I don’t know whether I should be flattered or offended to have been targeted by a cheesy hit piece three days before election day. I don’t yet know exactly who the “Richmond One Committee” is, but it clearly has the fingerprints of Corky Booze on it. Corky has been at every single candidates event and posed questions directed at me that reflect each of the items listed on the mailer.
After being the only City Council member to support and endorse Corky year after year until he finally won a seat, I’ve never understood why he chose to turn on me so viciously once he was elected.
I would hate to think that anyone actually believes any of this stuff, but in case someone is inclined to wonder, I am compelled to provide a fact check.
- “Tom Butt and the RPA (Richmond Progressive Alliance) voted to stop a fishing pier at Point Molate.” Fact: With no investigation into actual conditions, Corky Booze asked for $26,000 from the Cosco Busan oil spill settlement fund to “build a safety rail” at the Point Molate Pier to make it usable for a fishing pier. Staff investigated and found that pier improvements would cost far more and were not feasible. On a 5-2 vote, the City Council reallocated the money to Bay Trail improvements at Marina Bay. See http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/archives/31/cc12Sep11.pdf.
- “Tom Butt voted to tear down the Martin Luther King Recreation Center on the south side of Richmond on Harbour Way at Cutting Boulevard and did nothing to rebuild it.” Fact: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center suffered massive water damage and mold infestation as a result of vandalism in 2009. In the process of evaluating the damage, staff found that the cost of repairing the damage and correcting other defects and code violations exceeded the value of the building. The City Council voted unanimously to demolish the building and plan a new community center that would share the facilities in the new Multipurpose Building to be constructed at Nystrom School. The new Multipurpose Building was dedicated last week, and the City is looking for funding for the remainder of the community center facilities. The new center is in the Capital Improvement Plan approved unanimously by the City Council. See http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=158 and Grand Opening of Nystrom Multi-Purpose Tomorrow, October 26, 2012.
- “Tom Butt and Jeff Ritterman were the authors and architects of the Soda Tax on the Citizens of Richmond.” Fact: Jeff Ritterman authored the resolution that placed the soda tax on the ballot. I was one of five city council members who supported it.
- “When Tom Butt lost his suit against a marina contractor, he facilitated the loss of good jobs to Richmond citizens by calling back the bids and forcing the contractor to relocate the job site.” Fact: this entire story is so farfetched and fabricated that it is impossible to respond. I assume it involves the Riggers Loft, which is currently under construction by a Richmond contractor and employing Richmond residents. Nothing about the way it is portrayed is accurate.
- “In 1999, Tom Butt accused five African American Elected Officials of corruption and brought the FBI to Richmond for an investigation directed at Mayor Irma Anderson, Council Members Nat Bates, Lesa McIntosh, Mindell Penn and the late Richard Griffin. Not one, I repeat, not one member of the city council was found guilty of any violations.” Fact: There was a protracted FBI investigation into Richmond corruption in the late 1990s, and every city council member was interviewed by the FBI, including me. I had nothing to do with initiating the investigation, which concluded in 2001 with the indictment of lobbyist Darrell Reese. See http://www.tombutt.com/media/010203.htm and http://www.tombutt.com/media/010203A.htm.
- “Tom Butt has proven himself to be a point Richmond councilman who looks out for only Point Richmond. Ask yourself, what has Tom done for your community?” Fact: This is a false statement that Corky Booze has been pushing at every candidates forum. See Equity in City of Richmond Projects and Spending September 20, 2012.
- “Tom also looks out for his own financial interests while racking in millions and millions of taxpayer’s dollars from work on all WCCUSD school projects.” Fact: As I have pointed out many times, I am the only city council member or candidate who actually owns and operates a business in Richmond. I am part owner of an architecture engineering firm I founded nearly 40 years ago. We employ many Richmond residents. Our clients include the federal government, the State of California, many cities and counties, BART, AC Transit, and several school districts including WCCUSD. I wish we had made “millions and millions” from school projects but in fact, it’s far less than that. Compared to others, we are a small player in the WCCUSD school design program, but I am proud to say that we are the architects of three Richmond school projects: Washington, Nystrom and Wilson. Because of a legal conflict if interest, my firm has done no work for the City of Richmond for over 18 years.
I don’t know what the point is of the campaign signs near Pullman Point. Like most candidates, I retain a contractor who prints and distributes the signs. In this case, they were placed on a vacant lot where someone also placed some trash. I’m sure our code enforcement and public works people will make the trash go away.