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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Where is the press when we need it?

Where is the press when we need it?

The darkest cloud in local politics in the twenty odd years I have lived in El Cerrito spread ominously over our recent election, and, yet, we see nothing about it in our local press.

Two developers, with ongoing projects involving the El Cerrito Redeveopment Agency/City Council, appear to have contributed up to $28,000 of out of town money to two shadowy committees that mailed a "Simon" hit piece and two last minute anti Perka/pro Potter letters from Mayor Ableson and Council Member Friedman. One is Charlie Oewel, the on-again off-again developer working with BART on the Del Norte Project and the other is James Busby of the Bay Vista sub-division fame.

Am I the only one that thinks that these two developers cooperating with two incumbents to ensure the re-election of one of them plus the election of their hand picked third candidate casts doubt on the integrity of the process, let alone the votes of this new majority?

Doesn't the fact that at least one of these committees seems to have violated two or three requirements of the El Cerrito Municipal election code merit any investigative reporting? Don't you think the fact that, in spite of a parade of concerned citizens at two council meetings voicing objections to these tactics and requesting an investigation by the City Attorney, Mayor Ableson is trying to stone wall and side step this issue by putting off any discussion by the council until the next mayor is appointed is newsworthy?

Don't the people of El Cerrito deserve to know the truth about this apparent collusion between developers, candidates and elected officials to gain a super majority on the Redevelopment Agency? The same Redevelopment Agency that Mr. Oewel may ask to use the power of eminent domain, for the first time ever, to make his Del Norte development plans viable? Is it a coincidence that to use the power of eminent domain, a vote by a super majority of four Agency members is required.

The West County Times could provide a much needed public service to the people of El Cerrito by publishing an in depth story that sets forth all of the facts.

J.R. Deaton, where are you when we need you!

Al Miller
El Cerrito
Run dates: 2002-11-19 - 2002-12-03

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