Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 23, 2019

National Horror Story: which dropping shoe is this?

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

 

October 22, 2019

Fighting on all fronts

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

Did everyone get a chance to read the Alameda Magazine article about the Housing Authority?. If you did you will understand why the staff members of the Housing Authority came out en masse to defend the work of the Housing Authority and why Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft was positively bristly during this agenda item.

Based on the presentation and the amount of work it takes to run a functioning entity whose sole mission is to keep and house the most vulnerable among us, it is no wonder that there were some clearly hurt feelings on display.  No one, I mean no one is raking in the big bucks working for the Housing Authority.

Anyway there are some real issues with some of the facts laid out in the Alameda Magazine article, first there was no response in the piece by the Housing Authority of the allegations laid out by the resident.  From what I understand, just based on the presentation, release of tenant information must be authorized by the tenant.  So if the tenant did not give authorization to the reporter to talk to the Housing Authority, the Housing Authority has no right to share any information about the case.

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October 21, 2019

Blurry optics

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

Last Tuesday at the City Council meeting the agenda item on the Carnegie Innovation Hall was up on the docket with a number of speakers.  It was definitely not the most strategic public comment session for a group of supporters.  The commenters, even the ones which were speaking on behalf of the official group took a weirdly offense as defense stance.  It felt as though they were assuming that their lease was pretty much dead on arrival which is perhaps why the official line came off as much more hostile than it should have been.

Perhaps it was due to the fact that the group — who wanted to remind everyone that they were volunteers (ignoring the fact that the people that they were trying to persuade are also all volunteers) — and therefore didn’t have the resources to properly hash out a project labor agreement even though the union representative who was present that night said that he was really trying to be accommodating particularly around trades that were more specialized.

Anyway it was a weird public comment period.

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October 18, 2019

National Horror Story: one week

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

This was all in one week people. One week. Exhausting.

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October 17, 2019

Raise your hand

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

There were quite a few notable items on Tuesday night’s agenda but if this doesn’t sum up the pandering of Councilmember Tony Daysog in one short agenda item, I don’t know what else will.

Let me set up the scene. The agenda item was on the SAFER grant. The SAFER grant, for those that don’t know, is a federal grant to help fund public safety. The budget had already been approved by the City Council, unanimously, which means that this funding was already allocated in the budget. Voting against it would mean the City would have to find the difference in the reserve or some where else.

This was the end of the meeting so things were moving really quickly.  A motion was made and seconded early and the vote was taken which was also unanimous until….

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October 16, 2019

Aging in place

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

In case anyone was wondering there is a Housing Authority meeting tonight.   So maybe folks who think that “yeah, it would be good to add this load to the City Council” should check out a meeting or two.

Here is something that I found interesting while reviewing the agenda packet.   It was sort of referenced in the piece by Steven Tavares, but is apparently more complex than was presented in the story.  In an overview of September operations there was this notation:

LifeSTEPS and property management staff continued to spend a considerable amount of time on tenant cases this month. There is an increasing number of elderly and disabled tenants facing serious challenges with living independently in our owned and subsidized units. These growing high acuity households need significant additional services. This situation is not unique to Alameda or to AHA. AHA already provides more supportive services than most PHAs and does so entirely voluntarily. None of our AHA owned properties are required to provide services. These issues can also bring pest control, repair and maintenance costs that the tenants cannot pay which must ultimately be borne by the Housing Authority.

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October 15, 2019

Exhaust all remedies

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

On the City Council agenda tonight there is a referral regarding the Alameda Housing Authority which then makes the very random presentation by the Housing Authority in the regular agenda make more sense.  By the way the presentation is very informative.

According to the Council referral the genesis of the referral is:

A number of residents have expressed concern to members of the City Council during Oral Communications and informally about their alleged mistreatment by the Alameda Housing Authority. In this current housing crisis, it is critical that some of our most vulnerable residents are treated with dignity and respect and provided housing.

Because the Housing Authority was separated from the City in 2012, there is no accountability to an elected body and/or the City Manager for residents who have been aggrieved by actions of the Housing Authority.

And indeed, at the past few meeting of the City Council there have been allegations of problematic incidents at the Housing Authority.  But, naturally, a public comment period is no way to adjudicate issues such as these.

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October 14, 2019

Terms of engagement

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

I don’t know if the terms were made more generous after the Innovation Hall boosters started ragging on the City and City Council but this lease being offered seems entirely reasonable for the proposed business model and the space.  On the agenda for tomorrow night’s City Council meeting:

The proposed lease term is for 33 years, with one option to renew for an additional 33 years. For the first 33 years, rent will be fully abated to account for the capital improvements that need to be made to the buildings and the substantial cost of such improvements. “Starting 48 months after commencement of operations, the tenant must pay a fee on for-profit special events, in the amount of 2 percent of gross revenue generated from for-profit special events, after the first $300,000 (REVISED) earned.”

All capital improvement and construction projects are subject to prevailing wage and compliance relevant legal requirements, and the tenant must endeavor to negotiate an agreement to ensure labor peace prior to commencement of construction. Should the extension option be exercised by tenant, then starting in year 34, rent will equal two percent of the organization’s gross revenue, minus any income taxes paid by the tenant.

Also there are some reasonable community benefit benchmarks which must be met as well, which shouldn’t be difficult to accomplish:

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October 11, 2019

Locked up

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

So yesterday #1 daughter let me know that I needed to buy u-locks for her and #2 son.  Apparently at least nine bikes have been stolen from Encinal High School and numerous tires have been stolen off bikes as well.

Evidently administrators have been talking to students class by class to let them know about this.  I’m not 100% sure if parents and guardians have been notified since we get SO much communication from the school now it’s almost like white noise.

When I asked #1 daughter about the state of the bike corral she let me know that the gate no longer gets locked because whoever is responsible for the gate leaves before the kids get out and the bikes would all be trapped.

So, the suggestion made for students to not get their bikes stolen is to use u-locks.

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October 10, 2019

National Horror Story: oh

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

 

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