Part of the Bay Area News Group

A’s to San Jose Column

By Matt Artz
Friday, January 29th, 2010 at 11:16 am in Uncategorized.

Mercury News Columnist Mark Purdy writes about the A’s stadium woes today

http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_14290742?nclick_check=1

Here is the pertinent part:

Because here is a piece of the puzzle that no one seems to be considering: If Selig should announce, after perusing the Blue-Ribboners’ information, that Wolff should instead pursue a Fremont ballpark option, Wolff does not have to do it. Baseball can’t force Wolff to build a ballpark anywhere. It can only tell him where he cannot build a ballpark.

This matters. Wolff is not going to go through the Oakland or Fremont circus again. Within the past few months, both cities have offered up “new” sites and plans for the A’s. But the “new” Fremont site is hot air trapped inside a smoky mirror. The proposed land for the site is part of the soon-to-be-defunct NUMMI plant — yet Fremont politicians did not even contact NUMMI officials before making their big announcement. Meanwhile, a Fremont citizens group is angry about the proposal’s reported $65 million cost to build ballpark infrastructure.

Two things:

1) Fremont did talk to NUMMI about the land. Fred Diaz said NUMMI didn’t respond positively or negatively, but city leaders sure do seem confident they can buy it.
2) Fremont still has the potential carrot for the A’s and Cisco and rezoning the land near Pacific Commons for the village part of the ballpark village. That might be the incentive they need to hop back on the headless mechanical bull that is Fremont stadium politics.

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  • bbox231

    Mercury news reporter says ” ..Fremont politicians did not even contact NUMMI officials BEFORE MAKING THEIR BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.”

    Argus local reporter says “Fremont did talk to NUMMI about the land.”

    Distinction is the TIMING of a contact if any was made.

    Why is Argus (seemingly) so quick to run interference for the local yokels ?

    Mercury didnt say Fremont didn’t talk to NUMMI – - – - they said they didn’t talk to NUMMI BEFORE MAKING THEIR ANNOUNCEMENT.

  • http://www.bacon2010.com Vinnie Bacon

    So, we’ll build a ballpark next to the existing NUMMI factory which will most likely prevent a future manufacturer, with all of their manufacturing jobs, from wanting to go there. (The ‘conceptual’ plan calls for office and retail but no manufacturing – As if we don’t have enough open office and retail space right now.) Then we’ll take the prime piece of land south of Pacific Commons that is zoned for light industrial/office and let homes be built there. The hope of getting tech or other high-paying jobs on this site will be gone forever. These homes wouldn’t generate jobs but they will generate the need for police, fire and other services that the City will have to pay for.

    Most likely, to get the A’s to pay for a new ballpark, we would have to offer some huge incentives to them. The development rights to the 3,000+ homes would only be the beginning. There would likely be other tax breaks and incentives that would make the deal horrible for Fremont.

    All this for the hope that the ballpark will be some huge economic generator for the city, despite the fact that a ballpark on its own has never proven to be a significant economic generator. This is what is considered sound economic planning in Fremont?!

    I have a blog post on this with a more detailed look at this:

    http://www.bacon2010.com/blog/?p=21

  • http://.YousawwhathappenedinMassachusetts,contactAnuandletherknowsheisNEXT skumar

    Unfortunately economics and whatis best for the city of Fremont as a whole is not what motivates Backpocket Bob Wasserman and his minions.

  • Marty

    I can accept that a stadium is a risky proposition that can be a financial drain if not done right, but does anybody really think that this lot will be developed in our lifetime without a stadium? Vinnie’s pipe dream of manufacturing jobs coming to Grimmer and Fremont is based more in fantasy than the most optimistic stadium proponent.

  • VOR

    Solyndra would be considered manufacturing and they are growing their business as this L.A. Times article points out.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/01/fremontbased-solyndra-signs-belgium-solar-deal-.html

    Then there’s the mfg. companies I have previously listed that are headed east to Livermore.

    I don’t expect we would ever see just one company occupying the existing NUMMI facility, but a collection of companies. Sure.

  • Bruce

    I’m concerned that the stadium will drive away some of the companies we already have, and will prevent new ones. We have a lot of companies here west of 880, and the stadium will impact our traffic. We also have a lot of empty buildings, including the palatial Avanti complex that is a fancy planter box for palm trees right now.
    If the city wants to provide incentives, how about some special deals for companies to move into these empty buildings? Better than “shovel-ready”, these places are move-in ready!

  • Lou Vandelay

    Abandon any sense of impartiality before working for MNG, eh Matt? Tell me, does the city have to actually pull your strings, or are you radio-controlled?

    What have you done to verify that the city actually made this NUMMI contact that they say they made or would you also believe Fred if he told you he was the tooth fairy? You’ll have to pardon me if I don’t swallow whole everything the city tells me, but they’ve lied to all of us before and I have no doubt that they’ll lie to us again.

    And has the city also spoken to Catellus about plunking a ballpark village down next to Pacific Commons? They weren’t too crazy about it the last time, and none of those residences would be anywhere near the BART station – they’d all be hitting the freeway, via Auto Mall Parkway. I hear that Catellus is applying to the city to allow them to add service businesses to their tenant list now to increase their occupancy rate. Who’ll want space in Pacific Commons if there’s so much traffic that their customers can’t get to them?

  • martz

    That’s Martz to you, Lou.
    In one sense Purdy is correct. Fremont politicians didn’t talk to NUMMI officials, but Fremont employees did, or at least they say they did. I don’t have proof that Fred Diaz talked to NUMMI before going public, but he told me and the council and a whole lot of people in the council chambers that he did.

    I hope Fred isn’t the one leaving those used tissues under my pillow.

    Catellus has said before that they’d be fine with rezoning that land. More customers for Pac Commons and higher land value. I’m not promoting this; just noting that the possibility exists.

  • bbox231

    Is this the National Enquirer we’re talking about here ?????!!!!

    Post number 8 above is yet a second obvious attempt to suggest that the original SJ Merc coverage was somehow flawed.

    Artz says that Purdy is correct “..in ONE sense.”

    Of course THIS “..one sense” is in relation to the question of WHO spoke to WHOM at NUMMI – and has absolutely NOTHING to do with the original issue of WHEN Fremont spoke to NUMMI.

    So – the implication is that since Purdy is correct in this “..one..” sense which Artz is so gracious to confirm- – - any OTHER is implicated as incorrect.

    Come on Matt – the only thing missing here is the little suitcase that Diaz and the boys slip you into at the end of each performance.

  • Marty

    Look, guys. Matt Artz thinks the NY Giants are a respectable football team. Football is a sport. Mark Prudy is a sports writer. The Argus is edited by a former sports writer. And, the NY Giants suck. So, I don’t see why you’re getting on his case, when the problem is obvious: His editor is to blame.

  • martz
  • VOR

    “Fremont still has the potential carrot for the A’s and Cisco and rezoning the land near Pacific Commons for the village part of the ballpark village.”

    Great, more housing. Fremont has thought of as the bedroom community for the East Bay, where everybody comes to sleep. But its residents work somewhere else. When will we get it? The new city planning buzzword, “transit-oriented development” translates to high-density housing near public transit. How about job development for a change?

    How about revising the City of Fremont’s current catchy slogan “Shop Fremont” to “Work Fremont?”

    This is the natural order of things, no job, no income. No income, no shopping. No shopping, no tax revenue. No tax revenue, no ability to provide the essential services required by residents or pay city staff payroll.

    Attract companies that provide year-round jobs with a decent wage and you reverse the domino effect. Novel concept.

  • Anon101

    VOR, I believe, is right Marty – about manufacturing and light industrial jobs at the NUMMI plant site.

    Not matter if you believe it or not, we are on the verge of a complete paradigm shift into green technologies – use it or lose it! We should be selling these new technologies to places like China to get ourselves out of debt!

    In fact, industrial land, ironically, in Fremont provides the most per square foot in Sales tax revenue if I remember correctly- due to “point of sale” of products.

    Likewise, Marty, that’s what really get’s my goat (are you listening FCN?); FRED DIAZ was responsible at the time that the General Plan subconsultant’s working on the industrial lands needs in Fremont by the year 2030 were directed to assume that the PC lands would be rezoned. The result was that the projected deficit of industrial lands by 2030 would equal EXACTLY the same square footage that they would rezone (i.e., gift with city expenses attached) to the A’s.

    Think about that. The best jobs, the highest sales tax per square foot – and your directed to assume that it’s GONE to Lew.

  • Lou Vandelay

    You’re so right, VOR, and that’s exactly why Fremont Citizen’s Network is advocating for SMART development, not dumb development like more high density housing or a stadium complex.

    The small-minded would prefer to portray FCN as a single issue group, the issue that it was organized around – the stadium.

    In the real world, FCN has moved far beyond that to sharing important information with local residents about schools issues, local government transparency, the activities of the Redevelopment Agency, local crime, the general plan and many other topics. If you haven’t tried it already, Google Fremont Citizen’s Network and give it a shot.

  • Anon101

    Can you spell “opportunism”?

  • Mr Noodle

    The announcement was Jan. 8th. At the city council meeting on the following Tuesday, Fred Diaz stated the he had spoken with NUMMI but did not get an answer. Based on that time line,he would have had to speak to NUMMI before the 8th of January. Only a NUMMI official could call Fred a liar as it relates to this.
    Matt corrected inaccuracies in the Mercury story. That puts him on the city payroll? That must have been a great budget meeting. “so Fred here’s the final numbers, 62 million for infrastructure and a suitcase full of cash to Matt Art.”
    Matt please open up that American Tourister and take out enough jack to get a new camera phone with a flash.

  • bbox231

    So the announcement was on the 8th – - – the following Tuesday Diaz says he has spoken to NUMMI.

    Just what is it in “the timeline” asserts that Diaz spoke to NUMMI B E F O R E the announcement on the 8th ????? – - – - – But boy – it sounds very official doesnt it ? – “Based on that time line,he would have had to speak to NUMMI before the 8th of January.”

    WHY ?

    By Mr Noodle’s own admission – - – Deazz says he talked to NUMMI – he makes that statement on the FOLLOWING TUESDAY ! ! ! ! ! ! ! AND the SJ Merc simply says No one had spoken to NUMMI A T T H E TIME OF THE A N N O U N C E M E N T (which was on the 8th BEFORE the claim by Diaz on THE FOLLOWING TUESDAY ! ! ! ! ! !

    WOW – someone’s pedalin’ R E A L hard to prove the Merc wrong and make our friend Matteo out to be a square shootin’ fellar.

  • http://community.fremontcitizensnetwork.org/ Bryan H

    The San Jose folks probably are heavily lobbying with MLB now. The Giants will show their opposition. The “Oakland politicians” also need to look like they care about the A’s (just like how Fremont city management cares about NUMMI). And Fremont Chamber of Commerce? they will approach MLB too, trying to be the backup plan.

    But the reality is, Lew Wolff is just not interested in Fremont. I also doubt he want to build the residential in this depressed housing market. He won’t make money unless Fremont cut him a sweet deal. To the stadium proponents, please don’t sacrifice Fremont’s future while begging for the A’s.

  • bbox231

    Re Post Number 16 Mr Noodle -

    You’ve very nicely reinforced the original point of this dialogue – If a NUMMI official are the only participants who could claim Diaz a “liar” (as you assert) – then does it not also follow that NUMMI officials are the only ones who could assert the complete integrity of his statements in this matter ?

    Which begs the original question – why is Artz pedaling so so vigorously to disparage SJ Merc claims especially since he knows only NUMMI can be the final answer ?

    We also agree with your conclusion that “a suitcase of cash ” for Artz’ benefit is the least likely of motives for this behavior. It is completely unclear to me why such a notion would even be considered for discussion herein.

  • Marty

    Box, I put in an email to Purdy. I hope he clears this up before you punch a hole in the wall.

  • bbox231

    Always good to hear from you Marty.

    I think it’s great that Marty and Martz and Mr Noodle are all working so aggressively to ensure that it is their version of the facts that is the one that will be verbalized by all of us who are (admittedly) unknowing of the facts.

    Remember ? – “ONLY a NUMMI official could . . . . ” assert the truth one way or the other.

    The ORIGINAL point of all of this was to identify the seeming desire to so quickly rally to the defense of politicos with the seeming urgency to do so manifested in statements that are at least tangential to those being challenged and – potentially – at worst as flawed . . .

    I merely ask the question “WHY is it so important for Argus to do so ?”

    There is a secondary and also interesting question which you seem to want to get an answer to.

  • Marty

    It’s always fun to reply to you, Bbox.

    Have you considered the flip side of your lunacy, that Mark Purdy may be receiving kick backs from the FCN to promote their version for the NUMMI-Diaz “scandal”? Perhaps Kathy McDonald is giving Purdy free back massages, and god knows what else…

  • bbox231

    Isn’t it interesting that those who rally to the defense of City Haul and Argus so consistantly resort derogatory comments of a personlized nature ?

    Fremont taxpayers should pay close attention to the attitudes and demeanor of those who strongly support the status quo and the tactics they choose to use in doing so.

    The acorn doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

  • Marty

    You don’t think that accusing a journalist of taking bribes is offensive?

  • Perry Masonary

    B,

    While we are fortunate that there are several posters here who are serious about local issues and pursuing solutions to the problems that we face, it is unfortunately true that there are also posters who are beneath contempt. Their complete lack of intellect, logic and simple human compassion is obvious. They revel in it. It’s what defines them.

    Remember, there are reasons why they have signs at the zoo that tell you to stand well back from the monkey cage.

    It doesn’t help that the site’s administrator has apparently abrogated all responsibility for the content of his site. There’s a difference between writing for MNG and being a journalist.

  • Mr Noodle

    Fred Diaz made a public comment on the record. If NUMMI came out and denied that he had that conversation with them he would look like a complete idiot and probably get canned.
    I know Fred though he is not a friend. He’s a good city manager but his personality sucks. He’s all business so I respect him but he can be a “my way or the highway” type guy. He will listen but you better get to the point in a hurry. He’s never lied to me or any of my associates. My impression is that he would rather look you straight in the eye and blast you with a dose of brutal honesty. He’s got authority and he takes delight in using it.
    Its not NUMMI’s job or top priority to “assert complete integrity” to some close-minded FCN blog-clown. They still have 4000 employees and thousand of autos to worry about.
    What is interesting to me is that if the mayor or any city council person was to have that conversation with NUMMI every FCN Honk would get carpal tunnel syndrome from typing “Brown Act”. Face it, Fred did it the right way so the only argument left is to smack the reporter for getting the fact straight.

  • Toyata

    Toyota is proud to support the A’s move to Fremont.

  • Toyata

    Mr. Noodle,
    NUMMI is proud to support the A’s move to Fremont because we’re making our cars in Texas. Fred Diaz is not lying.

  • Toyata

    Mr. Noodle,
    NUMMI is proud to support the A’s move to Fremont because we’re making our cars in Texas and NUMMI is closing in April. Fred Diaz is not lying.

  • bbox231

    Perry – good advice – excellent thoughts.

    In conclusion -
    This dialogue speaks volumes for all involved and I’m completely at ease with the court of public opinion drawing conclusions of their own.

  • Marty

    Perry, if you think BBox’s performance on this thread constitutes “serious debate”, then you have much to hope for upstairs.

  • Marty

    “What is interesting to me is that if the mayor or any city council person was to have that conversation with NUMMI every FCN Honk would get carpal tunnel syndrome from typing “Brown Act”. Face it, Fred did it the right way so the only argument left is to smack the reporter for getting the fact straight.”

    I think the FCN dolts should read this statement ten times.

  • Eyesbright

    Looks like “Swamp Squid”/”E.J.s LegalTeam”/etc., has dreamed up a new sock puppet: “Toyata”. The hilarity just keeps on coming!

  • Anon101

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

    Mahatma Gandhi

  • bbox231

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks ….”

    “O, but she’ll keep her word.”

  • Marty

    Lets review the paranoid sensibilities and mental instability of the FCN brain trust:

    1. Bbox thinks Matt Artz is allowing certain pro-A’s commenters special access to emoticons :roll:

    2. Anon101 thinks Swamp Squid has hacked the TCB to prevent Anon’s incessant Brown Act links from loading.

    3. Bbox thinks Matt Artz’s reporting is the result of a bribe from Fred Diaz.

    Thanks for the laughs, fellers.

  • Anon101

    “A weak man is just by accident. A strong but non-violent man is unjust by accident.”

    Mahatma Gandhi

  • Anon101

    Just can’t help but echo what Perry M said again in an excellent comment:

    “While we are fortunate that there are several posters here who are serious about local issues and pursuing solutions to the problems that we face, it is unfortunately true that there are also posters who are beneath contempt. Their complete lack of intellect, logic and simple human compassion is obvious. They revel in it. It’s what defines them.”

  • Anon101

    Excellent comment above Perry M: “While we are fortunate that there are several posters here who are serious about local issues and pursuing solutions to the problems that we face, it is unfortunately true that there are also posters who are beneath contempt. Their complete lack of intellect, logic and simple human compassion is obvious. They revel in it. It’s what defines them.”

  • Marty

    Anon, it’s almost as if you have to repeat Perry’s statement two or three times before you believe it. In fact, you have to block out all that reality, like when Bbox said in post # 1:

    “Why is Argus (seemingly) so quick to run interference for the local yokels ?”

    And when Bbox said in post # 9:

    “the only thing missing here is the little suitcase that Diaz and the boys slip you into at the end of each performance.”

    A total and complete lack of logic, as Perry says. And, “Yokels”? Uh, beneath contempt. As bbox says, why do people consistantly resort derogatory comments of a personlized nature? And Bbox’s incessant insertion of elippses and random use of caps suggest a lack of intelligence as well.

  • Larry

    So is Toyata in posts 27 & 28 claiming to be the official spokesperson for Toyota and NUMMI? I work at NUMMI, and last time I checked, no one by the name Toyata works for Toyota or NUMMI.

  • Toyata

    Larry,

    Please stop lying. I bet you didn’t work there.

  • Toyata

    Eyesbright,

    In your dream!!!!!!

  • skumar

    The Feds are offering up 2.25 billion bucks for California’s high speed rail project. Nummi is about to layoff 5000 skilled workers who could retool Nummi for construction of high speed trains and infrastructure components. Should not our mayor, council members and city manager be looking at ways to capitalize on this hugh opportunity? Nummi workers deserve it.

  • VOR

    Here’s another opportunity coming into focus much faster than the high speed rail project which is years away from ramping up.

    “Silicon Valley makes big push into solar and smart-grid technologies”

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_14241380

  • NUMMI

    Skumar,

    I contacted high speed rail authority about making high speed trains at the NUMMI plant. They told me that the NUMMI plant is just too big.

  • NUMMI

    Toyota,

    I have never said NUMMI have support the A’s move to Fremont. We are still looking at their proposal and do our own studied.

  • Marty

    Purdy’s response:

    >>Hey, Marty–

    Thanks for your note. I am aware of the Fremont city manager’s comment. My sources for my column were obtained on background, but I can tell you that they included someone very close to the A’s ownership and someone connected to the Blue Ribbon panel that is gathering facts about the A’s ballpark situation with the cities of Oakland, Fremont and San Jose. Both these sources told me that in their dealings with the situation, they had been told that NUMMI was indeed informed of the latest Fremont proposal, but only after the proposal had been formulated and the announcement prepared. In other words, it was a one-way contact between the city and NUMMI. If you have different information, I am always interested in being fair and presenting all sides. For your information, NUMMI has not contacted me to contradict anything I had in the column. Hope that answers your inquiry.

    I appreciate you reading the Mercury News<<

  • lou Vandelay

    Interesting – a reporter who is interested in being fair and presenting all sides. Who does investigative work with real sources; who asks questions rather than taking what he is told at face value. Where did he learn that?

    “One-way contact between the city and NUMMI” – that’s the way our city administrators like their communication; all one way, from them out, not from the outside in. Outside input, particularly from taxpaying residents, can be so distracting and disorienting.

  • Larry

    Toyata,

    So how much you want to bet? I’ll meet you at NUMMI and you can watch me go through the gates with my NUMMI badge with my picture on it.