I write to address my concern with the Peabody Road train station and Supervisor Jim Spering’s role in its development.
Spering’s biggest contributors are the largest developers of the project. Anthony and Debra Russo contributed nearly $25,000 to help him get elected in 2006, and their investment is paying back handsome dividends. The Russos own nearly 20 acres within the train station project area, and are either part owners or have contracts to develop 575 acres. They are annual supporters of Spering: They recently hosted a fundraiser for his re-election.
Other major contributors include Frank Andrews and David Stroud of ASB properties. They are developing 618 acres owned by Canon Station (the Russos have part ownership in this company as well; it’s not reflected in the total above). Ed Biggs owns 42 acres; Joe Della Zoppa owns 4 acres. Spering himself owns 5 acres.
I’m sure Spering has recused himself and has not voted on any decisions about the project. However, his campaign literature says he’s “leading the way on the Peabody Train Station Project.” He’s built his reputation on getting development projects, like this, done. It might be coincidence that Spering’s biggest contributors and Spering are the ones who stand to gain from this development, but I find it hard to believe that “leading the way on the Peabody Train Station Project” has nothing to do with who has contributed to his campaigns.
Now Spering wants to spend $94 million in taxpayer funds on Solano360 – a plan to “revitalize” the county-owned fairgrounds in Vallejo. It’s a huge gamble that might be a bust for everyone but the developers, who get paid no matter what. As concerned citizens, we must ask ourselves: Is this serving Solano County, or is this politics as usual?
I encourage the residents of the 3rd District to take a good, long look at Supervisor Spering’s history, and make your voice heard on June 3.