As we make a final decision tonight about whether to adopt the Richmond Riviera Plan or consign it to a ballot for the people to decide, I’m sure we will hear more about Richard Poe’s generous offer to provide affordable teacher housing in Marina Bay for Benito Juarez Elementary run by AMethod Charter Schools.
I have asked Jorge Lopez, director of AMethod Charter Schools, several times for a copy of any document describing Poe’s commitment. No document has been forthcoming, but Mr. Lopez is apparently not happy with my request, emailing me that, “…your tone is accusatory, misguided, cold, and inappropriate, “ and “You are showing such a lack of sensitivity and care towards public safety, students and families that I am beyond anger and surprise. I am simply blown away.”
Mr. Lopez might do well to review the history of other statement made by Mr. Poe about his charitable endeavors and how much money he is making from an illegal bingo hall at Marina Bay, to wit:
- May 10, 2010: According to court documents, the American Legion post signed a 10-year lease Oct. 19 with an escalating rent that would reach $67,000 per month. Marina Westshore Partners is managed by developer Richard Poe, a frequent political contributor… The building, at 1401 Marina Way South, housed city offices during a years-long City Hall renovation. Poe recently helped the bingo hall win council support to loosen the city's bingo rules. http://www.contracostatimes.com/top-stories/ci_15057176
- February 2, 2011: At an Oakland City Council meeting in October, Richard Poe, a Richmond bingo hall landlord who said he was leasing his space to charities at no cost, said that given the prices being offered by the two Oakland halls, there's no way they could be making a profit, let alone stay afloat. "We'd like to see these shut down," Poe said. "What we see going on really is not what they intended in 1976 for charitable bingo." http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/a-new-place-to-gamble/Content?oid=2414170
- July 21, 2010: He [Poe] said he is unsure how much he will charge local charities for the facility, but that several are interested. After the trouble with Marina Bay Bingo, however, some may take a wait-and-see approach. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_15569856
So, Mr. Poe, it is $67,000 a month or “no cost?”