I have been an enthusiastic home vegetable gardener here in Albany since 1987.
In the last few years I have planted apricot, fig, persimmon, pomegranate and mandarin orange trees. Unfortunately, my strawberry patch seems mostly to be nourishing the local squirrel.
My vegetable garden includes kale, spinach, arugula, sugar snap peas, cucumbers and three kinds of tomatoes.
My herb garden has parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme and six kinds of basil.
Today I picked up a five-gallon bucket of coffee grounds from Peet’s Coffee to use as a good nitrogen source for my compost bin.
I have done all this on my small 3,300-square-foot house lot in Albany without the help of the Farm Alliance or the University of California.
For those of us here in Albany who have diligently followed this four-year process with the university for the development of a sorely needed commercial development that includes a Whole Foods store and 172 units of assisted living senior housing, and participated in the open democratic and transparent dialogue among the citizens of Albany, the Planning Commission and the City Council and staff, this most recent development is an insult to our sense of fairness.
We sat through sometimes tedious meetings to speak and voice our support for or against the project, or some aspects of the project.
After four years .
Today, a very small group, that has not been part of the process, has decided just to take what they want, for the use that they want.
Researchers, Little Leaguers, cyclists, seniors, merchants, University of California planners. Their needs were ignored.
They make up their own rules about due process and democracy. Tonight they have even declared themselves exempt from all rules and ask you to support them and .
They about the present and the past.
Their tactics and objectives flow from self-serving rules and misinformation.
This is a veritable land grab by the very few.
You, the City Council, were elected to serve us, not them. And to honor the democratic process. Please don’t let them make a mockery of the democratic process with this most undemocratic takeover that imposes the will of the few over the will of the many.