On Tuesday, Sept. 16, the City Council voted to abandon plans to create a city-sponsored rents task force, opting instead to allow a local attorney to lead a community-based process to explore concerns about rising rents. The council voted 3-2 to move forward with the community-based process; the community group is to report its findings to the Council on Dec. 2.
Now that there is a full slate of candidates for City Hall elections, which of them is going to stand up for Bay Farm and be our a voice in Alameda politics?
They should be falling over each other to court our votes. Bay Farm is one of the biggest, most consistent voting blocks in Alameda. Nearly every candidate to win the popular vote in Bay Farm has also won the city-wide general election.
Two pieces appeared side-by-side on the May 29 Alameda Sun opinion page. The first, a letter written by City Councilman Stewart Chen (“We all want what’s best for Alameda”) stated, “The City Council is responding to the community’s desire to develop Alameda Point and is trying to do it with the least number of new housing units possible.”
The column next to Chen’s letter was a commentary from Eugenie Thomson, a licensed civil and traffic engineer and a long-time resident of Alameda (“City Must Follow Charter”).
The only alternative: Get voter approval to change it.
Over the past two years, the City Council has taken two defiant steps toward approving nearly 4,000 new residential units primarily in the West End.
First, on the eve of Independence Day — July 3, 2012 — the council rezoned 17 parcels with an overall site inventory capacity of 2,525 residential multi-family units outside Alameda Point for the city’s 2007-2014 housing element cycle.
How long did it take the school district, city and housing authority to reach their final “win, win, win” approval of the two-year planning swap deal? Three weeks’ time from the first public notification! It was accomplished in secrecy, with them stating that closed sessions were allowed by the Brown Act. As the last elected official’s approval vote was stated, City Manager John Russo smiled a Cheshire cat grin. He had “won.”
The Alameda City Council is soliciting applications from residents who would like to serve on the city’s golf commission. The appointee will serve a partial term expiring June 30, 2016.
The golf commission was established to advise council on operational policies and fees for the golf facilities, including the Chuck Corica Golf Complex. The commission meets the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the golf complex, 1 Clubhouse Memorial Road.
On Tuesday, the City Council heard the first reading of the ordinance that would create the Alameda Landing Municipal Services District. If the Council approves the ordinance as currently written and the current property owners approve it, Alameda Landing homeowners would pay thousands of dollars a year in supplemental property taxes
The ordinance would base residents’ tax rates in part on the size and type of homes they buy. Under the new ordinance commercial property owners would pay up to $1.54 per square foot.