Letters to the Editor
The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to the city council.
To the Alameda City Council:
On March 3, I received a $45 parking ticket in a parking lot in the Park Street Business District. I paid the ticket under protest. I feel as a longtime Alameda resident that it is time to speak out.
Clearly the city is unclear on the concept of supporting local businesses. The big-box stores at South Shore have unlimited free parking. The Park Street merchants, on the other hand, have aggressive meter people ruining the shopping experience. This is not a level playing field and the city is to blame.
Normal people would naturally avoid such an environment and shop where they can do so at leisure with the pressure of worrying about their parking meters expiring.
City governments that attempt to fund themselves by extorting onerous, excessive, unfair and draconian fines from their electorate will find themselves un-elected. This city must put the best interests of the community front and center in every discussion and act accordingly. Discouraging shoppers on Park Street only benefits the big-box shareholders, not the people of Alameda.
The city government owes it to its residents to supports the local merchants and let the big boxes know that they will not get an unfair advantage in Alameda.
A new mega-bar called "Capone’s" is about to open, in a historic Park Street building at the crossroads to all of the Park Street businesses, just a few blocks from Alameda High School and right next door to the children’s dance studio.
How did this happen? Who voted for this? Who is going to pay for all the extra police? Why should we pay for extra police? A mega-bar In Alameda? Outsiders would have to drive here to drink alcohol at this mega-bar, then drive off the island once they are drunk.
Where are all these people going to park? Who is going to be held responsible when someone commits a crime, or kills someone after drinking at this mega-bar? What has happened to our town? In the last two years more beer, wine and alcohol permits have been passed out in Alameda than in the last 20 years.
Drunken driving arrests are an everyday occurrence, yet where is our Chief of Police Paul Rolleri, City Manager John Russo and Mayor Marie Gilmore. This mega-bar is going to open in the heart of our town and yet no one was informed of this, we did not vote on this and yet we are all going to be, forever impacted by this. It is truly a sad time for all Alameda.
Appraisals are what we do in today’s world; appraisal for your jewelry, appraisals for your car, your home and other items of value. So why is our school district avoiding appraisals for the land that they wish to swap with the city? Avoiding this process almost seems illegal. Wouldn’t you think our school board should want to know the market value of the lands in question? It’s called accountability.
Avoiding this step is very irresponsible and an abdication of the board’s financial duties. Is this the same board that is going to come forth very soon with a multi-million dollar bond and expect to win the vote of the community?
If this school board wants to convince the community it needs a bond, it first needs to convince the community that it knows how to manage its finances. Blowing off appraisals is a very bad idea and demonstrates a lack of sound financial practices. Do the right thing, slow down the process; do appraisals and involve the community.