Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

November 7, 2006 > The game is afoot

The game is afoot

“Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!” This would be the cry of fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes as he called to his trusty sidekick, Dr.Watson, when the pace quickened and clues began to clearly point in the direction of meaning and resolution. So does the change in agendas for the Fremont City Council begin to quicken its pace, indicating the game is now afoot.

Following the pre-election game of “keep away” with barren agendas and a strategy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” deferral of projects in dire need of additional funding, the game has either paid off or not with Proposition L passage or failure and removal of any possible anti-incumbent sentiment. Now agendas are beginning to include items that heretofore have been held in abeyance in hopes that the public would consider no news as good news or at least good government. As the Fremont city council begins to run the gauntlet of projects with serious issues, financial and otherwise, any perception of leadership or lack of it will not enter the election equation.

Hand-picked candidates have almost certainly gained their anointed positions on the council (others were told not to run - to wait their turn) and now have four years before having to face voters again. At least one councilmember, Bill Harrison, can claim innocence for a while since he will be in his first term, having been awarded his council seat for service on the planning commission. Anu Natarajan has been selected to hold her first elected position after appointment to a council seat in 2004.

[Note: I write this with no foreknowledge of election results, simply what has been ordained by an organized system of pre-election candidate selection that extends far beyond the local scene.]

Tentative agendas for Fremont’s fabulous five will now suddenly include information and decisions on the Family Water Play Facility, Centerville Market Place, Maple Square Apartments, Central Business District and the Washington Boulevard/Paseo Padre Grade Separation. It could be argued that these items were simply not ready for discussion before now, but it is hard to believe that updates were not possible during the exceptionally barren agendas following the summer recess. If Proposition L passed, it was a good ploy and gives the general fund a bit more money to shore up any projects that require additional funding. As the litany of woes escalate, Sherlock might repeat one his quotes, “Dear me! What a chorus of groans, cries and bleatings! What a rag-bag of singular happenings! . . . Bleat, Watson, unmitigated bleat!”

Redevelopment is already on the way to extending its flow of money ad infinitum, no matter what results are shown. This agency, with a spotty record at best, continues to flourish at the expense of other regional agencies and Fremont’s own General Fund. It is interesting to note that so far $16 million has been shifted from regional transportation projects in the hope of crying poor to other agencies while, in theory, putting this money aside for the historic districts. Can anyone say the Fremont A’s are not part of that mix? Maybe, while crying poverty, the city is actually planning to pony up big bucks out of redevelopment funds for a wealthy developer and abandon historic district needs. Sherlock would appreciate the deception and manipulations saying, “You know that a conjurer gets no credit when once he has explained his trick; and if I show you too much of my method of working, you will come to the conclusion that I am a very ordinary individual after all.”

Or, it may all be my imagination. In that, I would be joined by Sherlock who noted, “One drawback of an active mind is that one can always conceive alternate explanations which would make our scent a false one.” Time will tell.

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