Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 1, 2010

On the amend

Since tonight’s City Council’s Special Meeting has been cancelled (yep that’s right, it was cancelled yesterday afternoon around 4:30 p.m.) I’m hoping that someone will bring up the case of the $173K accountant at the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting next Tuesday. As a reminder, what was signed as a six week contract by Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant ballooned into a contract for more than eight months of work.

Also, as a reminder, the purchasing authority of the City Manager (Interim or otherwise) only $75,000 without City Council approval according to the City’s Municipal Code, which this contract is well over.

Interestingly enough, I was recently pointed to a miscellaneous provision in the City’s Charter which says:

Sec. 22-3. Every officer or employee who shall approve, allow or pay any demand on the treasury, knowing that the same is not authorized and legally due, shall be liable to the City individually, and on his or her official bond for the amount of the demand so illegally approved, allowed or paid.

It’s probably never been actually used previously, but is still very “hmmmm”-worthy nonetheless.

But of course, it appears that the Mif Albright issue is getting the push — push back that is — once again. We’ll see if this gets scheduled for Tuesday’s regularly scheduled City Council. If not, I think the golfing community needs to start filling the City Council meetings with bodies until they agendize the damn thing and take a fricken vote on the issue once and for all.

And in other Interim City Manager news, Michele Ellson of the Island tweeted this yesterday:

Which was then followed up by a report from the Alameda Journal, highlights:

SunCal Companies announced today that it was amending the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, where it accuses Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant and other city officials of “seeking to destroy a development that will significantly enhance the environment and add value to the community.”

SunCal officials say they spent $17 million over the past three years toward redeveloping the former Alameda Naval Air Station before the City Council decided in July not to extend their exclusive negotiating deal.

As a result, SunCal says the city or another developer now will benefit from its plans and research because they will have received the information essentially for free. The suit also alleges that Gallant sought to enrich herself in a fraudulent scheme at the expense of the developer and Alameda’s citizens.

SunCal wants approximately $117 million in punitive and compensatory damages, as well as for what it says are lost profits.

In case anyone was wondering, the Alameda County Superior Court case is also still pending in addition to this amended federal case. According to Mayor Beverly Johnson at the last City Council meeting, SunCal is going through the process via the Alameda County case of deposing Alameda officials and Ann Marie Gallant’s deposition occurred shortly before the holidays.


  1. I agree 100% with you Lauren, I want this contract to be discussed also. I work for a neighboring city and cannot believe that my city paid for this person’s personal travel, a fact NOT included in the contract. I believe the airplane reimbursements are a gift of public funds and the ICM should reimburse the City because it is outside of the contract agreement. The contract employee earned a salary, if she wanted to go home, she should have been required to use her money to do so. It was her choice to work so far away from her home. The ICM exceeded her purchasing authority and even the terms of the agreement with the company. I can’t believe Comcast would be considered a housing expense. Again, why didn’t the employee use her own money to pay for this? That is a luxury! I know what you’re thinking, internet right? Again, luxury — our excellent public libraries offer free internet access. I wish I could find a job that would pay my rent, cable, furnish my home, pay for my mileage, my long distance trips and on top of all that, pay me a salary. I want my City Council people to be outraged by this because this all happened without their knowledge. You guys have got to be thinking, what else don’t we know? At least I hope so….

    Comment by Cordelia Ng — December 1, 2010 @ 9:19 am

  2. #1: I agree with Cordelia Ng that there needs to be far more accountability in all of the city’s contracts and business affairs as well as with its records transparency.

    The new City Council should, with Doug deHaan, be a 4-vote majority in favor of putting the Mif in good hands, probably with the AJGA, and ASAP….

    Comment by Jon Spangler — December 1, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  3. Ohmigod Cordelia, you are Soooooooo right! Go SunCal!

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — December 1, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  4. “I wish I could find a job that would pay my rent, cable, furnish my home, pay for my mileage, my long distance trips and on top of all that, pay me a salary.”

    Join the Navy or them other services.

    Comment by Jack Richard — December 1, 2010 @ 11:53 am

  5. So, following the logic of the previous post:

    Following the Rules/Municipal Code; Government Accountability; Fiscal Responsibility;Transparency = SunCal?

    I guess you’re a SunCal supporter!

    Comment by Art McMorris — December 1, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

  6. Art McMorris. Adam never uses logic.

    Comment by John piziali — December 1, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

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