Political outsider to make second bid for Fremont council
By Matthew Artz
Oakland Tribune, Jan 20, 2010
FREMONT — Vinnie Bacon has been preparing for a
2010 City Council bid ever since he surpassed expectations in the 2008 race.
Now he has made his candidacy official.
Bacon, a 48-year-old technology worker, joins
Mission San Jose High School senior Ishan Shah as the only announced challengers
to incumbent council members Bill Harrison and Anu Natarajan. Harrison said he
plans to seek re-election in November, while Natarajan said she hasn't decided
whether to seek a second term.
Bacon, a political newcomer, finished a surprising
third in the crowded 2008 field, besting one candidate who had a lot more money
and establishment support.
"It was so much fun last time," Bacon said of
campaigning. "We really did build up a community-based campaign that nobody has
seen in Fremont before."
Bacon, who in 2008 refused to accept campaign
contributions from developers, said Fremont has allowed too many homes and
shopping centers, while failing to attract companies that pay good salaries.
In 2008, he opposed both a subdivision planned for
land adjacent to Coyote Hills Regional Park and the A's ballpark village plan.
Bacon already has come out against the city's most recent attempt to lure the
A's to a new South Fremont site on land owned by the soon-to-be-shuttered NUMMI
auto plant. Bacon doubts a ballpark will spur development on the nearly 400-acre
NUMMI site, and fears that it could make the location less attractive to
"Tell me the type of businesses that want to
locate close to a ballpark. Restaurants and bars," he said.
Bacon remains a long shot given that he is
expected to face two better-funded incumbents, and Fremont hasn't elected a City
Council challenger over an incumbent since 1989.
But the A's ballpark proposal could help Bacon
build a strong base of stadium opponents to make him viable.
"There's enough dissatisfaction out there," former
Mayor Gus Morrison said.
Bacon, who contributed about $30,000 to his 2008
campaign, finished third behind incumbent Bob Wieckowski and Suzanne Chan, who
each were elected to the council.