Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 12, 2010

And they’re off…the City Council version

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

As promised, here are the City Council member candidate statements.   Apologies in advance for any grammatical errors, sometimes the OCR recognition software is a little wonky.

In alphabetical order of course:

Rob Bonta (City of Alameda Health Care District Director; San Francisco Deputy City Attorney)

As your Councilmember, I will promote sound economic development, preserve public safety, exercise fiscal responsibility, build a partnership with our schools, and protect services for our community’s most vulnerable.

Instilled with the value of public service from my parents, I attended California public schools and, with the help of financial aid, was able to earn a B.A. and law degree from Yale University. Now, as a San Francisco Deputy City Attorney, I advocate for consumers and support the city’s public servants.

My wife and I dreamed of raising our three children in a thriving and supportive community. We chose Alameda because we value Alameda’s high quality oflife, great schools, locally-owned shops, and diversity.

I have a proven record of success serving Alameda. As Chair of the City’s Economic Development Commission, I help promote economic growth, and, on the Alameda Hospital Board, I oversaw the greatest fmancial turnaround in the Hospital’s history, turning a deficit into a surplus, while preserving critical, high quality health care services.

Together, with my proven leadership, commitment, and collaborative approach, we can ensure that Alameda reaches its full potential.

I would be honored to have your vote to move our City forward.

Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft (Planning Commissioner/Arbitrator)

The wonderful quality of life we all enjoy in Alameda is at risk if we don’t leave the recent political infighting behind and make positive, collaborative decisions regarding the city’s neighborhoods, budget crisis, economic growth and public safety.

After spending most of my life in Alameda, I simply care too much about our community to settle for “politics as usual”. As your Councilmember, I will prioritize creating jobs and housing opportunities with sensible, sustainable development and promote ethical, accountable city government.

For the last 14 years I have served Alameda as a member of the Planning Board, Economic Development Commission, and Alameda Hospital Board of Directors, volunteered in schools, delivered Meals on Wheels, and co-chaired successful campaigns to build the new Main Library and create a health care district to keep Alameda Hospital open.

During my tenure on the Planning Board we have strengthened business districts across Alameda and supported plans to boost the local economy, including VF Outdoors’ recent decision to bring its corporate headquarters and 650 jobs to Harbor Bay Business Park.

I will bring common sense and vision to City Hall and tackle our city’s
challenges with a cooperative spirit. I would appreciate your support.

Adam Gillitt (Business Owner/Graphic Designer)

As a business owner and Alameda resident since 2002, I am disappointed by the mismanagement, and lack of vision, creativity and citizens’ voice in Alameda’s City Council.

It is time to elect someone new to Alameda City Council! I have no connections to political figures, groups or corporations, but I have plenty of creative ideas.

I am a Brown University graduate, have worked as a graphic designer, creative director and marketing manager, and have managed multi-million dollar annual budgets.

I will provide Alameda with a fresh start and creative vision to make it the best City to live in and do business in the Bay Area. I want to move Alameda forward, not keep it mired in status quo.

I will return a voice that has been missing from City Council: a regular, sensible, everyday citizen, who loves Alameda and will stand up and serve in the best interest of my neighbors.

I will include your input in the decision making process of this City. I believe in open and transparent government, and being responsible to my neighbors in Alameda.

More campaign information available at

Please vote for Adam Gillitt for Alameda City Council on November 2nd!

Tracy Jensen (Alameda Unified School District Board Member)

I am proud of my accomplishments in 2 terms on the school board.  My decisions on the school board have strengthened our City.  Alameda students are successful and schools are fiscally stable.  When facing tough decisions I talked to Alameda residents.  And I was inspired to see that, despite diverse economic, religious, and cultural backgrounds we have one thing in common. Alameda is our home; where we feel safe and we can count on our neighbors. So my decisions reflected our community values. Which outcome makes our community safer? Which decision gives students more opportunities to succeed? How would my decision affect all members of the community?

I will use my experience on public boards, my decision making and facilitation skills, and my commitment to Alameda to move our City forward. I will address the challenges we face – developing Alameda Point, supporting small businesses and emerging industries, ensuring that public services are available and accessible to all.

I grew up in Alameda. As an advocate for seniors I moved across the country. But, eventually I came home to Alameda to raise my son. I am running for the City Council to ensure that Alameda moves forward with care and consideration for his future.

Beverly Johnson (Attorney, Mayor of Alameda)

As your Mayor (2002 thru 2010) I have provided strong leadership and established policies and programs which ensure that Alameda will continue to be the best place to live and work for generations to come. Our community is a safe place to live and I will keep it that way. I have accomplished a lot and want to do more. With my leadership, we have invigorated Park Street business district with the restored Alameda Theatre, streetscaping, and parking structure. Towne Centre has been completely renovated with retailers claiming the best store opening sales reports ever. Webster Street District is coming alive with new retailers and improvements to the streetscape. Our new library continues to receive awards and positive community support. In the worst economic downturn of our generation we secured a 250,000 square foot headquarters for the largest retailer in the world to be located at the Harbor Bay Business Park bringing 650 new jobs. Tough fiscal policies have allowed all of this to occur while maintaining a balanced budget. As your next Council Member I will ensure that any new development, including Alameda Point, is done in a manner which enhances our quality of life. Alameda is awesome!

Just a note, “” is already taken by another “Johnson” (a Marcia Johnson, if you really wanted to know) in Colorado.   The domain won’t expire until 2014.   However, “” is currently available.   Or was as of yesterday afternoon.   You’re welcome, Mayor Johnson’s campaign.

Oh and by the way, if any of her technologically, but not politically, savvier opponents is thinking of squatting on her domain.  Don’t.  You’ll get in trouble.   You’re welcome, too.

Jeff Mitchell (Journalist, Communications Consultant)

Hello! My name is Jeff Mitchell. I’m a journalist and communications consultant by trade and a former editor of the Alameda Journal. I am running for City Council because it’s time to break up the culture of secrecy that exists at City Hall. We must open up access to our local government and re-establish new ground rules ensuring transparency in all governmental operations. As a member of the city’s Sunshine Task Force, I’m also running to fight efforts by those who would
thwart the creation of a Sunshine Ordinance and the establishment of meaningful campaign finance rules for our city. As a journalist I have the skills and experience to ferret out wrongdoing or just wrong-headedness. When I looked at how our city government mishandled such issues as the redevelopment of Alameda Point, the multimillion-dollar losses surrounding the collapse of our city’s cable TV system or even the brazenly unconstitutional decision to ban political speech from our Fourth of July Parade, I realized that it was time for me to step forward. To find out more about my campaign, please go to I would be honored to have your vote Nov. 2. Thank you.

Jean Sweeney (Retired Teacher)

My husband, Jim, and I have lived in Alameda for nearly 40 years. I am very actively involved with civic matters. I’ve served ten years on the Restoration Advisory Committee. As a member, I’m well acquainted with the cleanup process at Alameda Point. I’m a member of the Northern Waterfront Committee that developed zoning, preservation, accessibility, and quality of life construction guidelines which have been adopted for the whole industrial waterfront. I was successful in getting the Alameda Veteran’s Building into the State and National Historical Registers. I found a contract that allowed the City of Alameda to buy back the Alameda Beltline Railroad land at 1924 prices and I supplied $60,000 worth of research to aid in City legal struggles to acquire that land. Recently the City received a grant deed for 30 acres of land from the Pacific Railroad in exchange for less than a million dollars. I have been an active member of Rotary since 2003. Jim and I are members of the Mastic Senior Center. I am a board member of the Alameda Community Fund (formally the Clara Barton Foundation). I am running for City Council to help preserve the livability of Alameda.

Lena Tam (Alameda City Councilmember)

As your Councilmember, I have been working for you to advocate vigorously for open and transparent government while providing leadership on tough issues. I have listened, acted, and built partnerships to advance our shared vision for a safe, environmentally-friendly community that is both well-planned and
economically sustainable.

Through my leadership on the Council, I forged alliances with our education, youth, business, historical preservation, and public safety communities to create over 5,000 good-paying green jobs, expanded opportunities for economic development, and maintained the safety of our community.

In the past four years, we completed the new Alameda Free Library, renovated the award-winning historic Alameda Theatre, the Shinsei Gardens Veterans housing, built Ruby Bridges Elementary.  School and Park, and constructed much needed road improvements on Webster and Park Street.

I am committed to working on your behalf to strengthen our partnership with our schools, retain and recruit more businesses, maintain staffing levels for police and fire, and continue to deliver quality community resources and amenities.

My family and I have lived in Alameda for over 42 years and my public service to this city has been a great privilege. It would be an honor to have your vote for re-election .


  1. can someone post the ages of the candidates? I like to stay far away from voting for the old folks who want to raise the bridges at night and KEEP ALAMEDA THE SAME

    Comment by E — August 12, 2010 @ 7:12 am

  2. Sounds like a fun race…

    I can see attacks forming just based on the wild and mildly inaccurate claims in the statements. And at least we have Brown and Yale credentialing claims along with many professing we should vote for them because they “love Alameda” more than their opponents.

    Also loved the claim that the ten years of delay in developing the base is basically because they are being careful…

    At least Mitchell lays out real issues…

    Comment by Hot R — August 12, 2010 @ 7:21 am

  3. Based on the candidate statement paperwork filed only three candidates provided Age information which is optional.

    Tony Daysog 44
    Adam Gillitt 40
    Tracy Jensen 49

    Comment by Mike McMahon — August 12, 2010 @ 7:42 am

  4. E: Not all the candidates put their ages on their candidate statement as that was optional. But here are the ones that did:

    Tony Daysog (44)
    Adam Gillitt (40)
    Tracy Jensen (49)

    If I had to guess and I’m fairly bad at guessing people’s ages:

    In the under 50 category:
    Rob Bonta
    Jeff Mitchell

    In the under 55 category:
    Marie Gilmore
    Lena Tam
    Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft
    Kenny the Clown

    Not under 55:
    Frank Matarrese
    Doug deHaan
    Jean Sweeney

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 12, 2010 @ 7:43 am

  5. #4

    You guessed wrong on at least four of them.

    Besides discriminating based on age, what are our other biases?

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — August 12, 2010 @ 8:26 am

  6. Frankly, I wish Mike McMahon would drop out of school and run for council (and I don’t care how old he is, or what race).

    Comment by Jayare — August 12, 2010 @ 8:38 am

  7. 6: No need to drop out of school, I graduated. 🙂

    I appreciate the intention, but I look forward to focusing on improving Alameda schools and leave the rest of tough work of improving the quality of Alameda life to the City Council and Mayor.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — August 12, 2010 @ 9:19 am

  8. I would like to know what multi-million dollar annual budgets Mr. Gillitt has managed.

    Mr. Gillitt, could you give us a little more insight into your budgeting capabilities?

    Comment by Mr. Sunshine — August 12, 2010 @ 9:27 am

  9. #5: ANT is correct: the issue of a candidate’s age is far less critical than her/his other qualifications or characteristics.

    But the candidate’s overall vitality is also critical. Being on the Council is quite demanding of one’s time and energy, as well as one’s ability to study and conduct due diligence, endure long meetings, and grasp a variety of complex issues.( It is an order of magnitude more demanding than being on any other city board or commission, according to some sitting Council members, who ought to know.)

    At least the incumbents and those with extensive experience on more than one board with substantial
    responsibility will be more ready for the additional responsibilities and effort required.

    I suspect that physical and mental toughness and endurance are underestimated but important qualifications, too. Not the only ones, of course, but significant.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 12, 2010 @ 10:41 am

  10. Kenny the Clown is 44. Class of 1984 Encinal High School

    Comment by John — August 12, 2010 @ 11:00 am

  11. From 2006 election newspaper coverage:

    Doug deHaan birthdate: 3/9/1941
    Tracy Jensen birthdate: 4/27/1961
    Bev Johnson birthdate: 10/2/1958
    Ken Kahn birthdate: 9/24/1965
    Frank Matarrese birthdate: 2/4/1955
    Lena Tam birthdate: 10/9/62

    Comment by Mike McMahon — August 12, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  12. Wow, some people are holding up better than others. Just goes to show you the importance of moisturizing.

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 12, 2010 @ 11:06 am

  13. Tony Daysog birthdate: 1/2/1966

    Comment by Tony Daysog — August 12, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  14. 9.
    “I suspect that physical and mental toughness and endurance are underestimated but important qualifications, too.”

    Right on, Jon. Physical toughness for sure. Specially thick skin on the rear end and between the ears. Sitting for endless confabs and not developing heat sores on one’s ass is definitely a pre-condition.

    And, mental? Oh my yes! Gotta be able to pretend you’re devoting your entire consciousness to some long winded garrulous dork when you’re really thinking of how good it’s going to feel after you down that third martini after this session.

    Comment by jayare — August 12, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

  15. Since deHann was a manager out at the base, he’s got both the physical and mental experience.

    Believe me.

    Comment by jayare — August 12, 2010 @ 12:23 pm

  16. […] Continue here: And they're off…the City Council version « Blogging Bayport Alameda […]

    Pingback by And they're off…the City Council version « Blogging Bayport Alameda | MuniToday — August 12, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  17. Incidentally, there was a great meeting last night, held at the Naval Museum on the NAS. This was put on by a group of citizens interested in the future of the NAS.

    Representatives from three profitable businesses based at the NAS spoke.

    A representative from the Alameda
    Architectural Preservation Society gave a clear picture of other buildings that could be put to adaptive reuse.

    Doug deHaan gave a brief history of the base. He knows it inside and out.

    A representative of the RAB (the Restoration Advisory Board) talked about the toxics and the ongoing clean up the Navy is doing.

    This was the first of three meetings to discuss possibilities for the NAS.

    The next meeting is Thursday, August 26, to be held at the beautiful theater that is Auctions by the Bay. (probably 7-9 p.m.)

    If you’re interested in Alameda’s future, please put this meeting on your calendar.

    In my opinion, the future of the NAS will determine the future of Alameda.

    Comment by RM — August 12, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  18. RM,

    I concur. The meeting at the Naval Air Museum last night on the future of Alameda Point was both informative and constructive. I plan to attend others in the future – especially the next meeting on August 26th with speakers who have set up public land trusts – especially the Presidio land trust if I remember correctly.

    Comment by William Smith — August 12, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

  19. Re #17: In fact, there were representatives of four businesses from the NAS at the meeting last night at the Naval Air Museum which we attended- Alan Michaan of Michaan’s Auctions/the Art and Antiques Faire, Todd Roloff, from NRC Environmental Services, Corwin Hardham from Makani Power and Bill Williford from Rock Wall Wine Company (formerly Rosenblum).

    It was a very informative meeting indeed, and full of helpful, creative, forward-thinking ideas about realistic reuse and rehabilitation of the site rather than unnecessary and unwanted development from the likes of SunCal.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — August 12, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

  20. wow I didn’t think I would get such a response.

    anyway, I wanted to know the ages because in alameda especially, old people are the ones that are the most anti-development.

    Comment by E — August 12, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  21. #19 Adam Gillitt, care to answer #8?

    What is your experience managing million dollar budgets?

    “I am a Brown University graduate, have worked as a graphic designer, creative director and marketing manager, and have managed multi-million dollar annual budgets.”

    Thanks in advance, – Mr. Sunshine

    Comment by Mr. Sunshine — August 12, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

  22. #20–What age do you consider “old”?

    Comment by RM — August 12, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

  23. 19:

    Rosenblum is still Rosenblum, it’s not former at all. Rock Wall was started by A Rosenblum, but it was never THE Rosenblum Winery.

    Comment by dave — August 12, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

  24. #22

    The Age “Issue”

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — August 12, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

  25. #20, “…old people are the ones that are the most anti-development.”

    I don’t know your definition of ‘old’, but I suspect that you might place Helen Sause in that category. She is the president of the local organization, H.O.M.E.S, and is most emphatically not anti-development.

    Comment by Susan — August 12, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

  26. Gillitt’s “contact us” on his website doesn’t work. It requires selection of a subject, but it won’t let you select a subject. So much for accessibility.

    Comment by Jill — August 12, 2010 @ 8:06 pm

  27. I couldn’t care less how old the candidates are, but I would like to know what neighborhoods they are from.

    Comment by Jill — August 12, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

  28. My email to Lena Tam bounced back. Hm.

    Comment by Jill — August 12, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

  29. Thanks for letting me know, Jill!

    Which web browser and Operating System are you using? Others have been able to send me messages via my website, including William Smith on behalf of the Sierra Club, so I’d like to fix it ASAP if there’s a problem with a particular browser / OS combination.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — August 12, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

  30. Safari 4.0.

    My question was going to be: What is your position regarding the City’s contribution to the new Boys and Girls Club facility?

    Comment by Jill — August 12, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

  31. Sorry, I should have added OS X 10.5 on the operating system.

    Comment by Jill — August 12, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

  32. Jill: Although a more comprehensive facility for Alameda’s youth is a laudable goal, I do not fully understand why money from WW Bonds intended for parks would be used to support private enterprise, especially one not available to the entire general public.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — August 12, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

  33. #27

    I believe the following is right. Corrections welcome.

    Bay Farm

    Fernside/East End

    Gold Coast

    Marina Village

    West End

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — August 12, 2010 @ 8:42 pm

  34. #33: I live in the West End, a block from Pagano’s, but I lived on the East End for four years prevously.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — August 12, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

  35. Gillitt, answer questions much? Such as clarifying your the claims on your campaign statement?

    Or should we just accept that you prefer to ignore simple questions.

    Comment by Mr. Sunshine — August 12, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

  36. I predict you don’t even get 10 votes.

    Comment by Mr. Sunshine — August 12, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

  37. ANT:

    I believe you meant Jensen rather than Spencer.

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 13, 2010 @ 10:51 am

  38. #37

    Yes I did. Thank you!

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — August 13, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

  39. Re #8: My work experience and qualifications are posted on my website, specifically my Bio page. I encourage everyone to visit my site to learn more about what skills and leadership I will bring to City Council.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — August 13, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

  40. #39, from your bio on your website:

    “Subsequently I worked for other dotcoms, and I was the Creative Director and Marketing Manager of The Futon Shop, where I was responsible for an annual marketing budget of over $1 million.”

    From your candidate statement:

    “and have managed multi-million dollar annual budgets”

    So what was your other “multi-million” dollar budget (other than Futon Shop?) And was Futon Shop “multi” or just greater than one?

    Thank you for providing a clear answer.

    Comment by Mr. Sunshine — August 13, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

  41. I would like to play devil’s advocate.

    Do we need a city government? The vast majority of our budget is for police and fire. Would it be more efficient to simply contract with the Sheriff and Alameda County Fire? We already have numerous special districts that serve Alameda for schools, healthcare, parks, water, transit, BART, community college, mosquito, etc. Do we really need a city government in addition to all of these?

    Comment by AlamedaNayTiff — August 16, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

  42. No more than we need an estuary.

    Comment by jayare — August 16, 2010 @ 5:36 pm

  43. 39, 40: Per Adam Gillitt’s request, I, too, visited his web site and found only *one* reference in his bio that he was”responsible for an annual marketing budget of over $1 million.” For no more than two years, according to his own time line.

    Where, oh where, is the substantiation for Gillitt’s claim in his campaign materials that he “managed multi-million dollar annual budgets”????

    Mr. Sunshine is not the only one waiting for clarification, documentation, and/or a withdrawal of an unsubstantiated claim. Walk your talk, Mr. Gillitt.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 20, 2010 @ 10:20 am

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