It is apparent that a small, dedicated group is using Trump-like tactics to smear The Independent, its publisher and those who are campaigning for a Livermore Central Park Plan…in this case smearing a superior plan for the 8+ acres at the former Lucky site.

One of the group’s most frequent smears of Better Livermore is that it is a “special interest group.” BL’s only special interest is for progress in improving the City. The new vitality and attractiveness, and halting of urban sprawl by/for the City, was all supported (and perhaps created) and energized by Better Livermore and Friends of Livermore over the last three or four decades. FOL’s only interest is not selfishly special - it is people, citizens, who have pleaded with the City Council to be bold in formulating the Downtown Plan. Instead the Council came up with a plan for covering our major parking lot with housing. And who believes the housing would be affordable?

A case in point is: who is advocating affordable housing? As the urban growth boundary was being debated, it was FOL - this same group of pro-urban-growth boundary citizen who pointed out that more affordable housing can be best accomplished by the up-zoning of some neighborhoods, so that we could get more affordable housing than the then existing General Plan provided. And I think up-zoning is happening.  Whose Special Interest was served? The City’s!

The Downtown Central Park plan provides housing that by the housing’s design will be affordable in PERPETUITY.

By the way, every one of the current city council members asked for and received the endorsements of FOL and, in my opinion, probably would not have been elected without FOL’s support. Were those the actions of a special interest? Since Marshall Kamena (supported by FOL), who would have been elected with or without FOL, the long existing conflict between FOL and the “urban sprawlers” has been abated. But now they are back. Once again, not interested in discussing how best to make Livermore better. The City Council held town halls but they never listened.

Why? Do the “sprawlers,” and this unimaginative City Council, have a plan that is innovative and imaginative and as good as it could possibly be? I don’t think so. Just consider how the hopes for the hotel have diminished over and over again as it became clear there was not enough space for a really nice hotel by the oil change building. Where we needed parking improvements, we got a diminished hotel from what the City Council promised us. Is there enough parking for Livermore in the future? Is the traffic near the flagpole going to be better with the city council plan?

Vote for the Initiative and send a message to the City Council.