Victoria Whyte Ball, Livermore

As a longtime resident of Livermore, I feel a distinct responsibility to stand up right now for our city center’s renovation. The result will really be important to the overall well-being of us all now and in the future. 

I remember when, as a child, we traveled through Livermore from Twain Harte where we lived, to visit relatives in San Francisco and the Peninsula, and I was always struck by the city’s unique situation. Over time, I witnessed the area’s development, and small cities emerged nearby. I could never figure out where their city centers were, mainly because they really didn’t have a downtown defined.

Here in Livermore, we already have a lovely long-established downtown with lots of character. We also have Lawrence Livermore Lab, the Bankhead, the Bothwell, the Rodeo, our distinguished world-re-known Vintner culture, Science, Opera and Theater. With the re-working of the land in our center, we have an amazing opportunity to expand our city’s heart for people who come here from all over the world to experience our science and culture.

We all whole-heartedly approve of affordable housing; some of my own grown kids would love to be able to afford to buy a house here, too. But I don’t see why that means we should build more housing in the heart of the city. With the current plan to add more units, it will create a dark canyon four stories high. There are undoubtedly other lots where housing can be built near downtown that will achieve the same goal. Let’s continue to expand and create a feeling of openness, welcomeness and culture downtown to keep the center of our city space more available for all our inhabitants and visitors to enjoy.