MARC GARMAN - EDITOR

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 NEW COMMENT

SECTION 

BULLHORN.jpg

CLICK THE BULLHORN

Login Form






Lost Password?

Syndicate

PDF Print

 

 

 

Exodus 360”

 

 

 

Mónica Tipton

2/5/13   

 

 Oh, how I wish that title were mine, but it is a brilliant description of what seems to be the economic development plan laid out by our city planning department. Let’s count the pithy parables that can be derived from this one.


The company that has proven to be most destructive to small businesses in every community where it has been allowed to open its doors has had its path paved with diamonds to take over the empty Mervyn’s store on Sonoma Blvd. In spite of the rampant rhetoric that “small businesses are the job creators,” our small businesses are being sacrificed to this “better than nothing” economic development plan. How many businesses are now at even more risk of leaving empty buildings in our city? Feel free to add, but I begin with Seafood City, Raley’s, Food Basket, FoodMaxx (they JUST opened), Smart and Final, King’s Market, Food for Less, about five small ethnic markets scattered along Broadway and Sonoma, and you no doubt know of more. “Something is better than nothing,” quoth Mssrs. Davis and Sunga. How can the Chamber of Commerce support this project when it will kill off its membership?

 

Next up, Solano 360, the plan by the County of Solano to build a shopping mall and entertainment center for which there is no need and no interested developer on the fairgrounds property in spite of the fact that there are deed restrictions part of the parcel. The most that Vallejo can get out of this is disruption along the major thoroughfare leading to our only major business, Discovery Kingdom, additional traffic, cannibalization of the businesses across the freeway that provide vital sales tax revenue, only 25% of any sales tax revenue from the new development, an increased need for police coverage, the responsibility for paying for the infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc.), and the risk of a lawsuit when the bonds that the County wants the City to float default due to lack of interest in the development. “Something is better than nothing,” quoth Mssrs. Davis and Sunga. “Aye,” voted Ms. Hannigan, former city councilwoman and now Supervisor for Vallejo at the County Board. When Mayor Davis tells citizens at a council meeting that it is obvious that the public just doesn’t have the knowledge and must be taught in small and simple lessons about the project, the collective outrage among the members of the large audience is palpable. Watch the video of the meeting to see for yourself.


While we are on the County’s participation in Exodus 360, let us remember the sudden news that a Day Reporting Center will be opened in a county-owned building on Amador Street whether or not we want it in our midst. Parolees from anywhere in the county will be required to report two or three times per week to participate in a reentry and rehabilitation program that has yet to be proven to be effective anywhere in the nation in the last 20 years. The disregard for residents and business people in the area, not to mention greater Vallejo, has been blatant. The patronizing public comments made by Mayor Davis and County officials are deserving of quick political response. When the judge told the citizens they must “eat the broccoli,” we couldn’t believe it. . When Mayor Davis tells citizens at a council meeting that it is obvious that the public just doesn’t have the knowledge and must be taught in small and simple lessons about the project, the collective outrage among the members of the large audience was palpable. Sound familiar? “Something is better than nothing.”


The plan to sell prime waterfront property for $1.00 to Callahan Development, whom Mayor Davis has represented as an attorney, would have put the City into a lawsuit for violation of an earlier settlement with the Waterfront Coalition. Fortunately this boondoggle was prevented by the vote of the current council majority. “Something is better than nothing,” quoth Mssrs. Davis and Sunga.

We must not forget that Exodus 360 has also brought our city a HUGE lawsuit over a contract dispute with Triad Development. That lawsuit caused the developer Callahan, who had agreed to an alternative site for the office building previously proposed for the waterfront, to pull out. All downtown development will be delayed until that suit is settled. Who led the campaign to fire Triad? Mayor Davis: something for my client Callahan Development is better than nothing.


It is quite obvious that the mayor and his political disciples do not understand the power of commitment and attraction. Remember: Something is better than nothing. They manifested criminal activity like prostitution and drug sales on our streets. They manifested retailers like Wal-Mart first entering our community then exiting then entering again with results that are well documented for efficiently destroying small business. Mayor Davis and Councilwoman Hannigan knew about the DRC but said nothing to their fellow council members and now we are the mecca for parolees. What is next?


As citizens, we must support the current council majority to continue to make decisions that will benefit all citizens for decades to come. As citizens, we must protest those “somethings that are better than nothings” that will negatively impact our city for decades. As citizens, we must present our vision for our beloved city to those elected and appointed individuals who work for us and insist that they find a way to manifest that vision. As citizens we must participate in the upcoming writing of the General Plan and adopt a new and powerful philosophy, “Only the best for my children’s children!”


If only Exodus 360 could end with the exodus of Davis and his ill-advised and shortsighted group of supporters sooner rather than later.

 

Note: All opinions expressed in the "Primal Scream" column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin