Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 7, 2012

Can you pay my bills

Yesterday the judge in the David Kapler case against the City of Alameda issued a temporary ruling in the motion filed by the City for Attorney’s fees:


Today there is a hearing that should finalize this temporary ruling unless something huge comes out of the woodwork.

One word: ouch.

The amount doesn’t include the attorney fees for David Kapler’s lawyer either so if, conservatively, her rates were half of what the City expended on the lower court and appeal court case, this lawsuit is going to cost David Kapler in excess of $375K, I don’t think this was the outcome he was counting on.

What will be interesting is if Ann Marie Gallant, whose case is also now in the appeals court with the appeals court tackling a very similar issue to the one they ruled on with the David Kapler case, will risk a ruling that might turn out not to be in her favor given the precedence with David Kapler. While she walked away with a pretty hefty severance package and didn’t even have to come into work those last three months, I don’t know many people who could afford a $260K+ judgment against them. It might be time to cut her losses before they are compounded exponentially.

And in other legal news from the appeals court it looks like the commercial portion of School Parcel tax Measure H (2008) has been ruled as not kosher and the appeals court has kicked this back to the lower court to determine if the school district will need to do anything with regard to the monies that have already been collected and long spent by now.

Once again: ouch.

Broken last night on Twitter by JKW:

And see the full appellate opinion here.

The only, possible, bright side to this all is now the School District is in a pretty bad place financially, particularly if the judgment ends up requiring paying back all the money collected above the $120 per parcel for the commercial properties. So now that things may be really sucky for the School District and, by extension, the employees of the School District, perhaps there will be much more of a distinct need to repair the fractured relationship between the District and the Teachers Union given the possible ramifications of this ruling. I mean it’s the worst possible scenario ever for AUSD but I’m trying to see the silver lining in this great big clusterfuck.

And THIS is why agencies build up reserves.

Remember when I wrote that the close relationship between School Board member Trish Spencer and the Teachers Union was less a true meeting of the minds politically and more of a partnership of convenience?   If this becomes a huge financial hit for the School District, I imagine the tides will quickly turn given Trish Spencer’s past positions on issues that were conveniently forgotten only a few months ago.


  1. I expect Gallant will drop the case in light of the decision regarding the Kapler case. As for Measure H, it was and is unfair to small business and commercial property owners, period. I voted for A (and will regret it until my dying day given what they’ve done with the funds) but not H. Sucks to be AUSD but Justice is blind, baby.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — December 7, 2012 @ 9:02 am

  2. Thanks for your great coverage on these cases! A small quibble: the shot at Trish Spencer in the last graf seemed uncalled for – she is the Board Member who correctly noted the weakness in the Board’s case and the poor quality of the Board’s legal work on this matter.

    Comment by M Stevens — December 7, 2012 @ 9:21 am

  3. Looks like Mr. Kapler will have to use his experience at pumping gas to make a little extra cash to pay his debt.

    Comment by John P.(L) — December 7, 2012 @ 9:47 am

  4. @John P: With the salary and pension he took with him, he should be able to come up with it without the moonlighting.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — December 7, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  5. My memory says that Trish Spencer was against Measure H specifically because of the split tax and its likelihood to be challenged in court.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — December 7, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  6. Just to be clear, Trish Spencer was not on the School Board when Measure H came to a vote. She also claims to have worked for Measure H as PTA Council president when she was writing op-eds on why Alamedans should vote for her:

    It was only after the lawsuit was filed and probably when she had decided to run for School Board that she decided that Measure H was “fatally flawed.”

    Comment by Lauren Do — December 8, 2012 @ 6:15 am

  7. Denise:
    unlike Kapller Ms Gallant did not appropiatte what was not Hers{by the wa I understand they still do fill their own vehcle at public expense , fire and public work}
    Ms Gallant has more than 2 legs “per say “to stand on due to length of service and the real fact her dismissal was announced by City Council member which were not in legal position , not to forget the slanderous campaign orchestrated by Subcal friends and Family ……..mostly Alamedan .

    Comment by mijoka — December 8, 2012 @ 9:36 am

  8. Of course PTA Council publicly supported Measure H. Though PTA Council is an advisory group, their support is fairly critical to any school tax measure. Before her term on school board began and when she was elected, I recall Trish was opposed to putting another measure on the ballot that was likely to be challenged on the same grounds as Measure H. You may have access to documents that tell a different story– I don’t know… as someone who has no time to search the public record, I have only my memory, of PTA/PTSA meetings and conversations. Many PTA members worked hard to pass all of the school tax and bond measures no matter our personal ideas of whether the measures were perfectly formed.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — December 8, 2012 @ 9:36 am

  9. Now that’s an expensive tank of gas!

    Comment by Basel — December 9, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

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