Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 11, 2010

Endorsement rush: the School and Bart Board edition

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

The continuation of my endorsement post from Friday, just a reminder — in case you forgot — for Mayor you should vote for: Marie Gilmore. And for City Council you should vote for: Rob Bonta and Lena Tam.

A brief digression, I’m trying out this Twitter thing, I’ve been reluctant to use it because it seemed so limiting, but it’s actually good for brief little items.  So you can “follow me” or just check out the Twitter feed in the sidebar.  I’ve enabled replies to appear in the feed, so if you reply to anything there it will show up.

But back to business, for the School Board and Bart Board here are my picks:

School Board: Mike McMahon and Margie Sherratt:

I cannot express how important it is for everyone to vote for Mike McMahon. Seriously. Now you may not like his abruptness or his authoritative tone that he sometimes gets when he’s launches into a speech, but that is just Mike McMahon. And Mike McMahon cares about Alameda schools. And, more importantly, Mike McMahon understands about what schools need in order to run properly, he understands the complicated world of school finances and that is something that the School Board needs to retain. Mike McMahon may not be the warmest and the fuzziest of candidates who is going to make you try to feel good about every decision that he makes, but he’s going to make that decision. He’s going to make the tough decisions every single time without regard for protecting anyone’s pet project or pet issue, but instead he will make the decision that he believes is in the best interest of his primary constituency, Alameda’s students. Mike McMahon is one of the good guys and takes his responsibility as a School Board member seriously.

Margie Sherratt based on her resume alone would get elected without needing to lift a finger or attempt to get any endorsements. She could be kicking back with a Mai Tai confident in the knowledge that she is the only candidate that will see her lawn signs nestled side by side any of the candidates running for City Council and Mayor without regard to political loyalties. But despite being the one candidate that most people can agree on, she’s out there working hard for every vote. Much like she hasn’t rested on her laurels for this race she also did not shy away from the controversial task of shepherding the anti-bullying curriculum part of the way through the process. As a long time and respected member of AUSD, Margie Sherratt will bring further insight into how to make AUSD better through her practical knowledge.

Bart Board: Robert Raburn

For this endorsement, I’m just going to direct you to Dan Wood’s written endorsement of Robert Raburn and call it a day.   I like to keep my endorsements positive and talk about what is good about the candidate as opposed to what is bad about his/her opponent.  From what I’ve read and heard about Robert Raburn, I like, but more importantly, it’s time to get a fresh new face representing Alameda on the Bart Board.   Someone who won’t vote for a temporary fare reduction right before the election in order to pander to voters when what Bart riders really wanted Bart to spend the surplus on was cleaner cars.   So if you want your Bart director to represent your interests, vote for for Robert Raburn.


  1. We’re so in sync, LD. I voted the same as you. Except for BART board, I think I left that blank cause I had really no idea.

    Comment by E — October 11, 2010 @ 8:15 am

  2. Lauren, thanks for your hearty vote of confidence in my endorsement. BART is major need of a new direction, and I’m really glad that we have such a positive alternative to the incumbent, so that it’s NOT just a case of “throw the bums out” (which often backfires).

    Robert has learned the political campaigning ropes pretty quickly, and he’s been very active in his ideas about how to improve access to BART for us Alamedans. If anybody has any thoughtful questions for him or about him, I can try to convince Robert to visit this page and address things in the comments (or maybe I or Jon might already know the answer).

    Comment by Dan W. — October 11, 2010 @ 8:22 am

  3. Here is information I posted on the League of Women Voters Smart Voter site:

    Also I have updated assessment data to include 2010 data. You can review school site data back to 2002 when I was elected.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — October 11, 2010 @ 8:26 am

  4. #2: Most voters I have talked to, like Robert Raburn, oppose BART’s now-approved Oakland Airport Connector (OAC), and that is all they needed to know about him to support him.

    The OAC is a $500 million boondoggle that will make access to Oakland International Airport slower and more expensive than if a Rapid Bus alternative (only $130 million) were implemented.

    Raburn OPPOSED the OAC.
    The incumbent SUPPORTED the OAC – against the wishes of many of her core constituents.

    The Sierra Club unanimously endorsed Raburn over the incumbent.

    For more on Robert Raburn:

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 11, 2010 @ 9:03 am

  5. Robert has been coming to the Tuesday Alameda farmer’s Market every week for a while now, so any readers who want to meet him can do so tomorrow
    (9 am – 1 PM @ Haight & Webster) or next Tuesday.

    I have known and worked with Robert for a decade and deeply appreciate his transparency, intelligence, and attention to detail. Not to mention his visionary but practical ideas for making BART work better.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 11, 2010 @ 9:14 am

  6. For me my decision to support Robert was simple. The incumbent voted for the Oakland airport Bart extension boondoggle and Robert was opposed.

    Comment by Karen Green — October 11, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  7. Margie Sherratt, great pick! Wonderful oldAlameda family. I’ve worked with her brothers-in-law, Rich Sherratt, developer of Balena Bay, and Rob Wonder, former Assistanr City Manager, over the years and know them all to be firmly dedicated to the best interests of Alameda.

    But re-electing Mike McMahon would be like awarding a big bonus to a banker presiding over a failing bank. In his eight years on the board, Trustee McMahon has so mismanaged AUSD finances that two parcel taxes, A & H, have been necessary, and a huge increase, double those two combined, Measure E, grossly inequitable, was defeated. All he knows as a solution is one bailout after another, and now he just proposes another one in March.

    He’s most notorious for his nepotism, having three family members on the AUSD payroll, including his wife and his daughter. Other than that, what has he actually accomplished?

    Let’s give Trustee McMahon the well-deserved retirement he has earned.

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 11, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

  8. If you like her Dennis then that is the kiss of death…

    And please stop the silly claims of “nepotism” against McMahon unless you have some proof he broke some law in arranging jobs for his wife and daughter. Parcel tax measures have been necessary or didn’t you notice that 70 teachers were laid off and the school year is a week shorter? There have been multiple Sherratt’s working for AUSD too. No outrage because it is an “old” Alameda family Mr. NIMBY?

    Comment by Hot R — October 11, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

  9. Hey Lauren:

    I’m just curious- why do your suggestions as to who to vote for hold especial weight?

    What is it about you that makes you super special important enough that you alone, out of 72K+ residents of Alameda, are more worthy to have a more valid opinion as to who is electable to office than anyone else?

    Do you have any special credentials? Were you appointed to a particular office? Elected? Did you perform a certain amount of community service to make your voice more important than anyone else’s?

    Like I said, I was just wondering… I personally believe in the Democratic process where one person gets one vote.

    Please feel free to explain, or have one of your attack dogs deflect, as you see fit.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 11, 2010 @ 11:54 pm

  10. Hey Adam:

    I imagine that it’s the same super special importanceness that qualifies you to run for City Council. Which is: nothing.

    You realize that this blog platform is nothing special right? Any asshat could sign up for an account at wordpress and get the same thing and throw up some endorsements if he or she felt like it. People can accept or reject my recommendations as they see fit.

    Just because I put it out on the internet with all the other crap floating around doesn’t mean that somehow I’m voting more than once.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 12, 2010 @ 6:52 am

  11. @9 Adam, are you really that dumb or do you play one online?

    Comment by alameda — October 12, 2010 @ 7:27 am

  12. Did Lauren just call herself an “asshat”? Trying to visualize…

    But I’m still recovering from those devastating comments by Hot R, with his usual deflection of ethical issues surrounding McMahon’s nepotism. “Daughter Hired As WebMaster With No Qualifications!”

    Right, no laws broken, nothing wrong with that. If you’re Hot R.

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 12, 2010 @ 7:49 am

  13. #11 the difference between you and me is that I don’t think of myself as an asshat (sorry to hear that you do), I am taking money out of my win pocket, not someone else’s to advance the issues important to Alameda’s citizens, not who sponsors my club, and I ask for people’s votes, I don’t TELL THEM WHO THEY MUST VOTE FOR.

    Thanks for the attempt at a civil answer, it explains a lot about you and what you do and why. Keep pluggin’ for your team Lauren!

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 12, 2010 @ 9:40 am

  14. Wow those numbers move around before I have a full cup of coffee. I meant 10. 11 is one of those attack dogs that doesn’t merit a response.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 12, 2010 @ 9:41 am

  15. NIMBY Dennis – Other than your personal opinion, which you never restrain yourself from expressing, on what do you base the charge of nepotism against McMahon? Were you aware his wife worked for AUSD before he became a School Board member? Constant attacks on citizens who contribute their time to help our community get really old. Just because you don’t like the look of the AUSD website is no reason for you to claim nepotism. Your “professional” opinion is a bit dated now, don’t you think old-timer?

    Adam – You may have some good ideas for Alameda, and possibly you got a raw deal from the Alameda Democrats, but you need to model decorum to get elected. Like it or not, civic minded people like Lauren and Kate are opinion makers in this town. Even if you don’t agree with them, why would you ever attempt to antagonize them if you want to get elected?

    Comment by Hot R — October 12, 2010 @ 9:58 am

  16. #7

    Hi Dennis,

    To suggest that Mike McMahon is responsible for AUSD’s financial plight is a wee bit simplistic.

    I’d like to suggest you read this article about the Robles-Wong lawsuit on The Island today. (

    It provides a tremendous amount of background on the history of the state’s educational funding system and how that has affected AUSD (as well as other districts in California).

    McMahon understands the complexity and history of this funding system in ways that few people in this district do. In fact, he’s one of the people who has *kept* AUSD from financial disaster, not one of the ones who has caused it.

    Comment by Susan Davis — October 12, 2010 @ 10:01 am

  17. @12 … dude, you are one sick old fart!

    Comment by David N — October 12, 2010 @ 10:15 am

  18. Hot R:

    Using “civic minded” in the same sentence with Kate Quick or Lauren Do shows your level of engagement in local events.

    Once I am elected, Lauren and Kate would continue to be as loud mouthed, inflammatory, counterproductive and irrelevant as they are now.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 12, 2010 @ 10:18 am

  19. 18. This is rich … for someone whose first community participation was in June (perhaps as an afterthought, given that he was going to run for Council).

    “Once I am elected …” ROFLMAO!!!!

    Dream on, loser!

    Comment by David N — October 12, 2010 @ 10:36 am

  20. Newbie David N, if your slacker slang for preservationists and people who have devoted thousands of hours of volunteer time to Alameda civic causes is “Nimby,” I’ll wear that label with pride.

    And Hot R…so maybe McMahon’s wife got HIM the job, but his daughter has a degree in Mass Com from Hayward State, where I taught advertising, but very little training in web design, as her misspellings on the site have proven, not my opinion of her lame layout. See the AUSD site for yourselves.

    Hot R, BTW, is a senior manager at AUSD, so not exactly impartial. And McMahon did nothing to avert the financial crisis until Measure E was defeated

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 12, 2010 @ 11:08 am

  21. Prediction, Adam: You’ll come dead last in the election, and then blame it on your being excluded from the process.

    Comment by BC — October 12, 2010 @ 11:16 am

  22. #20:

    Dennis, what proof do you have that “Hot R” is a senior manager at AUSD?

    Comment by Susan Davis — October 12, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  23. 21. That would be typical of Adam. It is always somebody else’s fault (including his rantings). The man is as pristine as the driven snow (or so he wants us to believe).

    Comment by David N — October 12, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

  24. 20. even the weak arguments you offer up to bolster your denigrating opinions of others, are only those spoon fed to you by David Howard. You seem to envision yourself as some kind of bad-assed gunslinger among opinion drivers, but as always your opinions are lazy, shallow, lame and not least of all unoriginal, not to mention UN-verified.(still waiting for that Gilmore quote).

    Comment by M.I. — October 12, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

  25. Hey, Adam! I just voted for you. The way you deal with these clowns, I’m sure you’ll get more votes than the real one.

    “Denigrating opinions..?” OMG! That would be a first on this oh-so-respectful, dignified site, where most of those Gilmore and Tam quotes have appeared. Do a little research, fer Chis’sake!

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 12, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  26. We are also waiting for Gregg deHaan to digitize the smoking gun letter … perhaps like his dad, he was for digitizing it before he was against it.

    Comment by David N — October 12, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

  27. Dennis Green is an idiot.

    I’m voting for Mike!

    Comment by ChrisO — October 12, 2010 @ 1:33 pm


    Action Alameda has uncovered the third family member related to Mike McMahon. After extensive Public Records Requests and scouring public domain records, it turns that Karen McMahon is married to Mike McMahon. So Mike McMahon is married Sue McMahon and Karen McMahon.

    When confornted with this relevation candidate McMahon admitted that in fact Karen and Sue McMahon are married to Mike McMahon.

    Unfortunately for Action Alameda Sue McMahon is married to candidate who lives on Haight Ave and Karen McMahon is married to Mike McMahon who lives on Paru Street.

    Another piece of investigate journalism from my friends (yes that includes you Dennis) at Action Alameda.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — October 12, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  29. but Mike, that will just prove that, in addition to being a polygamist, you and your multiple spouses have enriched yourselves by preying on AUSD to the point you can afford TWO houses! I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that such shenanigans are tolerated in this town.

    Comment by david burton — October 12, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  30. ChrisO,

    The nice thing about having an I.Q. Of 168 is that you know, when somebody calls you an idiot, they’re just projecting.

    And now we have TWO Mrs. McMahons to pity! High comedy and satire at it’s very finest. Mike, get a day job.

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 12, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

  31. I tell you, those Action Alameda boys and girls really stay on the job. I mean, turning up the big secret that Mike McMahon has two wives and two addresses, as well as publishing via face book u-tube video of my house showing that I have yard signs for the candidates I prefer! Now THERE’s a bit of scandal!!! Keep connecting those dots “nobody else can see”, David Howard. Keeps you and your friends busy and out of the way of the people who are trying to run positive campaigns.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 12, 2010 @ 2:24 pm

  32. YEAY! My ballot arrived! Now I can finally follow the directions of my brain-masters,, because I am not allowed to think for myself or perhaps see what candidates are preferred by knowledgeable, involved, studios Alamedans whom I *respect*.

    Or, maybe I’ll just vote for all the Halloween candidates on the windows outside of the Kung Fu studio on Park & Clement, instead….

    Comment by Dan W. — October 12, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  33. #28: Yet more proof that AA is as reliable as fevered gossip for true news. It’s hard to believe that anyone takes its contorted views of reality seriously.

    Comment by charlie — October 12, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  34. Ah, yes, Kate Quick and “positive campaigning!” she never disses, body slams or ridicules anyone. And to thin I once. Thought highly of the League of Women Voters!

    Well, enough fun for one afternoon…Bye kids!

    Comment by Dennis Green — October 12, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

  35. This is for Dan W.
    I’m assuming that you are Dan Wood and if I am incorrect I am sorry. As someone that in the past always went to your site for races that I did not know about because I found you to be very thoughtful and clear headed. In the last month your writings have become as snide, snotty and condescending as the other bloggers. Just because the Green Party does not agree with you on your choice of candidates does not mean they have been taken over by Conservatives. Maybe they just don’t like Gilmore or Tam. As a good Democrat I can’t stand them. Saying things like, now the other side has to back Beverly and that must be hard for them. I can’t stand her either but the local Democratic Club put her in that office and let’s not forget that. Attacks on Jean Sweeney….everything has just been nasty. I have a feeling if Tony were higher in polls you’d be ripping him apart too. This is a bummer for me because now I have to find another source for info.

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 12, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

  36. 35. JEA, there’s always Action Alameda “news”. Maybe you’ll find that more to your liking?

    Comment by David N — October 12, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  37. David N and other anonymous yapdogs:

    Do you have anything to contribute other than the typed equivalent of a wet fart?

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 12, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

  38. #36….I guess you are missing my point….You all are as nasty as they are….you just think you are better…

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 12, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

  39. #35 J.E.A., yes, that is me — just click on the link to my name and you’ll end up at “A Progressive Alamedan.” I’m sorry that it wasn’t to your liking. I have actually tried to take the high road as much as I can. This campaign has gotten pretty nasty — well, just take a look at the other comments on this particular page for sophomoric repartee (coming from all political directions). I do know that a lot of ex-Green-party Alamedans have left the party for exactly the same reasons I named, so I’m not alone in my thinking. I’m sorry that you disagreed with my assessment of the local Green elections, but, well, we can’t all agree on everything — life wouldn’t be interesting then, would it?

    (I guess this is a testament to the community aspect of Lauren’s blog, when people come to this site to comment on my blog posts, and rarely leave comments on the blog itself!)

    Comment by Dan W. — October 12, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

  40. J.E.A., you have to abandon Dan Wood’s site as a source because he criticizes Jean Sweeney as somebody who is intolerant of certain points of view? You can’t take that view with a grain of salt?

    I was a bit surprised myself by Dan’s sarcastic reference of the Green’s as “right wing”, but I can’t see his commentary as “snide, snotty, or condescending”, though to me, some of your comments come off as that, when I’m assuming you don’t think they are. You just have a strong point of view, right?

    As somebody who was an active Alameda Green at the time the “takeover” began, I’ll go along with Dan’s take on the situation. As far as I know the active Alameda Green Party consists of Arthur and Gretchen Lipow period, unless one or two others who registered Independent in order to vote for Obama in the primary have registered as Greens again and are back in the fold.

    After several years in the party I began to share some of the pejorative generalizations about Greens, like fuzzy headed, overly idealistic or strident. Many also lack any sense of pragmatism or compromise. But the Alameda Greens have become more reactionary and, yes I have to say it, more NIMBY than other chapters.

    Comment by M.I. — October 12, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

  41. #39
    Your postings don’t make it easy to respond to. You have to type in a year and something else that I can not remember right now. Believe me I tried. I agree things have gotten nasty and I guess I just wanted you to stay above it.

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 12, 2010 @ 4:04 pm

  42. Keep digging that hole, Adam, keep digging.

    Comment by BC — October 12, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  43. #42

    See 37.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 12, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

  44. #40 M.I.
    Here is the difference. I am not a Political writer…I’m not even a good writer. And, it was not just the one comment about Jean; it was a series of remarks that made me feel he was changing his style. He is going to do whatever he pleases; I just wanted him to know I like the old Dan better. I will agree with you on one thing…when I write I usually don’t try to be snide or snotty but I’m sure it does come off that way to some. I guess for the life of me I can not figure out the love fest with Gilmore or Tam.

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 13, 2010 @ 7:32 am

  45. 44:

    JEA, I am one of several people in Alameda with who Jean Sweeney refuses to speak because we disagree strongly on political issues. That may be part of the intolerance to which Dan referred.

    Despite my deep appreciation for Jean’s accomplishments in Alameda I cannot vote for someone who has demonstrated that she would refuse to listen to her constituents – even one as occasionally difficult to deal with as I am.

    A potential elected representative who will not even listen to those with whom she disagrees has no place in public office.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — October 13, 2010 @ 11:20 am

  46. I agree with Jon (comment 45).

    And any candidate for public office who bullies old women has no place either. Adam is better off selling futons (or snake oil, for all I care).

    Comment by Harlette K — October 13, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  47. J.E.A.- See, depending on how sensitive I feel like being I can get my hackles up over “love fest” being snotty or I can take it in stride. And I can throw love fest back about the anti-SunCal Slate, as I did with “cult” when dlm used it to describe supporters of Tam.

    As for writing, we who have a need to express ourselves publicly have to live within our own capacity, or practice to improve, or cease and just quit. Blogging anonymously is a good opportunity to practice with minimal consequence. When I wrote my first LTE to the Journal in 1992 I was barely able to express a coherent thought, but things have improved some. Recently when I mentioned to my spouse that I had written something extreme about Dennis Green she rolled her eyes and told me I could be “a real man of integrity” if I would learn to knock it off. It may be true but as yet I can’t resist poking somebody like Dennis in the eye with a verbal stick when I feel they’ve crossed a line ( “dog meat” , bitches”)

    Back to the “love fest” I think you’d need to switch threads and read what Laurie Harper posted about her experience with Lena( I couldn’t locate it just now).

    I have sought out Marie and Lena a few times each during their tenures and sat and talked with them about a bunch of different City business. I’m not a deep policy person Like Lauren and others, but just want to look people in the eye and get an idea “where they are at”. I’ve not had sit downs with Doug or Frank, but have been to a few of Frank’s town halls and talked to him at public meetings as I have with Doug, as well as by phone. I’ve always talked to Tony gave him a ride home from a council meeting years ago which allowed a few minutes to shoot the shit.

    We are all entitled to an opinion, but I like to base mine on some first hand knowledge of people and not just video, or worse yet somebody else’s trash talk, though if you watch enough City council tape and look for who addresses some of the subtler detail, I think you should notice Marie and Lena and see that they are articulate.

    Comment by M.I. — October 13, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  48. #46

    Dave, congrats on your sex change! I hope it was paid for with private funds. Unfortunately your personality is just as unattractive as before. Please refer to comment #37

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — October 13, 2010 @ 11:45 am

  49. Palmer withdraws from School Board race, endorses McMahon & Sherratt.

    But will she nonetheless get more votes than Adam?

    Comment by BC — October 13, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  50. Come on M.I….I hardly think using the term love fest would get your hackles up with the things that are said on this site (both sides). I have also not said that Lena is not a smart lady. She also may be a lovely person but for me it is the way she votes. And, it seems Marie votes the same way that Lena does. Looking someone in the eye is wonderful but if you don’t believe in the same things they do, all you have is eye contact. I still don’t know who I am going to vote for (to tell you the truth none of them make me very happy) I just know who I am not going to vote for. But, if I were going to make a prediction I’d say your choices are going to win. They have the big guns behind them. So relax and enjoy the weather….Oh, I am with you on School Board choices……

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 13, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

  51. 50. I also agree with the votes Marie and Lena have made. We’ve been through this before. Lena didn’t vote to extend fire fighter’s pension as I think many perceive, nobody did. What she did do was support arbitration and what she didn’t do was vote to sand bag them on putting their (very bad ) ballot initiative on the election calendar. Maybe you could be specific on some of their other objectionable votes? Lena ultimately abstained on the SunCal ENA but I don’t think there is deep understanding by the public of that choice.

    I looked Lena in the eye and had her explain continuing to support Measure B when I was ready to vote no ( and did). She may have erred there but her comprehensive explanation and CONSISTENCY is what gives me confidence to support her. She supported our right to vote on B and I think she respects the outcome, even if others who have never spoken two words with her see her as part of a conspiracy.

    I didn’t make a prediction on school board, but I will now. Sherrat and McMahon. While I understand the teacher’s union being bugged my Mike sometimes acting dismissive of teachers ( hear that Mike?) I couldn’t back Pruitt , and the charter school guy and Lesson nine candidate are one trick ponies.

    Comment by M.I. — October 14, 2010 @ 7:41 am

  52. Heard it out loud and clear, Mark. I would like to believe that I am not dimissive of teachers but rather frustrated with the State organization that represents them. CTA is a powerful group that plays an important role for adovcating for monies at budget time but at the same time resists the public’s desire toward greater flexibilty in releasing teachers during economic downturns.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — October 14, 2010 @ 9:52 am

  53. 48. Keep tilting at windmills! Less than a month to go before you end up at the bottom of the pile.

    I strongly suggest getting some help. You are falling apart with every passing day (but it has been fun to watch you implode).

    Comment by David N — October 14, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  54. M.I. I apologize for assuming you were for McMahon and Sherrat (guess the names blend together) but I was not incorrect. So, we agree on that.
    The vote that Tam and Gilmore made that put me over the edge was the Park money. Having said that, I don’t want to get in a pissing match via the blogs. Feel free to contact Lauren and get my e-mail address and we can argue one to one.

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 14, 2010 @ 10:07 am

  55. 54. There was a third vote on the Park money. who was it? and are they equally tainted or do they get a free pass because they aren’t Lena or Marie? That one was $1 million, which in the larger picture of expenditures is not that huge an amount, but will go a really long way by filling the funding gap to insure that project got built and in turn will serve an under served West End population with great needs. My initial reaction to that use of funds was neutral to negative, but I’ve come to appreciate what is good about it. At the forum Lena had a long explanation which addressed the crumbling tennis courts at Krusi, etc. but I must admit I’m terrible at retention of those details if I don’t take notes, which I didn’t. You might email her and get a one on one explanation you like better(or not).

    Comment by M.I. — October 14, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  56. #55 Don’t think for a NY minute I didn’t know who the third vote was and no, she does not get a pass. In reality if there were only two candidates….Tam and Johnson….I would vote for Tam. (Yikes that scenario scares me)

    Comment by J.E.A. — October 14, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  57. I was appointed to the newly formed Surplus Real Property Advisory Committee. From time to time I may post resolutions on “Blogging Bayport Alameda” to solicit comment on items related to the committee.

    The committee could better represent Alameda’s demographic diversity, but it may still be representative enough for non-controversial school property decisions. Read the draft resolution below and let me know what you think at

    DRAFT Resolution Self-Certifying that the Surplus Real Property Advisory Committee
    Adequately Represents Alameda’s Demographics

    Whereas Education Code Section 17399 – 17389 requires that the membership of the Surplus Real Property Advisory Committee represent the ethnic, age group and socioeconomic composition of the district,

    Whereas the initial Committee includes eight whites of northern European heritage, one white of Hispanic heritage, one Asian of Asian heritage, and none of African-American heritage, so that the composition of the committee is 80% European White, 10% Hispanic White and 10% Asian,

    Whereas the largest ethnic group of enrolled students is Asian and students of African-American heritage constitute percentages in excess of 10% of students in many schools on the West End and around 10% in the entire district,

    Whereas according to the Bay Area Census 2006-2008 ACS data ( the top three ethnic or racial groups who live in Alameda are White, Asian, and Black or African American representing respectively 54, 29 and 6 per cent of the total population,

    Whereas the initial charge of the Committee is to consider whether or not to declare as surplus two properties where no district personnel have resided or activities occurred for at least four(?) years,

    Whereas at the Committee meeting on Oct. 20th, AUSD District personnel indicated that the charter of the committee could expand to include property that currently houses active schools and district offices,

    Whereas the standard for community representation for declaring as surplus active school sites is considerably higher than that for declaring as surplus inactive sites,

    Whereas the Alameda Unified School District could still appoint one additional member,

    Be it therefore resolved that

    The Committee reach out to the community to select for the board a candidate who would allow the committee to more closely represent the community’s demographics and forward that candidate to the District School board for appointment to the committee,

    Following the appointment of an additional member, the Committee members limit the certification of the Committee as representative of the community’s demographics as follows:

    a) the Committee finds that it adequately represents the demographics of the community for declaring as surplus district properties where no district personnel have resided or activities have occurred for at least four(?) years, and certifies itself as representative of the community for such properties and only such properties,

    b) the Committee finds that it does not adequately represent the demographics of the community for declaring as surplus district properties where schools or offices have been located within the last four(?) years and such properties shall be outside the scope and charter of this Committee.

    Comment by William Smith — October 23, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

  58. Bill, what is this? Is it Alameda’s interpretation of California Education Code?

    The latest revision I could find of the California Code: California Education Code (Last Reviewed Wednesday, May 05, 2010) Section 17387 – 17391 Part 10.5, Chapter 4, Article 1.5 Advisory Committees lists seven demographic categories from which not less than seven nor more than eleven members shall be chosen

    Why is the focus of your advisory group on one sub-category of the seven listed demographic membership requirements?

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 23, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

  59. Jack,

    This sub-category, ethnicity, of the seven listed demographic groups is the least well-represented. Also, from my work with Renewed Hope Housing Advocates I know all too well the consequences – e.g. eviction of 1/3 of all African American residents in Alameda within a few months from Harbor Isle Apartments – of under representation of a group.

    Also, the City and School district are now trying to reprogam $3 million dollars set aside for low income school employee housing to the schools general fund – and those who are in danger of losing their home may wish for that many to stay in a housing fund rather than go to the schools with no obligation to replace that money in a housing fund.

    On the positive side, by actively involving more groups in school decisions, AUSD is more likely to build a broader base of support for a new parcel tax. A new parcel tax will be required in March of 2011 if we are to avoid closing nearly 50% of our existing schools.

    Thank you for the comment.

    Comment by William Smith — October 24, 2010 @ 9:35 am

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