Deborah McQueen, Livermore

Many people have expressed their concern over the lamentable Legacy building sitting in tattered tarps in downtown Livermore. Citizens are rightly distressed over the condition and imposing height of the buildings. The City Council’s published priority list, crafted from public input collected by PlaceWorks in 2017, stated their top three priorities were parking, community character and open space. These priorities were quickly and severely compromised, if not entirely diminished, by the Council and then Mayor Marchand, who swiftly moved ahead with the Legacy building.

Meeting minutes from the City Council meeting on Feb. 13, 2017 state that “David Eichler, Legacy Partners, spoke in opposition to establishing an interim height limit reduction for residential projects within the Downtown Specific Plan area and said that prior uses of the Groth site made it problematic.” As a result, the pending vote to limit height restrictions was abandoned. The approval process for Legacy was rushed through in 14 weeks (March 6 – June 11, 2018) without adequate public input and transparency. 

On June 11, 2018, the City Council approved a Development Agreement with Legacy Partners for a 222-apartment complex. Three months later, on September 19, 2018, Marchand received a donation from David Eichler for $467.00 as stated on his campaign form. Marchand lists Eichler as a “Real Estate Agent, Legacy” who lives in “Livermore.” However, there isn’t a registered real estate agent named David Eichler in California. Eichler lives in Piedmont, not Livermore, and Legacy Real Estate (similar name) on Second Street, is not affiliated with Legacy Partners Inc. 

These facts bring up controversial issues of ethics for Mr. Marchand. Was Marchand trying to obfuscate the source of the donation, which seems a lot like a payoff, so that no one would look more closely at his relationship with Legacy Partners?

Marchand claimed on Jan. 12, 2021, “I have not accepted so much as a cup of coffee from any developer.” Marchand is required by law to fill out his campaign form under penalty of perjury. “I have used all reasonable diligence in preparing and reviewing this statement and to the best of my knowledge the information contained herein and in the attached schedules is true and complete. I certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.” 

Unfortunately, lying on campaign forms isn’t prosecuted by California authorities, but it’s still immoral behavior.