Carlsbad thanks the fine people of Albany, California for your support and wisdom. They, too, went up against Caruso and they successfully defended their waterfront from one of his massive developments "...we planted the flag and told Mr. Caruso we wished him well but his mall would never be on our shoreline, as long as there was blood in our veins..."
Here is their story:
"Caruso Affiliated attempted to build a waterfront mall in the town of Albany (in the SF Bay Area) in 2006. He used similar tactics there that he has done in Carlsbad. The community said NO. Here is a heartfelt expression and some words of encouragement from some of the people in Albany who were successful in keeping a huge mall from being built on their waterfront:
"Caruso spent two years in our small city (San Francisco suburb, in the East Bay, community of about 20,000 people) and hired the best political help he could to put across a development on our waterfront. Most of our small city likes its current size and wants to protect the waterfront for open space and recreation but about 20 to 25% of the people thought the Caruso theme mall was a good idea.
Caruso met with the community leaders he was told he could woo, held coffees all over town, signed up the opinion leaders he could, put tons of mail in the mail boxes, sent around organizers door to door but in the end, although we were outspent 100 to 1, we beat him. He also worked on our city council and had what appeared to be a majority. We showed up at the meetings, showed up at the homes of the council members and put out our own information so that they also felt the heat of selling out the city.
He will offer your city a big boost in economic development but it comes with a cost. He will present himself as the movie star quality developer and will try to charm the matrons of the town - the late middle age and slightly older women who tend to fawn over him. They then become the backbone of his local support and bring their husbands and families with them.
What we did only we had to do. We asked Caruso politely to leave. We told him we live here and have no place to retreat to, that we were never going away and that we were implacably opposed to his plans and would never quit.
And we talked to each other and to all our neighbors, a lot - in our houses, in the air, on a chair, at the faire, in the square, spoke to each other everywhere. We had fun doing it and we did not shy away from public forums either. Nor should you. We called town meetings and invited everyone and put on slide shows and preached our gospel of protecting our shoreline. If you have an irreplaceable location remind him that he has all the rest of the world to place his malls.
Point out other places where they desperately need his development. There are real places that could use his money. Let him go there.
...we planted the flag and told Mr. Caruso we wished him well but his mall would never be on our shoreline, as long as there was blood in our veins.
It took many repetitions and many millions of his dollars before he could hear our message. But eventually he heard us. And he went back to southern California.
Best of luck. This is your chance to mold the future of your part of the world.
People will step up - people whom you know and others you have not yet met - and they will want to be involved and you may even recruit them to run for city council. You can create your world.
In the words of Emelia Earhardt: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity."
Read Archived Article:
Developer Declare Mall Plan Dead (Berkeley Daily Planet, 07/21/2006)
Citizens for North County
Citizens for North County, No on Measure A With Major Funding by Westfield, LLC * ID# 1380112.