Keller May Be Running Against Piepho for Supervisor

Last night I got a phone call from a pollster. I asked what the poll was about and the woman replied that it was about the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors so I said I would participate.

It only took a question or two for me to ascertain that it was a vicious attack on Supervisor Mary Piepho, and a plug for former Antioch City Council member and Mayor Joel Keller. Keller, who is a BART Director, apparently intends to run for the Board of Supervisors.

Three questions asked by the pollster included a statement that Keller was a retired Peace Officer. That’s not true. Keller retired as Probation Mgr. for Contra Costa County in 2003 and as a Chief Deputy Probation Officer for Solano County in 2008.

Questions also alluded to Mary Piepho being an ineffective leader and not working well with the rest of the Board. I challenge that statement. Frankly, I don’t think Keller was a good advocate when it came time to assuring that Antioch got a REAL BART line.

In addition, I question some of his decisions as a BART Director, e.g. his attendance, along with 4 other BART Directors and 9 BART employees, at the annual American Public Transportation Agency (APTA) conference in New Orleans this fall.

On Thursday Keller, along with the rest of the BART board, voted unanimously to authorize an exclusive negotiating agreement with the Oakland Economic Development Corp. to contract with UrbanCore, a minority-owned real estate development company. BART and the City Oakland want to turn a 1.3 acre parking lot of Snell Street and 71st Ave. into apartments.

Since when are transit funds used for real estate purchases? (Sorry, I forgot the Bay Area Toll Authority recently voted to give MTC the go ahead to spend $93 million, funded in part by bridge toll money, for a new headquarters in San Francisco.)

The “rationale” for BART’s participation in the apartment purchase reportedly is to create a true “transit village,” increasing the ridership for BART and paving the way for economic growth in the area. Barf.

Incidentally, did you know that BART’s estimates for replacing train cars will cost about $3.2 billion to $3.4 billion? Although state and federal grants will cover most of the bill, an alert taxpayer pointed out to me, $3.4 billion divided by 669 is $5.1 million per car. Allegedly, BART sells the cars to investors and then leases them back, which makes me wonder if taxpayers will be further on the hook for this financing trick.

2 Comments to “Keller May Be Running Against Piepho for Supervisor”

  1. karl says:

    just in case they call you again, please tell them NOT to call me, because keller will not get any vote from me for anything. he has screwed antioch over and over.

  2. Ralph says:

    Joel Keller was a police officer for the Oakland Housing Authority, hence he was a peace officer.

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