Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 20, 2017

Process of elimination

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

As with all issues there are many sides to the story, so far we’ve only heard really the one side which was leaked by someone to an notoriously union unfriendly opinion writer at the East Bay Times, now comes some actual reporting on some of the, to put it lightly, quirky process that happened with the hiring of the Fire Chief.

As an aside, I follow Alameda politics probably more closely than the average bear, but when the whole fire chief recruitment drama started to reveal itself I had a moment of, “uh, we’re hiring a new fire chief?”  That’s how opaque this process has been.  Oh, as an aside, since I went searching for the recruitment brochure for the Fire Chief job, I also learned that there was a open search for a new Public Works director as well.  This I also did not know about until I went looking for related information.

Anyway.

Steven Tavares for the Alameda Magazine, highlights:

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October 19, 2017

She wrote me a letter

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

It was a tough choice whether to focus on the Alameda Magazine article today or Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.  I chose the City Council meeting because video, of course.  There were a lot of speakers that elected to speak before the Closed Session meeting.  I happened to be on park street around 5:45ish and noticed a few folks in front of City Hall.  I had assumed they were waiting for the regular session meeting to start but now it appears that they had opted to speak at the start of the Closed Session which was much wiser since they would have timed out if they have chosen non agenda Public Comment.

As you can guess the comments diverged into two camps and you can watch the approximately 30 minutes of public comment here.

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October 18, 2017

Pressure on people

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

More on Threat-Gate (Pressure-gate?) this time with a reporters touch, from Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times:

Alameda City Attorney Janet Kern said Monday she hopes to have identified an independent investigator this week to review allegations that Vice Mayor Malia Vella and City Councilman Jim Oddie wrongly attempted to sway who would be hired as the next fire chief.

Kern also said Monday she would recommend the council postpone carrying out a job evaluation of City Manager Jill Keimach — who contended that Vella and Oddie violated Alameda’s City Charter by pressuring her as she looked for a new chief — until after the investigator issues a report.

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October 17, 2017

All for one

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

One of the bullet point allegations made in the — let’s call it Threat-Gate for ease — Threat-Gate letter from the City Manager was this point:

keimach2

My initial gut was to chalk this delay up to incompetence on the part of the City Council than any real malice:

If anyone, coughthiscolumnistcough, they will know that this City Council is a mess.  If the delay of the evaluation occurred it was probably out of lack of time rather than actual malice or attempt to sway the process.  This is also conjecture without any actual proof, but it sounds really shady though.

But since we’re super low on actual evidence and any real facts, I thought I’d look back to see what actually happened based on agendas and minutes.

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October 16, 2017

National Horror Story: Trump’s “Katrina”

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

But you ask yourself, which national disaster is the equivalent of George W. Bush’s lackluster response to Hurricane Katrina? There’s so many to choose from.

All of them maybe? But none worse that Puerto Rico which yesterday  was being tweeted about as though it were some failing casino in Atlantic City and not where actual Americans live

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October 13, 2017

Bullet proof?

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

So yesterday a big-ish bombshell was dropped on the world on Alameda City politics and it was a doozy.  But it was really doozy-ish because of who was tasked to write the opinion-piece, a columnist and not a reporter.   And the columnist did exactly what he was paid to do, find a view point and write the hell out of it and he made it sound really really bad.

From the Daniel Borenstein piece:

After announcing her selection, Keimach sent the council a three-page letter detailing the “unrelenting” and “unseemly political pressure” on her to appoint the candidate who had “been handpicked by the local (firefighters) union.”

She said she had been “asked to cast aside the requirement of a fair and transparent process and give no consideration to other candidates who present superior qualifications and experience.”

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October 12, 2017

A Penny for your thoughts

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

At the last City Council meeting despite not having a listed agenda item that indicated that Mayor Trish Spencer was going to nominate a candidate for the Planning Board a nomination was put forward.  At next Tuesday’s meeting for consideration for the Planning Board seat which, traditionally, other Mayors would have renominated the sitting Board member to maintain continuity on the Board, Trish Spencer is nominating Penny Cozad to the Board.

A cursory Google search doesn’t reveal any red flags, she seems to be in a semi related field that would allow her to understand the complexities of the Planning Board, however it’s the deeper Google searches and cross links where the affiliations to Trish Spencer’s greatest supporters are revealed.

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October 11, 2017

Granny plan-y

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Good news for folks who want to build granny flats to provide an affordable-ish housing option in their back yard.  JP Morgan Chase just awarded a grant to two non profit housing lenders to create a pilot lending program.  Bad news is it’s only for San Jose or Los Angeles homes.

But there’s a lot of great information in the article, highlights:

About 25 percent of Bay Area homeowners are interested in building accessory dwelling units on their properties, according to a recent poll.

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October 10, 2017

2 a.m. phone call

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Did everyone catch Steven Tavares’s piece in the Alameda Magazine about the local cannabis wars?  It is amazing.  It’s one of those dramatic in-fighting things (with a dash of xenophobia) which is so very Alameda.

This is how it starts:

One of his colleagues, acting as a hype man, touted Nolin’s credentials and influence in the industry. The hype man then asked the overflow audience in the council chambers if any of its members have had positive interactions with Nolin in the past. A few hands raised, and Nolin stepped to the mic.

Folks, this is not embellishment.  This is exactly how the public comment went down.  “Hype man” is really the only term that should be used when it came to this really strange set of public comments.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use their public comment period to talk about how great the next commenter is and how he’s the best thing since sliced bread.

But that’s not even the best part, the best part is the feud, and involves — surprise, surprise: Trish Spencer — highlights

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October 9, 2017

Gone fishin’

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

Nothing for today, kiddos are not in school.

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