Fremont City Hall to stay in city center

Forget that idea to move City Hall south to Warm Springs. The City Council nixed that proposal tonight after a lengthy debate that actually included a bit of drama.

All eyes were on Mayor Bob Wasserman, who in July surprised just about everybody by supporting a proposal from Councilmember Dominic Dutra to study moving City Hall south adjacent to the Warm Springs BART station.

It felt like the entire two hours were devoted to changing Wasserman’s mind, leaving Dutra and his ally Councilmember Sue Chan one vote shy of the three needed to get the city to pay for a study.

First, top city employees warned that moving the civic center could decrease the value of city-owned property in the downtown area, where a new civic center has been proposed.

Then, the city’s consultant told Wasserman that a development in Warm Springs near the former NUMMI plant likely wouldn’t need the new City Hall to be successful, but the downtown proposal sure could use it.

Then, the city’s private development partner for the downtown warned Wasserman that he might not be interested in sticking around if the city hall complex proposal was moved to Warm Springs.

Finally, top city staff basically told the mayor that they’d have to postpone completion of the plan to revitalize downtown if the council wanted to study moving City Hall to Warm Springs.

And that pretty much did it. The mayor, who I’m not sure realized that the meeting was mostly about him, didn’t want to be a plan killer. Dutra understood he no longer had a council majority, so he didn’t even call for a vote on whether the city should study moving City Hall. Thus, City Hall will stay in the center of town, within striking distance of Russel Shaffer’s bees.


Matt Artz


  1. What would the advantage be to moving City Hall to Warm Springs in the first place? Most other government buildings are within striking distance of the current location. Ludicrous.

  2. City Hall? where? what? huh?

    Who gives a F**k really? They (we) HAD a City Hall.
    A city hall that was Badass. Freaky, interesting, scary, ugly, monumental, ORIGINAL.

    Fault line my ass. That thing wasn’t coming down for nothing, until some pinheaded “city leaders” decided they there was some quick money made by demolishing it- quickly- before it became old enough to require public consideration of the rarity of buildings architectural representative style and historical importance.

    Tell he city council to hold their meetings in the Senior Center and put Dominic Dutra in charge of setting up the folding chairs before the meeting and putting them away after.

  3. Let me be the first to propose we move City Hall to Niles. Just think of ALL the free entertainment we will be getting when the FCN flash mob takes their *phoney outrage* to the street. Play ball!

  4. If you’d ever been in the old city hall on a rainy day or a cold day, you’d know how uninhabitable it was – it leaked like a sieve and you could feel the cold emanating from those concrete walls.

    We may agree, however, that, in this economy, if we can get by with the city hall arrangement that we have, we shouldn’t be dropping money into a new city hall.

    As far as FCN is concerned, they weren’t doing anything different from what the Occupy Wall Streeters are doing now – peaceably assembling for the redress of grievances, and bringing attention to how government has ceased to operate in best interests of the governed. The big difference is scale; local vs national. I wish them both good luck – it ain’t easy organizing a group when you have an honest interest in recognizing and addressing all of the diverse interests of the members.

  5. The big difference is scale; local vs national.

    There’s also the urine running down Market from the homeless encampment of anarchists.

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