Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 6, 2006

Mayoral Candidate Profile, part 2 of 3: Doug De Haan

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Lauren Do @ 8:56 am


Doug De Haan is running for Mayor, here is some information that I have compiled about him from various internet searches to help you in making your decision. 

Doug De Haan is a Democrat. See navigation bar on the left side under “Our Democrats.”  He is also part of a slate of candidates, running with Eugenie Thomson and Pat Bail:

So far, one three-candidate slate has emerged, led by sitting council member Doug deHaan — who is running for mayor — and two challengers, Pat Bail and Eugenie Thomson who are seeking seats on the council.

 Their website is and they have a six-point agenda and small profiles listed which you can see for yourself.  (By the way, isn’t taken yet, which honestly, someone on the slate should have ponied up to purchase (it’s only $9 at and then folks will hit their website with both the web addresses instead of needing to remember that it is dot org and not dot com.

From what I understand, both Pat Bail and Eugenie Thomson are both Republicans.  Also, the Alameda Democratic Club will be having an endorsement meeting:

CADC Monthly Meeting at Alameda Hospital on September 13, 2006

 7:00PM to 10:00PM
Program:   Monthly club meeting. September’s meeting will be one of two election forums, with candidates for local offices (Mayor, City Council, School Board, Hospital Board, and AC Transit Board) making presentations and answering questions.The club will vote on whether or not to endorse candidates in these races.

Only democratic candidates will be invited to speak, and a few candidates, presumably non-Democratic candidates, have not been invited to speak.

This is the information Doug DeHaan filed with the League of Women Voters in the 2004 election.  Some highlights include:

Top Priorities If Elected:

  • Restoring the Economic Integrity of Alameda
  • Planning Growth to Retain Character and Values of Alameda
  • Insuring High Quality of Police, Fire, and Recreation Services

What is odd, is that under endorsements, one of his endorsers is listed as Don Roberts.  But for some reason, this year Don Roberts decided not to endorse him for Mayor.

Here are  Doug deHaan’s answers to a Green Party questionnaire for the 2004 election, even though he failed to return them in time for posting to the Green Party’s website, this website Coffee Comfort decided to post the answers for him and cites this reason why [edited for clarity]:

We also really like Doug DeHaan, who has been working consistently and tirelessly for Alameda since I met him 12 years ago (and, no doubt, longer). Doug has been especially active in the Alameda Naval Air Station base conversion to civilian use, and is currently Chair of the Alameda Economic Commission. We strongly agree with his views on Greenbelt and park development in Alameda, and appreciate his passion and commitment to improving Alameda.

Psst…read the portion under the Economic Development heading, where Doug DeHaan talks about the need to recapture the leaking sales tax dollars…of course you would never hear him say that today.

But this was the Green Party’s take on Doug DeHaan for the 2004 race:

Doug deHaan, after years on the Alameda Point Advisory Committee (APAC), has intimate knowledge of the complexities of returning the former naval base to civilian use. He also serves on the Economic Development Commission and supports vibrant main street retail on both Park and Webster Streets. While deHaan has demonstrated the necessary civic dedication and competence to serve on the city council, he falls short on having a comprehensive vision for Alameda’s future beyond base conversion and retail development. He also did not return our questionnaire.  

And more questions and answers from with the Alameda Journal, courtsey of Mike McMahon’s website.  I think this question and answer is particularly interesting:

What could the City Council do to break down the real or perceived East-West Alameda divide?

I don’t think the City Council can do anything; the City Council should not do anything. The West End is going to be meted out as we develop. A better question would be, “What could you do with the Island/Harbor Bay culture split?”

Personally, I think the reporter had it right with the initial question.  I think there is less of a cultural divide between the East End of Alameda and Harbor Bay, then with the rest of Alameda and the West End.  I think the interests of the West End are regularly shunted aside because there is no one on the council who has the interests of the West End in mind at all times.

Then a post-election introduction article by the Alameda Sun courtsey of Mike McMahon’s website as well.

And finally, a very random endorsement (or rather non-endorsement) by someone who considered herself a friend to Doug De Haan, but had this to say about him:

My good friend Doug deHaan lost my vote when he declared himself an unqualified supporter of Measure A (City Charter Section 26), which I believe has outlived its usefulness and needs at least some serious (and careful) revision to  better achieve its original goals. Doug deHaan would serve Alameda well, but is more conservative than I’d like on many issues I consider important.

And of course, how can we forget the 2006 Candidate Statement:

Change in the City of Alameda leadership is needed to return Alameda to open and responsive government. Major development plans and fiscal commitments are currently being made in closed session without community input. Public funding obligations should always be open for public examination. While Alameda continues to face large development/redevelopment opportunities, we must avoid past oversights and address Oakland’s high density housing and serious traffic problems that are directly impacting Alameda. Traffic constraints on our limited access points must be thoroughly evaluated prior to any major development. Our unique island quality of life must be preserved for current and future residents, not sacrificed for developer profits. I am an elected official, not a career politician. As your current Councilmember I spend countless hours researching issues with community and staff. I have a BS in Public Administration, University of San Francisco, with postgraduate Business studies. I am a retired Production/Planning Superintendent, Chief Operations officer and Business Consultant. Public service includes: City of Alameda Councilmember, Chair of the Economic Development Commission, and member of the Base Retention Committee. Base Reuse Advisory Group, and various City of Alameda committees since 1990. I’m a lifelong Alamedan; married for 42 years, two children, both families residing in Alameda.

If anyone has more information about Doug Dehaan, please feel free to add it to the comments section.  BUT…if you do post something, please make sure to cite your reference and add a link so that others can reference it. 

Mayoral Candidate Profile, part 1 of 3: Beverly Johnson


  1. Lauren,

    I co-wrote the 2004 Greens Questionnaire (have since left the party). Just wanted to clarify that the link and quote mentioned above give the appearance that the thoughts are from the Greens or someone involved with them. This is not the case.

    That said….Here are some thoughts on Mr. DeHaan.

    Doug has flipped and flopped on so many issues over the past two years in office (major ones like voting for the Theater project, including eminent domain of the theater and the developer agreement that laid out the entire plan, and then railing against the project that5 he approved).

    At the May 3rd, 2005 meeting he voted FOR the developer agreement (so did Tony Daysog). The one that laid out all the financials and # of screens, etc. Now after approving it, he has concerns and wants to go back to the drawing board. He voted 7 times in favor of the project before he was against it.

    His record of votes (including denying the CMFA appeal of the project):

    1-18-05 Community Improvement Commission (CIC) Meeting – Yes
    2-1-05 Joint Meeting – Yes
    3-15-05 Regular Meeting – Yes
    5-3-05 Joint Meeting – Yes
    5-17-05 Joint Meeting – Yes
    8-2-05 CIC Meeting – Yes
    8-16-04 CIC Meeting – Yes
    8-16-05 Regular Meeting (voted no) (against the Appeal)
    11-1-05 Regular Meeting (abstained) (After this courageous abstaintion, Doug then voted after the public left, to release money for the planned construction of the theater).

    I don’t begrudge his feelings on the theater, but does Alameda honestly want or need a mayor that can’t read major agreements right the first time? Anyone who’s watched a city council meeting knows that while occasionally DeHaan may have ideas that are worthwhile, he hasn’t a clue how to voice them or build consensus. Like Pat Bail, he’s against a lot of things, but has no plans for doing anything except more studies.

    Further, in looking over the Republican-slate website ( (follow-the-money as Don Robert’s readers like to say), there is no (as in zero) plan for anything. Just lots of meaningless platitutdes.

    After two years on the council, he can point only to a “spearheading” camapign for a report on big-box impacts (this consisted asking that one be done by staff). Two years and beyond a bunch of confuused and contradictory votes, he can point to a request for a report made about a month ago as his crowning achievement? Yikes.

    Comment by John Knox White — September 6, 2006 @ 10:26 am

  2. John — so if I’m reading this right — between 8/2/05 and 8/16/05 he voted “yes”, then “no” on a project he’d been approving of up to that point?

    Then abstained on 11/1, then voted again later that evening?

    Didn’t anybody ask him what the heck was going on?

    That’s definitely rates a weird and a half from me.

    Comment by Dave S. — September 6, 2006 @ 5:12 pm

  3. Actually, John has some of his facts wrong. One, DeHaan voted to uphold the appeal on 8-16-05, not against it. The vote was split 3-2, with DeHaan and Daysog in support of the appeal. Check the minutes. Since then, DeHaan has voted consistently against the project, not flip-flopping as John suggests. The other “yes” vote on 8-16-05 was to approve a contract for construction management services for the theater and garage. This was a consent calendar item; I don’t know DeHaan’s reasoning or the nature of the contract but one would imagine such services would be needed regardless of the outcome of the appeal. Still, I can see how there can be question. Maybe John can ask DeHaan–this way all of us will be ellucidated. Second, on November 1st DeHaan voted after the public left to release money for work on the HIstoric theater, the one thing on which both sides agree. I didn’t have a problem with that and I don’t think this can’t be counted as a flip-flop either. Adjust the score.

    As far as DeHaan and Daysog changing their minds, at least they went from wrong to right, not from wrong to worse. As the saying goes, they saw they were digging themselves into a hole, so they stopped digging. I admire that.

    Speaking of flip-flops, both Marie Gilmore and Frank Matarrese swore loud and clear that they would support a certain budget and a percentage for contingencies for the theater, and not a cent more. Both of them flipped like my grandmother’s pancakes a month later, and neither of you guys seems to have a problem with that. Do I smell a bit of a bias?

    Comment by NIMBY — September 6, 2006 @ 9:57 pm

  4. Under Johnson’s leadership, the expense of the theatre – which taxpayers are funding – went from $16 Million to $26 Million to over $30 Million.

    It’s not clear to me at all why the City of Alameda needs to be in the theatre operations business. According to Vogel ( the theatrical release business got very un-interesting with the mass adoption of the VCR in the mid 1980s. On-demand cable, and Telco IP TV can only make things worse.

    Comment by keepmeasurea — September 6, 2006 @ 10:07 pm

  5. Thanks to NIMBY for keeping me honest, at this point I’ll take your word for it.

    The overall point, actually made in your post speaks directly to it. DeHaan continues (last Tuesday was yet another case) to vote on issues that he doesn’t have a clear grasp on , and then muck about after the fact trying to clarify or re-oppose something he’s already supported.

    I didn’t attack his changing his mind, it’s that fact that with both Tony and Doug, they are opposing the project based on “facts” that they supported early in the project. You can’t be both for it and against the project. As it’s written, the historic theater renovation is a part of a larger project (I’m not arguing the merit of this), by supporting moving forward with part of the project, one is supporting the entire thing because it won’t happen without the rest of the parts (that’s what the big argument is about). The fact that (according your claim) Doug doesn’t understand this, speaks loudly to his being a poor candidate for mayor.

    My issue isn’t that Doug is against the Theater project, it’s the confused and uninformed way that he has helped move it forward while claiming to be against it. All he had to do to stop it was vote against eminent domain (4 votes needed) and the project was over (and Doug a hero I guess), instead he chose to move the project forward. If he didn’t understand, what else do we look forward to accidentally happening because of his confusion?

    Sorry to sound cruel, I think Doug’s a very nice guy, I’m concerned that he’s running on a record isn’t supported by the facts. His own website crows that his big accomplishment is asking for a report that had no council opposition that I know of.

    Comment by John Knox White — September 7, 2006 @ 10:47 am

  6. The slate is running on the open government thing about this council having too many closed door sessions. The law prohibits deHaan from discussing what is said in closed door, but if I was in his seat and really objected to a closed door hearing I would scream like a stuck pig. What has stop Doug.

    Comment by Mark irons — September 7, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

  7. When Doug switched votes on the cineplex he appeared to become the darling of Stop Meagaplex over night. I emailed him complaining that I was not going to be so quick to forget his previous yes votes.

    To his credit, Doug called me at home, though he seemed pretty pissed that I was picking on him. He had no real explanation for the previous votes, he justed asked me if I guy shouldn’t at least get credit for coming around on an issue. He also claimed the “I’m the new kid” defense, like it was all done on somebody else’s watch. That is when I checked the council minutes and recieved the information JKW has already posted.

    “The slate” is running on the open government theme and council having too many closed door sessions. If I was in Doug’s seat and strenuously objected to past closed door sessions I would have gone on record in the meetings and to the papers each time. If he is a leader, what has stopped Doug from complaining about each session as it has occured?

    Comment by Mark Irons — September 7, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  8. The “Open Government” issue is a rouse. Who would argue against it?

    What’s interesting is the lack of specifics. This is probably because the only closed door discussions have actually been for Personnel and Legal issues (which the Republican Slate also admit they would continue).

    Comment by John Knox White — September 8, 2006 @ 8:25 am

  9. Doug can not change the theatre project alone. The decisions on the theatre were made long before the public voted him into office. “The law prohibits deHaan from discussing what is said in closed door” This is a quote that best describes the challenges of brining light to the public. Bring your concerns directly to Doug, he will be happy to represent them as a elected official. It is very easy to be critic, the real challenge in life is to be a creator.

    Comment by Gregg de Haan — September 8, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

  10. {Warning, long post}

    Greg, I completely agree with you about criticism and creators. Though I don’t think we should dismiss Mr. Howard’s opinions so quickly (sorry, soft ball pitch, had to swing).

    That’s why I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours over the past few years working as a city volunteer on transportation and development projects. Among other things, the East End of Alameda currently has bus service because of the hard work of a handful of us “creators.”

    Based on these experiences, I find it difficult to be a critic, which is one reason I rarely do so. The campaign of the Republican Slate is so far out of whack and off-base that I felt I had to speak up.

    That said:
    I’m not sure what your closed door comment means, and since I know that Doug would not break the law in disclosing the meeting to you, neither can you despite the implied knowledge. (Unless the councilmember broke the law, which I wouldn’t imagine he would). So it’s a meaningless statement. If something terrible has happened behind closed doors, I would expect that a councilperson with a conscience to bring it to light at all costs.

    [aside: somebody on the council thought the lack of a lawsuit against Oakland was important enough to go to the papers with just the other week. That issue would fall under “legal” strategy I believe, which the slate is ok with].

    The Slate website, under Councilmember deHaan’s bio, insinuates that the Council is breaking the law (the Brown Act specifically) by working on deals behind the public’s back. Why hasn’t Councilmember deHaan filed an open government lawsuit? There are advocacy groups that would do it for free! Why is he running on “unprovable” innuendo? If the innuendo is true, leadership would call for stopping it immediately, would it not? What does it say that the one person making the accusations who is legally privy to the information has done nothing to act on it?

    I have personal experiences with the “open government/community input” concern. I chair of the city’s transportation commission (a public body that meets once a month). On two occasions, Doug personally reached out to me to ask the commission to become involved in issues he felt were important. After I received stonewalling from some staff members, I called him directly and requested his assistance and support in getting the process rolling. Not only did he not follow up with staff, he never called me back.

    In contrast, on two occasions, I approached the Mayor with similar issues regarding stonewalling of public involvement in planning issues by staff. On both occasions, within hours, staff had heard directly from the City Manager’s office and the appropriate meetings were scheduled. Similar experiences with Councilmember Frank Mataresse can be reported, calls made, action taken.

    In my personal experience, the only councilmember that has not followed through on issues concerning staff stonewalling of public issues is Councilmember deHaan (and on issues he initiated).

    I can’t explain it (he never called back to tell me he wasn’t going to follow up), but I have to laugh when Agenda Item #1 is “more open Government/more public involvement.” As if the current council is currently purposely limiting it. Experience has shown me that to get the results that lead to open public discussion, Mataresse and Johnson are the ones to call. (And I can say with 100% confidence that there are many people out there, working on issues I totally disagree with, that have had similar experiences with Johnson and Mataresse).

    Which brings us back to the theater and Councilmember deHaan’s record (I will not state my personal opinion on the project, because it’s irrelevant and I don’t want to argue about it):
    The theater deal was approved by Councilmember deHaan on Feb. 1, 2005, not before his time. At that meeting, he approved the actual finances and scope of the project. He also voted for Eminent Domain of the Theater in May (take 4 votes, the two great anti-theater saviors both voted for it!). By saying that he voted for the project because the “decisions” were made long before he was elected, aren’t you implying that he’ll just go along with whatever’s happening? His slate is running on a “we’ll take control of things” platform, yet this seems to speak to a history of “just along for the ride.” With his concern about decisions behind closed doors, why didn’t he vote against the project because it had been concocted behind closed doors {your words, not mine, I had seen the public discussion in the local newspapers and at the council meeting for years}? He could have said at the time “I believe more public involvement is necessary on this project, I’m voting against it.” He didn’t, and any number of excuses won’t change that.

    If he messed up, he should admit it and move on.

    I’ll point out again, he continued to vote for money for the project once he was against it, the claim offered by an earlier poster that he was voting only for the historic theater aspect of the theater shows that he either does not grasp development issues very well (it’s one project whose planned financial stability depends on the entire thing being completed, there are not multiple options on the table to pick and choose from) or that he has been ill-prepared for the votes he made, or that he’s trying to be both against the project and for it at the same time.

    I’m not upset with his stated position on the theater, However the record is very clear on the bad or confused votes that Councilmember deHaan has made on it. In the end, his actions have not helped stop the project, they have helped move it forward, which is opposite of what he wants. He can say that changing his votes would not have changed anything, but that doesn’t explain why he voted for something he was against. Why would anyone vote for a mayor who votes counter to his professed position? It doesn’t matter what ideology the person has, nobody would go looking for that in a mayor.

    Comment by John Knox White — September 9, 2006 @ 9:52 am

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