Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 28, 2012

Almost final City Council questionnaire

So a couple of weeks ago I asked folks to help crowdsource a questionnaire for City Council candidate. Ooh, speaking of City Council candidates, yesterday I received some info that one of the City Council candidates might be out of the running:

That’s right, it’s not official official yet (aka there have been no press releases out of the campaign yet) but it appears that — from the rumors around town — that Beverly Johnson is dropping out of the race.   So, if true, it could be that she simply realized that she was done with the City Council.   Early rumors had reported that she was no longer interested in serving.   But now with the wrench thrown in with her appointment to the Office of Administrative Law, perhaps it has something to do with that.  I mean, the commute would be pretty hellacious.

Anyway, back to the crowdsourced questions.

There were a lot of great ones, I omitted some that would be easily answerable (like the one about campaign funding) through campaign finance reports.   I cleaned up a few like the one that would have been straight yes or no answers and tried to keep it as general as possible.   If anyone has any more questions, put them in the comments, I’ll send these off on Sept. 1:

  1. What is the hardest decision you’ve had to make in your professional life?
  2. Explain your understanding of the current state of the City Budget.
  3. Much is made of the City’s “unfunded liabilities,” briefly explain the issue and what solutions, if any, do you feel should be pursued
  4. Explain how your recent experiences can be applied to you, as a member of the City Council, would would address these issues facing solve the economic problems faced by Alameda, specifically falling revenues, increasing costs, deferred expenses, and stalled base Alameda Point redevelopment.
  5. Explain your position on employee negotiations and the role of the public in this process.
  6. As an elected official what is your specific role in promoting civic engagement as opposed to staff’s role?
  7. Who is funding your campaign and which groups and individuals have endorsed your candidacy?
  8.  What current American (not a relative) do you admire the most and why?

Bonus Question: There are multiple seats available in the races for City Council, the School Board and the Hospital Board. Besides yourself, who will you be voting for in your race and why?

I don’t think a lot of people will answer the Bonus Question, but I liked it and will probably submit it with all the questionnaires.


  1. One more: who is funding your campaign?

    Comment by Jack Schultz — August 28, 2012 @ 7:16 am

  2. I agree with Jack Schultz. Although one can usually find out (not always for those who fail to file) who is funding a candidate, it’s often too late to inform people before they vote. Also candidates who are proud of their donors will be eager to disclose who they are to demonstrate their viability.

    Comment by William Smith — August 28, 2012 @ 7:39 am

  3. How do you propose to trim the City budget ? because most candidates and current seated ,have no clues of the meaning “unfunded liablites”

    knowing the creative ways to raise fund for the elections would you be willing to give up your seat should illegal contributions be discovered after the elections {we all know it is a farce and most use third party funding }.

    what is your position on public employees not residing in the City being involved in the elections such as removing sign from candidates and measures . should they be terminated , as
    it is illegal.

    Knowing the strong support by this City to Unions , would you be willing to stop doing business lith Large corporations which have extreme anti union policy or do you believe Unions are just a club for City Employees

    Comment by mijoka — August 28, 2012 @ 8:07 am

  4. #4 is an odd question.

    First, it assumes the person being questioned has encountered recent experiences in the problem list. Second, it assumes the candidate apparently solved whatever economic problems encountered. What if the candidate has no recent experience in solving economic problems? Does that eliminate the candidate for consideration?

    Perhaps he best candidates may be those that have had no experiences with economic problems, perhaps those are the ones who know how to address economic situations before they become ‘problems’. Perhaps, these so-called problems are not problems at all, just good opportunities that previous elected officials bungled.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 28, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  5. Yes, Jack is right about #4. I might add that “stalled base development” is not an economic problem, but an environmental cleanup problem. Cleanup takes time & no amount of money can speed radioactive decay or “monitored natural attenuation”. Unless your name is Elon Musk & you’re planning to dig it ALL up, put it on a spacecraft & send it to the Moon. After which, of course, Alameda Point will revert to the salt marsh & wetlands it originally was.

    I also agree with Smith & Schultz. Campaign finance reports aren’t complete until after the election, when it’s too late to use them as voter information. Besides, comparing a candidate’s answer before the election to finance reports after is a good check on their integrity.

    Comment by vigi — August 28, 2012 @ 9:33 am

  6. Few updates to the questions above, included the funding question and added more about endorsements. Cleaned up the #4 to be a little more general.

    Also, if you have been following my Twitter feed, the rumor is now official and Beverly Johnson is out and is endorsing Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 28, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  7. Vigi – given your involvement in the RAB, it is amazing you are so clueless about the condition of the base. Cleanup is not the bottleneck for Alameda Point, the lack of an economically viable plan for redevelopment is what is holding up progress.

    Comment by notadave — August 28, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

  8. Explain how you, as a member of the City Council, would address these issues facing Alameda; falling revenues, increasing costs, deferred expenses and Alameda Point redevelopment.

    Comment by Jack Richard — August 28, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  9. Re Alameda Point: Can the City still work with the EBRD? Any batter alternatives?

    Comment by Sally Horn — August 28, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

  10. re: Alameda Point shoreline: Can the City still work wit EBRPD? any better alternatives?

    Comment by Sally Horn — August 28, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  11. re Alameda Point shorelne, how can the City still work with EBRPD? Any better alternatives?

    Comment by Sally Horn — August 28, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

  12. Thank God we are rid of BevJo and her non-accomplishments.

    Comment by Just as Vigilant — August 28, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

  13. The League of Women Voters will be holding candidate’s forums and a pro and con forum on the ballot measures in October. October 4,11, and 18th. All will be held at Mastick at 7 pm on Thursday nights. There are so many good questions being offered here; we hope that when you come to hear the candidates you bring them.

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — August 29, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  14. Vigilant , so wrong !
    She can do even more damage on Her new Position just like Bonta that claimed to have straight up the Alameda Hospital finances ……Some time the best solution is no change.
    I am looking forward to the league of Women voters ” unofficial recomendatrions ” they will first probably call the AFD so they will be in tune .
    There will be one written ballot for my Dod{s} in at least we all know what to expect from them . and I recommend everyone to do ther same .
    unlike politicians they do not claim to be or have new view !, experience ! ,fresh idea ! , and I do miss and some good one ,
    only to end up by, we do not have a Silver bullet , wait why were you elected for ? what claim did you make ?
    Find me an Honest Politician in Alameda , I cook you lunch !

    Comment by French revolution Started with food. — August 29, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

  15. it’s going to be another meaningless fun election ,
    wondering who will start the mud pie …..

    Comment by mijoka — August 29, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

  16. The League of Women Voters never endorses nor does it oppose candidates for public office. Ballot measures are addressed only if the League has conducted a study of the matter at hand and has an already formulated position which allows it to support/oppose or stay neutral. Individual members of the League, who are not the President, Voter Service Chair, or Action Chair may participate in campaigns – as individuals.

    Comment by Kate Quick,. — August 30, 2012 @ 6:15 am

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