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The applications to fill the Fremont city council vacancy are in!

26 Dec

Ten people have applied to be appointed to the Fremont City Council. The applicants are:

John J Dutra – city council candidate (Nov ’12)& Economic Commissioner

Raj Salwan – Planning Commissioner & Chairman, Fremont Chamber

David Bonaccorsi – Planning Commissioner & local attorney

Christina Broadwin – leader of Save Kimber Park

Rick Jones – former police officer & city council candidate (Nov ’12) who almost tied John Dutra

Robert Brunton – former Ohlone trustee & Ohlone candidate (Nov ’12)

Rakesh Sharma – former plannimg commissioner & two time city council candidate (Nov ’12, Nov ’04)

Yogi Chugh – planning commissioner

Tariq Ali – technical guy who manages public pension funds

Robert Chavez – former NUMMI worker

Interviews are scheduled for January 14, 2014.

Stay tuned for more…

Fremont Police Chief Retires

11 Dec

Fremont’s police chief Craig Steckler is retiring after 20 years as the chief. The police department will keep him in a transitional role for four months at a pay of $30/hour for fifteen hours a week. Read more about it here

Fremont City Council Appointment

10 Dec

Political appointments are as political as they come. The decision to appoint someone the councilmembers can live with is frequently complicated by political calculations and past history.

In recent times, the appointments started with the appointment of Anu Natarajan to the Fremont city council in 2004. A relative newcomer, Natarajan was appointed to the Fremont City Council after a lot of maneuvering and pressure by political groups. Some groups were arguing to get the third top vote getter (Dirk Lorenz) to be appointed, but the city council members rebuffed this argument saying that the voters had made their decision.

In 2010, a vacancy was created after Bob Wieckowski was elected to the assembly. The candidates were numerous and the selection was difficult. The frontrunner going into the appointment was Dirk Lorenz, but he pulled out at the last moment. Lorenz made the statement that he was going to focus on his business, and he was looking to run a vigorous campaign in 2012. At the eleventh hour, Dominic Dutra, put his name into the hat. The same argument was used that the third top vote getter at the time (Vinnie Bacon) deserved to get the appointment, but the city councilmembers again rebuffed this argument saying that the voters had voted against the candidate. Other top contenders were David Bonaccorssi and Raj Salwan. Ultimately, Dutra secured three top votes, while Salwan received one top vote.

In 2011, Gus Morrison was appointed interim Mayor to fill in for deceased Mayor Bob Wasserman. Other top contenders were Dirk Lorenz and David Bonaccorssi. The former mayor’s experience and temporary position made the difference.

Bill Harrison’s recent election to Mayor has resulted in another vacancy. There are a large pool of candidates who will be applying for this position, some who just ran, some planning commisioners, and some active citizens. Let’s see what the appointments will bring this time…

The application deadline is December 21, 2012 and the applications are available here.

Just When I thought I was out…

8 Dec

“Just when I thought I was out. They pull me back in.”

Apparently, Fremont Politics fills a need and is being called out to continue coverage of the local scene. With the end of election cycyle, I thought Fremont Politics could use some rest to allow for a cool down period after a heated election cycle. I was hoping to leave the beat altogether…

Kimber Park compromise struck

21 Nov


Approximately a year after the Fremont City Council made Kimber Park a study area, the two sides finally reached some sort of compromise at yesterday’s city council meeting. Although the residents of Kimber Park had somewhat of a disjointed message, the bottom line was that they were willing to agree to a smaller size facility as long as the there was a deed restriction to prevent future residential development and the facility was designated as private open space in perpetuity.

The city council unanimously agreed (5-0) to approve the preliminary planned district, certify the EIR, and look at language to redefine private open space so that the recreational uses as they exist today could be classified as private open space.

Some of the compromises made were rooted in the previous planning commission meeting where the developer agreed to concessions to remove the business center, commercial center, and lodging. Although trust was a big issue by the Kimber residents, this movement demonstrated some good faith effort by the developer to allow Kimber Park residents to agree to some of the compromises.

The meeting turned ugly when a resident of Kimber Park started attacking Councilmember Sue Chan for her decision to vote on this project when in the past she had recused herself. According to Chan, the conflict she had previously was no longer an issue. Mayoral Candidate Steve Cho also took a jab at Chan, but was stopped by Mayor Gus Morrison.

Plan on seeing Save Kimber Park return with big numbers once the precise plan is developed. Stay tuned…

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Bill Harrison wins for Fremont Mayor

7 Nov

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Fremont Councilmember Bill Harrison wins with 35% of the vote. Steve Cho came in second place with 30% of the vote, while Anu Natarajan came in third place with 25% of the vote.

Thermo Fisher Scientific buys 22 acres near Tesla in Fremont

7 Sep

Thermo Fisher Scientific has bought 22 acres just south of Tesla. Read more here.