Susan Springer, Livermore

Supervisor David Haubert and the other Alameda County Board of Supervisors must promptly replace East County Board of Zoning Adjustments members Frank Imhof, Derek Eddy and Scott Beyer with members who are not rubber stamps of County planning staff or developers.

This three-member, appointed board has great power over the future of unincorporated East Alameda County, directly impacting the lives of residents and the ecosystems. Beyer, whose term expired a year ago, missed critical decision meetings during the past year. Eddy and Imhof have less than a year remaining on their terms, but they too should be replaced now.

The public has the right to expect that at a minimum the members on the Board will attend meetings, carefully study proposals, understand the legal standards for evaluating developments, and be familiar other applicable laws. Members must ask demanding questions and insist upon receiving honest answers.

Neither Eddy nor Imhof met this minimum performance standard as ECBZA Members to make an educated decision when they approved two industrial solar power plants in North Livermore Valley last Fall. Eddy and Imhof displayed a glaring lack of knowledge of the voter-approved Measure D initiative that preserves open space and agricultural land in the East County. They demonstrated unawareness with respect to Alameda County’s General Plan and zoning code, as well as the Williamson Act that also preserves agricultural land when making their decision. They ignored the numerous and sound objections made by residents of Livermore, the City of Livermore and representatives of local environmental organizations, and especially the will of the voters, and instead inserted their personal opinions and emotions to make an irreversible damaging decision on the future of our valley.

Beyer, Eddy, and Imhof should be replaced with knowledgeable individuals who can make informed educated decisions without personal bias and with a commitment to advancing the public interest. The new appointments should understand zoning laws and be competent to make independent judgments. They should come to meetings having independently reviewed projects, stick to the facts, understand the law, and serve in the publics’ best interest, not their personal emotions or be swayed by false claims.

The public is owed a competent board before any further damage is done. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors need to act now.