Council Meeting Journal

The council is up and running early tonight with a discussion on future economic development.

I’ve clearly gotten a little too comfortable on this beat, because I’m wearing a sweaty t-shirt, shorts and eating my stinky homemade kimchi with tasty green lentils. I usually dress professionally, but this is the last week on the job for a longtime local reporter and he/she wanted company on a goodbye run around the lake to work off his/her goodbye pie.

The city’s long-term economic development plan is broad in scope and says pretty much what you’d expect: Good shopping, more tech companies, downtown green tech corridor, etc.

Councilmember Natarajan said the city needed to market and brand itself more aggressively. She also said she wasn’t pleased that a Goodwill second-hand shop opened at the high-profile corner of Mowry Avenue and Fremont Boulevard.

Councilmember Harrison said the city needs more entertainment, which I don’t think means more nightlife, but I’m not sure. As for the Goodwill Store, he noted that the rest of the intersection isn’t really any better: A bank, gas station, and the back of a fast food center.

Sue Chan likes green technology.

Very few details here and nothing for the council to vote on.

Wasserman notes that the city is going to have to figure out what to do with all those vacant office/industrial buildings in the south end of town that haven’t had tenants since the dotcom bust.

Next up affordable housing, which means mucho public speakers.

Several speakers are from the lefty group Congregations Organizing for Renewel. They want the city to build a youth center at Dusterberry and Peralta.

Ugh. City is wasting our time debunking myths about affordable housing. If affordable housing units are so great, how come only the nuns can build them in the Mission?

It turns out your typical very low income affordable housing tenant is a cook or electrician.

I feel like I’m in third grade.  Nap time.

Now they’re getting to the nitty-gritty: location and distribution of affordable housing.

Anu Natarajan doesn’t have an answer for how to avoid concentrating affordable housing in Centerville and Irvington.

More myth-busting. Wasserman, the former police chief, says affordable housing in Fremont hasn’t led to increased crime.

City says to get funding projects have to be close to transit and other amenities. Does ACE and Capital Corridor count as transit? Tension between city council’s stated desire to spread out affordable housing and fact that cheapest available land is in Centerville and Irvington.

Wieckowski says city needs to build affordable housing in Niles. There’s the old Henkel property near Mission and the not-so-pretty apartment complex nearby. He also wants the agency to buy up some foreclosed properties.

Matt Artz