Category Archives: Uncategorized

Open Space Initiative Adopted by the Fremont City Council

The City’s willingness to consider any request from a developer no matter how outrageous was well demonstrated by the Kimber Park fiasco.

A developer owns a piece of land which is zoned as open space. The developer wants to build houses on the land and asks for a re-zoning. Why the City even considered this request is unclear – why not just say no, sorry, this is zoned for open space. You can’t develop housing there. Instead, the Council wasted hours and hours of meetings debating whether to grant the request.

The neighbors formed a group called Save Kimber Park. They were so concerned that they spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours gathering signatures for an initiative to make it harder for the city to re-zone open space, the Open Space Initiative.

The neighbors gathered enough votes to force the City Council to make a choice: either adopt the proposed initiative or put it on the ballot in November.

Last night, by a 3-2 vote the City Council decided to adopt the Open Space Initiative, instead of going through the costly and time-consuming process of putting it up to a vote of Fremont residents.

The Council’s decision saves the backers of the initiative from having to go through the campaign process which would have cost them a lot of time and money (in addition to what they have already spent gathering signatures).

A big congratulations goes to the Save Kimber Park people for making this happen. Their work in raising this issue, gathering signatures, etc. is the kind of civic involvement that our City needs more of. While the adoption of the initiative does not fully resolve the issue, this is a big step in the right direction.

But why did we have to go through this? Why didn’t the City Council simply reject the request in the first place? This is yet another example of the City Council bending over backwards to try to accommodate every developer’s scheme to make more profit.

In my opinion, Council should have made it clear from the get go that they would NOT be in favor of changing the zoning to allow for housing on the site. That would have prevented this whole situation from occurring in the first place.

KGO Asks Some Good Questions

KGO had us prepare a five minute video talking about the issues. In addition, they asked some good questions asking about our overall philosophy on government. I figured they’re worth posting here.

1. Please tell us about yourself and your background.
I am not a political insider. I am a resident of Fremont who feels that the current Council is not adequately representing the needs of the average Fremont resident.

Read the rest of this entry

League of Women Voters Debate / September 20, 2010

The League of Women Voters held what will be the only televised debate of the 2010 Fremont City Council campaign. I think it went very well. I made some very good points and put the incumbents on the defensive. You can read about it at the following locations:

Matt Artz’s blog post

Matt’s write up for the Argus

The rebroadcast schedule and online video of the forum can be seen at:

League of Women Voters site

Bill Harrison Tries to Belittle My Sierra Club Endorsement

Bill Harrison tried to denounce my Sierra Club endorsement in the Tri-City Democratic forum today since they never contacted him for an endorsement. I replied something like:

“I’m proud of my endorsement by the Sierra Club. As you should know, the environmental movement is very disappointed in the actions of the Fremont City Council. It’s not surprising to me that they decided to not even interview you.”

Bill should know that any organization that makes endorsements can decide to not even interview a candidate that they are sure they will not endorse.

I’ve been disappointed that many organizations have a ‘horse race’ mentality and simply endorse the incumbents. These are groups that will likely have to work with the Council in the future and don’t want to make waves by making a principled endorsement. It must really annoy Bill that one organization that isn’t afraid to send a message to an incumbent didn’t even view him as worth interviewing.