December 12, 2006 > City council farewells and hellos
City council farewells and hellos
by Vidya Pradhan
Fremont’s December 5 city council meeting got off to an emotional start as the two newly elected members, Anu Natarajan and Bill Harrison, were sworn-in. Mayor Bob Wasserman thanked outgoing councilmember, Dominic Dutra, for his many contributions to the city, including his stellar contribution to the Celebrate Fremont event. Dutra gave a moving speech explaining his desire to spend more time with his family as one of the key reasons for stepping down.
In her acceptance speech, Natarajan, who has been an appointed councilmember since January 2005, outlined her plan to realize the enormous potential of Fremont by emphasizing creative architecture, retaining and attracting businesses, and promoting city art to reflect the diversity of cultures. Bill Harrison, who had been on the planning commission prior to the election, also struggled with emotion when he remembered family and friends who could not be present at this important juncture of his career.
After a reception, the meeting proceeded to Consent Calendar items. Among the significant issues up for approval was the inclusion of a Civic Park in the live/work planned project for the business district. The development, proposed by Summerhill along Walnut Avenue, is intended to be a gateway into the future Fremont downtown.
The council also approved the transfer of almost $4 million from Rancho Higuera Historical Park to the proposed water play facility in Central Park. The new facility is projected to be self-sustaining, with expected revenues covering the operation of the park. Questions have been raised regarding the feasibility of this park (“Sink or swim” TCV, 12/5).
Before adjournment, Councilmember Steve Cho requested an extension of operations for Cheer with a Twist that would allow them to continue in their present location through July 31, 2007. Cho’s request was denied.