The Island: Candidate Questionnaire

What do you think needs to be done with Alameda Point – and what steps
would you take to make that happen?:

As Mayor, I will work with residents
to find the right and best private sector developer to fulfill the
community’s vision of Alameda Point as a beautiful, well-planned, mixed-
use community enriched with a wide range of amenities, with quality non-
polluting industries that offer high-pay and a range of career-track
positions. To this end, one key step I will seek is to modify the 1973 charter
provision that precludes new multi-family housing in Alameda (“Measure
A”), so we can build a reasonable number of townhouses, lofts for young
adults, and stylish waterfront multi-family homes for seniors, along with
Bayport-style homes for families with school-age children. This approach
has the benefit of generating a number of revenue sources with which to
begin to pay for “hard costs” regarding beautifying Alameda Point and
“soft costs” (i.e. municipal services). “Hard cost” revenue streams include
(1) property tax increment, which in essence is all property taxes
generated by residential and commercial properties at Alameda Point in
the future (2) community facilities district (CFD)(i.e. “Mellos-Roos”) (3)
private equity brought by future Alameda Point master developer (4) Mills
Act tax abatement for purposes of rehabilitating and preserving historic

military structures at Alameda Point (5) 20% federal historic preservation
tax credit (6) proceeds from sale of land to master developer or other
entities (7) lease revenue by current leases that we continue to maintain
even after selecting a master developer (8) proceeds from lease revenue
bonds secured by capital assets such as the MARAD ships. Of the eight
revenue streams to be used to implement the community vision of
Alameda Point as a vibrant mixed-use area, the first six (which provide the
greatest amount of dollars) can only happen if and when we work with
the private sector. To boot, we cannot continue what was supposed to
be a short-term base closure policy of simply leasing out old military
facilities because almost all rents are below market and thus preclude us
from accruing enough revenues to pay for implementing the community
vision for Alameda Point.

With respect to “soft costs”, by working with the private sector and getting
Alameda Point onto the tax rolls, we begin to generate the following
revenue streams to fully pay for police, fire, and other city hall services, so
historic Alameda no longer continues to subsidize Alameda Point as we
do now: (1) municipal service fee (a program for Alameda Point that I
created in 2003) (2) redevelopment area pass-throughs (3) lease revenues
from leases we decided to continue to extend; (4) sales tax dollars
generated by retail and other business-to-business activities; and, (5)
special use of redevelopment dollars for targeted purposes with respect
to blight alleviation. Under the current leasing regime, we only obtain
lease revenues and sales tax dollars, which are not enough to pay for on-
going costs of operating Alameda Point. Hence the closure of the
Alameda Point fire station.

What do you think is the most pressing issue you would face if elected and
what would you do to address it?

The school district and City Hall were
dealt severe and lasting financial hits because of base closure: let’s get
Alameda Point going! Getting Alameda Point going – that’s the most
pressing issue. Here’s my plan: I will lead efforts to find the right private
developer, not Sun-Cal. I will exercise strong mayoral over-sight, make
that new developer work w/ Alameda we need a reasonable number of
upscale homes for families with school-age children, stylish senior housing,
complexes, upscale waterfront town-houses, lofts for young adults. Let
me stress: I seek a reasonable number of homes that makes sense for
Alameda. All this creates a tax base to pay for beautifying the Point, new
infrastructure, open space, waterfront paths with stunning views, world-
class recreational amenities for all Alamedans, and saving historic
buildings. All this will attract quality industries to Alameda Point. To be
sure, there are many valuable businesses right now at the Point (the
winery, Bladium, etc) but let us remember almost all leases right now are
below market and do not generate enough revenues. Hence the closure
of the Alameda Point fire station. So let’s redevelop the Point, not simply
rent old facilities. While in 2003 I devised a fee paid by Alameda Point
residents at Bayport to compensate City Hall’s General Fund, to this day,
our school district is yet to fully recover from lingering financial affects of
base closure and the loss of school children in the West End of Alameda.
In getting the rest of Almaeda point going, we will put our school district
back on firmer and more stable financial footing.

Candidates 2010: