01 October 2007

Reality check

Today's Chronicle article by Carolyn Jones doesn't cover any new ground. Nothing should be expected out of either the A's or Fremont until the next session, which is a couple of weeks away. However, the article is good regardless of whether or not there is any news simply because it helps set expectations and exposes much of the positioning behind the scenes.

(Full disclosure: Ms. Jones contacted me for the article. I did not respond in time to contribute.)

Since the very beginning of formal discussions between the two parties, Fremont has had a very consistent stance on the project: cautious optimism. They're open to the concept and have even expressed a great deal of interest in helping to shape it so that it works in the long run. Nothing's changed except their growing frustration in the Wolffs' repeated delays in providing the development application. I alluded to this frustration in the recap for the last study session.

The process is a slow one and isn't very compatible with the 24-hour news cycle. Readers and commenters (including yours truly, admittedly) have a tendency to jump on every new piece of information to dissect and try to determine which way the wind is blowing. So for those of you looking for a quick approval for an upcoming groundbreaking, you're not going to get it. If you're a critic hoping for a quick knockout blow, you won't see that either. Even when the traffic/transportation study and the EIR come out, the issues that are raised in those documents won't immediately bring a verdict on the project either. Instead, concessions will be made and a decision will come after much study on whether or not to certify the EIR. Then and only then can they parties proceed to groundbreaking.

One thing's for certain: this ballpark business is a lot more CSPAN2 at 4:00 a.m. than primetime reality TV.