D. from Berkeley Boalt School of law in 1986.

    Status History
    Effective Date Status Change
    Present Inactive
    1/1/1992 Inactive
    8/8/1991 Active
    4/30/1990 Inactive
    12/11/1986 Admitted to The State Bar of California

  • Incredulous says:

    Thank you for making my point Lauren. Adam and Marie are equals in undergraduate education. Marie-Elaine’s legal experience is useless, at the fluffball level.

    However, her long career as a politician on Alameda’s Planning Commission and then City Council, plus her husband’s intense and well-documented ties to the real estate industry show me she has a self-promotional agenda that extends beyond Alameda’s best interests. Based on SunCal’s prior activities, his company will be the one to watch, in terms of obtaining contracts which will flip his wife’s vote.

    Adam, on the other hand is a fresh face.

  • Lauren Do says:

    Another prominent, well-educated black woman also decided to let her bar license lapse as well. Using the logic applied to Marie Gilmore, I would guess that Incredulous would deem that woman’s Harvard Law School degree is “useless, at the fluffball level.”

  • Richard Bangert says:

    Robert Cray for mayor.

    “Still Around” captures the feelings of many Alamedans concerning SunCal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s043eOvp5E

  • BC says:

    Another delightful Alameda election season is upon us, full of personal smears and insinuations about un-Alamedan loyalties. David Howard: on what basis are you calling Gilmore, Tam and Bonta the Sun Cal slate? Are they being funded by them? And, by the way, where did you get your degrees and in what subjects?

  • Inactive Isn't Lapsed says:

    If a member of the bar isn’t going to practice law but would like to remain a member of the bar to retain the option of practicing later (e.g., if she or he is going to raise a family, make a career change, etc), it is totally routine for that person to switch to “inactive” bar status until whenever “active” bar status makes sense, when it is time to practice law again. Inactive bar status doesn’t mean anything lapsed. It usually just means the person doesn’t want to pay many hundreds of dollars extra per year to the bar for active status when there is no reason for it.

    The idea suggested here that one doesn’t learn anything in four years of practicing law must have been made by an armchair wannabe lawyer who hasn’t walked that walk. Just as most people learn quite a bit in four years of college, four years of intense work as an attorney can provide a massive amount of learning.

    In any event, I hope people will judge Ms. Gilmore positively or negatively based on her record of public service (as well as Mr. Gillett based on his lack of public service). The fact that she is a trained lawyer from one of the best law schools in the country and has years of experience practicing law is relevant (and much more relevant than whether her bar membership is active or inactive). But it is much less important than what she has or hasn’t done for Alameda.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    I see bozo lawyers from great schools all the time. And great lawyers from lesser schools as well. I have a friend who never went to class, took only Bar Review courses at exam time, and is now the Attorney General of a state back east. She was pregnant at the time, but through hard work, she has become an excellent lawyer and risen to the top of our profession.

    Gilmore is a woman with a law degree who does not comply with the Electronic Communications Protection Act, for whatever reasons. When she received blind copied emails from Tam she should have notified the authorities, if she could figure out who to notify. Tam, who out and out rejects abiding by her oath of office to represent the citizens of Alameda, and sends emails to SUNCAL concerning privileged matter. And Tam’s protege Bonta.

    If these three are elected, Tam, Gilmore, and Bonta, we may as well “Kiss it Goodbye” and handover the keys to the city, as well as the treasury, the roads, and every thing else they ask for to SUNCAL and Skippy & Son.

    In the meantime, how is the City to defend this lawsuit and discuss it in closed session (as is required under the Brown Act) with Tam sitting there taking notes or texting SUNCAL? Tam has effectively undermined the City’s ability to conduct business and at least defend ourselves from SUNCAL due to her disloyal actions. How would we know she stopped giving SUNCAL the inside scoop? It doesn’t matter if what she gave them was worthless, it undermines the process. Why would we believe her or anything those who received her secret emails would say to the contrary?

    And why shouldn’t Alameda develop the Point itself? This is a no brainer folks. We have excellent people, banks, and the land. Our citizens have done all the ground work as what Alamedans want at the Point. And if we develop it, we can respond to economic changes. What has SUNCAL got that we don’t already have in Alameda? Except Tam, Gilmore and Bonta, of course.

  • BC says:

    Barbara THOMAS: You spend a lot, and I mean a lot, of time attacking the characters of people whom you dislike. (Today’s nicest example: If these three are elected, Tam, Gilmore, and Bonta, we may as well “Kiss it Goodbye” and handover the keys to the city, as well as the treasury, the roads, and every thing else they ask for to SUNCAL and Skippy & Son.)

    Can you answer the question that’s twice been posed about your conduct when you were a one-term council member? Were you found going through another council member’s office? If you devote so much energy on a daily basis shrilly impugning people’s honor, you surely should be willing to explain your conduct and tell us a bit about your time in council, including its end.

  • Dave L. says:

    Barbara, when one resorts to name calling, it kind of negates any points that one might hope to make.

    It’s pretty obvious why people resort to hyperbole; they aren’t interested in the facts.

    I say let this lawsuit get to the truth.

  • Jon Spangler says:

    I will take an experienced and capable public official with an exemplary record like Marie Gilmore over
    a “fresh face” (still wet behind thew ears?) with no political experience of his own any day of the week.

    Gilmore has shown superb judgment and leadership on many fronts as President of the Planning Board
    and as a Council member. She has also raised two terrifically capable and healthy kids with Rodney, which is a notable achievement in this day and age.

    Adam Gillitt may have the best of intentions and be smart to boot, but:

    1) He has no experience in any appointed or elected role here in Alameda, so is without any on-the-job training or political experience. This is a severe handicap given the complexity of the many issues facing our City Council.

    2) One of DH’s main points against Gilmore is that she has “only” 4 years work experience as a practicing attorney.
    But she now has about a decade of experience as an independent-minded public servant with a demonstrated grasp of Council issues and procedures. That decade of experience trumps a “fresh face” any day of the week according to the standard posed for Gilmore’s legal experience by Incredulous and DH…

    3) Adam Gillitt has seemed rather defensive and “thin-skinned” in his postings on local blogs. Does he have the personal attributes needed to responsibly and fairly represent ALL of Alameda, and not just a small but vocal constituency? I do not know, but a degree from Brown and the skills needed to set up multiple web sites, Twitter feeds, and other cyber-features are not the same as having wisdom and discernment re: complex political and economic issues or listening carefully to one’s constituents…

  • ct says:

    Mr Howard,

    It seems “the City’s deliberate frustration” of negotiations concerning Alameda Point encompassed more than “density-bonus-law projects.” Since at least November 2009, the City has expressed recurrent interest in forming a nonprofit development corporation modeled on the nonprofit set up by the Irvine City Council for their Orange County Great Park; earlier this year, according to The Orange County Register, “The Orange County grand jury [investigated] allegations of lax financial oversight in the $1.4 billion Great Park project.” And a Los Angeles Times story reports, “The city [of Irvine] has drawn scrutiny in recent years as it has spent $104 million on the Great Park with little to show for it other than a design and a tethered-balloon ride surrounded by a small ‘preview park.’ ” With Mayor Beverly Johnson’s calls to dismantle the Sunshine Task Force and Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant’s ignorance or willful rejection of the value of transparency in governance, one can’t help but question the City’s true motives about anything these days.

    Incredulous,

    Marie Gilmore isn’t touting her legal experience in the way, for example, that David Howard does Action Alameda as a legitimate purveyor of fact-based journalism. Her sensible actions and decisions as a council member speak louder than your irrelevant attempt to discredit her does.

    Ms Thomas,

    Gallant’s politically motivated allegations against Lena Tam are still under investigation. They should be treated as allegations, not as fact, until proven otherwise.

    Please see my comment above to Mr Howard re “And why shouldn’t Alameda develop the Point itself?”

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    In answer to the question, No I was not found “going through another councilmember’s office”. I cannot leap tall buildings with a single bound, don’t have X-ray vision, nor the skills to break into the locked office of another councilmember. I cannot recall ever being in the office of another councilmember, save the Mayor, except at the door, to say Hi, when the Councilmember was there. CSI didn’t just spring up recently. If I’d a done what you and my detractors enjoy accusing me of, they really did have fingerprinting and other forensics for decades. Sorry I missed the question earlier, but have other stuff to do. The ones who attributed those skills to me are none other than the ones now hiding being Tam’s blindcopied emails. And they are doubly offended because TAM actually got caught in print by those in authority allegedly breaking several laws.
    When I was elected, Ron Cowan had the City and school district by the throat and no one except Chuck and myself to stand up to them. The remaining councilmembers refused to give the 3rd seat to Lil Arnerich who came in third. The City Manager’s father-in-law had been hired as a vice-president at HBI. And in addition to everything its development agreement said it got, HBI took more and renigged on everything it had promised.
    The first night I was on the Council, I noticed that the City of Alameda was paying $17,000 to maintain the medians at HBI, yet only $500 for those on the main island. I made a motion which was seconded to have all medians made equal. While waiting to get Cowan to the table, (I proposed a construction moritorium to do so) I requested BGDF funds for reroofing the Woodstock childcare center. They were very grateful. I also initiated the initial efforts to fund and start a Farmer’s Market from those same funds as seed money. It took firing the City Manager to get anything done at HBI. But finally after all of our efforts, we got the second school (Bay Farm Island), the Fire Station (I am the one responsible for the insertion of the “or” which allowed the fire department to use its funds for building OR equipment. That allowed for the purchase of the QUINT, a special sized fire engine with ladders that is so necessary for HBI where the homes are built so closely together that the fire policy is not to save the affected building, but to keep it from spreading.
    After 50 years of in fighting on the new site of the library, the Portola triangle, the Church, or the Carnegie building, my colleague, Hadi Monsef, NOT Marilyn EasyAshcraft, suggested that the City look at and consider the site of the Linoakes. He is the one who put together a resolution that worked. Our new City Manager, Bill Norton, made Hadi’s suggestion possible. We used emminent domain to take the site, he made sure we could fund the purchase.
    I am not sure if you want me to go into all of my accomplishments, but you get the idea. Yes I lost when I ran for re-election, but in retrospect it worked out just fine. The meetings are uncontrollably long, the process a bit too dragged out for me now that I am older and wiser. Most of the people take the accomplishments we fought for so hard on the Council for granted. When I see the antics of TAM and GILMORE in the light both of day, and the law, I am very concerned. I am even more concerned that some of TAM’s supporters seem to blow it all off, as if it really is a personality dispute between an excellent City Manager, City Attorney and TAM. I have the advantage, whether you like it or not, of having been there for four years.

  • Karen Bey says:

    Alameda has been described by some as a “sleepy town” and some have described us as “Mayberry”. We are not Mayberry, and we’re not a sleepy town – but let’s face it, at times we’ve been asleep at the wheel.

    Against the advice of then City Manager, David Brandt and SunCal’s own political consultant, SunCal tried to ram a one-sided development agreement down our throats because they thought we were asleep at the wheel. TSunCal was greedy and wanted the whole enchilada. Then comes Ann Marie Gallant who reads the documents, hires legal counsel to advise the city, the Chamber of Commerce does a thorough analysis of the business agreement, other groups start reading the business agreements, – there are major discussions on the blogs about the business agreement and Alameda residents wake up and says no to SunCal!

    Now we’re being accused of being anti – development because we said no to a greedy developer who ran out of time on their ENA after wasting our time on a no-win ballot initiative. Alameda is not anti- development because we said no to SunCal! Alameda has a number of development successes – Harbor Bay, Alameda Bayport, Bridgeside Shopping Center, Alameda Towne Centre, and a number of promising projects in the pipeline.

    This is about a developer who made serious mistakes in their development strategy in Alameda, did not listen to the advice of City staff and their consultants and lost the trust of the residents of this town. Now they are sueing the City and blaming the City Manager for their failed strategy.

    Regarding Marie Gilmore — Marie is intelligent and thoughtful and her leadership skills are proven. I watched her lead the Planning Board — and there’s no question she can lead. She voted against the ENA extension and for public input on the way forward.

  • Barbara Thomas says:

    P.S. What I should add is that I was accused of providing written proof that a fellow councilmember had prearranged with a developer to circumvent the Council to get approval for a huge hotel at Ballena Bay, instead of doing what was best for the City and citizens of Alameda. When I was accused, I voluntarily went to the DA’s office for an interview, without hiring a $900 per hour defense attorney (That is what I do now, but not then) and answered all their questions. No charges were filed or requested to be filed by the City. So it is with great amusement that one does not always detect in my writing, that those who were then complaining the loudest, are now on the receiving end of the investigation. By “those” I mean pro-development, consequences be damned. And those who continue to bring it up after 20 years believe it will have some impact on others who rely on them instead of the facts. I suspect they are motivated by less than honorable intentions and not particularly interested in the truth. And you will note, there is no hotel at Ballena Bay. As there will be no SUNCAL in Alameda. The good side always wins.

  • Janet Gibson says:

    For the 85% of Alamedans who voted No on Measure A and who are happy that Sun Cal is “out of the picture”, there is good news tonight! You now have a candidate running for City Council whom you can totally trust: Jean Sweeney. Jean is the lady who, along with her lawyer husband Jim, spent years questioning and researching city and state archives until she found the old contract that helped return title of almost 40 acres of Beltline Railroad property to the City of Alameda. Then she launched a successful initiative to set aside this land as parkland.

    Jean Sweeney is not part of any political machine and is not seeking a political career. She has been an outspoken voice against Measure A and Sun Cal’s plan for Alameda Point. Jean attends City Council meetings regularly, speaks up on issues, and seeks to be well informed.

    In describing Jean’s “Beltline Quest”, one observer said that “Dedication crossed paths with history and saw opportunity waiting. . . Visitors to the new park should always be reminded of the difference that dedicated individuals can make toward the betterment of their community.

    It’s time now, for Jean to move from research into a position of action. At this point in history the voters of Alameda have a unique opportunity to better their community by supporting Jean Sweeney as an elected City Council member. Let her dedication work for us!

  • Jack B. says:

    Janet, that is indeed good news.

  • Janet Gibson says:

    I need to correct one thing on my entry of August 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm. It was almost 2:30am in upstate NY where I’m vacationing and my tired mind got it wrong: Of course the vote against SunCal was a vote against MEASURE B !!!

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    Congratulations to Jean! I have always admired her success with the Beltline park, and I think we share many similar goals and qualities in our vision of leadership for Alameda.

    I welcome Jean’s entry to the race and I look forward to the two of us being the clear choice to those voters in our City who have always wanted an Alameda without bankrupt, mercenary developers at the former Naval Base, and instead prefer sensible planning that works for our citizens and with our available resources to improve our quality of life.

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