Fremont City Council Live Blog

It’s a heady night here in Fremont. There are about 60 burly guys in orange who could lose their jobs if the City Council approves a cost savings plan that would include outsourcing their maintenance and street sweeping jobs.

One street sweeper just told me that the city has recently spent more than $1 million on four new street sweepers and a vactor, which is used on storm drains. That’s more than half the city’s fleet, this guy said.

I’ll have to check with the city about the sweepers, but I’ve already identified one way they can save money around here. I just raided a food spread in a conference near City Council Chambers. The cashews hit the spot, but the city could have saved $3 per bag by serving peanuts instead. Continue Reading


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.



Get to the Point Game II

Alright, Round 2. Below is the opening paragraph from a Tri-City Voice editorial circa 2008. I’m offering the possibility of prizes for the first person to correctly tell me what the editorial is actually about.

Here we go:

An eternal question faced by just about everyone is “Do you love me?” The implication is of unconditional acceptance which does not waver with circumstance. For some this is a natural consequence of an attractive personality while others may struggle to find such approval. Not only individuals, but organizations and municipalities ask the same question. Companies rely on employee productivity which is directly related to a feeling of loyalty and comfort. Asking for efforts above and beyond the routine and ordinary relies on a core, elemental response to the question: Do you love me?


Fremont News of the Day

From the cops:
Two more auto burglaries in parking lot outside the Starbucks at Mowry and Blacow. Most of the burglaries are happening during the morning commute. One victim lost an iPhone that was left on the seat.

A man fought off a robber who tried to grab his backpack, but did suffer a punch to the face during the scuffle.

At Walmart two men were arrested for filling a large box with perfume, purses, and mouthwash. At Dale Hardware, employees grabbed and held a man they said had been writing bad checks for months.

A shoplifter at Walmart roughed up a cop on his way out the door, but officers tracked him down.

From the wire:
A look inside the Solyndra factory.
Mr. Roadshow defends metering lights
Optimistic story on U.S. solar industry.
EEOC suing Fremont company for firing worker with deformed hand.