I’ve talked to some local pols about Gus Morrison’s proposal to consolidate Fremont, Union City and Newark into a single city.
No surprise that there’s a lot of apprehension.
Politicians are, by and large, the same people who joined too many clubs in high school and organized events nobody really wanted to attend.
I’m guessing most Tri-City area residents don’t really care if there subdivision is off Newark Boulevard, Ardenwood Boulevard or Union City Boulevard.
But if you’re identity is wrapped up in decades worth of Newark Days or Fremont Festival of the Arts or any other civic pride event, city boundaries matter a great deal.
Asking a politician to disband his/her city is like asking a cheerleader to cancel the pep rally.
So here’s what a few local pols had to say.
Newark Mayor Dave Smith feared that Fremont would dominate any union said that Newark was too precious to lose.
Fremont’s a great city, he said. It’s just that we have different cultures and different way of doing things. We have a Newark way. A Newark spirit.
Likewise Union City Councilman Richard Valle:
“Union City has created a unique identity and those of us who live here appreciate that uniqueness and … think it’s worth keeping,” he said.
Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman said he opposed it because by the time it could be implemented the economy would have improved, and he doesn’t think it would generate much savings because bigger cities tend to start hiring all sorts of upper management people, and the next thing you know, you’ve got just as many higher-ups as you did when you had three cities.
Anu Natarajan said she wasn’t opposed. She also feared that Newark and Union City folks would see consolidation as a Fremont takeover. I’m having trouble understanding her these days. She also said that she’s running for re-election and that she’s always been running for re-election.
And finally Newark Councilwoman Ana Apodaca said she was interested in studying the idea, but that it should be debated by community members, not council members.