Port of Oakland Commissioners have passed an amended resolution that may put a truck parking company out of business, potentially creating turmoil in the community if big rig trucks are again parking and driving on the streets of West Oakland.
The original resolution, backed by the City of Oakland, was designed to allow the city to have a temporary 30-month lease of Port land so it can sublet the property to Oakland Maritime Support Services (OMSS), a company that not only provides space to park big trucks but also offers a mini-mart and mechanical and tire repair – 18 small businesses in all – so that polluting big rigs have less reason to go out into the community.
OMSS has a long history with West Oakland groups, who view the company as an important element in their efforts to reduce asthma-causing pollution in their community.
“Our goal is to assure that trucks and truck activities do not intrude on our communities, which include West Oakland. We are working closely with the city,” said Port Communications Manager Robert Bernardo.
The addendum added by the Port Commissioners, apparently in line with concerns raised by the Alameda Labor Council and the Teamsters Unions, says the port will not lease five acres of land to the city unless OMSS meets certain conditions.
The conditions are that OMSS owner Bill Aboudi must settle a $1 million judgment against another of his companies, AB Trucking, even though that case is still in litigation.
If Aboudi sues the city or the Port of Oakland, the dispute could possibly disrupt the tight timeline for starting the Army Base development project. If all the Army Base companies are not moved, and the project is not set to go by Sept. 3, the project stands to lose $242 million in state matching funds.
“This attempt to use the port’s authority as a landlord to exert economic pressure on an affiliate of a port sub-lessee over an unrelated dispute is not only unseemly but illegal,” said Aboudi in a written statement.