CNWS Update

On October 26, 2021, the Concord City Council directed staff to enter negotiations with Concord First Partnership to develop a specific plan for the Concord Naval Weapons Station redevelopment. They did this even though they received a petition signed by almost 1800 interested individuals, 1000 of those confirmed Concord registered voters. Signatures were collected by Concord Communities Alliance with the help of community organizations Save Mount Diablo, Climate Reality Bay Area, and Sunflower Alliance. Concord First Partnership is made up of three partners, Discovery Companies, a division of the Seeno, Lewis Planned Communities, and California Capital and Investment Group.

After the August 21 meeting in which the staff was instructed to draw up an agreement to negotiate with Concord First, the three partner companies created a Limited Liability Company, not before. The reason council members gave for preferring the Concord First Partnership, despite the poor environmental record, criminal activity and use of courts to resolve conflicts of its members was that it would be easier to get a decision from a local group than a publicly held “Wall Street” firm. The problem with that argument is that the LLC agreement requires the two main partners, Discovery Companies (45%) and Lewis Planned Communities (45%) to agree on any decision. So, if changes need to be made along the way, it could be more difficult to get agreement from Concord First than from a larger company that would just need a simple majority from a board of directors.

Concord Communities Alliance was fighting one of its traditional allies on this issue. The trade unions support negotiating with Concord First. While all three developers had agreements with the building trades, Concord First was the first of the competing developers to arrive at an agreement to hire union labor for construction at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. We understand their desire to get to work. This is a big project and many of these hard-working members live locally and are hoping for local jobs and short commutes. We want that for them too. We support unions and unions organizing. We would not support any developer that did not agree to hire union workers. All competing developers had contracts with the unions, so that was not an issue. We know they are anxious to get to work and maybe they think Seeno will get them there faster. However, Seeno does not have a history of trust in the community. We could end up with a situation in which Seeno will agree to something to get the contract, then not be able to follow through. Then we are in the situation of having to decide: Do we give something up or do we go back to the drawing board again. Will community benefits be sacrificed?

We are now in a situation where further action is ineffective, but we’re not giving up.

The next step is to elect new leaders!
Let’s be thoughtful in the next election to elect candidates who will listen to constituents and be concerned about what is best for Concord. There will be more decisions made by the council. It’s up to us to make our voices heard. We can do this at the ballot box by electing leaders who listen.

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  • Admin C C A
    published this page in Recent Posts 2021-11-28 10:55:45 -0800
Concord Communities Alliance