So Tuesday night City Council meeting was a doozy, I started watching really late because I had a different meeting to be at, but I started in when a parade of the usual suspects that were very very angry (or very very sad) depending on who it was. After watching a few familiar faces say essentially the same things that have been said ad nauseum about Brown Act violations and Charter violations, I ended up tweeting this:
Alameda City Council meeting public comment in two words: sour grapes—
Lauren Do (@laurendo) January 05, 2011
Fellow Alameda Tweeter Medablog asked me:
To which I responded:
Because that essentially what it was. A parade of folks that had not voted for Lena Tam, Rob Bonta or Marie Gilmore telling them what horrible human being they were for getting rid of the savior of all that is good about Alameda: Ann Marie Gallant.
Let’s be really honest for a few seconds here people. While I love all things politics and all things local and follow Alameda politics like the next best thing since Burn Notice (oh Michael Weston, how awesome are you?) most people don’t give a fig about who is where and who is running what in Alameda government. As long as the lights still come on and the water still runs, people are pretty much content and don’t care about Ann Marie Gallant, Gallant Marie Ann or Marie Gallant Ann. You ask 10 people on the street the name of our current City Council and maybe five would be able to give you the complete rundown. Ask the same 10 who Ann Marie Gallant is, I’m sure that number drops dramatically. So the handwringing over the non renewal of Ann Marie Gallant’s contract and her paid administrative leave status on Tuesday night was completely overdramatic.
Of course the drama culminated in this flier which was available in stacks at City Hall:
Of course, the whole “Beware the SunCal Slate” tagline and the weirdo wolf drawing was so effective the first time around during the November election that of course it needed to be reused. I was never quite sure why the wolf didn’t have arms, and why it was a confused mix of the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs, but I’m sure someone thought that it was the most brilliant depiction ever. Of course the points in the flier use the wrong sections of the Government Code, but I’ve already covered that here.
Anyway, the folks tried varying different methods: threats of recall, threats of contacting the District Attorney’s office, threats of contacts the Attorney General’s office, threats of not participating in the public discourse anymore all in the name of attempting to get Ann Marie Gallant reinstated as Interim City Manager. I’m just waiting for the rally and the petition to start circulating to “Bring Ann Marie back” maybe if the organizers get their act together they can have enough meaningful signatures before the new candidates for a City Manager start getting interviewed. FYI, just in case anyone was actually entertaining the idea of a recall, please review this document first.
However the biggest WTF moment of Tuesday night was a really toss up between a few people and their comments, but in the end David Howard won out by personally attacking Vice Mayor Rob Bonta and dragging his mother and the San Francisco Police Department into the mix:
For those who prefer to read it, although honestly, you have to watch it to get the full force of the derisive tone:
And Councilmember Bonta, you may do okay defending cops in San Francisco who beat up civilians, I’m sure your mom is very proud as she worships Cesar Chavez, Cesar and his workers got beat up by cops quite a bit.
Let’s put the mother thing aside for just a sec and talk about the “defending cops bit.” Given that previously, David Howard has been a big proponent of public safety in Alameda, it is surprising that he would be so dismissive and make what is every citizen’s right to have legal representation sound as though it is something sordid.
But throwing in the part of Rob Bonta’s mother, who Rob Bonta obviously holds in great esteem, brought that public comment to new unseen levels of douchbaggery.