A cautionary tale of district elections

From Berkeley:

Earlier this year the Berkeley city council voted 5-4 to close a swimming pool in a district represented by a council member disliked by most other council members.

Apparently two of the council members who voted to close the pool, did so because they didn’t want to hand a victory to the council member they didn’t like, who’s in the middle of a tough re-election fight.

That’s according to the Daily Cal. Interesting read.

Nevertheless, just because Berkeley is prone to dysfunctional politics doesn’t mean that would happen in Fremont if it had district elections.

If Fremont always followed Berkeley, there would be naked old hippies in Central Park, undeoterized Green Party members at City Council meetings and a Whole Foods somewhere on Mowry.

Matt Artz


  1. Matt,
    Fremont is about a 100 sq. miles. From Northern Fremont to Southern Fremont is about 16 miles. There are the five historical districts, plus a new one called Ardenwood.
    Fremont has a pop. of about 220,000 residents.
    How in hell can four (4) part time councilmember’s and a part time mayor properly represent the residents of Fremont.
    The answer is they cannot and do not. The most under served part of Fremont is Warm Springs and Ardenwood.
    Matt do you really think the residents of Ardenwood give a damn about Warm Springs. Do you think they are properly represent by the Fremont Mayor or City Council. The residents of those area’s do not.
    If you want to be represented move to Niles or the Mission Area
    Matt, hang around Fremont more, not Berkeley.
    I know that is asking a lot since Fremont is the most boring city in the Bay Area

  2. I don’t think you can compare a lot of vitriolic leftists in Berkeley to Fremont’s government. San Jose’s government works well with district representatives.

  3. I agree with Californiaguy. I have lived in Fremont for 25 years and I always leave the city for entertainment (movies, restaurants, shopping, etc.) Fremont is very, very boring for all ages (from when I was a kid to now where I am a young adult). Even my parents agree that Fremont should at least built a movie theater, and my parents are almost 60 years old.

  4. Audrey,

    Fremont is not as exciting as San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Palo Alto, and while I agree that the city council needs to be ACTIVE in sculpting the development of this city, it does not mean Fremont is boring… just more of a challenge.

    The restaurants here can be wonderful.


    If you have lived here for 25 years, you should know that Fremont did “built” a movie theater: two in fact, one at the Hub, one across the highway from the Mall (and another, much older one in Centerville).

    Though it is sad that these have all gone under, movie theaters are not civic enterprises and when nobody buys tickets, the theaters buy plywood for the windows.

  5. Andrew, I guess you aren’t old enough to remember the movie theater at the corner of Civic Center and Walnut, in the same center as Raley’s. They all closed because they didn’t make money,

    There is a plan to build a theater in the Newpark Mall, over Red Robin. That plan has been around for close to ten years, but it doesn’t get built, probably because it doesn’t make economic sense. Nothing gets built unless someone thinks their investment will make a profit for them.

  6. Gus, I may be mistaken, but I believe the Newpark Mall theatre is a bust as well. The latest owners of the mall pulled it off the table.

  7. Gus,

    No, to the contrary, I am old enough to remember the Super Saver theater near Raley’s, in fact I’m so ‘old enough’ that I just plain forgot. 🙂

    Just to give it a plug, the Niles Silent Film Museum is more fun than one might think. Everyone should go.

  8. “naked old hippies in Central Park, undeoderized Green Party members at City Council meetings and a Whole Foods” – WE CAN DREAM CAN’T WE?

  9. Andrew, I was talking about the theater on the corner of Civic Center and Walnut, built in the 70’s and then converted to an all night roller disco, which is a huge story in itself. I remember the theater because I saw a double bill of Goodbye Columbus and Where’s Poppa, the funniest movie I ever saw.

    As for the proposed New Park theater, it was to be built by the same people who have the UC complex and the Great Mall complex. They used to be Syufy, but have a new name. NewPark owners are bankrupt and have not delivered on improvement projects promised to Newark many years ago.

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