Goodbye, Claudia Cappio

Well this is sad news:

Her departure would add further uncertainty to the economic climate in Oakland. Developers are waiting for clear signs from the mayor and City Council about affordable housing mandates, industrial rezoning, height limits and other issues that influence their plans.

Amid the shifting political sands, Cappio and her staff were usually the first city officials to whom developers turned for guidance.

Cappio has been development director since 2003 and worked on Mayor Jerry Brown’s development inititatives before that. In an administration marked by frequent senior personnel changes, she was among few constants. By all accounts, Cappio enjoyed regular and nearly unfettered access to Brown, a detail-oriented manager who took an interest in the particulars of large real estate projects.

Dellums, by contrast, has adopted a different leadership style, preferring to set the big-picture vision while delegating details to aides like Lindheim. Even at the aide level, Dellums’ administration has preferred to set policy affecting entire geographic areas, rather
than particular projects.

It isn’t all that surprising. The strongly anti-development attitude coming out of Mayor Ron Dellums’s office doesn’t leave a whole lot for her to do. I had a hard time believing that Cappio was down with the city klling all development for four months.

I would disagree with the article’s assertion that Dellums has not interfered on a project by project basis. His pulling the Mandela Grand report would be the immediately obvious counterexample. And his office has certainly not made things easy for Fruitvale’s Gateway Community Development Project:

However, Dan Lindheim, Mayor Ron Dellums’ economic advisor, has been opposed to the project, evidenced by passive, benign neglect. While he found plenty of time in his schedule to meet with opponents of the project, including Urban Strategies, it took the developer and supporters of the projects over three months to get an audience with Mr. Lindheim. After only a few minutes in that meeting, Mr. Lindheim said he had to leave, stating, “I don’t know why you want to build there, anyway.”