The leaders and supporters of an alternative downtown development plan are purposefully exploiting and manipulating public-input processes and initiative and referendum procedures to force their special interest demands and political agenda on the Livermore community.

This name-changing group stacked one element of the community input process with supporters, and then claimed the results as the will of the people. Fortunately it doesn’t work that way. Public-input meetings are just one part of a larger collection of community-wide input. The community’s input is just that – input – not a requirement or absolute. Input is added to a long list of regulations, requirements, citywide development needs, aesthetic values, estimated use patterns, and financial considerations to create proposed development plans. The City’s professional staff is experienced in analyzing the community’s current and future development needs and the input received. Staff members create plans that work in the best interest of the entire city and when appropriate, they include the preferences of special interests. In this situation, the development process and elected officials determined that the special interest demands were not in the best interest of the community. That led to the special interest group rejecting the concept of democratically elected officials doing their job of making decisions for the community. They are now claiming to be the majority, and their leader is using her weekly paper to attack those that disagree with her.

And what’s with this deceptive smokescreen about letting the people be heard and demanding that the wheels of government stop because they have an initiative for the next election. If government worked that way, nothing would ever get done. Not only are the results of future elections uncertain, there are always differing views, including disagreement with every special interest group. A new group, opposing any specific special interest group, could easily form and get enough signatures on a petition for the next election. Then they too could demand government do nothing until after the next following election – and so the never-ending merry-go-round of waiting for election results would start.

Help stop the improper influence of special interest demands and big money in Livermore. Reject the efforts of this self-proclaimed “community group” to derail our government and threaten our elected officials. Don’t sign their never-ending, misleading and vindictive petitions.