Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 6, 2011

Mamma mia, there he goes again

Filed under: Alameda, City Council — Tags: , , — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

So Tuesday night City Council meeting was a doozy, I started watching really late because I had a different meeting to be at, but I started in when a parade of the usual suspects that were very very angry (or very very sad) depending on who it was.    After watching a few familiar faces say essentially the same things that have been said ad nauseum about Brown Act violations and Charter violations, I ended up tweeting this:

Fellow Alameda Tweeter Medablog asked me:

To which I responded:

Because that essentially what it was.  A parade of folks that had not voted for Lena Tam, Rob Bonta or Marie Gilmore telling them what horrible human being they were for getting rid of the savior of all that is good about Alameda: Ann Marie Gallant.

Let’s be really honest for a few seconds here people.   While I love all things politics and all things local and follow Alameda politics like the next best thing since Burn Notice (oh Michael Weston, how awesome are you?) most people don’t give a fig about who is where and who is running what in Alameda government.   As long as the lights still come on and the water still runs, people are pretty much content and don’t care about Ann Marie Gallant, Gallant Marie Ann or Marie Gallant Ann.  You ask 10 people on the street the name of our current City Council and maybe five would be able to give you the complete rundown.   Ask the same 10 who Ann Marie Gallant is, I’m sure that number drops dramatically.    So the handwringing over the non renewal of Ann Marie Gallant’s contract and her paid administrative leave status on Tuesday night was completely overdramatic.

Of course the drama culminated in this flier which was available in stacks at City Hall:

Of course, the whole “Beware the SunCal Slate” tagline and the weirdo wolf drawing was so effective the first time around during the November election that of course it needed to be reused.   I was never quite sure why the wolf didn’t have arms, and why it was a confused mix of the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs, but I’m sure someone thought that it was the most brilliant depiction ever.   Of course the points in the flier use the wrong sections of the Government Code, but I’ve already covered that here.

Anyway, the folks tried varying different methods: threats of recall, threats of contacting the District Attorney’s office, threats of contacts the Attorney General’s office, threats of not participating in the public discourse anymore all in the name of attempting to get Ann Marie Gallant reinstated as Interim City Manager.   I’m just waiting for the rally and the petition to start circulating to “Bring Ann Marie back” maybe if the organizers get their act together they can have enough meaningful signatures before the new candidates for a City Manager start getting interviewed.   FYI, just in case anyone was actually entertaining the idea of a recall, please review this document first.

However the biggest WTF moment of Tuesday night was a really toss up between a few people and their comments, but in the end David Howard won out by personally attacking Vice Mayor Rob Bonta and dragging his mother and the San Francisco Police Department into the mix:

For those who prefer to read it, although honestly, you have to watch it to get the full force of the derisive tone:

And Councilmember Bonta, you may do okay defending cops in San Francisco who beat up civilians, I’m sure your mom is very proud as she worships Cesar Chavez, Cesar and his workers got beat up by cops quite a bit.

Let’s put the mother thing aside for just a sec and talk about the “defending cops bit.” Given that previously, David Howard has been a big proponent of public safety in Alameda, it is surprising that he would be so dismissive and make what is every citizen’s right to have legal representation sound as though it is something sordid.

But throwing in the part of Rob Bonta’s mother, who Rob Bonta obviously holds in great esteem, brought that public comment to new unseen levels of douchbaggery.



  1. Sour grapes just about sums it up. Action Alameda sheeple just don’t get it … despite getting the short shitty end of the stick for two elections in a row.

    Comment by alameda — January 6, 2011 @ 7:26 am

  2. Or stated more clearly, despite having their a**es handed to them for two elections in a row 🙂

    Comment by alameda — January 6, 2011 @ 7:30 am

  3. Ok, so we’ve had Dobots, of which I am HONORED to be considered, but the parade of DePAWNS and JohnsCLONES who showed up on Tuesday are HONESTLY embarrassing. These people are throwing Alameda back into the stone ages. My sister-in-law works at the City and the stories of Gallant are hair raising. NO she’s not just a tyrannical manager, she’s done some dishonest things, closely illegal, that may never see the light of day. Isn’t it funny that not ONE SINGLE PERSON spoke on behalf of the City Attorney, clearly Gallant’s partner in crime and who was here – is still here 14 years???? Gallant is an EXPERT in pushing people infront of the moving train, like she and some of the sitting Councilmembers did to Debbie Kurita (CHECK YOUR BROWN ACT LAWS FOR HOW JOHNSON AND CO FACILITATED THAT OUSTING WITHOUT BENEFIT OF A CLOSED SESSION!!!) and Gallant has now done that to Highsmith. Only Highsmith is TOO thick to see Gallant set her up to deflect her wrongdoings. Who cares??!!! I’m glad they’re both gone and I APPLAUD the members of Council who had the guts to do it.

    Comment by Margaret Lu — January 6, 2011 @ 8:05 am

  4. HHHHMMMM looks like David has been to MacDonalds a few to many times.

    Comment by John piziali — January 6, 2011 @ 8:11 am

  5. 4. Must be all that hot air/puffery!

    Comment by alameda — January 6, 2011 @ 8:36 am

  6. I vote to repeal the Brown Act, since everyone is saying everyone else is violating it.

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 6, 2011 @ 8:37 am

  7. On a lighter note the clip that follows this one is a real blast.

    Comment by frank — January 6, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  8. Given what was said during the non-Agenda open comment period I guess I should not have been so surprised to have one of the pro-Gallant folks
    hiss an epithet at me on his way out – and I said nothing about the Gallant matter until later in the meeting.

    It appears that efforts to promote civility after the election are rather one-sided so far.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — January 6, 2011 @ 9:16 am

  9. Sour grapes = people pointing out that your favored legislators violated the Brown act, the City Charter and the trust of the citizenry with their first act in office? under the guise of more transparency and bringinging the community together and creating more stability?

    That’s some spin!

    Nice to see someone actually contribute a wet fart to this blog, it’s about time. Thanks Frank, you may be this blog’s signature commenter’s.

    And speaking of anonymous, simpering Dobots, A special shout-out to coward Charles Liuson, medablog is anonymous no more.

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — January 6, 2011 @ 9:37 am

  10. Honestly Jon because one person did one thing it doesen’t merit generalization to all.

    This is the problem with a lot of the debate on the blogs.

    During the Measure E debate one person accused the other side of racism. This does not translate to
    that those who opposed Measure E were accusing the other side of being racist.

    On the Pro E side one person went into a shop and started yelling at a child. This does not translate in any way to those who supported Measure E supported this.

    Gross generalization are unfair to all and do not promote dialogue.

    Each side wants to lay claim to the ‘high road’. The reality being there are highs and lows on both.

    Comment by frank — January 6, 2011 @ 9:43 am

  11. Frank, you’re right. And we have the prime instance of the low road wearing a way-too-tight t-shirt in the videoclip above. Will anyone claim his MO helps debate in our city, agree with him or not?

    Comment by BC — January 6, 2011 @ 9:49 am

  12. Is the full video of the public comments from the meeting available online somewhere?

    Comment by Steve Rogers — January 6, 2011 @ 10:12 am

  13. Full video of Jan 4th meeting

    Comment by Lauren Do — January 6, 2011 @ 10:26 am

  14. Awesome, thanks Lauren.

    Comment by Steve Rogers — January 6, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  15. more hopeful spin:

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — January 6, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  16. Mr. Howard’s flier is amusing but misinformed. A cursory random search of other cities’ closed session agendas shows that Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release discussions often don’t list the specific employee’s title. And likewise, as reported in various news reports in these cities, it appears these actions do occasionally happen without the presence of the city manager or city attorney who is the subject of the discussion. So either all these cities are breaking the law or someone is misinformed about what constitutes a violation. In many cities, including Alameda, the city manager and city attorney report directly to the council, and are hired and fired by them. Gallant wasn’t fired, but she was given the required 90-day notice that her two-year contract would not be renewed. The Alameda Council did publicly report on the open agenda the action taken in closed session, as required by law. Great artwork on the flier, though.

    Comment by Mike K. — January 6, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  17. Here’s a good example from two days ago. Citie’s closed session agendas do not list the employees under Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release Discussions.

    The quote from their councilmember Upland Councilman Ray Musser said he could not comment on the meeting in detail because it’s a closed session dealing with personnel.

    “They’re all posted so we can discuss any item. It’s covering all the subjects so that’s all I can say at this point,” he said.

    Sounds like he was being advised by the same lawyers advising Alameda.

    Comment by Jonathan — January 6, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  18. FRANK, your post #10.
    In my post #4 I did not mean to imply that all Action Alameda people are bloated and look like they eat at MacDonalds. Just David Howard.

    Comment by John piziali — January 6, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  19. Hi John

    I wasn’t refering to your Post. I’m sorry if I left that impression.

    I was referring to things I have seen in posting or perhaps letters to the Journal in the past.

    I just have a real issue when one side demmonizes the entire side based on the actions of one.

    As far as Howard’s comments on Bonta thet were perhaps a bit premature. When I first heard that Bonta was raised in La Paz I was elated. As time went on and it seemed he was evoking the legacy of Caesar Chavez I became a bit suspicious. I am still reserving judgement. In the end ‘the proof is in the pudding’.
    After the Election I think the new CC should be given a chance to see what it can do.

    On a personal note I went to school near Yellow Springs OH (Antioch College). I wasn’t a student there but my political birth was inspired by Saul Alinsky
    who was the mentor of both Caesar Chavez and Doleres Huerta. I never met Caesar Chavez but he was my idol and I participated in Solidarity marches for the UFW. I still have a button from the Grape Boycott “Wine SI ,Grapes NO”.

    So we will see if Rob ‘walks the walk’. I truly hope so.

    Comment by frank — January 6, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

  20. I am so happy to find out she is gone…she potentially cost the city millions of $’s…

    Next I will be happy when Dehaan is gone…he has no backbone and Johnson, she was wishy washy the past year. I voted for her in the past but not this year.

    Comment by Joe — January 6, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  21. I wish it were only David Howard who was so rude last Tuesday night. Many of the speakers were unable to state their case civily and many in the audience were saying things that should not be said “sotto voce” of course. I too got a curse and this is the second time someone from that crowd called me a name. Unnecessary, that. I also thought that Eugenie coming up to the microphone after public comment was over and just standing there while discussion by the council was going on was kind of rude. Marie was gracious enough to give her time to speak her piece without a speaker’s slip and after public comment was closed, but I am sure those who are “sour-graping” will find some reason to criticize her for doing that, too.

    My advice, not that any of them want it: Just get up when your name is called, make your point in the alloted time, keep it factual, and sit down and listen politely to what others have to say. Works well.

    Comment by Kate Quick — January 6, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

  22. 18
    Another argument for abortion, your political birth?

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 6, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

  23. 20
    Just because you don’t agree with what a speaker says doesn’t translate into his being rude when he speaks whatever he wants in his allotted time.

    So you should retract your standard of rudeness away from a speaker and place it on an audience member who cursed the speaker (either directly at the meeting or
    afterwards indirectly in a blog).

    Comment by Jack Richard — January 6, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

  24. What was up with the traffic expert lady? You know I can’t remember her name but she ran for city council last time. Her tearful drive from home where she walked up the the podium and interrupted the discussion. I bought into that as much as I did the reading of the constitution today. More dramatic crap from the anti-everything club.

    Comment by Member of a real family — January 6, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

  25. Kate I left the meeting before ‘public comment’ but I have watched the part I missed today.

    From the reports (here) I was expecting a pack of rabid dogs. What I saw was a bunch of citizens expressing their views with passion and conviction. This is their right.

    I thought that your comment in response to what we should look for in a new CM was right on.

    Comment by frank — January 6, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

  26. Of course people have the right to state, with passion and conviction, their points, but accusing people of being on the take from SunCal, slamming Lena, denigrating Mr. Bonta’s parent’s story, and assigning motives (revenge was cited a couple of times)didn’t forward their agenda very well. The comments being made in the audience were even worse. A fellow I know well who was sitting on the side where the comments were coming from moved over to the other side after a while and told me later that he couldn’t abide the snide, rude patter constantly going on, especially when someone they didn’t like was speaking (Council members and audience members who spoke.) We can do without that.
    Thank you for liking what I said. I appreciate that the Council wants to know from us what we think is needed in a CM.
    I really give the new Council kudos for suggesting rearrangements in the agenda to make public input on non-agenda items more accessible by putting that public comment “up front” in addition to near the end and moving the CM’s reports nearer to the end. And despite the outcry that the suggestion was some sort of plot to stifle the public, this gives the public more, not less access to speaking. Good on them!

    Comment by Kate Quick — January 6, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

  27. 25;

    Frank, there was, indeed much strong conviction expressed. No one opposes such a quality. But, as Kate said, civility and basic politeness were missing from many of the speakers’ presentation on Tuesday.
    Insulting someone’s parents or heritage, accusing someone of political payback, and speaking inaccurately about the relationship of SunCal to an official were all instances of rude, inaccurate, unsupported, and misleading accusations.

    In addition, such rudeness fails to advance the speakers’ cases or support their credibility. I suspect that even Ann Marie Gallant, who was a victim of nasty campaigning herself, would object to such rudeness being evidenced on her behalf.

    As has been suggested, we should let the new CC gt on with its work and evaluate its results over the next few months. Civilly, of course.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — January 7, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

  28. Kate, in your call for greater civility in the public debate, you fail to acknowledge that graciousness is as much required from election winners as election losers. The reverse equivalent of “Sour Grapes” is what we are seeing from the new “Slate of Three” — a total disregard for transparency and appearances. Yes, they seem to be getting their way, for now, and yes, many on this blog thread still defend and applaud them, but in politics, there’s always a new and different wave just offshore..!

    Comment by Dennis Green — January 7, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  29. Lena Tam has no connection to SunCal?

    “Oh how I liiiike how that sounds.”

    Comment by Adam Gillitt — January 7, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  30. I don’t think there is a single issue in this thread that can or should be discussed. All of it is a bunch of immature babble, name calling, and characterizations.

    Is there a correlation, did you all support and vote for those politicians who are just like you? If so, then what can you expect in the future, if not you’re an embarrassment to those you support or should be anyway.

    Comment by alamedadude — January 7, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  31. #4, I think maybe DH ate AG.

    Comment by DRM — January 7, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  32. Those who post here that there is a “Sun-Cal slate” have missed an important point. Both Marie Gilmore and Lena Tam did NOT vote to confirm the employment of the ICM almost 2 years ago. That would predate the unraveling of the SunCal agreement. Did they know something about the ICM back then that concerned them?

    Comment by hairspray — January 10, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at