Sometimes you have great spokepeople for a group or a product. Like people who really do an excellent job of representing the product and/or group that they are pushing. Like the two guys that do those All State commercials. One is now on the show Backstrom and every time he appears on the screen I expect him to say “That’s Allstate’s stand.”
Anyway, sometimes there are times when a spokeperson is so bad, even if they are doing it on a strictly volunteer basis, that the organization should say, “thanks but no thanks.”
Case in point: Bill Smith. I’ve not been pleased with some of Bill Smith’s inconsistent positions in the past. Particularly around the whole Housing Element and Neptune Point things. I don’t need to rehash that do I, it’s somewhere in the comments section. But at Monday night’s Planning Board meeting, this was when I realized that Renewed Hope really needs to have someone else represent their position on multi-family housing at these public meetings.
Here’s the video:
Surprising absolutely nobody came the news that the School Board voted on Tuesday night to retain two high schools as opposed to any sort of consolidation plan. What is more interesting is apparently there will be a priority to start erecting fences around the fenceless elementary schools around Alameda.
After some recent police action at both Bay Farm (vandalism) and Edison (stranger danger) the safety at schools has become an issue, again.
While I can understand the visceral desire to fence in a school thinking that will make a school “safe,” I will say that if I were dictator of my children’s school one of the first things I would do would be to remove the fence that was erected after the unfortunate incident at Ruby Bridges.
Tonight’s meeting, as I mentioned yesterday, will be a big one. Two of the agenda items I wrote about yesterday, the other two, just as big are scheduled for this massive joint meeting between the Transportation Commission and Planning Board. The meeting was also noticed as one where, potentially, the entire City Council should show up to. Trish Spencer has been showing up everywhere lately, including the Planning Board’s regular meeting on Monday night.
I thought these tweets were particularly entertaining about Trish Spencer’s appearance at said Planning Board meeting:
If you are concerned about traffic and/or transportation at all if there is one meeting that you should go to it’s the joint Planning Board and Transportation Commission meeting on Wednesday night. That meeting is positively jam packed with key transportation issues moving forward. Including Tony Daysog’s super incredible uber packed Transportation extravaganza plan. That will cost, approximately, between $250K – $400K to implement. The number is higher the more times it has to be vetted by the Boards and Commissions. And it will take around 12 – 18 months to actual happen.
The city did stick this slide into its presentation:
As you can guess, the agenda item about the Council Referral process did not go smoothly and honestly, I found the discussion hilarious and entertaining from a spectator point of view. As a reminder, Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft placed — as a Council Referral — a suggestion that the City Council start abiding by the Council Referral process that was approved and adopted in 2007. Essentially what the ordinance says is that all members of the City Council need to go through the Council Referral process if they would like to place something on the City Council agenda. Yes, even the Mayor would need to.
The point is to treat all members of the City Council as equals (one voice, one vote) — even though the Mayor technically runs the meetings and gets to do things like pick assignments to regional boards — they are still pretty much “equals” in terms of their weight on the City Council.
It’s official, John Russo is moving on and it looks like although he is moving on down to Southern California he’s also getting a much more plush gig than Alameda. From a press release by the City of Riverside:
Russo will take over the job from Interim City Manager Lee C. McDougal, who has served since former City Manager Scott Barber retired Dec. 28. Russo will be introduced to the Riverside community at a City Council meeting Tuesday (2/24) at 1 p.m. in the council chambers, 3900 Main Street. He expects to conclude his responsibilities in Alameda and join Riverside May 4.
I found a cached version of the search documents for the Riverside City Manager job. Here’s “The Opportunity”
The award winning City of Riverside, California (population 303,871) isrecruiting nationally for a City Manager with a highly successful career and a demonstrated record of inclusive and transparent leadership inguiding an organization. Working with the Mayor and a 7-member City Council, the City Manager oversees a capable staff of approximately 2,497 with a 2014/15 operating budget of approximately $915 million.The ideal candidate will have excellent leadership, communication,and decision making skills, and be a person of superior integrity and unquestionable ethics. The ideal candidate will be a highly skilled public administrator eager to contribute his or her creative and insightful leadership to help shape the future of this unique community with an outstanding quality of life.
Going from a city of 75,000 to 303,000! That’s quite the leap. And now he has seven City Council members (plus one Mayor) to keep happy as opposed to only five. As an aside Riverside has a “ward” system where the individual City Council members are elected by their ward and the Mayor is elected citywide.
Yeah, no yelling or snarking today okay? It’s the start of the Lunar New Year.
Happy year of the Sheep/Ram.
The Shoreline Cycletrack sort of had its “soft opening” over this long weekend. It’s not “officially” open yet meaning there has not yet been the pomp and circumstance of ribbon cuttings etc yet, but its been (fairly) well received given the flood of naysaying that occurred during the actual construction process.
According to Facebook reports there were lots of people out there using the Cycletrack — meaning actual bicyclists — and lots more pedestrians using the regular path. Granted it was a very long and very nice weekend so the number of people might have been slightly inflated due to those two things, but that’s sort of the point of the cycletrack right? To provide increased access and capacity for bicyclists and pedestrians on really nice days like the weekend that we just had. Here’s a nice little blog post about it from Streetsblog.
The rest of the agenda items on tonight’s City Council meeting include a consent item to approve a contract with Urban Planning Partners to start the Specific Plan process for the Main Street Neighborhood. While the money is largely coming in the form of a grant from MTC to help fund this process, it’s unclear as to why we’re going through this process now since the Main Street Neighborhood has always been earmarked as the single family home development portion of Alameda Point. Given the fact that this is probably going to be the easiest parcel to sell — I mean the whole point of the whole entitlement stuff was to make the land more desirable for developers to not have to go through the entitlement process — this neighborhood really could have just been sold off into blocks, but hey, it’s technically “free money” so I guess let the consultants do their job.
Also on consent is a joint use agreement with the School District for maintenance of the swim centers on AUSD property. Should be an easy one to just say yes to, but then again Trish Spencer voted against the AUSD/City of Alameda deal that made the renovations of the pools possible, so… One interesting tidbit is that the AUSD and the City of Alameda will need to renegotiate a new use agreement after the renovations are complete. Given that AUSD current portion of the use agreement is to pay for capital repairs and improvements and the City of Alameda pays for ongoing maintenance something will definitely have to be figured out because, ostensibly, the capital repairs and improvements should decrease dramatically which would almost negate AUSD’s expenses.
Nothing for today, have a great day off!