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Monday, August 27, 2012

Conflict Of Interest Cited In Move To Sell City Owned Property

The City of Emeryville is seeking to sell a piece of fallow land it owns near the Bay Street Mall on Christie Avenue to Madison Marquette, the owner of the mall, but the sale is improper due to a conflict of interest by a member of the State mandated Emeryville Oversight Board, according to the Emeryville Property Owners Association.  
The Property Owners website alleges Oversight Board member and Emeryville resident John Gooding has been or currently is on the payroll of Madison Marquette and the politically connected Wareham Development but Mr Gooding failed to disclose this information as he is required to do. 
Oversight Board member and
Emeryville resident John Gooding

The real estate, called "site B" is part of a previous acquisition by the former Emeryville Redevelopment Agency and the city council had expressed interest in shuttling the parcel to Washington DC based Madison Marquette to develop into an expansion of the Bay Street Mall after clearing the land of condemned businesses and removing toxic soil on the site.  
Residents attempted to block the sale citing a lack of benefit for Emeryville residents and a recalcitrance on the part of the developer to even meet with them.  After the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency however, Madison Marquette dropped interest in developing the property and it has remained fallow.  To the consternation of residents, the city has kept open the option to develop the property reserved exclusively for Madison Marquette in the interim years, garnering no taxes for the city.  Even though other developers have shown interest in the land, the city has protected Madison Marquette's interests and no other developers have been allowed to make proposals for the property.

Wareham Development's Transit Center is also is being considered for public subsidy by the Oversight Board and if Mr Gooding has been paid by that developer, that too would constitute a conflict of interest and Mr Gooding would be required to disclose that information. 

The Emeryville Property Owners Association story:

City Staff Seeking to Sell Site B to Madison Marquette
Posted on 

The Emeryville Successor Agency (former Redevelopment Agency) has agreed to a Special Meeting on September 19th at 5:30pm in the City Council Chambers to approve the sale of Site B to Madison Marquette. “Madison” If the Agency decides to sell the property, the sale must be approved by Emeryville Oversight Board.
On September 25, at 5:30pm, City Council Chambers, the Emeryville Oversight Board, will vote on whether to ratify the Successor Agency action, should they vote to sell the property to Madison..
Background: The State decision to dissolve redevelopment Agencies has forced the former Redevelopment Agency to liquidate its assets. Site B is one of those assets.
The Emeryville Oversight Board was established by the legislature to oversee the actions of the Successor agency. It has seven representatives.
[1] Emeryville Mayor Jennifer West (Board Chair)
[2] Aisha Brown, Alameda County Board of Supervisor Keith Carson, senior staff
[3] Greg Harper, AC Transit Board Member
[4] Joshua Simon, Emery Unified School Board Director (Board Vice Chair)
[5] Ronald Gerhard, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, Peralta Community College District
[6] John Gooding, Emeryville resident
[7] Helen Bean, City of Emeryville Economic Development & Housing Director.
The person on the Board representing the interests of Emeryville Residents is John Gooding. He was chosen by Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson. Many people in the community believe Gooding is working for both Madison Marquette and Wareham Development. He has recused himself from some of the decisions affecting Madison Marquette. but he seems to be voting in conflict of interest on matters which benefit Wareham. He may have a conflict voting on the ECCL Project? He has stated he will not vote on the sale of Site B.

Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, that's really keen. What everyone forgets is that we had a productive Flower Mart that served the locals. Chased out for the new development that didn't happen. And, the Community has lost, again.
    When do we wake up, and CLEAN HOUSE? It is no mystery to me why Emeryville is scrambling for $$$.