Howard Terminal Ballpark Update Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Interview On BCDC, Las Vegas, AASEG, NFL
As a note, the talk audio was disturbed by a StreamYard app glitch. This livestream was made with an iPad while Zennie62 YouTube also used StreamYard to livestream the BCDC Meeting simultaneously. That produced an unusual distortion that took several sessions to clean to a lesser volume.
Our interview centered around my attempt to determine why the project was so far behind schedule. Mayor Schaaf pointed the finger at the Oakland A’s for not wanting to follow the Term Sheet voted on my the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda August of last year, 2021. I offered that establishing an organization that was a deliberative body with monthly meetings would have put the project under a ray of sunshine and moved it along faster. It would have also and can still provide a place where the public can learn more about the project via presentations.
Mayor Schaaf outlined the next approval meeting to come, starting with the State Lands Commission, then the County of Alameda, and then the Oakland City Council to consider the development agreement. But if she’s going to use Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District Legislation then that calls for a Public Financing Authority. That is the deliberative body I refer to in the interview that should have been started over two years ago. That has to oversee the preparation of the Infrastructure Financing Plan, which should have the proposed plan for a bond issue in it, by law.
I then asked Mayor Schaaf about reports that Oakland City Staff were not working well with the African American Sports and Entertainment Group, and that she was not behind the group herself. Mayor Schaaf said that she believes in and loves Ray Bobbitt, the director of the African American Sports and Entertainment Group. But Mayor Schaaf did not address the question by saying she would look into the problem.
Mayor Schaaf also talked about the Oakland A’s work in Las Vegas and said that once the A’s signed the Non Relocation Agreement then the A’s would stop their overtures. My take is that’s not the right way to look at the problem. What Libby needs to do is get the A’s to just plain form a deadline related to now, and not after the Oakland City Council Approves the Development Agreement. By the time she and we get to that point, the A’s could very well be all but off to Las Vegas, and would stop the Oakland process. Mayor Schaaf is playing with fire here.
Mayor Schaaf also talked about the Oakland City Council Meeting this Tuesday that has a call for Howard Terminal to be put on the November Ballot. She calls it a delay tactic. Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval calls it a deal-breaker if the City Council passes it. He told me on Friday he can’t see a way that they could finish the project in a timely way. That said, the vote would be advisory, but the problem is it also gives opponents a clear reason to file their own lawsuits opposing the project. Not a good place.
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