Measure A1 isn't what it pretends to be: a vote to care for cute animals.
The zoo execs intend to build a $72m three story 'theme park', bay view offices, restaurant, visitors center and monument to endangered species, right on top of a sensitive ridgeline, complete with endangered species, rare native grassland and chaparral. The irony is just sick.
Oakland politicians just see dollar signs.
The Zoo director (Dr Parrot) says different things to different people.
On the one hand he says he's going to go ahead with the expansion whether he gets A1 or not. If he's got $73m already, why does he need a 25 year irrevocable tax on Alameda county homeowners? And where did the million dollars he's spent (his figure...) to promote A1 come from?
Shouldn't we reopen a few closed schools, or hire some teachers, firefighters or police who've been laid off if we're going to vote for more taxes?
If you read the entire measure, the smoke and mirrors game starts to come to light.
Check out www.saveknowland.org for the whole story.
The way I see it, there's no way they can bulldoze that ridge and build a three story concrete office building, restaurant and gift shop on public park land, without our tax money. Once we give it to them, they'll have carte blanche for 25 years. There's no public oversight (other than hand picked zoo proponents) to account for what they do with that money. They've refused to allow the city audits they've already agreed to.
They've already gone back on a memorandum of understanding they have with their neighbors, saying that it "wasn't legally binding". They've refused the public oversight of their operations they've already agreed to under the Measure G funds they receive already.
It's about a grab of public land with our money. Once the bulldozers roll, there's a beautiful piece of public open space we'll never see again.