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22 August 2005

Wolff needs someone on the inside + Property owners have their say

Two articles by the Trib's Paul Rosynsky today. First off is a report with quotes from numerous property owners who may be willing to relocate if the price is right, but also hate eminent domain with a passion. Next is an article detailing a request from Lew Wolff to the City of Oakland, asking for someone within City Hall to assist with the plan (land acquisition, zoning, planning). Oakland did have just the man for that job once upon a time, but Robert Bobb was never supported by Mayor Brown, and so he left to a place where his skills could be utilized: Washington, DC. Larry Reid, as much as he may be committed to this, will not get the job done alone. There needs to be someone on the inside who can navigate the political maze and broker the necessary deals to get everything in place. At my day job, we call this person a "champion." The champion is willing to do the leg work, the follow-ups on all related parties - someone who has considerable influence within but won't be distracted by other issues, as an elected official would. Will the city produce such an individual? We'll find out shortly.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're forgetting Dick Spees. He was the one, along with numerous Oakland and Alameda County big shots who were willing to get this off the ground. So, it would make sense that he would be the person to head this up.

Marine Layer said...

Problem is, Dick Spees no longer serves Oakland in any official capacity. He is an insider, no doubt, and his position on the Chamber of Commerce is important. But that's not the type of person Wolff's looking for. He needs a bureaucrat to do the dirty work. Spees ain't it.

The Cactus Leaguer said...

Does Oakland have a facilities manager? I know that in other municipalities, the "dirty work" was taken on by that individual.

Anonymous said...

If the city hires him for this particular project, then he would be an employee of the city of oakland. I still believe Spees is going to be the point man in this whole situation. If not him, then who?

Marine Layer said...

Spees can be a great point man. There still needs to be someone (or some people) that hammer out the details, make the financial arrangements, work all of the different city and county departments until everything's complete. Spees is ideal for a high-level position because he commands respect. Someone with the City Administrator's office should act as the glue piece. This is big enough that perhaps a project staff is required, not just a single person. It's done for other large public works projects, so why not this one?

Anonymous said...

excellent point. I think you made a good argument for a small staff to help get this project off the ground.

Kenny said...

Isn't spees one of the guys helping out with the Oakland Cathedral project?

Anonymous said...

No, I don't think he is involved with that project. as I think he is presbeterian [sic]

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