So Tuesday night the City Council voted on the new MOUs for public safety bargaining units, here are a few thoughts in no particular order:
Doug deHaan, obviously, voted “no” on the MOUs. The funny thing is that he refused to give a reason why he was voting against it other than to say “it’s not personal.” Here’s the thing about the phrase, generally when you find the need to say, “it’s not personal” it generally is personal.
In more Doug deHaan inconsistencies, he lamented the fact that, unlike how Governor Jerry Brown recently managed to change some pension stuff and got Prop 30 passed, Alameda doesn’t have a new revenue stream like Prop 30. Earlier in the evening, City Manager John Russo pointed out that SOME people, hint hint, didn’t support Measure C which would have provided the revenue stream referenced by Doug deHaan. He clearly didn’t pick up that was a subtle dig at him and then doubled down later that evening on the “we have no additional revenue streams” thing.
I tweeted this yesterday but someone from the teacher’s union — by the way there were a lot of miscellaneous union folks, mostly Alameda residents, who came out to support this MOU — who went on and on about respect and rancor and how this was a model for “labor respect” and then freely admitted that he was one of the folks who handed AUSD superintendent Kirsten Vital the stocking full of coal last year.
Former City Council candidate Jane Sullwold questioned why this was being rushed before the new Council was seated — fair question — but then after two incoming City Council members, Stewart Chen and Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft both said they supported the MOU the point was sort of moot.
A member of the Firefighter’s union admitted that he talked to a commenter on this site about the details of the grievance after questions arose as to how the commenter got the information about the legal analysis. He also mentioned that he was in the negotiations at the time with former Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant et al and that there was no intent to get rid of the me-too clause and that if the City were to fight the grievance it would end up being a s/he said/s/he said situation.
Those are sort of the only moment that truly stand out, someone tried to convince me that City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy was trying to make a good point about how we keep cutting the budget year after year and at some point there will be nothing left to cut, however he didn’t do a great job of articulating that pretty simple statement and instead went for the whole “feeling it in my gut” sort of vibe. The problem with when people come up to say, “the City is going to go bankrupt” even when they are the elected City Treasurer if you don’t back it up with stuff it just falls flat after years and years of you saying, “I’m going to be the one to turn off the lights and lock up after the City goes bankrupt.” I think Kevin Kennedy would be much more convincing if, one day he detailed all this stuff he is alluding to and warning us about in actual graphs and things. Because the other night he ended up having to back pedal on some of his more impassioned statements and it just made him seem a little wishy washy.