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Tom Bates
Tuesday February 03, 2004




Editors, Daily Planet: 

This letter is to correct a number of factual errors in Becky O’Malley’s recent editorial about the planning commission’s hotel subcommittee (“Weak Mayor, Open Policy,” Daily Planet, Jan. 30-Feb. 2).  

First and foremost, I continue to support the work of the planning commission’s hotel subcommittee—which was authorized in a city council item that I authored. I, along with many members of the public, have attended those subcommittee meetings and I believe it is serving a very useful purpose. 

Second, as my open letter to the hotel subcommittee clearly states, I am not opposed to the creation of a community task force. I simply requested the planning commission hold off on the formal creation of a task force for a month or so until a permit process is negotiated with the university and presented to the city council and the community for discussion.  

Third, when I was elected to the state assembly in 1976, I did everything I could to stop move of the California Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. Unfortunately, it was too late to stop the move and the property was given to the university. I did then work with Councilmember Loni Hancock and the immediate neighbors to get the university to limit the number of students and cars, open up the track, sports field and swimming pool to the community, deed all the land behind the school to East Bay Regional Park District (to ensure that it would remain in open space), build senior housing on the site and agree to a deed restriction on the land to guarantee the terms of the agreement. 

Fourth, I do not support changing Berkeley’s city manager form of government.  

Fifth, I did not play quarterback for the Cal Bears’ Rose Bowl football team. That position was played by Joe Kapp. I played tight end and defensive end. 

Tom Bates