Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 8, 2012

That’s a wrap-up

For some reason, I didn’t feel nearly as invested in this election as I did two years ago.   It felt like there was so much more at stake two years ago, this year it just seemed like any which way the election went, it wouldn’t be THAT bad if any of the candidates won this time around.   This year the City Council race was kind of “meh” and even though the outcome was pretty much as my gut anticipated — although I expected Jane Sullwold to do much much better than what actually happened — Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft ran a nearly pitch perfect campaign.    She had collected nearly all the important endorsements, but she also had a good ground game and it showed in the outcome.

Tony Daysog ran a lean campaign but in the end the combination of name recognition and the door-to-door campaign put him over candidates that had a lot more money.   Name recognition was probably the biggest asset in Tony Daysog’s corner.   If Beverly Johnson had stayed in the race, it’s pretty much a gimme that she would have won, probably beating out Tony Daysog, but perhaps not Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

In the end I think Stewart Chen lost the campaign for himself because with the amount of money raised and the type of endorsements he had, he should have easily won over Tony Daysog.   I think the endorsement scuffle might have lost him some key votes and in the end, it doesn’t appear that the addition of the AEA endorsement was much help on election day.

Of course unless Rob Bonta’s slim lead is completely obliterated with provisional votes and whatever random assorted ballots have been left uncounted, Stewart Chen will eke in to fill out Rob Bonta’s vacated seat.

Interestingly enough, someone pointed out that with this election and the departure of Doug deHaan from the City Council this will be the first time in Alameda’s history that there is not a white male member of the City Council.

On to the School Board, while some of you may think that I was freaking out about the Trish Spencer win, in actuality, I had resigned myself to the fact that she would win weeks and weeks ago.

And honestly, given that she has been largely ineffective in actually accomplishing anything despite the eye rolling campaign literature dropped for her that claimed she would be “collaborative” and “accountable” there isn’t much damage that she can do.   Essentially she’ll simply continue on, as usual, asking questions and voting “no.”

I think the surprise outcome in the election will be that fact that Barbara Kahn will challenge everyone’s expectations of what they believe that she will and will not do on the dais.   In the end, this is a lady with a lot of integrity and when she says “xyz” I believe that she will do “xyz.”   So while she may not be a fan of the Superintendent, she may just be what this Board needs which is someone who will provide respectful and thoughtful opposition without being obstructionist.

Since I’m on the subject of the School Board, what I would like to see, next time around when the Board is discussing the compensation package for the Superintendent, for the bonus stuff to be tied to issues that may be more challenging.   Such as better relations with the Teacher’s Union, perhaps there can be something tied to the number of face to face meetings with AEA reps.   Anyway, think about that School Board.

I’m glad that Niel Tam was able to retain his seat, while he is generally known as the quiet one, oftentimes saying less is more.  I have to say that I am sorely disappointed that Ron Mooney was unable to keep his seat, he is definitely someone with a lot of knowledge on how school district finances work and so his knowledge and passion for the subject will leave a huge hole on the School Board.

I will point out that one active candidate actually pulled in less votes than a candidate who had pulled out of the campaign in the early stages.   I guess asking questions and just showing up to meetings wasn’t enough to sell voters.  Did anyone else realize that Kurt Peterson had been endorsed by CSEA, that’s the non-teachers union in AUSD.   Yeah they didn’t seem to work as hard to get him elected as AEA worked for Trish Spencer, Barbara Kahn, and Jon Murphy.

It appears that most voters still largely do like the Alameda Hospital, re-electing the incumbent candidates back into office.    I think Michael McCormick’s huge margin shows the power of the title next to the person’s name.   If I recall correctly, Michael McCormick was the only one of the two incumbents to mention that he was a sitting member of the Healthcare District as opposed to just putting “Incumbent.”   It really is the only explanation that I have for the vote disparity between his total and Jordan Battani’s total number of votes.


  1. I think Spencer won because of her two key “no” votes that resonated with voters. I didn’t vote for her because I was concerned, like Lauren that she is a one trick pony. I also agree that Daysog won mostly on name recognition, although the city planning background always looks good to those with an eye to the future of the point. I hope Sullwold stays involved and, if the right opportunities present themselves, she may do better next time around. Too few people knew her and those who did only in conjunction with the golf course issue which would not necessarily mean she would be as passionate on other issues as well. Time will tell. In any event, she was still a winner since the parks protection measure she worked so hard for won handily–something we all can feel good about. On the fence about Kahn but she certainly will shake things up, which is probably a good thing. It will at least give us something to talk about here.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 8, 2012 @ 7:06 am

  2. I haven’t always agreed with Tony Daysog, but I think he will do fine on this council. He in my opinion is a fiscal conservative when it comes to the cities money, that is a good thing and of course for me he is a West End guy. I think this council will be made up of good serious intelligent members and they will have an extremely hard job for the next four years.

    As for Barbara Kahn, with age and experience usually comes wisdom, I think she can be really good for this school board.

    Comment by John P.(L) — November 8, 2012 @ 7:49 am

  3. This election actually reflect the hypocrisy we leave in ,
    Trish Spencer was portrayed as a demon to say the least , yet won by a landslide
    Traitman , openly gay and father of 2 children attenting the AUSD did not ,
    This was my point long before the election .
    By vilfying Trish Spencer they indirectely cut out Traitman , in the very same way when Mattarese and DeHaan took each othe out handing the seat to Gilmore the worst Mayor this City has ever seen elected with the smallest percentage in 70 years . Color and Genderin my view are irrelevant .
    The campaign they ran back fired in a big way as we need someone to ask the Hard question for the Alameda Hospital .

    I will probably be threaten to be hit with the whip by Jack and jIll for saying so .Orr posting some idiotic video .
    to their chagrin I was right .I tuly wonder if they wer the one that destroyed the roses tree everyone was stopping , smelling and enjoying , glad to say the only flowers I do have now are dandelion , I am surprised they are not coming over and pick them uup to make salad

    Talking about video , I have been looking for someone to help me make one since the GOP convention , I need a dumpster , an empty chair , a fake microphone or real one and 16 x 20 cheat card with name of American Company that move their production to China , bag to represent the trillions of dollars we threw away ,the one wall street stole ,a cow boy hat and 2 toy revolver in the back ground the music of the good the bad and the ugly

    Comment by mijoka — November 8, 2012 @ 10:26 am

  4. post#3, I’ll pass on that one.

    Comment by John P.(L) — November 8, 2012 @ 10:41 am

  5. Mijoka: You do know that Leland Traiman ran for the Hospital Board and not the School Board. I’m not sure what one has to do with the other.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 8, 2012 @ 10:43 am

  6. Lauren, will you stop with the Spencer bashing already? Since when is it a bad

    thing for an elected official to ask questions? Is there never a time for an

    elected official to vote no? Judging by the number of votes she got, she is more

    in touch with the hearts and minds of Alamedans than you are.

    “Since I’m on the subject of the School Board, what I would like to see, next time

    around when the Board is discussing the compensation package for the

    Superintendent, for the bonus stuff to be tied to issues that may be more

    challenging. Such as better relations with the Teacher’s Union, perhaps there

    can be something tied to the number of face to face meetings with AEA reps.

    Anyway, think about that School Board.” Think about this, school board: next time

    negotiations come around, why don’t you remember that the teachers have every bit

    as much (if not more) to do with how well our kids are doing, and those

    (apparently) all-so-important test scores, as the superintendent? If the

    superintendent deserves a bonus for increasing test scores and meeting (lukewarm)

    goals, so do the people that work where the rubber hits the road. Face to face

    meetings don’t cut it, either. Administration can meet face to face, then after 5

    minutes declare an impasse and walk out. Or stonewall. Benchmark accomplished.

    Where’s my bonus?

    This new school board needs to GET REAL and realize that

    Spencer is more in tune with the heart beat of this community than anyone else

    sitting up there among the clouds.

    Comment by Not. A. Alamedan — November 8, 2012 @ 10:53 am

  7. Not. A. Alamedan, Your comments still don’t address her voting against lesson 9, and censoring some books. I don’t for one minute believe that this community feels the same way she does about Gay children.

    Comment by John P.(L) — November 8, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  8. 7. Perhaps not, but a whole lotta people decided that, ceteris paribus, her performance on the board was worth another 4 years. She may not have a *perfect* voting record. Obama is not the *perfect* president. But Spencer and Obama are much better than the alternatives. Guess what? All the stimulus money Obama threw at our economy didn’t benefit me or my business one bit, but I still voted for him. Denise and Lauren apparently think Spencer is a “one trick pony” (Denise’s words). I think all you people harping on this anti bullying vote are the one trick ponies. Gay rights are important to me. A lot of other issues are also important to me. Sometimes (correction- a lot of the time), in politics, you have to vote for the least worst candidate. You may not like her vote on bullying, but someone needs to be on the board that isn’t going to be a rubber stamp for the administration. Whatever you ands Lauren think, most of the voters in Alameda decided she’s the one. Get over it.

    Comment by Not. A. Alamedan — November 8, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

  9. Lauren , yes , I am very well aware of it ,
    does it make a difference portrayed as so call anti gay for one position and get it . :-}
    openly Gay on the other with children and does not get the seat , something is not right in the picture .
    There are no distinction , just hypocrisy and very disturbing .
    Maybe reverent Rose has the answer.
    The only good thing in these election is the re-election of Mr Obama as He will be able to progress in what He started

    Romney will still be able managing chinese funds Qualcom is training American …. kind a funny and in the same line Apple to pay $360 millions for copyright enfrigement as per ruling of a judge in Texas , and other laws suit pending guess what came from one hand is going right back on the other , Samsung must be laughing

    I like to thank you for your contribution in the Island wether we agree or disagree , talks are healthy !
    vulgarity , inuendos , threat , are not .

    Comment by mijoka — November 8, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

  10. #7 blame Bush ……

    Comment by mijoka — November 8, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  11. #6. Lauren wrote yesterday: “Perhaps to some people Trish Spencer’s record doesn’t matter.” No, it seems many of those who support her claim her record is exactly what matters, they just seem to have selective memory.

    I’ve felt annoyed by both sides, Spencer supporters for glossing over Lesson 9 and detractors for their hyper focus on it. I also felt the negative campaign was a bad tactic and guess what? totally ineffective too. I understand that her series of votes on 9 is emblematic of her over all lack of clear principles, but it’s just part of the bigger picture. People who have paid attention to the work the BOE does meeting to meeting can appreciate the detrimental impact of Spencer’s M.O. of belaboring issues and dragging out meetings with redundant inquiries, allegedly in the name of dogged commitment to principle as opposed to merely being self absorbed and obtuse. She did this constantly long before Lesson 9 came up. Since most folks don’t follow these meetings that closely, ( and these days that includes me because I’m burned out) it’s much easier to cite a couple of her votes on controversial economic issues in order to rally votes. And it worked because I am convinced that all those voters do not know Spencer from attending or watching hours of meetings. I’m somebody who has criticized the administration as not being collaborative enough, but in the same vein, opposition like that from Ms. Spencer is exactly the same. Oppose, oppose, oppose. Where are the solutions? I used to go to and watch a lot of government meetings and the reason I’ve quit has to do with my age and personal temperament, I’m just burned out. If I know the issue well and I’m fully engaged I can still power through the inevitable tedium, but there have been times watching Trish torture the Superintendent and fellow board members with her obtuse redundancy which goes well beyond making a point, and causes meetings to run twice as long as they should. In theory I am on the same side as Trish with regard to a number of issues, particularly the salary increase, but she does not speak for me. I hope she does not take this vote as a mandate to simply ask even MORE questions, at least not until she is prepared to start furnishing comprehensive alternatives, or at least attempting.

    I don’t know the details of issues like school funding well enough to judge whether Ron Mooney is/was the asset Lauren has stated but for argument sake I’ll give Ron the benefit of the doubt. The salary vote is no reason to doubt his depth of knowledge over all. It is more ideological, as opposed to devastating impact on the budget. What I will say is that if BOE members are going to cast votes to which there is a lot of public objection, they might think about being very explicit in responding to those points of objection or their actions may be taken as a rubber stamp. To simply say that Ms. Vital has doing a good job, we need to retain her, and compared to other districts what she was asking for is fair and reasonable is to respond in a bubble. If they feel have been explicit in BOE meetings which most folks don’t attend or watch, maybe they need to consider going a step further and do press releases.

    Comment by M.I. — November 8, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  12. you can watch the vast majority of them on TV and it is exactely what I do , having learn when we attend we simply give them an audience to play with , I will be no part of it and if everyone was boycotting them, they would be irrelevant decision are made behind our back , it is very much a status quo , this go for planning , and City counsel as well .
    Just imagine no one in the audience for a second ………

    Comment by mijoka — November 8, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

  13. 12. BOE video have not been available until relatively recently. Note the effort Lauren spoke about in posting video for November 5 blog. why was that Lauren?

    Comment by M.I. — November 8, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

  14. Post #8 Not A. Alamedan, good points, I understand your position. #9 and #10, I’ll still take a pass. I guess I would have been much happier if there would have been some other young people who choose to run.

    Comment by John P.(L) — November 8, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

  15. 13. I appreciate Lauren’s efforts to post the edited vids of the relevant board meetings. I feel her frustration- I was able to see the video, but got no sound.

    Comment by Not. A. Alamedan — November 8, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

  16. #13 from what I can see and know it is Her web site , she maintain it it , pretty much give accurate info , Do strongly differ on “Spencer ” with Lauren , my view is , unlike Romney’s society you are free to set up and maintain your own web site , Should I have one , I too would have trend to favor some , and she is pretty much free to post whatever she like , that is the American way . as I said i do not agree on spencer , yet try to counter with positive , not inuendo have a good evening . no spell check no grammar check waste of time

    Comment by mijoka — November 8, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  17. MI: the videos were in DVD format, which requires ripping from the DVD and then compressing into a digital format. This can take about an hour or so depending on processing power. The video spanned between two DVDs so multiply that time by two. And then getting the digital video into an editing program can take another hour or so per ripped DVD. Then editing down the video and then processing that edited video takes a while as well and then the final upload time to a video sharing site.

    This is why as bad as the City Council stuff is, it is MUCH superior to how the School District handles archived video.

    And I agree with you on the the bubble stuff, I think the School Board doesn’t tend to be as forthcoming as they could be on issues and I know that the line they walk is pretty tight between what they can and cannot share, but I think this election shows that the sitting Board Members, if they are going to vote in a way that may be perceived as unpopular or that people may not fully understand, they’re going to have to explain things, in any format that they can, so that someone else doesn’t write the narrative for them.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 8, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

  18. Those videos that you featured earlier in the week were from 2009 and 2010, so they were on DVDs. The district has a new system, now, where videos are embedded right in the agenda items on the district’s web site.

    So, for instance, I went to the link for the October 2012 agendas just now {} and clicked on the October 23 meeting HTML version of the agenda {}.

    This opened upthe text of the agenda, plus video clips next to each agenda item (so you don’t have to fast forward through the whole meeting to find the agenda item you want to watch).

    I don’t know if these clips are easier or harder to edit down into even smaller pieces, but they certainly make it easier to view the video recordings, which in my mind is a step in the right direction.

    Comment by Susan Davis — November 8, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

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