I will fight to the last ditch, if necessary, to prevent the voters of this city from entering into a lease which will take out of their control property for which I have fought a lifetime and lost a fortune to secure for them... Any man who would turn over municipal lands for this damnable purpose ought to be taken out and hanged.The irony, of course, is that had Borax Smith won his 99-year term, we'd still be in it! We'd be in it until 2015. And Borax is long dead and his estate dismantled and all we've got are some mules in the backyard of the F.M. Smith Recreation Center...
So, 99 years have NOT passed, and poor Mayor Davies must be a'whirlin' in his grave... because our City Council AND our city attorney are doing exactly what he abhored: handing out public lands to private developers. Horace Carpentier is somewhere smirking! His legacy of keeping Oaklanders from their waterfront continues.
So what the heck am I talking about? The infamous Oak to Ninth project. The project stretching along the waterfront for which City Council voted to hand over municipal lands to private developers, forever ruining our chance to have waterfront access.
Back in early September, city attorney John Russo declared that the signatures collected by the Oak to Ninth Coalition were invalid. The signatures say that the Oak to Ninth project should be sent to referendum--that Oakland voters themselves should decide.
In a mere 30 days, the coalition gathered over 25,000 signatures (when they only needed 18,000). A monumental achievement --and one that clearly demonstrates that people are concerned and unhappy about this dirty deal.
John Russo said that attached to the petition was an outdated version of the city ordinance--although coalition members tried to get the ordinance from city staff and were directed to the city's website. There, a current version was posted, which was later changed as Russo continued to negotiate with developers after City Council approved a version.
The latest news is that a week ago the coalition filed suit against the city. This makes the third lawsuit against the city on this particular issue. Hmmm, maybe that's because the whole deal is illegal? And crooked and sordid?