Congratulations to Jean Quan, Mayor-elect of the City of Oakland. She’s the first Asian American female mayor among the Bay Area’s big cities, which is a huge achievement in and of itself. Now comes the hard part. Update 11/11 12:00 PM: Don Perata has chosen not to contest the election results.
Aside from budgetary concerns including a coming showdown with the police union, Quan’s biggest initial task will be to hire a competent, forward-thinking City Administrator to replace Dan Lindheim, the former CEDA head who has promised to stay on until a replacement if found and has essentially been a two-year acting administrator. As I understand it, Lindheim and other Oakland officials have done the necessary legwork to get information prepared for MLB’s panel. It’s difficult to assess City beyond that since there hasn’t been an official ballpark effort yet. Should that occur, it’ll be up to Lindheim’s replacement and CEDA’s Walter Cohen (or whomever replaces him) to push the process. After all, guys as gung-ho as Robert Bobb don’t grow on trees.
I discussed this further at AN yesterday:
1. One of the things that doesn’t get talked about is that there has been a severe brain drain in Oakland gov’t in recent years. Whether some of these people deserved to be employed is for another discussion, but from a practical standpoint, someone tenured and respected that isn’t an elected official will have to carry the water for a ballpark project. I have no idea who that person is.
If a ballpark process is to move forward (and with some alacrity), the ballpark champion will have to be found right quick. It’s possible that one of the reasons a plan hasn’t been cemented is the lack of a champion. The right person may be Planning guru Eric Angstadt, who deftly handled questions at the May 1st Community Meeting. Of course, if MLB makes a move towards San Jose in December it’s likely that a ballpark champion/new administrator will not have been hired yet. Regardless, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have someone willing to push for the A’s – as long as it doesn’t hurt day-to-day responsibilities – in place just in case San Jose falls through.
Quan stated her priorities on TV last night. Keeping the A’s was not mentioned as one of them. Let’s face it – we all know a high-crime city that is laying off police officers simply doesn’t have the money to keep the A’s.
this is what drives some of us so crazy. SJ has fiscal problems too! School funding. Emergency service problems and crime problems too. Some SJ baseball supporters act like you guys live Atlantis!
Is this reporter a secret mole for the pro Oakland baseball conspiracy?
is this reporter misrepresenting the economic situation in SJ?
@pjk – looks like SJ is laying off police officers too!
@David – You’re missing the point. San Jose’s job is 80% complete. The last 20% are the remaining land acquisition and the vote. Oakland’s at 5% at best. SJ obviously sacrificed some of their RDA budget so that they could continue with the ballpark project. Is Oakland ready to do that now? There’s talk and then there’s action.
Quan’s comeback is quite a story. I’m still not sure if I like it or not, but I’m certainly intrigued with rank choice balloting.
SJ didn’t lay off any police officers, I think. They decided not to fill some openings. 49 firefighters were laid off after they refused to budge on their Cadillac salary and benefit plans. And San Jose has a big chunk of the ballpark land already acquired and an impressive list of corporations ready to support San Jose for the major leagues. Unlike Oakland, which can’t even sell naming rights for its existing stadium.
@David: San Jose’s “crime problems” are nowhere near that of Oakland. Last year Oakland had more than four times the number of homicides as San Jose. And don’t forget, San Jose is twice the size of Oakland. There were less homicides in San Jose than in San Francisco, as well. Crime is not a factor is San Jose, as it is in Oakland. Simple as that.
On another issue, I heard Mayor-elect Quan on KQED’s Forum this morning. Unless I’m mistaken, the A’s didn’t come up once, even as she laid out her priorities for the city. I’m still unclear why she is the white knight Oakland-only-ers are professing.
The crime/police issue is a red herring as far as the ballpark is concerned. Just like everywhere else, police are part of the regular budget, and any ballpark budget will come out of redevelopment. Politically it may be more difficult to gin up support for a ballpark in Oakland, but behind the scenes it shouldn’t be any more or less difficult.
@ML: Agreed, however when it comes to perceptions of the two competing cities, Oakland’s image as a dangerous city is a liability. In the NHL, San Jose and Silicon Valley have gained a reputation as a great place for players to live and work. I believe LW just said it was difficult to entice players to come to Oakland. So, while I agree with you, I would add that perception is huge in this situation.
Because JQ simply spoke of some “Grand Vision” last month re: Victory Court and a hypothetical A’s ballpark…that’s it!
She even went out of the way and said VC had the best transit connectivity in all the. Bay Area.
But I digress; hopefully she turns out to be a good mayor for the actual citizens of Oakland. Lord knows they deserve it.
Quan is the White Knight because she supports Victory Court. She was the only one of the Final Four that did. Perata said “see you later A’s”, Tuman said “The A’s are nice but I wouldn’t do anything to keep them” and Kaplan said, “They should be in the Coliseum complex.” All three of those are different versions of “Goodbye” for different reasons.
Quan, at least, mentioned support for Victory Court, which Oakland boosters believe is the best stadium site.
Given those 4 choices above, Quan at least said the right thing when it comes to the A’s.
Welp, let’s see what she does. Past regimes have been critiqued enough and that’s not really so relevant anymore.
@Jeffrey–now we need another White Night to buy the A’s and help make VC a reality, cuz LW is pretty much done with Oakland. Tells Dellums, don’t break your pick on this one; says 12 years ago he wouldn’t spend 5 minutes on any other city except San Jose. If the BRC says VC is the spot, he’d be dejected and probably sell.
BTW, did any of you see the Glenn Burke Story on CSNBA last night? Great documentary. Very sad. A lot of homophobes back then, especially Billy Martin. Interviews with former teammates from the A’s and Dodgers like Dusty Baker,Davey Lopes, Claudell Washington., Rickey Henderson and Shooty Babbitt.Billy Bean, formerly from LA and SD and not our Billy “Beane.” This BB came out 4 years after retirement, because it’s a death sentence doing so while playing.
JK- I don’t think Victory Court is going to be a reality either way. Dave Newhouse was writing it off, without really saying so, because the two biggest land owners don’t want to move (and they would cost a lot of money to move anyway).
The BRC isn’t going to say Victory Court is the spot. At least, I don’t think they will be that specific.
Here is the thing with the hysterical Oakland Only faction… Why can’t you guys accept things as they are? He told Dellums “don’t break your pick on this” because Lew Wolff had already looked into A LOT of options in Oakland and knew there wasn’t anywhere else to look… None of the sites put forth by the City appear to be worthy. JLS West is no go. Howard Terminal was already a no go. The Coliseum was already a no go. Victory Court appears to be wish casting…
As it sits right now, my best bet would be San Jose, or sold and moved. I will root for San Jose over sold and moved 8 days a week.
Another thing… The quote about San Jose was meant to attract the Giants… It’s time to stop looking back a decade, taking quotes out of context and painting bullshit pictures with them.
@Jeffrey–that quote from 1998 from LW was about the A’s, not the G’s. Uncle Lew’s not being truthful again.
Nice FACTS by Baseballoakland:
First of all, the 1998 Chronicle piece is 100 percent about the A’s. It completely flies in the face of what Wolff is saying in regards to moving the Giants. Secondly, in 1998 it would be impossible to move the Giants out of San Francisco. They had already broken ground in 1997 for the building of Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park). The ballot initiative for Pac Bell Park passed in 1996.
@jk–can you show me the direct quote that LW used to show how he was referring to the A’s? The reality is the gints would have moved to SJ in 1992 if the voters had approved a ballpark. Did it ever occur to you that maybe not everyone who was part of the new ownership group thought that the ballpark should be built in SF—that SJ for all the factors cited was perhaps an option that was on the table initially. Ironically, the gints are pretty much saying what LW said back in 1998 by trying to hold onto SJ as their own–
Personally I take offense to anyone who so readily uses the “liar” label for others when that same individual has o problem “stretching” or mis-representing the facts—pretty much the pot calling the kettle black if you ask me-
@GoA’s–here you go. The first paragraph says it all. What more do I need to prove to you that this guy has very little integrity?
@jk–you got it–congratulations–it wasn’t the first time that he uttered these words—keep in mind that behind the scenes he was involved in trying to get the gints to SJ in the early 90’s—and he used simliar comments during this timeframe
@GoA’s–I wish LW was successful in getting the Giants to SJ back then, then maybe the A’s would of been sold to someone else besides Schottmann, and possibly have had a new park in DT Oakland already.
Oh well, we’re here now and the outcome should be very interesting to say the least. Either way, it will make a lot people upset, more so if SJ is chosen. The press is going to hammer frat buddies Selig and Wolff if it’s San Jose.
“Been sold to someone else besides Schottman, and possibly have had a new park in DT Oakland already.” Schott and Hoffman wanted baseball-only improvements to the Coliseum, but instead got the middle finger from Oakland (and Mt. Davis). Schott and Hoffman wanted a ballpark at Uptown, but instead got the middle finger from Oakland (and condos). JK, short of going to a shrink, I think its way past time you just plain WOKE UP to reality!
Who is Schottman?
BTW I like the idea of bringing back the Philly Blue and White for special ocassion games.
@Rayburn’s Son – It’s a combo of Schott and Hofmann, frequently misspelled.
jk, sure that article is about the A’s, but Wolff has been saying that for years. Here is the problem with “facts” on baseballoakland.com… They are presented to paint a picture, not to tell the truth. You buy in because you both start with the same bias… The A’s in any other Bay Area city is unacceptable. I don’t buy in, because I don’t believe that. I see baseballoakland.com for what it is, a blog started by a member of the OAFC whcich has an agenda “Keep the A’s in Oakland” and is therefore unobjective.
Do us a favor… Call East Bay Restaurant Supply and Peerless and ask them how much they want from the City, or Lew Wolff, in order to move so that a ballpark can be built at Victory Court. Report back when you have an answer. I am not joking. You can call the other 10 proptery owners after you get this number and add it all up. Then call the Oakland CEDA and get them on it, right away. I am guessing the number will come out to something like $150M based on what the people who would know have told me.
The quote from Peerless’ CEO was it would take $30M to find build a new site for them (I don’t believe that included buying the old one). The quote from EBRS CEO was that he would prefer to be the neighbor of a new stadium, not displaced by one.
Next, call up the JLDA (Jack London Square District Association) and ask them why they sent a letter to the City asking them to consider other locations for a ballpark. Ask if, push came to shove, would they support a project or would the traffic hassles it presented outweigh the perceived benefit. Get them to sign a pledge that says “We won’t join any lawsuit to try and block this development.”
Next call up Stuart Flashman and ask him not to start a “Victory Court Referendum” group to resemble the Oak to 9th referendum group he was an attorney for. Have him pledge not to be an attorney for anyone who tries to start a group like that, and get him to encourage all of his attorney friends to get out of the way as well.
Then, if you could, please call Oakland City Hall and ask how they are going to mitigate traffic in the long term. What is the plan for the inadequate freeway infrastructure to get a boost? What is the plan to pay for it?
Next, if you are still interested after all this, call Let’s Go Oakland and ask them how a stadium at Victory Court gets funded. Ask them how many corporations are willing to spend what amount on sponsorships and suites. Ask them which individuals they know are willing to buy Charter Seats, hopefully it isn’t the same individuals who were willing to buy Raiders PSL’s. Add that up and subtract it from $460M. Take that new number and go ask Don Knauss how much of it he is willing to cover in naming rights. Now take the remaining number, subtract $150M and multiply what is left by .20 to factor in cost over runs, and go to Oakland City Hall and ask if they can cover it with a Hotel tax, or rental car tax, or some other form of taxation that they aren’t counting on to pay police and fireman and such. Or ask baseballoakland.com why they don’t talk about this and have them hunt it down, I am sure they will get right on it.
Those are a bigger hurdle to building a stadium at Victory Court than Lew Wolff is. I am dead serious. Send me all this and I will write a piece proclaiming the path to a new Oakland home for the A’s. I have tried to talk to most of the folks I have mentioned here, some refuse to talk, others pointed me to people who had more information and were not supporting Victory Court. I wrote about that. You may recall.
@ Jeffrey–great post–look forward to jk’s detective work–only thing missing is after jk finishes his work and the conclusion is the same as LW to refrain from calling LW a liar–its one thing to be disappointed that Oakland can’t keep the team…its another to continue to berat someone who has spent lots of time assessing Oakland’s situation-
I can sum up what Jeffrey just wrote in fantastic and unparalleled detail.
“Try to be PROACTIVE instead of RE-ACTIVE”
Agreed, that was an excellent post Jeffrey! Can’t wait and see what jk comes up with. I hope some of the people he contacts ask him what Oakland neighborhood he lives in.
@Jeffrey–okay, I’ll start on in it tomorrow,and will have all the info in my 3-ring binder to share with anyone who thinks I didn’t try.
@jk–hope you actually do it and take it seriously–it would be the healthiest thing that you could do for yourself and the other pro-Oakland guys who are prone to bashing LW without even trying to assess if what he says is accurate-
@Jeffrey – I’m blaming you for bringing the term “the binder” into the discussion. It’s like the “Blue Ribbon Commission” coined by someone in the media. It’s not like I when I met with him he brought out a Designer Series Trapper Keeper. It was a manila envelope IIRC. *lol*
JK- we can tag team it. You hook me up with those in the movement who are willing to answer the questions and I will ask the questions.
ML- my bad… can’t you come up with something better, like in the case of “That Thing in Right Field.”
@Jeffrey – I always liked Dodgy Dossier. That would be a loaded term, unfortunately.
As an independent variable, i’d be happy to ping off the Let’s Go Oakland fanbois. Anyone got a contact for them?