Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 11, 2012

Working both sides

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

So a few weeks ago at the very end of one of the City Council meetings, Councimember Doug deHaan quickly passed out a handout to all the members of the City Council and represented this as his interpretation of Measure C, the sales tax initiative, and the costs associated with each of the items that were referenced in Measure C as proposed.

The document provided by Doug deHaan, I have attached a copy of it here, purports to have extracted the numbers from the March 7 City Council meeting staff report, even though in his introduction before passing it out, he claims that he received the numbers via the March 7 meeting and other “communications.”

For those too lazy to click on the document, it is below and you can click to enlarge:

It is unclear where a large portion of the numbers were drawn from, because there are only two sums in the March 7 staff report referenced on  Doug deHaan’s handout, the cost for the proposed swim complex and the Carnegie Library renovations.

But the interesting part of the handout is not that it exists or that it was created by Doug deHaan, by the way, the City has put some numbers up on its and the numbers are different for some of the items listed in the Doug deHaan handout, including a much lower number for the Carnegie Library renovations than the one used by Doug deHaan.   What is interesting about the handout is how the handout was used after it was created and submitted to the City Council during their March 20th meeting.   Here is Page 15 of one of the Exhibits presented by the Plaintiffs in last week’s case of Liz Williams v. the City of Alameda and all the signatories to the ballot initiative (aka regular old citizens).

The same document submitted by Doug deHaan to his dias-mates but without the disclaimer in the upper right handcorner tying it to Doug deHaan.  Sorry about the smushiness of it, that’s how it rendered via the court’s website.   You can check it out here as well.   But the plaintiffs in this case didn’t need to bother with asking for the document from the City itself, instead according to the declaration they received it from Doug deHaan himself:

While I am not supportive of Measure C, I do find it interesting when someone who purports to support it, in this case Councilmember Doug deHaan, seemingly is working to support the other side.   While Doug deHaan showed the ultimate support for Measure C by voting to place it on the ballot, it appears he is attempting to work both sides of the fence by actually assisting the opposition by helping to place a document in the public record that was not produced by City staff and is now being used by the opposition as “numbers circulating around City Hall” and, perhaps more importantly, in a court case against the City’s interests.

And interestingly enough, despite initial claims by the Measure C campaign that all seven elected officials in the municipal government were supporting the measure, Doug deHaan’s name is conspicuously absent from the list of endorsers.  (By the way, good job on the website remodel Measure C campaign, it looks 100 times better.)   Has Doug deHaan soured on Measure C already or is he attempting to play both sides in order to come out a winner regardless of the outcome?   Hedging one’s bets is not leadership worthy by any means, if Doug deHaan wants to now come out against the Measure, he should do it and take a definitive position on where he stands, there should be no shame in changing one’s mind, but working both sides in order to be able to come out a winner regardless of the outcome is disappointing.


  1. Anybody know who ranked the projects in order of importance?

    Comment by Not. A. Alamedan — April 11, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  2. There are no rankings in the staff report or even the FAQ provided by the City, it would appear that the rankings are based on Doug deHaan’s inference from Council discussions, but I haven’t seen a City created document with a priority list.

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 11, 2012 @ 9:45 am

  3. My guess is that they will do the safety items first, as well as the things which are costing a lot of money to maintain or are energy inefficient (cost avoidance). I’m sure we will hear about priorities in the course of the campaign, because people are sure to ask and the City will want to have some answers prepared.

    Comment by Kate Quick, — April 11, 2012 @ 10:07 am

  4. This shows that deHaan has no ethical leadership. The guy has no integrity, and is a follower, not a leader.

    Comment by BarbaraK — April 11, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  5. 20. Which are the projects that the City intends to construct first? I heard that the City may substitute projects, or change the order. Why?
    City staff will be recommending that the City Council approve the following set of projects immediately from bond proceeds:

    · Carnegie Library (Estimate: $3.5 million)
    · 50-meter pool with locker and bath facilities (Estimate: $5 million)
    · Lighted, all-weather multi-purpose sports field (Estimate City contribution: $1 million)
    · Fire Station #3 and Emergency Operations Center (Estimate: $4.5 million)

    It would be imprudent in the extreme to limit the City’s ability to substitute these projects for other facilities the City also needs. Unforeseen problem conditions at construction sites (for example, the presence of unforeseen toxins in the soil or friable asbestos in a ceiling) can drive project costs skyward. While the City is entirely unaware of the existence of any such conditions as obstacles to any of the listed projects, the taxpayers of Alameda should not be legally chained to any future project that turns out to be economically unfeasible.
    To sum up: the City expects to immediately begin all the projects listed above, but will substitute other needed facilities if those projects become infeasible. And again, no Measure C money can be used for expenditures other than public facilities, equipment and an Emergency Services Coordinator.

    Comment by Jack B. — April 11, 2012 @ 11:27 am

  6. My understanding is that the City Manager wants to take advantage of the decline in construction costs due to the recession – which I think is a wise move. This explains the priority list mentioned above.

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 11, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

  7. Jack B.: I referenced the RFQ in my above post but there are no rankings in the City’s RFQ the way there are in the deHaan report and even if you were to give the bullets in the City’s list 1, 2, 3, 4 ranking values, it still doesn’t explain the priority numbers given in the deHaan report.

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 11, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  8. I’m disappointed to hear that Doug DeHaan is now against the measure after voting for it. Both the City Treasurer and the City Auditor presented compelling arguments in support of the sales tax measure to the city council, which I presume is the reason the measure received unanimous support from the council.

    I support this measure for a variety of reasons – the first one being the ability to replace police and fire safety equipment when needed. I was appalled to hear how outdated our safety equipment is. This should be a Homeland Security priority!

    Secondly, I like the idea of using sales tax revenues to pay for community benefit type projects that serve our community in a number of ways. Many community benefit type projects are connected to large scale development projects that sometimes never get built, and/or when they do, it’s decades before they get built. Both the museum and aquatic center are community benefit projects that will attract new visitors and directly benefit local shop owners, local restaurants, and local hotels, etc. Think of what the theater did for Park Street. One final note, these projects will increase sales tax revenues for the city which will offset our bond debt, and reduce future budget shortfalls.

    There are many more reasons I support this measure and I will continue to share my thoughts over the next weeks and months as we prepare for the June election.

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 11, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  9. Lauren.

    Here is a few posts from Patch that might clarify your statement Regarding your #2

    John Russo
    7:44 am on Thursday, April 5, 2012

    To clarify something that the anonymous A94501er is misunderstanding or misstating: Fire Station #3 is not “last” on the list. All four of the projects this anonymous commenter is listing (Fire Station #3/EOC, Pool, Multipurpose Field, and Carnegie Library) will be recommended to Council as immediate construction projects to be funded first through bond proceeds so as to capture unusually low construction costs in this slack economy. That list could just as easily have started with Fire Station #3 at the top. More than 2/3 of the money planned to be raised by this Measure is slated for public safety equipment and facilities.

    11:28 am on Thursday, April 5, 2012

    John, whoa there! I am NOT misstating anything. That was a cut & paste from the FAQ. I would’ve assumed you read through the FAQ before replying to my post.

    Here is that section again (in verbatim):

    City staff will be recommending that the City Council prioritize bond proceeds as follows:

    Carnegie Library (Estimate: $3.5 million)
    50-meter pool with locker and bath facilities (Estimate: $5 million)
    Lighted, all-weather multi-purpose sports field (Estimate City contribution: $1 million)
    Fire Station #3 and Emergency Operations Center (Estimate: $4.5 million)

    Any reasonable reader would assume a sentence that has “prioritize as follows”, with an item list would proceed to read them in descending order of importance.

    John Russo
    10:09 am on Monday, April 9, 2012

    To a94501er:

    You are correct. When I wrote the section you reference I meant to say that the City would advance that group of projects ahead of the others by using bond proceeds. I can see your point about the ambiguity I inadvertently created by how I wrote that section. I will correct it by close of business April 10 and I thank you for the assistance.

    Best wishes,

    John Russo

    Comment by John — April 11, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  10. 3 and 4

    Churchlady do you type with your middle finger only when using your Barbara k sockpuppet.

    Comment by John — April 11, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  11. Um, a clarification please? From the FAQ’s:

    Carnegie Library (Estimate: $3.5 million)
    50-meter pool with locker and bath facilities (Estimate: $5 million)
    Lighted, all-weather multi-purpose sports field (Estimate City contribution: $1 million)
    Fire Station #3 and Emergency Operations Center (Estimate: $4.5 million)

    Mr. Russo is quoted above: “More than 2/3 of the money planned to be raised by this Measure is slated for public safety equipment and facilities.”

    If you add up the Library, pool, and sports field costs, it comes to $9.5 million. The bond is only going to raise approx $14 to $16 million, so the $4.5 for Fire station and EOC is only about 1/3 of the bonded amount. Perhaps over the 30 yr life of the tax, public safety might account for 2/3 of the estimated total $54 million, but there is a lot of money (about $40 million) that hasn’t been earmarked yet, that will be decided by many future councils with the guidance of many more City Managers. Who knows, a future Council may decide to put the tower back on City Hall, then put an antenna on it “for emergency services”.

    Comment by Not. A. Alamedan — April 11, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  12. There are always Ballot Measures we think we pass that will cover issues like the Parks and Golf Course.

    Just like Voting on Ballot measures to cover Street Repairs , Policing our Neighborhoods and Our Fire Stations and preventing recreational program cutbacks along with restoring Library hours.

    It appears Just because we Voted for it means little.

    Measure F. Transportation Improvement Measure — Alameda County (Majority Approval Required)
    Pass: 245582 / 63.25% Yes votes …… 142696 / 36.75% No votes
    Alameda County Transportation Improvement Measure
    To repair and maintain local streets and roads; improve traffic flow and bicyclist, pedestrian and driver safety; improve public transportation; and encourage green transportation options; shall a local vehicle registration fee of ten dollars be established in Alameda County with expenditures subject to strict monitoring and with all revenues staying in Alameda County

    Alameda transfer tax, Measure P, 2008

    A City of Alameda Transfer Tax proposition, Measure P, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Alameda County for voters in the City of Alameda.

    Measure P sought to increase Alameda’s real estate transfer tax–a tax that is levied whenever a property is sold–from $5.40 to $12.00 per $1,000 of value, for twenty years. A transfer tax on real estate is like a sales tax. The Alameda city council voted on July 15, 2008 to put P on the ballot believing they could solve the city’s budget woes through this higher taxation.

    Measure P was approved with 50.84% of the vote.

    The ballot language was:

    “To maintain essential City services such as keeping existing fire stations open; maintaining neighborhood policing programs; improving traffic flow and pedestrian and bicycle safety; preventing recreation program cutbacks; and restoring previously reduced library hours; shall the City of Alameda increase the City real property transfer tax, charged when a property is sold, from $5.40 to $12.00 per $1,000.00 of value, limited to 20 years and subject to audits?”

    Comment by John — April 11, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  13. Anyone have a Clue on What the Recreational Budget was in 2008 and what it is now. What % of the Budget it was in 2008 and what it is now?

    It looks like “Fees'” have increased for most programs within the Parks for parents trying to get their Kids some healthy Activity.

    So much for Measure P .

    Comment by John — April 11, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  14. John: BarbaraK is an individual and Kate Quick has never used a sockpuppet. Please stop accusing commenters of using sockpuppets.

    Comment by Lauren Do — April 11, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  15. John, as you well know real estate sales prices and sales volumes went way down after the passage of Measure P which is in part the reason for the financial crisis.

    Regarding Parks and Rec, my understanding is that none of the programs are being cut, but some staffing cuts were/are being made. I think the city is moving in a smart direction, charging user fees for services as we slowly begin to rid ourselves of our budget deficits. I’m sure we’ll learn more about this model when the new Parks and Recreation Director takes over.

    Comment by Karen Bey — April 11, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  16. Karen

    How much has the City Recieved in Last Four Years from Measure P. and it was supposed to be Subject to Audits. How much has that gone to Recreation and Parks?

    I think the Sale of South Shore Center Alone brought in Huge Chunk.

    Comment by John — April 11, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

  17. Towne Center sale Brought in Over 2 Million. I;m sure a couple houses sold in last 4 years also.

    Comment by John — April 11, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

  18. John, Barbara K and I have been close friends for over 30 years. Sometimes we think alike; sometimes not. Even when we don’t we are still good friends. BK is one of the most intelligent, best strategic thinker, and all round good person I have ever met. I will never use a pseudonym or be a sock puppet. Don’t believe in it. If I have something to say, I put my name to it and take whatever comes for standing up for my beliefs. Wish everyone who blogs would do the same, because then we could be honest with each other in person and own up to our “slings and arrows” in writing. Only craven cowards malign others in secret.

    Comment by Kate Quick, — April 11, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

  19. Right Churchlady……I’m not in your Phew on this one…. But I will leave it alone and Not Point out the Obvious as Lauren Requested……I will say Three Hail Kates and buy some wine for the Church…and Call it a Day.

    Comment by John — April 11, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

  20. So last night, at Demo Club I found out that Barbara K and “my” Barbara K are not the same person! Which just goes to show ‘ya how far from a sock puppet she is. Still stay with what I said about my friend Barbara Kahn, who I thought was writing under Barbara K, though.

    Comment by Kate Quick, — April 12, 2012 @ 5:57 am

  21. So who is the “other” BarbaraK? Barbara Kerr? If no further info is given, BarbaraK is just as Anonymous as any other stage name. Dammit, Janet Kate, I wish you wouldn’t get so high & mighty about others who choose to act out under a stage name. Just because you have a cool name that sounds fake, don’t call the rest of us “craven cowards”. Maybe K is for Kowczszlavsky.
    If Fire station #3 is in such bad shape, why do they keep putting the nice shiny new fire truck in it every week? Pretty risky for a “condemned” building, eh?

    Comment by vigi — April 12, 2012 @ 10:16 am

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