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Question 7: “WORST” Hayward decision!

What was the worst decision the Hayward City Council made in the last four years and how would you do things differently?

LINDA BENNETT: This is a difficult question to answer. The city council has had to make a number of difficult decisions in the past four years. I believe my least favorite decision was the Loop in the downtown area. Traffic is a city/regional issue and this does nothing to remedy traffic problems in any affected areas in the rest of the city.

BARBARA HALLIDAY: I opposed the Council decision to approve the Garin Vista housing project on steep slopes above an old quarry in the Hayward Hills. Grading operations, begun last year, resulted in slope failure during the winter rains, and costly repairs are now needed to protect homes downhill from potential damage. I would prohibit housing on unstable land.

OLDEN HENSON: The approval of the mini loop and disallowing the name change of fire station one to the Matt Jimenez Station one while he was alive to enjoy the honor as he wished.

MARVIN PEIXOTO: The loop. This crazy scheme will absolutely destroy the downtown and everything we’ve tried to do to bring new business to our city. The fact that we are using someone else’s money to do it is hardly comforting. Our through traffic problem should be addressed at the 238 connector so that the freeways can be used the way they were intended. Don’t get me started.

BILL QUIRK: Rushing to approve a plan for the South Hayward BART corridor before it was ready. The result was such a bad plan that even City Council members who supported the plan voted against the first proposed project. I wish the other Council members had like me voted to wait until the problems I refer to above were addressed.

ROB SIMPSON: 10/11/2005 unanimously approving the fifth biggest polluter in the Bay Area on city property in 42 minutes without environmental review. Presently claiming irresponsibility for their own actions and impotence. Declaring championship by timidly fighting Eastshore, the direct result of inadvertently opening our zoning and 1/5 the size of the one they approved. Please Elect me and We’ll stop both. www.redwoodrob.com

FRANCISCO ZERMEÑO: Our City Council’s worst decision has been not acting to dispel the perception that we are a city unfriendly to businesses. I keep hearing ‘they haven’t visited our business,’ ‘they took too long,’ and ‘they make it too hard to do business here.’ How much is true? I don’t know. However, we must do our utmost to rid ourselves of this perception.

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  • J. W. Kyle

    The worst decision by Hayward xouncil was not the loop, one way or another! Without the loop you have two way traffic along Foothill with the great time delay occurring at the 5 corners traffic light. With the loop you saddle the community with “one way” traffic on ‘A’ St. that will be quite confusing to geriatric cases living in Hayward.

    On the other hand the loop is a big discouragment to commuters traveling WEST TO EAST in the late afternoon, while seeking access to Crow Canyon Rd, or I-580 East. The pending access to I-580 from intended Redwood Rd.ramps to I-580 (East) would have drawn even more traffic along “A” Street. With the ‘loop’ they will soon clog the new stretch of I-238 east from I-880 to I-580 (when completed). “DEATH ALLEY” the new lane addition between 1-238 and South Bound I-880 will see an added lane created at the expense of those who might die due to the lack of emergency pullout area between I-238 and A Street. Those fearing of that road will see traffic leaving I-580 at Strobridge and traveling along Maddox to Foothill in the belief that it is a safer route rather than a faster route.

    BUT THAT IS NOT THE WORST DECISION MADE BY COUNCIL in recent past! The worst decision was the refusal to undertake the suggested “Highest and Best Use Study” involving the Hayward Airport, had that study included the Bay Area’s need and lack of a Truck Stop, we might have then have developed “the political will” needed to bring developer interests into Alameda County. If not at Hayward, then at the excess land located at north west corner of the LIVERMORE airfield immediately east of El Charro Rd overpass. in an area which presently lies fallow. It was purchased with funds of FAA, ( $30 million per SF Chronicle January 2001) and given to Livermore Airport with the single restriction as follows: ‘Thou shall not build noise sensitive improvements upon this parcel’.

    Oddly, the parcel laying immediately east of El Charro will probably house a low income development per ‘leadership’ of Gail Steele and Pleasanton council. The kicker is the duplicitous idea that ‘low income seniors’ are what the Supervissrs and City of Pleasanton want On that site. County Supervisors are involved because the parcel is located within an unincorporated area and Pleasanton must annex the property, assuming that they have not already done so.

    HERE IS THE CYNICAL PART… THE LOW INCOME TYPES IMAGINED AS OCCUPANYTS ARE SENIORS WHO IN ORDER TO QUALIFY, MOST PROBABLY DO NOT BRING POTENTIAL LOW INCOME STUDENTS INTO THE PLEASANTON SCHOOL SYSTEM
    (God forbid!)

    Of course, seniors are usually hard of hearing and thus would probabl;y not be calling Livermore Airport to complain about noise, which is their right.

    Unfortunately,the FAA angered by creation of a noise ordinance at Hayward, went to the Congress and succeeded in passing a law forbidding any further creation of noise ordinances involving airports.

    At Livermore we see a chance for a truck stop without need to create an overpass, since one already exists.

    Another opportunity for a truck stop, other than at Hayward or Livermore, exits at Golden Gate Fields. A truck stop there would solve much of the traffic and smog problem along I-80 between Oakland and Vallejo.

    IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT I-880 IS AS WIDE AS IT WILL EVER GET BETWEEN Vallejo and Oakland.
    It would be excessively expensive to even imagine further widening of I-80. Here again, there seems to be political resistance to truck stops just as it exists in Livermore and Hayward.

    At this momemnt in time, there is nothing resembl- ing ‘political will’ necessary to overcome the presence of a frightening image of ‘truck stops’ with- in the minds of the ‘intellectually poor folks exist- ant in Alameda County.

    “Intellectually poor folks” frighten hell out of our typical, locally elected representatives at Council and County Supervisorial levels. The fright comes as result of fear that they will not be re-elected if they do not succumb to the blandishments of fear involving truck stops. Truck stops, as we all know, harbor every evil and offense agains the Almighty if such where built in their city. Don’t you know that drugs, prostitution and truck hi-jackings will occur almost immediately if you approve a truck stop anywhere in Alameda County?

    Former Mayor of Hayward, Roberta Cooper, while involved with this writer in a public debate with this writer, revealed the limited capacity in her mind for any form of constructive, proactive thought processes.

    That person stated that ‘when I was first elected, WE determined that “WE WOULD NEVER HAVE A TRUCK STOP IN HAYWARD”. That woman uses “We” in the “Royal” sense.

    Caught flat footed, I did not have a ready answer to the idea that council could forbid any future council from accepting future proposals involving Truck Stop uses or any other land use.

    I did a little research and acquired copies of the minutes of Hayward Council meetings where there were successive meettings in early 1988 from January, through February and into that period of time after the council elections when ‘birdie’ could take a seat after her intial eletion. SURE ENOUGH, there was a vote to deny approval of a truck stop upon the site where the TARGET store now exists on Whipple Ave.

    Opponents, some willfully destructive and blindly opposed, appeared with some pretty nasty, uninfornmed attitudes and ‘reports’. While others had a legitimate concern which desrved the denial. You simply can not operate a Truck stop on 13 acres in an area where no competition exists which would meet demand. The disaster that would have occurred invoved the spill over into neighboring Industrial and Warehouse developments where illegal parking, on another’s property or within confined width feeder streets would have overwhelmed that district. It simply was not large enough to afford or impose the security features found within very large parking lots at modern Truck stops.

    The opponents, in some cases resorted to the usual fear momgering about prostitutes, illicit drug and alchol use etc. One cited a very samall truck /wash fuel sale operatiojn where the owner ;gave permission to park on City Streets. Yes drug and alchol use combined with prostitution did occur. The DAVIS St. truck stop was not build as a ttruck stop. It was a ‘road house’ of which three or four existed during the period of prohibition. One, “the Garden of ALLah becane a temporary Jewish Synagogue on Mission Blve in Niles area.

    The fact remains that the involved 13 acre Whipple ave land parcel simply was not large enough and should have been turned down prior to ‘Birdie’s’ election and initial opportunity to be influenced by illicit argument.

    Truck Stops are heavy investment types which require installation of fuel and toxic waste controls. Modern Truck stops offer ‘hook-up’ to (heat and cooling) air conditioning with added attraction of hook up to electric power supply. That amenity cuts expense of idling engines when compared with the utility hook up amenity to something less 50% of diesel fuel prices.

    Truck stops are competitive and much is invested in amenities available at the Modern Day truck Stops where such heavy investment in both the rest stop as well as the trucks and trailers are so heavy, dollar
    ( $$) wise, so that security is tight, where no alchol is sold on premises, where first class facilities for laundry,showers and meals are all imoportant to all parties. Drug and alcohol use is not tolerated and the wives of truckers, who often do some of the driving to offset the limitations on hours of use, are employed when needed to aid ‘making a living’.

    At the conclusion of the 1988 meeting, former councilwoman SHIRLEY CAMPBELL, remarked that she hoped to see a tax generating truck stop within Hayward on a larger site. .

    THOSE WHO HAVE ENDURED THIS READ ARE ADVISED TO USE ‘GOOGlE’ TO REACH THE WEBSITE OF “TRAVEL AMERICA”, THIS NATION’S LARGEST TRUCK STOP OPERATION, THEN SEARCH TRHOUGH THAT WEBSITE FOR NEWS THAT THIS LARGE CHAIN, TOGETHER WITH ANOTHER, THE FASTEST GROWNING CHAIN. (PETRO’S) OF TRUCK STOPS, HAD BEEN BOUGHT OUT BY A VERY LARGE, PRESTIGIOUS HOTEL PROPERTY ‘HOLDING’ COMPANY WHICH IS A MAJOR PLAYER IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY (Hotels). That chain spent nearly $$ two bIllion $$ to acquirs those two truck stop entreprenuerships,

    The opportunitY for a truck stop still exists at Livermore and at the Race track in Albany…. if political will would just grow.

    DiD you know that the planned expeansion of I-580 over the Altamont Pass is supposedly to occur before year 2030 ? Problem # 1 is… where do we get the billions for thatlittle project? Do not look to Arnold !

    Why not let entreprenuers invest their money so that truck drivers with moxy can make better use of existing roads at night rather than experience fuel burning involovment while stuck in commute hour traffic which, besides the fuel expense, burns a big hole in permuissable driving time.

    Last but not least Truck stops generate large amounts of tax dollars, which of course is unneeded at local or atatelevels. Right? Then too, why would Livermor need the income generated by a land lease or why shoul Albany experience an overwhelming sales tax income in a city with just 16,000 residents?

    That’s 30…….. so long folks!

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