|"Both Ways Viramontes" Conveniently Omits Critical Casino Vote in Final Mailer
November 1, 2010
Just thought you would like to know…
In her final campaign mailer, which arrived appropriately on Halloween, Maria Viramontes tried to recast herself as anti-casino, providing a list of her anti-casino votes and her new recommendation to vote no on measure U.
What she glaringly omitted was her most important pro-casino vote ever. On May 18, 2010, Viramontes not only voted for but also made the motion to provide an unconditional extension of the expired Land Development Agreement with Upstream for nearly a year until April of 2011. It was like Christmas in April for Jim Levine.
For this and other contradictory political positions (“…Viramontes maintains that she has fought hard against Chevron”), Richmond Confidential noted that she is now called “…’both-ways Viramontes’ for declaring opposition to Chevron, even though the company has spent $230,000 to support her campaign through a political action committee.”
But don’t take my word for it, below are the Minutes from the May 18, 2010 City Council meeting:
COUNCIL AS AWHOLE
Following discussion, a motion was made by Councilmember Viramontes, seconded by Councilmember Bates to amend the LDA to provide an extension until April 2011, (30 days after the judicial court date of March 2011 that CESP has) include all amendments that the Point Molate Committee (Councilmembers Rogers, Lopez, and Butt) has requested of the city manager that they pursue conclusion of all those negotiations, and request an amendment to the LDA authorizing staff to include an area in the LDA that would provide for the discussion, community outreach, and for policy work to prepare for all alternative projects to strengthen that discussion publicly and to bring forward into the LDA consideration of the alternative projects and as appropriate included in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) document, when it does come forward eventually before the City Council, the amendment should complete monthly payments of $90,000 and all other obligations that Upstream Point Molate LLC has. Discussion continued. The motion passed by the following vote: Ayes: Councilmembers Bates, Lopez, Rogers, and Viramontes. Noes: Councilmember Butt and Mayor McLaughlin. Abstentions: None. Absent: Vice Mayor Ritterman.
In the matter to discuss the rights of the city to explore various development alternatives (apart from the Upstream proposal) for the Point Molate site and direct staff, in light of continuing controversy and legal complications that could well defeat the Upstream proposal or entangle the city in litigation for years to come, to receive ideas and suggestions for alternative plans so that the city may weigh the relative costs and benefits and responsibly rise from this economic downturn. Mayor McLaughlin gave an overview of the item. Discussion began. A motion was made by Councilmember Rogers, seconded by Councilmember Viramontes to direct the city attorney to give a general ideal of whether there is substantial disagreement amongst the three or four attorneys, who have weighed in on this issue, with the attorney general’s opinion, which is that we can enter into specific negotiations with developers on Point Molate without fear of getting sued. The motion passed by the following vote: Ayes: Councilmembers Bates, Lopez, Rogers, and Viramontes. Noes: None. Abstentions: Councilmember Butt and Mayor McLaughlin. Absent: Vice Mayor Ritterman.
City Attorney Randy Riddle stated that there was not agreement by the outside counsel that the City of Richmond has, and have used, with the views of the attorney general. The following individuals gave comments on this item: Charles Smith, Pam Stello, Jeanne Kortz, Joseph Puleo, Kathleen Wimer, Joan Garrett, Jackie Thompson, Antwon Cloird, Tony Thurman, Corky Booze, Ray Landry, Judith Piper, Mike Daley, Bruce Kaplan, Dorothy Gilbert, Jovanka Beckles, Tony Sustak, and Aram Hodess (At11:00 p.m. on motion of Councilmember Rogers, seconded by Mayor McLaughlin extended the meeting for 20 minutes with Councilmember Butt voting Noe)
The speakers continued with: Jim Levine, Rafeal Madrigal, Kokoye Sande, Jerome Smith, Don Gosney, and Mike Ali (At 11:20 p.m. on motion of Councilmember Viramontes, seconded by Councilmember Lopez extended the meeting to 11:30 p.m. by the unanimous vote of the Council). The last speaker was Margaret Browne. A motion was made by Mayor McLaughlin, seconded by Councilmember Butt to direct staff to receive ideas and suggestions for alternative plans so that the city may weigh relative costs and benefits apart from the UpStream proposal. (At 11:30 p.m. Mayor McLaughlin extended the meeting for 10 minutes). Discussion continued and a motion to call for the question was made by Councilmember Bates, seconded by Councilmember Lopez and failed by the following vote: Ayes: Councilmembers Bates, Lopez, and Viramontes. Noes: Councilmembers Butt, Rogers, and Mayor McLaughlin. Abstentions: None. Absent: Vice Mayor Ritterman. The original motion by Mayor McLaughlin, seconded by Councilmember Butt failed by the following vote: Ayes: Councilmember Butt and Mayor McLaughlin. Noes: None. Abstentions: Councilmembers Bates, Lopez, Rogers, and Viramontes. Absent: Vice Mayor Ritterman. A motion was made by Councilmember Rogers to approve the motion made by Mayor McLaughlin with the provision that any developer that wishes to engage in that processes would indemnify and defend the City of Richmond if the City of Richmond was sued. The motion failed for lack of a second.