East Bay Express: Alameda Point Key to Mayor and Council Races, October 8, 2014


Alameda's decade-long debate over development — especially the development of Alameda Point — is turning out to be the dominant issue in the city's mayoral and council races this fall. And voters' views on the Point — whether they want to develop it with new homes and businesses or whether they're concerned about the extra traffic that a large project would bring — likely will determine the outcome of the election.

On one side of the debate stands Mayor Marie Gilmore. She strongly backs the city's plan to develop the former Alameda Naval Air Station — also called Alameda Point — with more than 1,400 new homes, along with new businesses and parks. Her opponent, popular Alameda school board member Trish Spencer, adamantly opposes the proposed large development, noting that Alameda already has traffic problems, in part because there are few access points to the island.

Likewise, in the race for city council, incumbent Stewart Chen supports the development proposal for Alameda Point, as does Jim Oddie, a district director for Assemblymember Rob Bonta. Frank Matarrese, the third candidate in the race for two seats on the council, backed the idea of developing the Point when he previously served on the council, but now opposes the city's current proposal.