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Be grateful for what you get!!!  That was the message Councilmember Cline gave to the citizens of Gilroy in last week’s Dispatch (April 12 edition). I am happy that he has kept abreast of the Gourmet Alley project for the past 18 months and has asked staff and the city administrator numerous questions about its progress.  

The other six of us have been working on this project and asking questions for three years. In March 2022, the city was awarded the Clean California Local Grant Program. We saw the original design and what this project would do for the alleys and the surrounding neighborhoods.  Thinking about what we could give to our citizens was very exciting. 

My frustration comes from how long it took to get this project started while costs were increasing. I do not believe in micro-managing. I trusted the city manager when he said everything was moving.  

Only a couple of months ago, we learned that because of higher prices, only Gourmet Alley, between Fourth and Sixth streets, would be done. Many amenities had been removed. (After concerns were expressed, some were added back.)

The other major frustration is how the businesses were brought on board. A few months before the project started, the city should have informed folks about where they could put their garbage dumpsters and deal with deliveries, access to small businesses’ alley/parking lot entries, and the number of lost parking spaces. 

Unfortunately, this did not happen; but recently this has been mitigated.

As council members, we represent the citizens of Gilroy. On completion, I know the alleyways/  parking lots will look  better.  

However, the original Clean California grant would have made our downtown stand out. Gilroy needs to start shooting for the stars and stop the mentality of being “grateful” for what we get. Our citizens deserve better.

Carol Marques

Gilroy City Council member

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