Jim Hutchins, Livermore

John Marchand’s recent letter, “Don’t Put the Community at Risk”, continues to misstate and misrepresent the truth regarding the severity of contaminated sites in Livermore. Marchand is skilled at conjuring rhetoric from his playbook.  Marchand seeks to discredit those who speak out against the Eden Housing plan. He believes that stuffing the downtown with large ugly buildings and destroying the last piece of open space is in everyone’s best interest. He is content to turn downtown Livermore into a concrete jungle.

Recently, Marchand misrepresented a quote that was part of a Save Livermore Downtown ad that says “Leave the Contamination Behind” by omitting the underlying context. The ad stated, “There’s a solution to Eden’s contamination clean-up problem. Move the Housing.” The current planned site is contaminated - much worse than what the city told residents. The Regional Water Quality Board said the current clean-up plan is “neither appropriately justified nor acceptable”. Moving the housing to another site makes sense. 

Marchand chooses to dissect slices of information from the public narrative and weaponizes them as “facts”. Here again ex-mayor Marchand deliberately misrepresents the ad’s statements. He says, "The members of Save Livermore Downtown are recommending that no clean-up should take place at the Eden site.” Nowhere does the ad say that.  Marchand continues, “One of their justifications included the city could save the ‘costs’ involved by avoiding clean-up.” The ad doesn’t say that either. It says the Eden project can avoid the expensive cost of cleanup if they move to another site.  Certainly, the contamination must be addressed by the city. However, the mitigation required to build a park for people to visit occasionally, is far less than what is required for building 24/7 housing, especially if underground parking is built.  

Marchand shamelessly resorts to fearmongering by stating, “That ad implies that families and children could safely gather on the contaminated soil.”  The ad never makes that claim. If Marchand’s concerns about the safety of children playing near or on the contaminated site are heartfelt, then why has he allowed both the Lucky and Mills Square Park (Livermorium Plaza) sites to remain unmitigated for his entire 15-year tenure as mayor and councilmember combined? Truly, who is the guilty party for putting the citizens of Livermore at risk?