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Sperry Mill: Corruption on our Waterfront

Today the Vallejo Sun released an excellent article on an alarming case of public corruption - the issue of the Sperry Mill site on Vallejo's southern waterfront.


I have been raising this issue both publicly and privately for years. Convicted felons who did jail time for bribing public officials in SF are operating heavy machinery on Vallejo's waterfront illegally without permits, and have been doing so for at least 4 years with the full knowledge, and what appears to be cooperation, of city officials. The waterfront portion of the site is city-owned, and they are currently violating their lease with the city by operating illegally.  


Prior to that, these individuals attempted to put a toxic cement plant on our waterfront. One of the key issues raised by the public about the cement plant, Orcem, was the environmental impact, particularly pollution of the waterway and traffic in South Vallejo from the industrial vehicles. The environmental impact of the current operations is unknown at this time, and the article shows a picture of an "oversize load" flatbed truck heading toward the site. 


Vallejoans are frustrated with the status quo in many areas, one of which is special interests getting special treatment. Why is the city not enforcing its codes for certain actors while targeting others? These particular individuals contributed to Vallejo politicians in the past through the Jumpstart PAC and are just one of many examples of outside big-monied interests taking advantage and extracting from our community.  


It often feels like city officials roll out the red carpet for these outside interests, while putting up barriers that prevent our home-grown entrepreneurs and small businesses from thriving. Not only is this morally bankrupt, it contributes to our city's stagnation in economic development.

It's time we end this cycle of special treatment and reclaim our waterfront for what it should be doing – serving the community. We must investigate the wrongdoing to ensure that it never happens again, and we must also look forward and chart a better course.


We have an opportunity, with the right leadership, to activate our waterfront from Sperry Mill up to the Mare Island causeway, with a holistic vision that includes housing, retail, and open space. It's possible and something I am eager to spearhead. It is going to require getting special interests out and bringing our community in.

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