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County Grand Jury Condemns City’s Attempt at $6 Million Loan Discount for Developer

June 23, 2014
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County Grand Jury Condemns City’s Attempt at $6 Million Loan Discount for Developer

Expert Told Grand Jury That City’s Method of Calculating Repayment Utterly Unheard Of The Alameda County Civil Grand Jury investigating Emeryville’s attempt to discount a loan given to the developer of the Bay Street Mall said the city “did not perform adequate due diligence, did not retain experts … and lacked the expertise”  to approve such a deal. The deal, originally proposed by developer Madison Marquette and based on prepayment of the loan in full, would have let the developer repay only $12 million of an $18 million loan. “It is troubling to the Grand Jury that the city would commit to such a significant financial decision based upon insufficient research into best practices and accepted industry standards. In determining their options, decision-makers were seemingly blinded by the opportunity to generate immediate cash,” the Grand Jury said in its final report, released today. The Jury heard testimony from an expert on valuing such transactions. When asked if he had ever seen a loan prepayment calculated in such a way, “the expert responded emphatically, ‘Never,’” the Jury report said. Luckily, according to the Grand Jury, Emeryville’s Oversight Board refused to approve the loan. The county-level Board is charged with monitoring the city’s transition

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City Council’s Discounted Loan to Developer Called Illegal

July 8, 2013
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City Council’s Discounted Loan to Developer Called Illegal

It is illegal for the City Council to allow Bay Street Mall developer Madison Marquette to pay back just $12 million on an $18 million dollar loan, according to the attorney for Emeryville’s Oversight Board. The county-level board is charged with monitoring the city’s transition after the elimination of...

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Letter (& photos) to the Editor: The Degreening of Temescal Creek Park

May 15, 2013
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Letter (& photos) to the Editor: The Degreening of Temescal Creek Park

Dear Editor: Makes me heartsick to see it.  All that open, green space gone for a smattering of ugly toys on top of pavement and rubber. I find it hard to believe that people with children require the destruction of a beautiful mixed use park for this unimaginative and...

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The (Emeryville) Ship’s Afloat

May 13, 2013
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I’ve been studying the city of Emeryville’s Comprehensive Annual Report covering the year ending June 30, 2012.  Not an easy read at 206 pages, but it gives a useful picture of how we are doing as a financial entity.  My general impression is that the ship is afloat and...

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Hundreds of Cyclists Made Magic Last Night

May 11, 2013
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Hundreds of Cyclists Made Magic Last Night

  Last night after 10 PM, while I was fading out via Netflix, unusual sounds from outdoors raised my awareness beyond the flickering screen. I heard many people and music, whooping and joy yelling. I thought I detected Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries.” Off of the couch, slipped on...

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