Deborah McQueen, Livermore

The holidays are over, but many moms and dads are still putting together unique gifts that require assembly. Most people have been there, sifting the nuts and bolts of building a bicycle for their children or a new barbecue for the summertime. Things don't go well when vital parts are missing, or the instructions aren't clear. Shoppers trust companies to give them accurate instructions and details. If essential items are missing or mismatched, it creates frustration and anger. It often leads to post Holiday returns. Worse, it can lead to losing confidence in the vendor forever.

Such is the case with the downtown Eden Housing plan. In 2017, Ex-Mayor Marchand and now Mayor Woerner put into place a set of diagrams and instructions for a downtown plan that was supposed to give the public a robust park and buildings scaled to match "the look and feel of Livermore." They hired Eden Housing whose plan was supposed to be a "fait acompli", but instead the public has received a "bait and switch" set of design drawings from Eden Housing that feature enormous four-story buildings and grass strips that will permanently change the character of downtown Livermore forever. Good instructions are clear, detailed, orderly, factual, and honest. 

Eden Housing's plan does not meet that standard. Good instructions and plans match the pictured diagram that comes with the purchase. Like shifting staircases at Hogwarts, Eden Housing's diagrams oddly change as the years roll by. Big buildings in undersized lots are forced together as if they believe that “with enough force even pigs can fly.”

Shoppers can return products that fail to meet the promise made by the vendor. Similarly, the residents of Livermore can send back their mayor and council on November 22. Like famous TV spokespeople, the mayor and council have pitched and sold a downtown concept to the citizens that was never what they were initially promised. The public deserves the downtown plan they crafted in the 2017 PlaceWork's Outreach Program. 

 The city must adopt a strategy written in a language the public understands - honesty, not the amorphous letters of deceit. The city council should never leverage political influence against its citizens in private land purchases, such as Alan Burnham's recent $2,442,500.00 acquisition or meetings with hoteliers who return "cap-in-hand" begging for loans to meet their parking needs. We live in Livermore, after all, not Council-town.