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NUMMI (1984-2010)

Closure in 2010 is official:

Toyota plans to end production at joint venture

WASHINGTON — Toyota Motor Corp. plans to end production in March 2010 at a California joint venture where it has built vehicles with General Motors, the company said Thursday.

Toyota’s board voted early Thursday to end the company’s production contract at the Fremont, Calif.-based New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., spokeswoman Cindy Knight confirmed.

Toyota had said previously that it was moving toward liquidating its stake in the California facility after the plant’s fate was thrown into question in June when GM announced it was withdrawing from the 50-50 joint venture. General Motors Co. emerged from bankruptcy and the company’s stake in NUMMI is now part of Motors Liquidation Co. — also known as Old GM — where it will be liquidated under court supervision.

The NUMMI plant, established in 1984, employs 4,600 workers. Toyota builds the Corolla compact car and the Tacoma pickup truck at the plant and until recently GM built the Pontiac Vibe station wagon there.

California lawmakers have discussed with Toyota a package of financial incentives to keep the plant open. The six month period before Toyota ends production gives the state time to find another automaker or manufacturer which may want to use the facility.

Japanese media outlets reported Wednesday that Toyota would slash worldwide capacity by 700,000 to 1 million vehicles and the NUMMI production was expected to be part of the global plan.

Knight declined further comment but said the company planned to provide additional details on the decision later Thursday.

Matt Artz

  • Vinnie Bacon

    This is a sad day for Fremont.

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

    God almighty….We’ve just suffered a severe blow….

  • Coyote_Bill

    Fremont Mayor Wasserman, Council Members, this happened on your watch.
    Could the decision you made about having the Ball Park near Nummi over Toyota’s objection have something to do with Toyota’s decision. I think it does, what a failure this Mayor and Council has been.
    If Toyota was a developer he would have gotten the Mayors and Councils attention.
    They were already discussing how to develop the land Nummi occupies , before Toyota’s decision. To close the plant. Maybe they did not feel welcome here by our Mayor and Council Members,.
    Do you think!

  • Fremont Lifer

    You’ve got it, Bill. Who does feel welcome here by The Mayor and the Council? Housing and commercial developers, baseball clubs. Who isn’t welcomed? Tesla, those who want to start small businesses, and long-time residents. What successes can they point to? What have they done for us lately? Pack your bags, incumbents – election time’s coming. And let’s not forget all the department heads and our City Manager – those salaries don’t come without a responsibility to do right by the City, and they’ve pretty much sat on their hands while this was happening.

    Anybody else been hearing about the cities like Santa Rosa and Mountain House that are turning off their street lights to save money? What are the chances here?

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

    not very good lifer. It would make the energy companies mad and halt their contributions.

  • Vinnie Bacon

    Bill,

    Good points. This post from 6 months ago seems relevant.

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat/2009/02/18/nummis-stadium-opposition/

    If you read between the lines, you get the sense that the City was moving ahead without even consulting NUMMI. NUMMI is simply asking to be included in the process.

  • Marty

    Perhaps the city was moving ahead because they understood the fate of NUMMI. Nevertheless, I highly doubt Toyota makes decisions of this magnitude based on grudges. Now we have an empty lot the size of Central Park, and I think the FCN should share some of the blame.

  • Fremont Lifer

    Hmmm – it seems that Nummi was asking for the same involvement that the residents were looking for.

    It would be interesting to know if there were any energy companies on the donor lists of our current officials. Apparently the officials in Santa Rosa and Mountain House didn’t mind taking a chance on losing their contributions.

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

    My team is out conducting a poll today with some interesting questions being asked involving NUMMI and our current elected officials. I think you guys will like to see the results, they’ll be up on the site tonight and ill copy paste into a post here if you’d like.

  • Fremont Lifer

    From East Bay Express:

    “NUMMI’s Environmental Mess

    By Robert Gammon
    August 26, 2009

    Toyota will be deciding over the next few months whether to close the NUMMI auto plant in Fremont. And it turns out that one of the pivotal concerns for the auto maker is the costly environmental clean-up that will be required if it closes the plant and puts the property up for sale. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal last week, a Toyota executive said the environmental problem at New United Motors Manufacturing Inc. is so severe that the property has “almost zero asset value.” In other words, the cost of clean-up could exceed the value of the 367-acre property once it’s rid of toxins.

    Fremont City Attorney Harvey Levine said he was not aware of any governmental assessment of NUMMI’s environmental problems, nor does he think that Toyota and its former partner, General Motors, were negligent. “My assumption has always been that there will have to a major clean-up,” he said. “It’s a very large facility that has used lots of oil and paint over the years.”

    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/news/the_drought_s_strange_bedfellows/Content?oid=1181480

  • Vinnie Bacon

    Marty,

    You’ve made this claim before and I feel the need to debunk it again.

    Are you implying that Council snubbed NUMMI in favor of the A’s because there was a good chance NUMMI was leaving? Even if this is true, no Councilperson in their right mind would ever admit to this because because it would be a highly unpopular position. My position on this is a no-brainer – we should have always worked hard to keep NUMMI here. This is especially true prior to GM pulling out.

    FCN should take the blame for what? For NUMMI leaving? That’s absurd! We were on the same side with them as far as the A’s go. Take blame for the A’s not being here? Well, yes, FCN’s main issue was opposing the ballpark. That’s no secret. For my part, I have no regrets about being a part of that.

    (I believe that the bigger reason that Wolff pulled out was that the economics of the project didn’t make sense. Think about it, if the project would’ve gone through, Wolff would have been on the hook for $400-500 million to build the stadium. He would’ve had to build the village with it’s 500,000 sq. ft. of retail. He would probably have had to start with a few hundred of the 3,100 homes. His return on investment would have come from filling up the retail space and selling the homes. This would have been a horrible position to be in during this economy. Also, as you may recall, the City’s main payback was going to come from the sales tax from the project. For some strange reason, I don’t think the rosy sales projections would have been met, leaving our General Fund in even worse shape than it is now.)

    I also don’t agree with your implication that the A’s being here would have helped us cope with NUMMI’s loss. NUMMI provided 4,600 living wage jobs as well as numerous supporting industries. The A’s own study said the ballpark village would have provided 1,700 permanent jobs whose average income would have been $26,000. Not exactly a good trade off.

    With or without NUMMI, I don’t like the idea of a ballpark in Fremont.

  • Toyota2

    Labor costs twice as much as any other shop Toyota owns in the US, and in the least business friendly state in the US. Anyone could have seen this coming. The UAW should have started kissing butt years ago. Now who will the UAW represent since they have succeeded in driving out GM, Ford, and now NUMMI (GM & Toyota)? Unions have become their own worst enemies. They were valuable and essential at one time, but now they are bloated and dictatorial.

  • Jon Simon

    Wolfe said, if I remember correctly, that the law suits and legal wrangling from various parties meant that it would take far too long for the park to get built, basically making it impossible. Rightly or wrongly, the NIMBY people killed the stadium.

    Pinning NUMMI’s closing in any way on the city council is foolish and laughable. It was always a financial decision for Toyota, little more.

    My heart goes out to each person losing a job. We know at least three affected families. Hopefully the good economic news will steamroll, making use of the scary amount of unemployed and underemployed talent we have around here.

  • Fremont Lifer

    People like to use “nimby” as if it’s a bad thing, believing that it’s only true if it’s not your own personal back yard involved. When the people who run your town invite an abomination into your back yard that has the potential to bankrupt the city, exercising your rights as a citizen to raise the issues about traffic, crime, and funding is a reasonable response. In that sense, yes, the people who were against the stadium “killed” it, and we’re better off for it. You’re welcome.

    Also, it sounds like you’re assuming that any lawsuits would have come from local residents. The entities who would have been in the best position to sue would be the big companies whose business would have been disrupted by the stadium – Costco, Lowes, and Kohls weren’t happy about their new neighbor either.

    I’m sure you are concerned for your neighbors, as we all are. How about questioning your City Council and Economic Development Department about why they couldn’t get any fire in their bellies to romance Tesla into town?

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

    As much as I love a good old A’s debate, I continue to stress that we need to look forward. We lost the A’s, We lost Tesla. We lost NUMMI. Lifer is right, we lost it all because we failed to get proactive. The question is now: Where does this leave us? After the extensive clean up, what’s going to happen to the site? Any ideas?

  • Marty

    I completely agree with what Jon wrote.

  • Jon Simon

    As I said, Lifer, “Rightly or wrongly.” Yes, the Pacific Commons tenants were in my head when I said NIMBY. You’re assuming a whole lot of ignorance on my part. OK, that’s fair. :)

    As for Tesla, why the heck would they come to Fremont? Where would they go? It makes no sense at all. Again, thinking they’d take NUMMI is foolish and laughable. Then again, Tesla is a foolish and laughable company.

  • bbox231

    Call it NIMBY – heck, I’m NIMBY and proud of it – when it comes to the ballpark in Fremont !

    The approach to this was amatuerish and very poorly developed – an idiot could see that the ballpark created profound parking and traffic problems at Pac Common but because a couple of restaraunts stood to sell some more meals we thought we had it made in the shade (?) – - OOPS ! someone forgot to think about the impact to Lowe’s or the car dealerships (and a few others) ? – There was something very seriously amiss here folks and you didnt have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out – woulda been swell to get out in front of the power curve and try to actively involve those factions EARLY on – maybe during the elections – but, nope – let’s keep a lid on it.

    . . . . . and when PAC COMMONS didn’t quite work out – let’s scramble and see if we could shoe-horn in another quickie over in Mission San Jose. . . . .. .

    It DOES seem like we were really well connected with the little wine outlet and the small-ish businesses but we kinda forgot about the interests (or at least we did not bother to address very important issues – very early on) of some very very significant stakeholders – like the residents in Mission S.J. or the MAJOR revenue producers in Pac Com . . . . .

    But – it’s a NIMBY problem !?

    With logic and reasoning like this – it’s not unusual that these same folks conclude there’s profound economic advantages to stadiums !

    BTW – I do not believe TMC’s decision had anything to do whatsoever with the stadium. I do not believe that our city planners could have done much to change the manufacturing economics for TMC which fell apart as soon as, what was effectively, a GM subsidy went away.

  • Vinnie Bacon

    Jon,

    In hindsight, do you honestly think this would’ve been a good business decision for Wolfe, with our without the opposition? Wolfe is a smart businessman. It’s not a coincidence that he backed out of this. And I’m sure you also saw Matt’s post which mentioned that he still doesn’t want to come back to Fremont, in part because of the state of the housing market.

    In saying why he was giving up on Fremont, Wolfe specifically mentioned the threat of a referendum. I was at the FCN protests. I’m convinced we could’ve easily gathered the signatures to put this on the ballot. (I also believe we would have won the election.) If he couldn’t have waited for the people of Fremont to have their say in the matter, so be it.

    I didn’t say that the Council’s actions cost us NUMMI. Obviously, there are macroeconomic factors much bigger than the city, or even the state, that come into play. I do maintain that Fremont’s leadership pushing for a ballpark despite NUMMI’s objections, was not the message that their host city should have sent to them.

    “Tesla is a foolish and laughable company.” That is a foolish and laughable statement. Electric cars are the future of transportation. People have said that we needed the A’s to “put Fremont on the map”. I argued that getting the Prius manufactured here, or electric cars manufactured here, or getting some of the ‘green’ manufacturing jobs here, would be a much better way to “put us on the map”. I still feel that way.

  • Learnt2Count

    Why do you want to put Fremont on the map? Fremont is a suburb and will remain so for another century. Most of the people who are closing to live in Fremont because its a suburb close to Silicon Valley, had BART transportation to SF & OAK and it has mostly good elemetary schools.

    If we wanted to live in a city that is on the map, we would not be living in Fremont.

  • Jon Simon

    Vinnie,

    Wolff wouldn’t have started the process if he didn’t think he could make money off of it. Of course the downturn may have changed that, I don’t know the specifics. It’s moot now.

    As for Tesla, EV technology has not gone far in the past 100 years, especially when it comes to batteries. Tesla’s contribution to technology has been nothing but great marketing. They just licensed a bit here and a bit there. Take an Elise frame, stick in some modified AC Propulsion tech, buy a few batteries, then market it like an iPod for the insanely rich while playing the press for chums. Just don’t tell them they’ll need to buy a crap load of new batteries in a few years, like they had to for their iPod, phone, and laptop.

    Short battery lifespan, short range, lack of infrastructure, cost, and failing to meet buyer expectations have all kept EV’s from success. None of those problems have been solved, not a single one. Now we have heavy investing by the government to keep Tesla afloat while they pray for a battery breakthrough. That’s like betting 500 million taxpayer dollars on hopes of getting a straight royal flush when all you’ve got is a ten and an ace.

    The people best served by EV’s are city dwellers, most of whom don’t have access to a power plug when they park on the street. They’re also the ones who are much better served by mass transit. Then there’s the suburban contingent like my wife, who could make her daily commute with an EV. However, we’d need three cars since, if she wanted to visit her mom in Daly City, either the range would be too far or the batteries would be too expensive to justify the fuel saved.

    Fuel cell breakthroughs are much more likely. We actually have the technology and only need to work on getting it cheaper. Lack of infrastructure and cost are the only serious hurdles holding fuel cells back.

    As a car-obsessed geek and environmentalist, Tesla=Bad.

  • Marty

    Vinnie, I am absolutely certain that you recognize your involvement in keeping the A’s out of Fremont as a liability. You wouldn’t be responding with such vigor if that wasn’t the case.

    Though I am glad to see you taking Wolfe’s after-the-fact comments so seriously, he also said that the nimby protests organized by the FCN were a key factor in his initial decision. You’re a bit selective in what you want to believe.

    You say that the Council’s actions didn’t cost us NUMMI (post 19), only after agreeing with Coyote Bill’s tirade placing blame squarely on the city council (posts 3 and 6 above). Which is it?

    I think the term flip-flopper has been played out, but consider that the weeks after the A’s pulled out, the FCN was running around as if they owned the victory. You hooked yourself to that ship months before. Until today, your handle on the TCB linked to the FCN’s website. You had every intention of riding that ship through your 2010 city council run.

    And now you claim that ‘hey, a couple people didn’t want the stadium but it was the economy that dictated the outcome’. Then you turn around and downplay the economic factors that decided the future of NUMMI and infer blame on the incumbent council, who in my estimation could have zero impact on the outcome.

    I have to give you credit for acting like a politician even before you become a politician.

    As far as “green jobs” putting us on the map, the Solyndra operation should suffice and it happened during the incumbents’ watch. If this is the measure for a city government’s success, then I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

  • Dave Arneson

    The State, County and City had plenty of time to create a healthy environment for manufacturing. California charges tax on capital purchases. A friend of mine left Fremont for Reno several years ago because he couldn’t make money here. If we don’t change our taxing ways we could lose Silicon Valley too.

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

    Marty, that was an artfully phrased and detailed post. I personally WAS pro-A’s UNTIL they started talking secondary sites away from PacCom. The second that happened, I turned on the project.

    As for blaming the Council for the horrid loss of NUMMI. Marty you are right to say that economics had played a major role in the decision. But, Mr. Bacon & Coyote are also right to say that some of the blame rests on the shoulders of our incumbents.

    People had laughed when I suggested a Tesla to NUMMI move, saying the company would never go for it because of this reason or that reason. Either that or they condemned the thought by saying I had no knowledge of the economic factors involved. Truth is I did my research, I met with economist, bankers, and auto workers to see what their thoughts were. A majority said it would be worth AT LEAST TRYING. But the comments by the mayor and council, who suggested something in the neighborhood of “wait and see”, weren’t exactly comforting to those fremonters hanging on for dear life to what little job security they had.

    So to recap, while they waited and saw, we lost Tesla & we lost NUMMI. And now if that land will eventually be opened up to developers, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the campaign donations to their future bids skyrocket. What has the council lost by losing NUMMI? Unless people realize that it WAS partially their fault and vote them out, they’ve lost absolutely nothing. In my opinion as a private citizen, not even a candidate, I think a lot of that blame falls on our incumbents for not spearheading something. A lot is to be said of somebody who tries and fails versus somebody who does not care enough to try in the first place. At the end of the day those of us who tried something, even those who bothered going to the rally, can rest a tad easier at night knowing that we did our best.

    As for the green jobs aspect, I may concede that this is where our vision for the city’s future go separate routes. I envision Fremont taking a big role in Green energy because I believe that green energy jobs are part of the solution to our economic crisis. The jobs it would create require education; they require initiative; they require drive. All characteristics that I believe many Fremonters DO have, and certainly all characteristics future Fremonters SHOULD have.

    I do believe this is the first time I have completely stood up to you Marty! Aren’t you a little proud? =]

  • Marty

    Ishan,

    I don’t think it’s a good strategy to build a moat around Fremont to keep developers out and drop the bridge only for green tech, which at this point is partially fictitious.

    Sometimes you have to work with what you got. And in February 09, what we “got” was an MLB owner who wanted to build north of NUMMI. There were some who would take the stadium at any cost (Wasserman, incumbent council), and others who opposed any A’s presence in Fremont (Vinnie Bacon, FCN). What I would have liked to see it a group who were open to moving the A’s to the NUMMI site, but crafting the move to require it be done on our terms – be it land be set aside for technology firms, housing retail, I don’t know. But these decisions never had a chance because of the furor.

    Perhaps Fremont could have played nicer with the NUMMI ownership. But, I give the city government credit for working towards what they saw as the best interest of Fremont (though you may disagree with this vision).

    Juxtapose this with the protests of NUMMI management, who complained about supply chains and plant access issues that will be irrelevant in March 2010. In light of them knowing about a possible plant closure since the beginning of 2008, it seems to me that NUMMI had the future of Fremont far down on their list of priorities. The sympathy NUMMI management get on this board is in my opinion misplaced. They were looking out for numero uno.

    The way I see it: Fremont today could have been negotiating and crafting the largest and smartest development project in this city’s history. The stadium could have been part of a 20-30 year plan for a site larger than central park, and in turn soften the blow of NUMMI’s demise.

    Perhaps our incumbent council doesn’t have the vision and ability to get something as simple as a Costco right let alone a massive development like the one I describe above, and should be replaced on those term. But that is not what I see. Instead, I see Vinnie and his FCN cohorts digging the moat while telling the people inside to trust them, because granola powered jet packs are coming to Fremont, and they’re going to pay us lots of money to build them.

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

    Marty, I don’t understand why you and I are at loggerheads over this. Judging by your previous post, we are both in the same boat as to wanting some balance. We both want development, but the right kind of development. I’m not at all against more developing. In my opinion, it isn’t even optional! As we move forward and evolve as a city, its going to be needed.

    My only issue is developing residence plaza after residence plaza without even a PLAN or the funds for schools to accommodate the new attendees!

    It seems to me that the beef you have with Mr. Bacon and the FCN lies in the A’s stadium argument. I’d love to take the high road, not finger point as to who did what, and say we need to focus on the future. Unfortunately, unless we finger point, we can not educate those who are unaware as to what is going on.

    Somebody explained it to me in a way that made me blame the Council for the loss of the A’s as well even though they were so pro. In their haste to keep all the businesses and get the A’s, have their cake and eat it too, they put the needs of the people of Fremont second to building their political resumes! Yet they plowed onward discussing secondary and third sites that effected our citizens negatively claiming that they were doing it for those very citizens! I would have liked to see the A’s in Fremont, it would have brought in the “wow factor” that we need, but at what cost? When was it no longer worth it? The project had to be in the right place, and had to be carried out with a plan that the majority of the citizenry could fall behind. In their haste to add this footnote to their collection of achievements, they disregarded the needs of our people. When they did that, they went against everything public office is supposed to stand for.

    I’m not naive or stupid. This isn’t a perfect world and the reality is that people use the City Council as a stepping stone. But, an elected official who doesn’t put the needs of his or her constituency first doesn’t deserve to continue to hold office.

    You represent two distinct groups as you said. You seem to have been pro and Mr. Bacon was con. Two opinions. And therein lies the beauty of our political system. Unfortunately for me…I started out on your side but ended on FCN’s. So I can neither back nor oppose either of you in this argument. It will be interesting to see how Mr. B responds to this.

  • Greatmall

    Do you know Ford Assembly Plant turn into a Great Mall? We should do the same thing. let’s turn NUMMI into shopping mall!!!!

  • MikeTeeVee

    Ishan said “Marty, I don’t understand why you and I are at loggerheads over this.”

    Marty’s specialty is being at loggerheads. Whatever you say, he’ll find a way to disagree. Here, I’ll show you:

    Marty, the sun rises in the east.
    ;-)

  • Vinnie Bacon

    Jon,

    Your strategy of ditching the electric car and going with fuel cell vehicles reminds me of Bush’s strategy. This was widely panned as putting too much efforts on a future, unproven technology and not enough on something that could bring more immediate results. I agree with this assessment.

    As with any emergent technology, there are issues to be solved with EVs. I’m not saying Tesla is perfect, but I do applaud their efforts to do something that hasn’t been done before.

    The bottom line is that the technology for EVs is here today. There are people driving Tesla Roadsters, a few of the old RAV-4′s, and others. I would argue that most two-car, suburban families, such as mine, could get by with one EV (and one other car) despite their limited range.

    Understanding the range issue, I think plug-in electric hybrids are the best short-term solution. For about $10K I could take my Prius and ‘mod’ it to get me a PEHV. Again, the technology for this is here today. I’m disappointed that Toyota or anyone else isn’t doing more to create PEHVs.

    You mention infrastructure issues. Yes, for the EV to take off much will need to be done in this regard. However, we already have an electrical grid system in place across the country. I could plug an EV into my garage today. One of the weaknesses of fuel cell vehicles is the fact that a hydrogen grid doesn’t exist at this point. Building such a grid would be dangerous and very costly.

    As far as carbon emissions, the EV offers a chance for a truly zero emission car (i.e. via solar power). I’ve read studies that say fuel cell vehicles would produce as much CO2 as internal combustion vehicles.

    Getting back to Fremont, I think it would be a good thing if Tesla or someone similar wanted to locate in Fremont.

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

    I agree with you 100% Mr. B.

  • Vinnie Bacon

    Marty,

    I don’t see where I’m ‘flip-flopping’. I have never attempted to hide my involvement and agreement with FCN on the ballpark. In my post I just said:

    “Well, yes, FCN’s main issue was opposing the ballpark. That’s no secret. For my part, I have no regrets about being a part of that.”

    As for why Wolff pulled out, I think FCN’s activities AND the economy had a role in his decision. Obviously, the threat of a referendum was a real factor for him. I emphasized the economic factors because it is so obvious to me now the A’s would have been a financial disaster for both Wolff and the City. I think it’s important to note that Wolff had the good sense to pull out, while our Council was still willing to take us down this path.

    As for NUMMI and the Council, I never said that the Council cost us NUMMI. I do maintain that the decision to put a ballpark next to their facility despite their objections was not good for the relations between NUMMI and the City.

  • bill_spicer

    Marty, Isan,
    I think you both are missing a important point. The people of Fremont has been apathetic about local politics.
    I was neutral about the Ball Park in Fremont, I kind of liked the idea, but then I listened to people that objected to the Ball Park.
    Then something happened that made my heart swell with pride about Fremont. The people of Fremont
    (a large amount of people from the Warm Springs area, but city wide involvement) Got mad and did something about it. They formed FCN. Some people called it nimbyism. I call it citizens getting involved about the future of there city.
    Nimbyism is fact of life for Fremont. Do you think the people of Ardenwood care about the problems in Warm Springs. Look at a map, Fremont is strung out From Ardenwood to Warm Springs is 12 miles or 17 minutes. Far enough away to be a separate city. So, Nimbyism is part of Fremont’s Culture.
    I hope FCN will continue to question decisions made by the Fremont City Council and Mayor. It is called checks and balances.
    I am also proud to a member of FCN.

  • Anon

    I think that it is totally naive to think that FCN and the so-called nimbys had any real influence over Wolfe’s decision other than a convenient excuse. Development is something Wolfe has been doing for years, and it is not like this is the first time he faced neighborhood opposition. They are facing it in San Jose with the proposed A’s stadium and the 49ers are facing it in Santa Clara as well. Such opposition was nothing new to Wolfe and the A’s, and it wasn’t anything he has not dealt with before.

    The excuse about the process taking too much time is, again, just an excuse. How many years are they now facing for a stadium in San Jose? Will there be litigation by the Giant over territorial rights? They are certainly not making things quicker by moving to SJ, let alone to any other possible sites.

    As to litigation, FCN and the nimbies never made any credible threats of litigation, and simple threats by themselves are meaningless without a substantive legal basis to support the litigation. Until the final EIR was adopted, you really cannot articulate any basis for litigation, so this litigation excuse was, again, just a convenient excuse.

    Furthermore, litigation of this type is not something that a developer of Wolfe’s caliber is not familiar with. He has his high-paid consultants, marketing people, lawyers and lobbyists to deal with these types of situations, so blaming the local residents is a crock.

    Face it, the real reason was economics. As posted by others above, the economy would not enable Wolfe to reap the benefits and revenues otherwise expected for the residential and retail developments he was relying upon to fund the stadium.

    Blaming the nimbys was simply a way for Wolfe to avoid a bad financial investment.

  • Michael Veronin

    For the most part FCN/NIMY folks are not baseball fans and didn’t want to hear what benefits the A’s move would bring to Fremont. I went to one neighborhood forum and the people against the ballpark came across like rabid tea baggers with an ax to grind. Self interest was their number one motivation despite the tax revenue and jobs this was going to bring to our city. They didn’t want to hear it any of it. The people representing the A’s on the other hand came across as a class act.

  • bbox231

    There’s a lot of things that none of us would want “in our backyards” – I wouldn’t want a landfill in my backyard – I woudlnt’ want a nuclear power plant in my backyard – but, these may be neccessities in a modern world. A ballpark is hardly a “necessity”.

    A lot of factions were busy labelling Fremont taxpayers with a lot of names during the course of the ballpark discussions . . . . . Names like NIMBY and “mob” – for some reason, this namecalling and labelling appears to want to proliferate.

    Vinnie – let’s get some t-shirts printed up and sell ‘em – “PROUD to be NIMBY !!!” We’d sell a boatload.

    Some factions were also busy throwing around unsubstantiated anecdotes about the economic benefit of the ballpark. Promises of jobs and economic wealth were asserted by those who desired concessions from our city management and taxpayers.

    Some factions were busy researching independant data on the operation of ballparks and what they do or dont do for their neighborhood. Independant data consistantly flies in the face of any anecdotal assertions made by proponents.

    The Argus was busy . . . . . . not taking an editorial position on the ballpark.

    Based on the independant data that’s available in the world about what a ballpark would or would not have brought to our community – there is absolutely no reason that the economic advantages widely and anecdotally claimed by ballpark supporters possessed any factual substance.

    If Vinnie Bacon opposed this economic black hole – he gets my vote and will receive the vote of INFORMED Fremont voters.

  • Michael Veronin

    Is ballpark is a “necessity”? Well… it would have brought in jobs, tax revenue and put Fremont on the map. Now that NUMMI gone I have two questions for the FCN/NIMY folks…Is Fremont off today then it was yesterday?
    What are the consequences of your actions?

  • Michael Veronin

    Michael Veronin Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 6:53 pm
    Is ballpark is a “necessity”? Well… it would have brought in jobs, tax revenue and put Fremont on the map. Now that NUMMI gone I have two questions for the FCN/NIMY folks…Is Fremont Better off today then it was yesterday?
    What are the consequences of your actions?

  • tbone

    Time to build a University of Fremont

  • bbox231

    Micaher Veronin asks – “What are the consequences of your actions?”

    Seems that the consequences of the research FCN and others did was to de-bunk the emotion-filled claims of pro-ballpark factions.

    Curiously – there is a pro-ballpark faction (or just a group of misfits) that seem to want to now claim that the ballpark would be a benefit to Fremont with the demise of NUMMI. Sort of an irrational inference that the economics of ballparks would somehow magically change because NUMMI isn’t here now.

    The economic facts remain unchanged.

    The emotion-filled rantings of ballpark supporters and political factions which stir the pot of obfuscation continue to ignore hard economic facts. There is NO independant data that has been brought forth by anyone in this discussion that refutes the original conclusions of FCN and other *thinking* taxpayers – ballparks do little to bring economic benefit to their surrounding community.

  • Marty

    Right, ‘box. Those who disagree with you must be misfits and aren’t *thinking* taxpayers.

    BTW, the only emotion I saw was and angry mob riled by the potential loss in property values and elementary school API scores.

  • Andy

    I hope the city has enough money to make that place a level ground and let atleast grass grow. We can let some rabbits run wild there and declare that place a wild life refuge.

  • bbox231

    Hard for me to disagree with that conclusion Marty, since the only statements that the pro-stadium folks have ever presented were anecdotal “data” fabricated by those who had a vested economic interest in the development OR just plain emotional whimsy. Nowhere in the ongoing diatribe some might politely call a “debate” have the pro-stadium factions presented ANY INDEPENDANT ANALYSIS substantiating their claims.

    ….and yet, the pro-stadium faction continues to grind a tired saw over and over and over and over trying to point fingers (?) – lay blame (?!) – to what end I have no idea . . .. . but the ongoing emotional (remember, the absence of facts ?) lamenting over this issue speaks volumes about the inability of this faction to think rationally.

    Yup – couldnt agree with you more.

  • Jon Simon

    Andy,

    NUMMI will need a serious cleanup. Otherwise the bunnies will look like Blinky, the three-eyed fish from the Simpsons.

  • Alan Stirling

    Nummi and all other business entitys will cope with any logistical impediment but one. The one absolute protocall that is never indulged is an incompetant local govt. Here in Fremont we have the worst example of disfunctional, irresponsible city council and city managment in the history of the city and its getting worse. Fremont is the laughingstock of the nation due to the last 6 years of foolish decisions and prioritys by our city council and its getting worse by the day.
    Businesses are well aware of this and will not tolerate or participate in a venue that is tainted. This problem has been growing and reported in the weekly Tri City Voice but carefully avoided by the Argus. When all of the history is examined in chronological order, the pattern is clear.
    Without a complete change of council and particularly city managers, (city manager, attorney and particularly police chief), This will touch everyone in Fremont in some very personal negative way.
    Sincerely, Alan Stirling

  • bbox231

    I’m not so sure I completely agree with the statment that “The one absolute protocall that is never indulged is an incompetant local govt. ”

    Business is increasingly self-centered and less philanthropic as economic times drive owners to focus on survival at all costs. . .. or to grab as much for their shareholders (or personal trust) as possible before the next impening crash.

    Business has a label for inept sellers. They politley refer to same as “motivated”. Of course, less politely, P.T. Barnum is frequently (and incorrectly) quoted with a much less courteous adjective.

    Think about it for a moment – if you are in a business negotiation – let’s say, hypothetically you’re looking to build a development and maybe need rezoning concessions or ways of funneling the maximum in Redevelopment funds into your project or, who knows what – - maybe its something more complicated like a land grant – - whatever it is that’s under negotiation, you want something more than “market”. In that case, having a “sucker” on the other side of the negotation can be very good for (your) business.

  • Fremont Lifer

    I don’t know why I complain so much about our inept local government. Truth be told, I’d like to see Fremont not grow; in fact, to go backwards a bit. However, I know that this is not what is good for the city as a whole. You can’t hold back the tide.

    So, we need office holders who will act on our behalf to manage what growth there is in the slow economy we’re currently in, do what they can to mitigate the impact of this downturn on the local economy, and be prepared to handle what comes when conditions eventually improve. We need genuine stewards of the public trust, not the hand-puppets of regional commercial and residential developers that we’re currently saddled with.

    It is an odd dichotomy that Fremont government can simultaneously be so “in the bag” for the large business interests who contribute to their campaigns and obstructive for smaller business interests who want to open in town. Anybody who’s tried to open a day care center here knows what I’m talkin’ about. A local version of “pay to play”.

    Business people will do what they’re supposed to do – get the best deal they can. Old-school politicians will do what they’re used to doing – get elected. What we need are informed voters who can put into office a new cadre of public servants who will diligently represent our interests. Unfortunately, what we’ve got are “inept sellers”, and we’ve indulged them far too long.

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