In The News
Former Assemblywoman Talks Cargill, Potential Parcel Tax for Bay Restoration
State senatorial candidate Sally Lieber will discuss the Coastal Conservancy’s proposed parcel tax.
By Stacie Chan, Redwood City Patch, 7/13/11
Though many organizations and individuals have formally opposed the proposed Cargill Saltworks development project, no group has ever begun a major campaign for a parcel tax as a means to purchase the private property in Redwood City from Cargill, Inc.
But this doesn’t mean discussions and brainstorming for Bay restoration can’t be pursued, said former Assemblymember Sally Lieber.
The Redwood City-Woodside Democrats and the Peninsula Democratic Coalition (PDC) will host a luncheon Saturday, July 16, in which the state senatorial candidate will explore the possibility of a parcel tax to fund highly popular bay restoration.
“All restorable bay wetlands should be saved for restoration,” Lieber said.
Lieber, who is personally opposed to the Saltworks project, is a state senatorial candidate for the 11th district, which would include the Saltworks land if the California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s recommendations were adopted in August.
Her political career has included much environmental championing, including authoring the bill that created the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority in 2008. The authority will decide in August whether to place a Bay restoration measure on the November 2012 or 2014 ballot.
Lieber said a local funding mechanism would allow the Bay Area to leverage a significant amount of federal funds.
Save the Bay Executive Director David Lewis noted that even if local voters approved the ballot measure, this money could only be used for restoration, not to purchase the land.
But Lieber said she was still interested in exploring the possibility of restoration.
“Restoration is a huge benefit to the Bay, for our quality of life and for economy of region,” she said.
Peninsula Democratic Coalition president Diane Rolfe said, “This is of great interest to the people of San Mateo County and an opportunity to hear her speak.”
At Saturday’s luncheon, Lieber will also point to successful projects in the recent past as potential models for the Saltworks land. In Mountain View, the restoration of Charleston slough won the national “Project of the Year” award from the American Public Works Association in 1999. In December of last year, the Santa Clara Water Valley District reopened wetlands in Alviso after the land was purchased from Cargill back in 2003.
She added that bay restoration would not only provide habitats to numerous species and provide open lands for the community’s enjoyment, but it would create a significant number of jobs.
“Our bay is of world quality,” Lieber said. “And the fact that we have it for natural beauty, wildlife habitat and physical activity means that we really have to protect and value it so we don’t lose it.”
Attendees to the July 16 lunch at noon at Michael’s Restaurant in Mountain View should make reservations to Diane Rolfe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 650-965-7690. The buffet luncheon cost is $25 and can be paid in cash or check at the door.