Other Editorials

Red Ink Rat Fink

Jim Dollinger
Friday, November 10, 2006

Here it is folks, the move predicted by GeneralWatch. GM has announced it's intention to move into retail, a manuever attempted a few years back by Roy Roberts which was thwarted by dealers invoking their state franchise laws. This is truly the reason GM killed Olds and is in the process of starving Buick to death. GM wants to produce offshore and control the distribution network. "Red Ink the Rat Fink Rick" has betrayed his own countrymen and caused enormous economic devastation across America as he closed factory after factory with his "Creed of Greed". This is the real reason the Board of Bystanders stood silent as we lost BILLIONS and tens of points of market share, a small price to pay when one looks at the long term picture of future decades of good paying jobs eliminated and hard won benefits wiped out. GM has effectively "Paid Off" union leadership through efforts such as the VEBA health plans whereby billions were placed under the administration of Solidarity House who then reaped hundreds of millions in handling fees, far more than they collect in members dues. Ever wonder why the Concession Caucus sat idly by as GM closed one facility after another? Bought and paid for!

Now for the next phase to begin. Watch as GM moves slowly but steadily into the retail end of the market. This is exactly why I called for Wagoner's indictment at this year's Annual Meeting, he's a lying, conniving traitor who has sacrificed the well being of his fellow citizens in worship of the almighty dollar. He should be thrown into prison, not simply for his ill-conceived plan, but for LYING to investors. Where is Eliot Spitzer when you need him?

Palo Alto Daily News
Council mulls plans for auto mall

By Banks Albach

Plans for a new auto mall has Menlo Park's City Council yearning to nail down an agreement with General Motors Corporation that could generate more than a million dollars in sales tax revenue.

GM announced plans to purchase nearly 22 acres from Tyco Electronics, which owns 80 acres in the city, more than a week ago. The company hopes to build an 8.5 acre lot for itself and lease the remaining 13.5 acre section to other automakers and retailers. The land is located at the corner of Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road.

The council focused on the 8.5 acre parcel Tuesday night because GM has made it clear that it wants a piece of the sales tax that site generates. City staff has already recommended a 50-50 split and council voted 5-0 to allow further negotiations with GM. Both sides want an agreement within 60 days.

"Our 60-day clock is ticking," GM's Jim Gentry said at the meeting. "It's going to take a lot of work (and) we're going to need a lot of support from the city ... to get this done as soon as possible so we can re-establish our brand and start selling cars."

Gentry said the project is "realistically" about 18 to 24 months away, provided there are no delays.

GM estimates that an 8.5-acre lot could generate $1.5 million in sales tax the first year. Under the proposed agreement, Menlo Park would get half, an incentive that many cities use to bring in auto dealers, City Attorney Bill McClure said Tuesday.

"It's a very common program throughout the state," he said.

The remaining 13.5 acres will not fall under the same tax sharing deal and could generate 100 percent for the city, McClure said. Gentry said GM has already received some soft offers on the remaining acreage from other automakers.

"Over the next 60 days we'll be looking at how marketable the property is," Gentry said.

Council Member Kelly Ferguson embraced the plan, but raised concerns about GM's financial woes possibly spilling onto the city's lap.

"What's the worst case scenario?" she asked.

Besides approving the tax deal, the city council will have to amend the general plan, make zoning changes to the area and conduct an environmental impact study.

Spence Leslie of Tyco said his company has already started dealing with some polluted soil and is ready to demolish the only building on the land.

"Much of the 60-day checklist has been done," he said.

GM also wants the city to build a traffic signal in the area and agree to a let GM build a series of signs that will direct people from the freeway to the auto mall.

GM's decision follows a two-year period that saw three of it's own dealers flee El Camino Real because of limited visibility and constricted lots. A Ford dealership also closed this year.

The city has been discussing the plan with GM for the last 13 months.

David Johnson, the city's business development manager, estimated that Menlo Park has lost more than $1 million in auto sales tax since 2000.

"This will reignite the city's sales tax flow," Johnson said. "And it is our belief that this will be a pioneering event for many other changes."

E-mail Banks Albach at balbach@dailynewsgroup.com.