I don’t know if everyone has been paying attention to the list of subpar individuals that have been floated (or offered) cabinet positions in the new presidential administration but this is a good reminder of why there are checks and balances for nominations to key positions in any form of government, big or small.
While it’s easy to get upset about a national level appointment, but much harder to make a difference, the reverse is often true locally. We seem to not care that much about local appointees to key Boards and Commissions, but yet locally is where there is the opportunity to make an outsized difference. This is one of the reasons why outgoing City Councilmember Tony Daysog’s insistence on rubber-stamping Trish Spencer’s nominations without any due diligence was so frustrating.
Sometimes I think that some City Councilmembers think that City Staff are personal assistants or similar.
For example, for the next City Council meeting Trish Spencer, who I guess is super bummed out that Tony Daysog isn’t going to be her wingman moving forward, has a Council Referral asking that the City of Alameda file a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission regarding the anonymous mailers going after Tony Daysog. From her Council Referral:
This past election campaign season, there were two mailers (see attached) against City Council candidate Tony Daysog which failed to include any information identifying who mailed them and using non-traceable postage stamps. The mailers were received by Alameda voters approximately one week before the November 8, 2016 election.
I request that Council direct staff to submit a complaint to the Enforcement Division of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) alleging a violation of “Unidentified Advertisement or Mailer” and requesting that the matter be investigated. In the past, there have been discussions in Alameda regarding campaign finance reform.
Mike McMahon, data guru, has done it again. He did the hard work of breaking out where and which neighborhoods voted for which City Council candidates. As he pointed out in this comment Malia Vella’s West End get out the vote pulled her in the lead over Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.
Malia Vella won every single West End precinct:
West Ender Tony Daysog didn’t fare that well, but — as expected — did pretty well on Bay Farm, but that wasn’t enough since he still came up short.
Tonight the Social Services Human Relations Board is having a really important meeting to get input from the community as to what positive steps can be taken to respond to the bias motivated events locally and nationally.
The most recent event was, of course, the graffiti at Edison. There was also garbage dumped on the doorstep of the Islamic Center the day after the election which could have been a really unfortunate coincidence, but when taken with the reports of bias related events across the country is hard to dismiss as a coincidence.
From the agenda item:
The Alameda Renters Coalition have a petition requesting that the City Council, much like last year, pass a moratorium during the holidays to stop evictions.
The City Manager responded with this, very long, letter:
The Alameda Renters Coalition petition to stop holiday evictions by passing a moratorium has been shared with City Council and staff. We understand you are asking the City Council to adopt a 90-day urgency ordinance by December 6 prohibiting no cause and no fault evictions over the winter holidays, but there are several reasons why staff cannot put it on the agenda. While you noted that this emergency moratorium is necessary to preserve the public peace, health, and safety of the community and to prevent further evictions and displacement of tenants, we have to ensure that any item the Council is asked to consider is legally defensible and fair to all perspectives.
For the last year, City staff has been working to find solutions to the rent crisis in Alameda. Last November 5, 2015, the City Council adopted Ordinance 3140, an urgency ordinance, imposing within the City a temporary moratorium for 65-days on rent increases of 8% or more and an eviction moratorium, prohibiting any action to terminate a tenancy except for “just cause.”
Nothing for this week, have a happy thanksgiving!
On Monday night the Planning Board had a scoping session about the Alameda Marina Master Plan EIR. I don’t really have a ton of opinions about this particular project, but I do understand that the current spaces needs a lot of work and — as with most infrastructure projects — the owner can’t float the entire cost of repairs and rehabilitation without a new income stream which is why, redevelopment plans.
Anyway, these comments were puzzling from one of Mayor Trish Spencer’s appointees to the Planning Board, Sandy Sullivan, had this to say about the project in general:
My comment is, it’s a lot of houses in that area and there are existing businesses being booted where are they going. As ugly as an RV park is a lot of people in Alameda own those things. There is a shortage of space, there are waitlists to get in to these storage areas of that goes away where are they going? How many Alameda residents will be displaced?
It’s interesting what types of public comment happens at City Council meetings. At the meeting before the election supporters of the Mayor, City Councilmember Tony Daysog, and candidate Jennifer Roloff decided to use those precious minutes to campaign for their candidates. And there was, of course, the conspiracy theory floated that PG&E was looking to purchase AMP and therefore giving money to one of the independent expenditure groups for the purpose of influencing the election.
This week, after the election and the failure of Measure M1 to pass brought in renter after renter to ask the City Council to place a moratorium on evictions at least until the end of the year. From a KRON report:
The coalition says the city council needs to step in and impose an emergency moratorium on the so-called “no-cause” evictions until after the holiday season.
The group says these types of evictions are unfair and adversely affect low-income families in Alameda.
A new batch of numbers was uploaded to the Alameda ROV website on Monday. Here are the new totals for the City Council:
While not a straight comparison here are the numbers from 2014:
The City Council meets for the first time post election results which means that this will be one of the last meetings for Tony Daysog. Fortunately for him his last Call for Review will be heard just in the nick of time before he says his goodbyes, but not soon enough to give him an extra lift with the Filipino community. For those keeping track of Calls for Review from start of the Trish Spencer administration, see this page.
In early October this was the Call for Review:
“I am calling for review the September 26, 2016 Planning Board Agenda Item 7B, seeking only and particularly to discuss and include a new name per the street names for Site A Alameda Point. In particular, I am seeking to include the name of Mr. Felix Fortuna, a [current] long-time Alameda resident of Filipino-American descent who, in addition to serving as the go-to realtor for many persons of Filipino descent as they made their respective way into Alameda, contributed generously to the well-being of Alameda as whole. For this reason especially, I am convinced it is right and fitting to recognize Mr. Fortuna and include his name in the list of names for street names for Site A of Alameda Point.”