Fremont skate park delayed

Toward the end of last year, a divided City Council approved building a skatepark along Paseo Padre Parkway next to the water park.

Even though neighbors on the other side of Paseo Padre objected, and the city acknowledged there were a couple other workable sites, the council majority argued they needed to approve the project at that site so it could get built this year, 2011. The city has been wanting to build  a permanent skatepark for about a decade.

Mission aborted.

The neighbors sued, and the city realized that its studies weren’t likely to stand up in court.

So tonight the council agreed to withdraw the project approval and approve new studies to hopefully get the skatepark built in 2012.

But the council still wasn’t unified over whether to consider another site, in this case near the Teen Center, across Paseo Padre from some office buildings. That’s where the neighbors, who sued the city want it.

Councilmembers Anu Natarajan and Sue Chan (Chan, BTW asked great questions tonight) thought the city should do sound studies at both the site near the water park and the site near the teen station.

City Attorney Harvey Levine effectively agreed.

But Mayor Wasserman and Councilmembers Harrison and Dutra opposed the study on the premise that if it showed there was less noise problems at the teen center site, the council might have to move it there or pay for more studies to defend putting it near the water park and across the street from the homes.

It was a peculiar argument, especially since the city attorney said they had nothing to worry about. It was as if especially Harrison and Wasserman, annoyed at the neighbors and full of machismo, didn’t want to risk finding out that the other site might be superior, and that they might have made a mistake last year.

Anyway, the park is delayed, and the council is still dead set on building the skatepark near the waterpark.

Matt Artz


  1. Did anyone notice Mayor Wasserman bullying the other council members to do it his way?

  2. Dont know if it qualifies as someones’ definition of “bullying” or not but, there was an interesting exchange between Natarjan and Wasserman just prior to voting – – start watching at 2:19 for this specific instance.

    Discussion of the skate park by council kicks off at roughly 2:02 –


    Wasserman/Dutra/Harrisson got it right on this one.

    This is certainly not the best example of decision making by ego (and contrary to reasoning) – which this council has certainly proliferated on several occassions.

    It’s not a matter of whether or not you overlooked something . . . . it’s a question of what is the process by which we consider and evaluate for a particular use and whether or not we’ve followed *that* process.

    Having done so, we really dont need to do anything except go to court when the “objections” begin to fly – –

    Despite that, council opted to delay the project, incur additional expense, and examine a new level of sound-level impact as a concession to the considerations of objecting parties.

    Natarajan and Chan speak out both sides of their mouths – – – at once, encouraging an examination and consideration of alternate sites BUT – in the end, voting consistantly with co-horts. With their respective vote – they mitigate the veracity of their previously expressed objections.

  3. Natarajan always portrays herself as “the lone dissenting voice” but ends up voting with the other four, 99.9% of the time.

  4. Artz, Sue has always had great questions. She is very practical because of her background in science. She is that calm and recluse thinker sitting off to t he side free from all the imagery and politics and political ambitions. I have read some opinions from others that she is not that bright. To them all I would have to say is that having made such remarks, it depends on which side of their brains they are thinking with, and not on who speaks from which side of their mouth.

    I am of the view that sometimes a tactical withdrawl is warranted and the timing to trigger that is when someone has made his/her point, finds to be in the minority and fold in the name of unity/consensus of the Council.

  5. Though I think the residents were being hypersensitive about the skate park, especially since they signed on to live so close to a recreation mecca, I have to give them props for fighting this one through.

    I always smile when government is “compelled” to change course.

  6. Marty, it sounds like you’ve flip flopped again on your previous position of attacking “NIMBY-ism. “

  7. Realizing that one has made a point, but resides in the minority – when SHOULD the significance of the expressed concerns outweigh the need for “…unity/consensus….” ???

    Do you ever consider that you co-horts might be in error ?????

    Perhaps Chinmoy is correct and if that’s true then – – – – – – either, Chan/Natarajan subordinated their concerns and the needs of some residents to some bruised-ego-like consideration which demands/expects total unanimity of vote. . . . .OR . . . they are hopeful that residents will listen to their words and ignore how they voted. . . .

    You simply can’t – IMHO – express concerns one minute – vote AGAINST those very same concerns the next and not expect to clearly, in this case, communicate a subordination of the concerns originally expressed to (according to Chinmoy) the council need for unanimity.

    Very very odd . .. .

  8. Bbox231 #7:

    It is not odd if you believe in:

    “You need to pick and choose your battles.”

    Not sure if you have worked on any committees or just been a “armchair critic”

  9. Alright Marty, But you sure are getting soft on me all of a sudden.

  10. Wow – Wasserman, Harrison, and Dutra voting together? Never saw that coming in a million years. Glad the Tri-City Triplets are reunited and ready to go.

    Sue will vote with them more often than not. That is, unless she has another “conflict” or “sudden trip” when a tough issue appears on the agenda. We all wait with baited breath.

    And Chinmoy – what Council meetings have you been attending? Sue Chan, free from politics and political ambitions? You will soon be eating those words. And she’s far from a critical thinker.

    And Anu – well you might call her an independent thinker. A closer look, and you’ll see that she is in fact a contrarian.

    On the other hand, maybe the Tri-City Triplets had a point? Should they always cave when a handful of residents complain about something? Fremont residents are stuck on “pause”. No one wants anything in their “back yard” anymore.

  11. Robert – keep up the good work. You haven’t missed a beat yet. Keep ’em coming.

  12. Chinmoy –

    If you believe in “picking and choosing your battles” – then you have the wisdom to shut the heck up and not say anything. . . .

    A lack of wisdom is to open your mouth, criticize your opponent AND THEN belittle your own words by voting WITH your opponents. . people use descriptions such as “two faced” or “speaking out both sides of your mouth” . . when confronted with this kind of inconsistancy.

    But, I can appreciate that as an ardent (and seemingly thoughtless) supporter of Natarjan, you would defend these kinds of actions. You ought to take your own advice, Chinmoy – THIS would have been a topic in which you would have been wise to . . . . pick YOUR battle on Anu’s behalf.

    BTW – For the record – I have served several Bay Area cities and counties in completely volunteer capacities . . . from helping to organize and running our local Little Leagues to Community Chamber work to County-appointed boards.

    BUT all of those are secondary to my decades of paying taxes and active voting record which entitle and obligates me (and anyone else) to actively participate in the consideration, discussion and – yes – even criticism – of our political system and its leaders . . . . a point seemingly lost on you !!!

    You might wish to check out some of the night school offerings in topics like U.S. Government – – – you seem to be a bit out of touch with how this process works.

  13. …seemingly thoughtless supporter of Natarjan…check out some of the night school offerings in topics like U.S. Government – you seem to be a bit out of touch with how this process works….

    “two faced”

    I look forward to Bbox’s next plea for measured discourse.

  14. Politicians are fair game for being critized for there actions
    People are not fair game, unless they take a stand on a issue that is important to them.
    The blog should be issue driven, not being nasty to one another.

  15. Yes. That you are relentless in you pleas for civil debate while at the same time calling others “thoughtless” and in need of education for disagreeing with you.

    You’re a hypocrite, and two faced, though have no problem accusing Natarajan of such.

  16. I agree with Bbox — for too long we’ve allowed politicians like Natrajin to talk on one side of there mouth about how they don’t like something, and then they go and vote along with everyone else. If they truly disagree than they should vote the way they believe. That is being “two faced.” Marty, you subscribe to this same philosophy.

  17. So Robert, you seemed to have turned around and suddenly started going against Anu. Isn’t she a part of the Fremont Democratic UDC leadership team? Come on be truthful and tell the folks on this thread on why you have turned against Anu overnight whereas you supported her during the election since she was “the UDC candidate.” So tell us what h appened over the past weekend and is that the reason you are now turning against her.

    And I support all the City Council folks and the Mayor.

  18. I’m not against Anu or anyone else for that matter. I just would like politicians to vote the same way as they talk.

  19. BBox, you need to reread my post, and cast aside your prejudices. You don’t even know me and hence it would be unwise for you to pigeonhole me. Reread my post and judge for self if my post was in support of Anu or in support of Sue, who some unashamedly characterized her “as not very bright”.

  20. Chinmoy my boy – which “prejiduces” – please, enligten us – – could you please be specific here ??

    But – in the absence of any substantiated facts from you (again) –

    I believe it was YOU that attempted to pigeon hole ME with no first hand facts of the matter when YOU suggested – “Not sure if you have worked on any committees or just been a “armchair critic” –

    AND seemingly that’s not all you can’t grasp – you also miss the salient point and connection between Sue and Anu – you know . . . when they BOTH expressed objections and then they BOTH decided to roll over and VOTE to the contrary . . . .

    Chinmoy – you are using the same bat that your friend Marty does and – – -sorry, to inform you – it just keeps on missin’.

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