Updated: Jun 30, 2022
Fresh from being sued for his series of blunders over Point Molate, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt now wants to waste Richmond’s and our City Attorney's time and money pursuing another terrible idea.
This latest proposal from Mayor Butt compounds the series of bad proposals he has dragged the City into. Mayor Butt apparently is proposing turning part of Point Molate over to the East Bay Regional Park District or another entity - the part of Point Molate that he does not want to develop, or does not think can be easily developed. But this idea was already rejected by the East Bay Regional Park District when Butt proposed it last time. The leftover lands and the location are not enough for a Regional Park, as Butt well knows, and would expose the Park District to conflict with the developer over maintenance, trails, fire protections and other issues.
What the Butt proposal will do, however, is once again bog down the entire city staff and the City Attorney's office, and likely require the City to hire another gaggle of high priced lawyers and consultants, to work on another ill-considered plan by Mayor Butt. This will take away from funds that the City has set aside for city salaries and other City expenses.
Meanwhile the City Attorney and staff are already busy full time trying to clean up the other messes Butt has left behind. The City has already incurred over a million dollars in attorney fees due to Butt's bad decisions, such as approving homes on a toxic waste dump and choosing a litigious developer for Point Molate, that Butt rammed through the previous City Council.
As City Attorney Dave Aleshire has explained to the City Council, Richmond has been under contractual obligation to two separate entities involved in Point Molate (the former casino developers Upstream and Guidiville Rancheria of the Pomo Tribe; and SunCal and its affiliate LLC) to perform according to the terms of those contracts. Both of those contractual agreements have been in litigation over the past few years.
It makes no sense for the City Council to further expose itself to more obligations and litigation by adopting new policies that could conflict with its existing contractual obligations (breaching contracts in new ways).
Then, there is the possibility that Mayor Butt aspires to be Richmond’s Emperor Nero by simply courting more lawsuits and litigation against Richmond. Financially burning Richmond down as he fiddles away his last days as Mayor.
Mayor Butt already invited the developer SunCal to sue the City when the City Council refused to cave in to the developer's demands for City financing. And no surprise, SunCal took Butt's invitation and sued the City. Now Mayor Butt is courting another suit by creating possible claims of inverse condemnation of the property, or other allegations of interference with SunCal's rights under its contract with the City. Butt's new proposal could drag even more parties into the litigation, with more claims and counter-claims.
Enough is enough. Just as the Congressional January 6 Committee is exposing the nefarious and criminal activity of a former President, we have an obligation to expose the nefarious activities of our own local wannabe despot.
Mayor Butt has practically created a cottage industry for lawyers hired by the City to have to defend Richmond from his foolish moves over Point Molate. This lawsuit by Mayor Butt's hand-picked developer, after the developer breached its obligations to the City by repeatedly failing to provide necessary information for the sale, is just the most recent fallout from the terrible ideas pushed by Mayor Butt.
There is a simple response to this latest unhealthy proposal from Mayor Butt. Just say no.