The downtown Livermore redevelopment has been well received by residents, but a dismal failure from a business standpoint and a city revenue standpoint. Check out the churn of businesses in that area—it’s remarkable.
Couple that with sales tax revenues that have yet to rebound to levels recorded in 2001, despite millions of dollars in public expenditures. The earlier numbers were enhanced by a more profitable Groth Bros. auto complex—but they are telling. The gross sales tax revenues to the city are still lower than they were in 2001 despite new buildings and public infrastructure spending and the Bankhead Theater.
With the state government now having eliminated redevelopment agencies—the financing mechanisms for projects such as Livermore’s regional theater as well as the rest of the downtown public improvements—the public financing leverage is gone.
A few more thoughts on Don Miller and Gib Marguth:
1. For the person who responded—it’s unfortunate you did not know Gib—it was your loss. He was a first-class guy who served with the broader societal good in mind—remember he was elected to the school board, the city council, the Zone 7 water/flood control agency and the state Assembly. That’s quite a record of broad public service coupled with both semi-government at the lab and Sandia plus private sector.
2. Both Gib and Don were men of faith—different ones from the same root—Gib a Christian and an elder at First Presbyterian Livermore; Don, a founder of Jewish Temple Beth Emek.
3. As one of his daughters described Don—a man of contrasts—lifelong liberal, yet an avid gun owner and researcher on things ballistic and an NRA member.
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