Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 12, 2012

Help “me too”

I’m glad JKW brought up the legal opinion from the City Attorney that was made public last week because it explains a lot about the portion of the public safety MOUs that is open to critique by folks, the education incentive portion.

For those not interested in slogging through it — it’s pretty short though — it essentially says that the firefighters filed a grievance in 2009 saying that the “me too” clause that was in their contract made them eligible for certain benefits that were codified within the police contract but not explicit in their contract.   That grievance was denied by the City Manager at the time — Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant — and the Fire Chief at that time, David Kapler.

Here’s the relevant part of the analysis and why the City’s legal team thought it was better to go the route of the incentive pay rather than try to fight the firefighters’ grievance:

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 5.54.42 PM


And here is how the costs all shake down if the City were to go the route of insisting that the “me too” clause was unenforceable and if the City lost their case against the Firefighters:

Screen Shot 2012-12-11 at 5.52.32 PM



  1. I attended last night’s meeting and appreciated both the detailed presentation by City Manager John Russo as well as all of the public comments.
    Our City Treasurer once again reminded us that we are facing significant budget difficulties and deficits if we do not do far more than what was accomplished last night, and he is correct.
    But the new MOUs are a good partial solution and offer progress over the current contracts as well as past ones, which–at least in part–got us into this large unfunded liabilities mess.

    One step at a time towards fiscal sustainability, with many more needed ahead of us….

    Once again I was saddened that revenue enhancements were generally not discussed as a solution to our continuing budget challenges. perhaps we need help from Assemblymember Bonta and others in Sacramento to help cities and other local jurisdictions recover “stolen” monies taken by Sacramento and/or to create new revenue streams for cities, counties, and other local jurisdictions.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — December 12, 2012 @ 10:07 am

  2. We need a large vision in my opinion to solve our budget problems, and job creation should be our number one priority. I’d like to see the council create a task force to develop recommendations and a plan to promote tourism in Alameda.

    Alameda is a 20 minute ferry ride from a city with an $8B dollar tourism industry —and we should be working feverishly to get a slice of that in order to create jobs and boost our economy in Alameda. Here is an interesting article about the President’s plan to boost tourism in the US:

    Obama unveils plans to boost international tourism, bolster US economy:

    President Obama is ramping up efforts to smooth the way for more foreign travelers to visit the United States in an effort to boost job creation and bolster the nation’s economic growth.

    During a speech at Disney World on Thursday, the president will detail an executive order as part his “We Can’t Wait” jobs initiative to make the United States the world’s top travel and tourism destination, a move backed by retailers and travel, trade and business groups.

    “Every year, tens of millions of tourists from all over the world come and visit America,” Obama is expected to say in his speech in Orlando, Fla. “And the more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work. “Travel and tourism is a $1.2 trillion sector of the U.S. economy — nearly 3 percent of gross domestic product.

    The president also is calling for creation of a task force — led by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Commerce Secretary John Bryson — to develop recommendations that promote domestic and international travel opportunities, with a focus on increasing tourism and recreation jobs by promoting visits to such places as national parks, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites and monuments. The executive order also calls for the appointment of a new group of corporate executives to the 32-member U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which advises the Commerce secretary on policies affecting the travel and tourism industry.

    Alameda has a long and interesting history of being a popular resort community. With vision, determination and perhaps some help from the president’s US Travel and Tourism Advisory Board — we can do it again.

    Comment by Karen Bey — December 12, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  3. Due to Alameda’s being an island, a vision of more people, whether tourists or residents, does not make sense.

    Comment by Marie — December 12, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

  4. 3: Marie, The five islands that comprise the City of Alameda have plenty of room for more jobs and more residents IF we add both responsibly and implement better congestion management strategies, build higher-density housing that fits Alameda, improve transit, and manage our growth intelligently. This city has had a population well above its current 70,000-plus in the past without having any of the more intelligent and capable tools for managing “smart growth” that we now possess.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — December 13, 2012 @ 9:10 am

  5. Settling the longstanding IAFF grievance was a very smart thing for the city to do in the new MOUs. Clearing the financial and legal decks is very good for city-union relations as well as for our financial status. It means we can stop dealing with “old business” and focus on dealing with pressing current needs, for which we need all the collective energy and brain power we can muster.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — December 13, 2012 @ 9:15 am

  6. 4 Jon, I would be pacified if I saw any evidence that traffic abatement or congestion management was being addressed successfully here. Higher-density housing makes sense with access.
    Ask the people who live in Chinatown if they welcome more traffic. More ferries and tools are not the answer. I would love better and more public transportation, but that does not look likely.
    People here have voted repeatedly for more parks and open space.

    Comment by Marie — December 13, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

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