Last night I did a live blog of the council meeting. Since it’s now a day old, I’ve reversed the order so it reads chronologically. Highlights were a union contract squabble, a dig at Union City and “cutting edge” traffic analysis.
7 p.m. — The chamber is full and very purple. SEIU union members are here to say they won’t sign their no-raise contract unless the get assurances that top management folks won’t get raises, while they’re stuck with nada. They want what’s called a “me too” clause. If management gets a raise, they would too.
I arrived just in time to hear the SEIU fight song. It’s sad that other unions have better songs and chants than the my union, the Newspaper Guild. In our defense, we don’t wear purple and we have super cool shop steward pins. I have two pins — one for each member of my shop.
7:19 — Nina Moore of the Chamber of Commerce just stopped by to tease me for my poor council attendance of late. I took it like a man and complimented her shoes. A former colleague of mine would have called them spunky.
7:20 — Irvington man says bad traffic issues. Lots of skidding and trouble with Kirby’s, he says. They want speed bumps or signage.
7:25 — SEIU got in their two cents about their contract. They left chanting “What do we want? We want a contract.” I’ll ask Diaz why the city won’t commit to no raises for top management. Chamber is now almost empty. Ishan Shah is here. So is Dirk Lorenz and Nina Moore.
7:45 — It’s time to talk about the downtown (Midtown) and consultants. This project will have several. HOK, which is known for designing ballparks will be working on Fremont’s potential downtown hub. And there will be two traffic consultants: one to be “cutting edge,” and the other to be not “cutting edge.”
Anu Natarajan wants lots of parking in the midtown (Walnut Avenue to Mowry Avenue and Paseo Padre Parkway to Fremont Boulevard)
Bob Wieckowski could go for narrow streets, with no parking and lots of sidewalk space for pedestrians.
Idea is to pre-plan the district and do all the environmental studies so developers know what they’re getting into if they build in the district.
8:30 — Now there’s a report about city measure to be more envirnomental.
City operations account for just 0.43 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Fremont.
Trash diversion rate surged to 68 percent, which means less trash going to landfill. But city won’t regulate plastic shopping bags or Styrofoam cups. Damn those forgetful middle-aged men.
8:35 — Fremont Main Library is going to get a green roof and solar panels. I just read online that the $20 Sigg water bottle I bought might have that unhealthy compound found is plastic bottles that I was trying to avoid.
8:50 — Ishan Shah has left the building. He must not care about the environment. :>) Sue Chan is now asking about waste reduction. She’s open to mandatory composting. But what about all the middle aged men who won’t be able to remember not to throw out their food?
8:53 — Natarajan asked if it’s true what Union City Mayor Mark Green said about Union City having a waste diversion rate of 72 percent. Wasserman implied that (coming from Green) he didn’t believe it. That got a big laugh from the 10 or so people still around.
Then Wasserman said this:
I’m sure if Mr. Green reads Mr. Artz’s blog, I’ll have a phone call in the morning. If they reach 72 percent g-d bless them.”
Ego boost much appreciated. But, best I can tell, no one in Union City reads the blog, except maybe Tony Acosta and Helen Kennedy. Not that many Fremont people read it either. Memo to Mark Green: Don’t take offense: Wasserman hasn’t questioned you integrity in ages:
9 p.m. — Nina Moore is now sitting next to me. I’m debating whether to mention that I went for a run today and haven’t showered since. Good thing for her I’m wearing my jacket
9:05 — Fremont will sign a compact on global Warming. Wasserman says it’s important even though Fremont might not reach all the goals, which include reducing gas consumption and increasing use of renewable resources for electricity.
9:20 — They’re still talking about this regional climate compact. BTW, City Manager Fred Diaz refused to talk about the SEIU negotiations. HIs review is next week. He said he’s not going to ask for a raise. He got 5 percent last year, which was slightly more than some employees and slightly less than others. It was a whole lot less than Nancy Farber’s.
9:25 — They approved the green thing. That’s a wrap.