I am concerned by Mayor Marchand’s statements on the downtown referendum process noted on a NextDoor posting entitled “Save our Downtown.” The highlight of the referendum plan is a Central Park for the people of Livermore and more open space for generations to come vs. more housing, more cars, and more concrete.

The mayor failed to acknowledge this in his multiple posts, instead referencing a 2,000-seat theater and a downtown BART station several times which are not part of anyone’s plan. Further, by not providing a budget and a schedule for the current council-approved plan, the mayor allowed NextDoor members to become confused over false cost comparisons, square footages and time delays, which were erroneously cited or exaggerated on NextDoor. The mayor noted that the challenging plan is due to a “small wealthy special interest,” which completely ignores the voices of over 8,000 Livermore residents who signed in favor of a Central Park plan.

The mayor also stated that the current council-approved plan was a result of input from Livermore citizens, yet the approved plan does not address the residents’ stated priorities for more open space and easy-access parking. Why are the mayor and the council so afraid to let the voters have a voice? Why do they not make a budget and a schedule public so the voters can know and assess the true costs and timing for the current plan?

The voters want to make their own choices. The referendum supports the democratic process for Livermore and deserves the appropriate acknowledgement and respect from elected officials.