Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 8, 2007

Parlimentary Funkadelic

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, City Council — Lauren Do @ 6:20 am


For a person who says that he is not interested in higher office tried to pull some funky parlimentary manuevers.  Last night was the ARRA meeting and one of the agenda items was to clairfy the Alameda Point Task Force’s roles and responsibilities.   First Councilmember deHaan pulled the meeting minutes from the consent calendar for discussion, which was fine because there was some corrections.  After the minutes were clarified, which evidently Councilmember deHaan felt as though those clairfications in the agenda solidified his perception of what the direction from the entire council was, he attempted to pull the item off the agenda to allow the full Council to discuss what their intention was.   Councilmember deHaan contended that because he was the one who initiated the agenda item and that he was the one that asked for discussion and that because he was satisified purely from the corrections of the minutes that there was no longer a need for discussion. 

When the City Attorney stated that while it was certainly within his right to pull the discussion, once the meeting has started and there appears to be public interest in the matter, it would take an overriding vote of the entire council in order to pull the item.   And even though several of the councilmembers said that they would like to discuss the matter, Councilmember deHaan insisted on reiterating that it was he who brought the matter to this agenda but that he would “allow” discussion to go on further.   Then he asks City Staff if there were any questions they needed further clarified that were not clarified through the minutes correction, when city staff said that there was one, Councilmember deHaan then announced that they would then address that one question.   To which Mayor Johnson stepped in and said that they would hear that, but that she would like to clarify what the intention of the Council was. 

So basically what was finally agreed upon was not what Barbara Kerr seemed to think that the task force was for, which was to be a human tape recorder.   It was to report back to their commissions, but also advise SunCal as to the position of the board and commission on which they sit.   Also, they clairified that the task force members would also be able to speak as indvidual members of the public and give their own personal opinions on whatever is presented by SunCal.

And speaking of giving your own personal opinions on items, tonight as sponsored by the Alameda Public Affairs Forum there will be a “debate” on Measure A with Action Alameda (David Howard and Gretchen Lipow) taking the con side and HOMES (Helen Sause and Doug Biggs) taking the pro side.  The question being posed is whether Alameda Point should be exempt from Measure A.    Seeing David Howard’s letter on Alameda Daily News this morning reminded me of something that has always bugged a little about the discussion over Alameda Point.   Critics of those folks out there who are open to discussing the possibility of exempting Measure A for Alameda Point seem to be fixated on the idea that these people seem to think that the only thing that should be built out at Alameda Point is housing.   But for me, housing seems to be the only issue talked about by anyone because that is the issue that most people disagree on, not what they solely want.   I don’t think anyone disagrees that Alameda Point should have parks, or business or retail or community amenities.   So to fixate on a group’s (namely HOMES) position on housing and say that is all that they want out at Alameda Point is simply disingenuous, but not surprising considering the source.


  1. Access. To me, getting on and off the west end is the overriding issue.

    Unlike the east end, with 3 bridges to Oakland and 1 to Bay farm, we on the west end have only the Tube, and it already backs up to an alarming degree, all too regularly.

    If access ins’t improved, I can’t imagine supporting building anything more on the west end.

    If we had a skyway link to the freeways or another tube or an auto ferry or anything as a back-up to the Tube, I’d be ready to support any of numerous plans for Alameda Point.

    But if we don’t address access now, we leave a real mess for the future. And any developers will have pocketed the money and will be long gone.

    Anyone who profits from adding more people to the west end of Alameda should have to address how to get them on and off the island, too.

    Comment by ombudsben — November 8, 2007 @ 6:41 am

  2. I would agree with ombudsmen that the major problem with the development of Alameda Point will be transportation on and off of the Island. At this point I do not believe that there can be a crossing anywhere in the West End, however I still believe that it could be possible to create a crossing at Grand St. which would relieve the pressure on the tubes.
    I don’t really see a light rail system happening anywhere in the distant future. Actually I don’t see the Grand st. crossing as a very real possibility either.

    Measure isn’t the major problem at the Point it is access on and off the Island. John P.

    Comment by john piziali — November 8, 2007 @ 8:15 am

  3. Measure “A” that is.

    Comment by john piziali — November 8, 2007 @ 8:16 am

  4. “Critics of those folks out there who are open to discussing the possibility of exempting Measure A for Alameda Point seem to be fixated on the idea that these people seem to think that the only thing that should be built out at Alameda Point is housing. ”

    Uhhh Lauren? The Measure ‘A’ debate IS about housing only – that is the only aspect of the development that is affected by MA.

    And don’t fail to remember that Helen & HOMES have yet to say how they, or their developers, would ‘use’ (or abuse) an exemption or give an answer on how many housing units they would prefer to be built on the Point. At a CC or PB mtg heard Jon Spangler of Bike Alameda say he wants to see 10’s of thousands of new homes at the point.

    If there was a general exemption for any location we would be relying on the votes of 3 members of CC to decide how the MA exemption was used. The people should maintain this tiny bit of power that could have a huge influence on the level of housing build-out at the Point. Any exemption that goes to a ballot should be for a very specific plan so voters know what they would be voting for or against.

    The above comments should be a clue that the vehicle access already needs improvement before any signifiacnt build out. Any plans for that?

    Comment by David Kirwin — November 8, 2007 @ 8:38 am

  5. Hope you took your meds today, Kirwin!

    We are yet to see your apology for the crass comment you made the other day re: the recent tragedy in town.

    Comment by Roberto — November 8, 2007 @ 9:38 am

  6. David Kirwin made no remarks on the murder of the Alameda teen this past Halloween–at least from what I can see, unless he posted under a different name, or under a different topic. Roberto, you are a jerko.

    Comment by James Chen — November 8, 2007 @ 11:13 am

  7. James “who can’t see the forest for the trees” Chen, refer:

    Comment by Roberto — November 8, 2007 @ 11:46 am

  8. Mr. Kirwin’s comment #15
    (and, to a lesser extent, #18) on the “Scary…” post certainly dived deep into the muck of name-calling, fantastic leaps of logic, and the exploitation of a tragedy for political ends.

    However, two wrongs don’t make a right. Roberto, there is absolutely no need to make childish taunts about anyone’s mental health. We should all try to restrict our attacks to the arguments and claims being made, not the persons making them.

    Comment by Michael Krueger — November 8, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

  9. #4 Just a bit oversimplified, don’t you think?

    Perhaps if Alameda Point is exempt from Measure A it is more feasible for commercial development to be included.

    Increase the density, keep the number of units the same, and you have more space for parks too.

    What was the population of the Navy Base when it was active? Probably pretty low. High enough to keep Webster St. thriving, though. It would take more than that to support another commercial district.

    Comment by Phill — November 8, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

  10. Re: No. 8–
    Jeez, Michael, how could one possibly “respond” to Kirwin’s rant except to say it was gross and highly inappropriate? The tenor of the rant does reflect negatively on the ranter, and we should be able to say so.
    Linda H.

    Comment by Linda Hudson — November 9, 2007 @ 1:22 pm

  11. #9
    Population of the naval air station when it was active low?
    Not really.
    At the end of WWII, Alameda personnel totaled 29,000 enlisted and civilians.
    In 1997, the workforce was 18,000 military/civilian.
    How many actually lived there? Not sure of the exact figures, but the base held 1513 units of housing, both family and barracks style.
    All figures from military
    The civilian workers lived in the community, obviously, and if they lived outside of Alameda then they commuted through the tube. Traffic was bad at quitting time, as I can personally testify, having been caught in a massive traffic jam when I once made the mistake of trying to leave Alameda by the tube in the afternoon. Please note, Alameda lost more than 4000 people between the 1990 and 2000 census, with base closure happening in 1997.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — November 9, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

  12. RE 11 “Traffic was bad at quitting time…”
    A friend of mine spent her childhood here, and her father worked at the base. She told me that, at one point, the Navy implemented staggered shifts, ending at 3:00 and 5:00, to try and mitigate the congestion.

    Comment by Susan — November 9, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

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