So here’s what Fremont city council candidate Vinnie Bacon said at last night’s council meeting (give or take a word or two) that so angered the council members:
Our top priority should be to restore the manufacturing jobs that were lost to the closure of NUMI. When it became clear that NUMMI would close, our city government should have been in crisis mode to try to save these jobs or to find an opportunity to replace them.
Instead our city council saw the closure of NUMMI as a opportunity to try once again fulfill their dream of a ballpark in Fremont…
Staff was ordered to work in secret and spend more than $150,000 on the ball park idea that would not create any manufacturing jobs and would actually deter manufacturers from locating at the site.
It is also worth noting that Lew Wolff has said publicly he does not want to come back to Fremont.
4,700 workers are now dealing with the trauma of losing their jobs. In my opinion your actions really let these workers down.
Here is Councilmember Anu Natarajan’s response:
I completely resent the comments that we seem to hear especially from people running for political office that the city did nothing at all to save NUMMI — that we somehow simply sat here and had them walk away impacting 4700 jobs…
The city did as much as it could. The state did as much as it could. In the end it was a private business making a business decision. And, to turn that around and use that for political reasons is totally resentful. It angers me that that is being done.
And here’s Councilmember Bill Harrison’s response:
I don’t care if you’re running for State Assembly or City Council, for 25 years the city projected NUMMI with a barrier around it. And there’s probably been a dozen times that people would have built residential housing right across the street from NUMMI, and the city stood up to protect the 4700 jobs plus jobs that went in there.
And here’s the mayor’s response:
The people who suggested that the council did nothing to help NUMMI knew absolutely nothing of what they were talking about. They don’t know what we do. They don’t know the history of NUMMI.
We have gone out of our way to keep NUMMI here to meet there special needs.