Vallejo works to keep Mare Island firm from leaving over lost trains
Posted in the Vallejo Forum
#1 Dec 30, 2012
Vallejo works to keep Mare Island firm from leaving over lost trains
Vallejo officials are scrambling to find a way to keep one of Mare Island's largest firms from pulling up stakes due to lack of rail service.
And, while a new contract won't be completed to replace one that expires midnight Monday, officials on both sides express guarded optimism that a new deal will be crafted.
Two meetings have been held in recent weeks and more are planned after the first of the year, say officials of both Mare Island Rail Service (MIRS) and the city.
"We have met with the city the last two Fridays, but no agreement was reached," MIRS vice president Rydel Peterson said Friday. "But, we continue to try and work something out."
Peterson and Mayor Osby Davis said the most immediate issue is making sure rail car refurbisher Alstom Transport, Inc., keeps its rail service.
"The purpose was to try to figure out rail service right now just (for) Alstom, which was the directive from the city, because, they say the other businesses have alternatives, like trucks," Peterson said. "But it would be cost-prohibitive for Alstom to use trucks, so the city is giving deference to them because they're threatening to go out of town."
Davis agreed that Alstom's is the most acute problem.
"The city of Vallejo is concerned with the possibility of Alstom moving so the city manager and myself and the city attorney have been actively involved in working out the differences between the parties such that rail service is provided to Alstom. We do not want them to leave, so that's the priority for right now."
City Manager Dan Keen acknowledged meetings have been held over the past couple of months with MIRS, its landlord, Lennar Mare Island, and Alstom, aimed at brokering a deal allowing rail service to continue eventually to all MIRS' island clients.
"The city is hopeful that the disagreement between those parties can be resolved shortly, and we will be continuing to work with all of the parties towards a satisfactory resolution, even if the current agreement between MIRS/LMI expires next week," Keen said.
While Peterson blames the impasse on Lennar, the developer points its finger at the rail service.
"We want to provide (Mare Island businesses) service but Lennar wants 100 percent control," Peterson said.
Lennar has a different take, insisting it "has always supported rail service on Mare Island," even making it possible with a subsidy, spokesman Jason Keadjian said.
Both firms have made offers the other has rejected. Meanwhile, both agree the contract ends with the year and that stopping rail service imperils Alstom most accutely.
"LMI has clearly stated its desire for MIRS to continue to provide service to Alstom," Keadjian said "It is important to note that rail service to Alstom does not require an agreement with LMI."
In 2009, Lennar agreed to let Alstom use the 300 yards of Lennar-owned track from the causeway to its doors, so Alstom can make its own agreement with a rail operator, Keadjian said.
And that's where discussions seem headed, at least for now, Peterson said.
"I think it's moving in the right direction," Peterson said. "I think the mayor's paying more than just lip service. I believe he's really working on solving the problem, and I think that by the middle of next year, we may have rail service to the rest of the island. Then, we can work on the industrial and commercial opportunities along the waterfront. Without rail service, it's not as viable as an industrial park."
#2 Dec 30, 2012
the navy left us an industrial park, but former mayor intintoli blew the trumpets for housing on mare island and has carried water for lennar, everyone knows that. thank god he was rightfully removed from further public servicing of the citizens desperate for an economy and jobs growth.
is vice-mayor gomes involved at all in these discussions, or is saving the railroad and industrialization of mare island not her baby?
#3 Dec 30, 2012
I would be interested to know if Gomes is part of the discussion group. We are at risk of losing both MIRS and Alstom here. I suspect she is not involved, or even cares for that matter, or she would have been mentioned in the article or by MIRS spokesperson, IMO.
#5 Dec 30, 2012
"vm" gomes is not involved with these discussions. she is bitter at davis for clocking her pal schivley last year.
#6 Dec 30, 2012
looks like burky has a couple of topics to jerk gomes' chain with next meeting. arf, arf, grrrrrrr! lol, go burky!!
#7 Dec 30, 2012
If Vallejo loses both MIRS and Alstom, this will be the nail in the coffin for VIB and VIB candidates, especially since 2013 is an election year for Council. The GOBs will be salivating at the prospect of returning to power on Council.
#8 Dec 30, 2012
vallejo will see it's first filipina mayor in 2016 after mayor davis terms out. a good number of our youth will be of voting age by then and we already hold a substantial block of votes along with the african american community that supported our candidates. we propelled erin hannigan well over the vib canidate tony intintoli. we have awakened to our combined power at the ballot for a truly better vallejo.
onward to a better vallejo!
#9 Dec 30, 2012
ms. stephanie gomes is going to have more "dark nights of the soul" if she considers running for mayor in 2016. joanne schivley was absolutely, positively sure she could beat osby davis last year and got herass kicked proper, over a thousand votes, the largest head to head mayoral victory margin in vallejo history.
#10 Dec 30, 2012
Remember when she made a personal visit to ALCO Metals on north MI to ask if they would move "somewhere else" when she was pushing for the failed Touro University Village? Both her and Schivley wanted to give "Hollywood Joe" Tanner and his movie pals more time after they failed to pay up. Another memorable Schivley quote, "what's the rush?", when the city pulled the plug on Joe and wanted to notice the area for other developer interests.
#12 Dec 30, 2012
I am angry about a few things with respect to M.I.'s still remaining businesses, Lennar and the City of Vallejo, etc..... Forget about Ms. Gomes and if she is or is not involved. This is not about her or her agenda, so stay on track! This is about Lennar, the City of Vallejo and someone who is trying to stay on the island and provide a service!
Extreme parallels exist to our current federal fiscal cliff; it was well known that the railroad contract was to expire at the end of the year. The City of Vallejo knew it, Lennar knew it and Mr. Peterson knew it.
.... and yet there was no urgency to ensure continued rail service to those businesses that are dependent on it while there was time to negotiate without pressure. Are companies affected by the possible loss of service involved and able to give input about their needs and are they doing so?
The comment that anyone other than Alstom can use alternative ways, trucks, to move their goods is an idiotic statement. For MIRS to have one single client on 300 yards of "Lennar" owned tracks seems cost prohibitive at least in my opinion, but what the hell do I know.
We have rail tracks, unfortunately now owned by Lennar all over the island; the rail net was to remain even if it were to be used to provide transportation for the masses populating a "prosperous" island, so we thought!
Where is the green alternative to all the trucks coming onto the island to move goods formerly transported via rail? Is the truck alternative now acceptable because it fits the agenda?
I vividly recall the intent to totally remove the tracks not too long ago, until an outcry occurred and Lennar quickly back peddled!
I totally agree with previous posters:
M.I., at least the North End and those businesses already located on the Lennar side have to remain on the island should it ever become self sustaining and provide jobs for those residents willing to work without having to leave the county!
My question to Lennar is: What are your immediate plans for the rail tracks? Are you using them and for what purpose, now, in a year, in ten years or maybe never?
Are you going to sit on this asset until those that care about rail, commerce and jobs for the local residents are dying off and you can then cash in by building more housing of questionable value?
Inquiring mind(s) would like to know!!
#13 Dec 30, 2012
we made a mistake supporting bob sampayan. it's clear he is in service to gomes and her husband the dui suspect as they focus on controlling the police department while the criminals run wild.
#14 Dec 30, 2012
With all due respect, I disagree on your point about Gomes involvement or absence of. There is no doubt in my mind that the hand off of the Vice Mayor title from Brown was for political capital gain. So here is a chance for her to pick up interest on the capital by being involved with Mayor Davis. If the rail stays, she gets credit for making it so, if it goes away she gets credit for trying. If she is not involved, it appears she is not that interested in two major components of economic prosperity being driven off by Lennar. Her absence of participation tells me how politically deaf she is when opportunity calls. She has always been anti-industry since she got here, IMO.
#15 Dec 30, 2012
You all have it wrong.
Burky has been so critical of Gomes that MIRS won't talk to gomes who had tried to broker a deal.
Instead Burky wore his assine shirt to the meeting and Alstom Transport, Inc walked out.
The above is the real story and not speculation.
Blame it all on Burky--everything bad in Vallejo is due to Burky.
#16 Dec 30, 2012
"Forget about Ms. Gomes and if she is or is not involved"? baloney! this is a major loss to our potential economic growth! she wanted to be vice-mayor to work with the mayor on important issues and this is absolutely a deal-breaker for business confidence, that the city council is under the thumb of an out of state real estate developer at the only location for jobs development!
#17 Dec 30, 2012
I have never been a supporter of Ms. Gomes and probably never will be, however to include her in any talks at this stage of the game because she holds the honorary title of VM will be considered self serving, either way the coin may drop!
Do we not have people, other than the council, that get paid well to do exactly that, negotiate about what happens to and on city property?
She can voice her opinion on what should be done, in her opinion, as can any other council member, but we only hear the occasional luke warm support mumbling coming from the dais.
It is a bit late to chime in and give real support after all those years of ignoring that herd of elephants trumpeting distress from across the Strait.
Appreciate your input though!
#18 Dec 30, 2012
Thank God for Gomes, her kick in the gut of Mayor Ozz demonstrating real leadership around the dumping of parolees in Vallejo reminded him of what leadership is. I hope he is successful and used the lesson Gomes gave him to better Vallejo and bring in more revenue as opposed to just spending it with employees raises.
#19 Dec 30, 2012
you're another one that keeps bellowing the "dumping" angle. they are already here, they grew up here, committed crimes here and elsewhere, went to prison somewhere else, and came back home. i can't believe you are so ignorant in the program controls. no parolees will be dumped here, this is their home town. grow up, jd.
#20 Dec 30, 2012
Is that a recent development to be under the thumb .... Maybe you have a rather short memory, but the horses have been out of the barn for about 4 different councils, including 2 different mayors, not even counting the current one.
A vice mayors "input" is not a deal maker or breaker. Remember, each council member, including mayor and vm, have one vote only.
I may disagree with Ms. Gomes on some issues and her political leaning, but I am not going to blame her for everything that is wrong with Vallejo. Has anyone of you bashers ever heard of speaking at the ballot box?
At least she has the equipment her male counter parts are lacking, for political reasons also. So I would prefer to stay on course with this topic and not get sidetracked by what Ms. Gomes will or will not do to further her political aspirations.
We have an able and well compensated city manager whose responsibility it is to handle the business end of the city, then the council can debate it until the cows come home ...and in the end they all will give away the farm, just like in the past.
#21 Dec 30, 2012
You fit right in with City staff for the last several decades...encouraging the poor and now criminals to come to Vallejo. Your ilk including Hannigan will own this one forever.
#22 Dec 30, 2012
the criminals have been here, are here, and are here to stay. you want them to just roam the streets unaccounted for? only parolees from vallejo will be qualified for the services at the drc, not those that come here from out of area. they come here for the crimes of opportunity that are rich and will get richer as more police leave, but not to worry, there are plenty that want to work here to make a difference after all the bad apples have retired, right?
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