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Newsflash: Wasserman and Harrison disagree

I’m in full speculation mode this week asking folks what should happen in south Fremont IFToyota stops making cars and trucks there. It’s a touchy subject. No one wants to be seen as rooting for NUMMI’s demise, because nobody is rooting for NUMMI’s demise.

One city official asked not to be quoted and another would only talk about what the city was trying to do to keep NUMMI. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sue Chan wouldn’t even take the bait. Your newest council person doesn’t do hypothetical questions.

Luckily for me, Bob Wasserman, Bill Harrison and Bob Wieckowski do, although they want to stress that they very much want NUMMI to stay.

But if it doesn’t … ?

Wieckowski and Harrison both said the area should remain manufacturing.

Not Wasserman. He said he’d be open to a new car manufacturer taking over the plant, but if that didn’t happen, he envisioned down the road, “a very massive development” with a mix of housing, retail and office buildings.

Manufacturing jobs often pay well, but retail and homes equal higher land values and higher property taxes.

But zoning land for job growth uses doesn’t guarantee jobs. Fremont has lots of unused R&D space that is waiting for tenants.

Harrison and Wasserman are tight, but they don’t always agree. I can recall two votes in the past two years where they differed. Most recently, Wasserman went out on his own opposing a contract for retrofitting the police building.

Matt Artz

  • http://www.ishanforcouncil.com Ishan Shah

    Mister Mayor I really hope your vision has some schools in it as well with all this new housing talk your doing.

    I will be meeting with Staff leaders for both Senators Feinstein and Boxer about the potential of moving Tesla Motors into the NUMMI plant. If anybody has any questions or issues they’d like me to bring up with the congressional staff they should email me asap.

  • tbone

    What I find interesting is Sue Chan’s continued lack of response on all important Fremont issues. Other than a city council chambers chair warmer, and taking political contributions from multiple Dutra entities, what has she accomplished for the fine citizens of Fremont? She has no voice. What does Sue Chan stand for?

  • lou Vandelay

    Fortunately, Mr. Wasserman’s local political road ends in 2012, after which we will no longer be subject to his visions.

    Mr. Harrison’s new-found independence may be an actual disagreement over policy, or it may be a first step toward distancing himself from The Mayor’s dismal approval rating in order to garner a few more votes in next year’s election.

    Let me get this straight – and I’m going to try to ask this as kindly as I possibly can. There’s going to be a meeting with staff for two United States Senators regarding the future business plans of two major corporations and we’re sending Ishan to ask questions? Are you even out of high school yet? Maybe you can fill me in a bit as to what you think qualifies you to be involved in corporate decision-making and suburban planning. I don’t doubt that you’re a bright young guy, but aren’t there people who have more experience with the factors that Tesla and Nummi may be evaluating when they make a decision like this? Isn’t this what we pay Economic Development and/or Planning staff to do?

    And how did you get involved at this level? I seem to remember that you used to intern for some local official – was that your “in”? If your experience level qualifies you to participate in this meeting, there are probably a lot of other local residents who have paid mortgages and taxes, formulated business plans, hired and fired, and learned from years of good and bad decisions who would like to attend as well. I’m all for citizen involvement in local issues, but thinking we should have folks with some life and/or business experience involved in something this important.

  • http://www.ishanforcouncil.com Ishan Shah

    Lou,

    Pleasure to hear from you again. While we do pay staff, and in my opinion current Council Members as well, to ask these questions: They have not done so. I am doing everything in my power and have been calling the Senatorial offices almost DAILY to get these meetings. It should be the current council or a private citizen with rank or experience doing it, but in reality it isn’t happening. That’s why I took the initiative. I am spearheading something that should have been done a long time ago, like you said, by people who are more familiar with matters.

    As for why I am qualified…boy if I had a nickel Mr. Vandelay :D . Over the past two months while many of my peers vacationed and whatnot. I have followed closely every report about NUMMI I could get my hands on. When Tesla received its loan, I versed myself in what it would take to bring them there. Its very very doable. While I may not have a degree in corporate economics, I have certainly learned enough to know what I am talking about.

    Any diligent United States citizen can secure a meeting of this sort. It should usually be our city leaders doing it though. Since they have not, I shouldered the responsibility myself. Mr. V, I was simply reaching out to those who may not have time enough to fly out to dc for this sort of meeting. I am willing to act as a messenger, I apologize if this seems like a bad idea… =\

  • http://www.ishanforcouncil.com Ishan Shah

    Lou,

    Pleasure to hear from you again. While we do pay staff, and in my opinion current Council Members as well, to ask these questions: They have not done so. I am doing everything in my power and have been calling the Senatorial offices almost DAILY to get these meetings. It should be the current council or a private citizen with rank or experience doing it, but in reality it isn’t happening. That’s why I took the initiative. I am spearheading something that should have been done a long time ago, like you said, by people who are more familiar with matters.

    As for why I am qualified…boy if I had a nickel Mr. Vandelay :D . Over the past two months while many of my peers vacationed and whatnot. I have followed closely every report about NUMMI I could get my hands on. When Tesla received its loan, I versed myself in what it would take to bring them there. Its very very doable. While I may not have a degree in corporate economics, I have certainly learned enough to know what I am talking about.

    Any diligent United States citizen can secure a meeting of this sort. It should usually be our city leaders doing it though. Since they have not, I shouldered the responsibility myself. Mr. V, I was simply reaching out to those who may not have time enough to fly out to dc for this sort of meeting. I am willing to act as a messenger, I apologize if this seems like a bad idea… =\

  • Irvington

    T-Bone – I’ll go one better. Has anyone ever received a return e-mail from Ms. Chan? I’ve e-mailed her and other Councilmembers for information on issues and questions about local situations and I have never received so much as an “out of the office” message in reply (which I usually get from Harrison). Of course, she’s not the only one who is unresponsive, but she’s one of the ones that is. If they’re not there to communicate with residents (who are also voters), what are they there for?

  • http://www.ishanforcouncil.com Ishan Shah

    Irvington, a point I have restressed in my campaign over and over again is the promise of better communication. If i am elected and you send me an email, you will have an answer within 48 hours…you have my word on it.

  • Relatively new to Fremont

    My expectations of Sue Chan have thus far been fulfilled. I hope we elect our next councilmembers who are willing to engage in public dialogue.

    Mr. Shah, good luck on your meetings with the Senators. Certainly anyone can get a meeting with their staff. And you should be commended for it. But isn’t it naive to think your meeting will have much sway over the Telsa Corporation? If you are looking to affect local economic development, you should focus on what you can do at the city & state levels. This is where tax credits and other incentives are derived from.

    Further Toyota still hasn’t decided they’re pulling out of the plant. Are you contacting them with your thoughts and ideas? Are you actively working to stop them from shutting come the fall?

  • http://www.ishanforcouncil.com Ishan Shah

    RNF,

    Thank you for pointing out the flaws in my post. I have discussed what I am doing with contacts within Tesla. You are right to say I should have also considered Toyota in the process. At any rate, things have changed quite rapidly in the past 24 hours. I will now be lobbying MULTIPLE energy & green job focused Senators/ their staffs about NUMMI, not just California’s.

    Allow me to clarify, my first priority is to keep the plant open and the jobs safe. That is regardless of its occupant, be it Tesla, Toyota, or any other company for that matter who is willing to work with the city and take up NUMMI as its own.

    Is it naive to think my meetings bear importance? A little bit, yes. But I don’t see Councilwoman Natarajan or Councilman Harrison doing anything over their August recess that has YOUR interests at heart. I have flown out here using not a penny of campaign money and planned this whole trip in a way that my summer will benefit ALL of Fremont.

    I have tried at the local level RNF. I have tried very hard and have been shut out at every turn because it is such an old boy’s club. No new faces welcome. I brushed it off and went to the national level. Look at how seriously I’m being taken here. I’ve met with figures from New Jersey & Maryland. I am having lunch with Washington DC Councilwoman Muriel Bowser & going to a baseball game in the DC mayor’s box on tuesday night.

    I hope that by demonstrating I can go above and beyond the normal call of duty, I can win your votes. By showing levels of diplomacy across the country I am proving myself more than capable of handling matters in Fremont.

  • Marty

    I contacted the council on one occasion and both Chan and Natarajan responded quickly and took a legitimate interest.

  • http://www.ishanforcouncil.com Ishan Shah

    lucky marty! I think they’ve marked everything I send as spam :D

  • Marty

    What kind of requests are we talking about? Ishan, I am betting that you are polite but persistent when you email them. But others I’m sure carry over the disrespect they display here into their emails to council then wonder why they get no response.

  • http://www.ishanforcouncil.com Ishan Shah

    Ofcourse Marty. I assure you I have been as polite as ever while writing those emails.

  • Marty

    Well, you certainly don’t want to do it like this:

    “Dear Councilwoman XXXX,

    When you find time between counting all that Dutra cash and spreading dijon on the free sandwiches you bribe residents with at the redevelopment meetings, could please contact me regarding your sh*t-for-brains proposal on the Center Theater project? I would appreciate a timely response, since it is my intention to throw you incumbent bastards out of office asap.

    Regards,

    Perry Irvington Lifer”

  • http://www.ishanforcouncil.com Ishan Shah

    lol.