Harrison Tries to Explain Why Taking Developer Money is OK

Matt Artz of the Argus recently created a blog post about the first round of financial reports received for the Fremont City Council election. Of course, it was noted that both of the incumbents are taking money from developers. Harrison tried to explain why this is ok:

“Just because someone gives me a donation doesn’t mean I’m beholden to them,” he said. “I have my integrity.”

The current Council has made many decisions that have been favorable to developers over the last few years. In my opinion, they haven’t displayed this integrity very well. Bill also said:

”He’s a key player in Centerville controls a lot of land that covers Fremont Boulevard. I’d rather have a relationship with these people where we can work together than be adversarial.”

I find it an interesting implication that somehow you have to take money from people in order to ‘work together’ with developers. Somehow, I’d automatically have an ‘adversarial’ relationship with people because I won’t take money from them (?). In my opinion, ‘integrity’ is being willing to establish a relationship with a developer based on whether their proposed project will benefit Fremont, not based whether they gave you a campaign contribution or not.

Anu said she’s not taking money from people with business before the Council like the Pattersons. However, she already took money from the Pattersons in 2006. Is she giving that money back? Also, she took money from the Dutras and Robson homes, both of whom regularly develop in Fremont. Even if they don’t have any specific business before the Council right now, most likely both of these will over the next four years. In fact, Domenic Dutra is currently working on building a day care center at Fremont/Mattos that has already been before the Planning Commission. It’s scheduled to go before the Council in November. How is this not ‘before the City Council’ while the Patterson Ranch project is?

Instead of to making excuses, putting conditions on which developers you take money from, or simply saying that you ‘have integrity’, I find it easier to demonstrate one’s integrity by simply not accepting any money from developers.

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2 comments on “Harrison Tries to Explain Why Taking Developer Money is OK”

  1. John Cant Reply

    I think it is very important to publicize the cozy relationships between certain members of the City Council and developers. There is no way a normal human can take money and not expect to pay back in some form. Regardless of what you think of Bill Harrison, I would not want to say openly that he is abnormal. Let’s be fair.

  2. Michael Frazier Reply

    The solution is to have Fremont voters informed which Council members are pushing dense development, vs. which Council members and candidates want to restrain the increased density. Let the voice of voters prevail.

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