Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 1, 2014

Mayor Candidate profile 1 of 2: Marie Gilmore

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

Marie Gilmore is the incumbent Mayor.  She is Alameda’s first elected female Black City Council member and Mayor.  Her campaign website is located here.   Here are all my posts referencing Marie Gilmore.  Her candidate profile from 2008. Here’s her educational background from the 2008 profile:

An article on Marie Gilmore after she was first appointed to the City Council to fill the seat vacated by Al Dewitt. Her educational and community service background:

…Gilmore comes to the council with a Stanford education and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.

In addition to her eight years on the Planning Board, she also served on the Alameda Recreation and Parks Commission and on the Northern Waterfront Specific Plan Committee…

A fluffy piece on her background, from Alameda Magazine:

If not self-determination, chalk it all up to a matter of simple fate. Gilmore’s 18-year path to mayorhood, as ineluctable as it was patient, owes more to her personable, straightforward manner; eagerness to help the city where her family has lived since 1989; and, perhaps most importantly, ability to manage the minutiae of city government, than it does to any carefully charted plan. In an era where, perhaps cynically, we expect ruthlessness from our politicians, Gilmore’s story is a breath of fresh air — and good news for a city otherwise recovering from more than its share of lapses in leadership.

An article detailing the most recent state of the City address given by Marie Gilmore.

Her candidate statement (the stuff that will be printed in the voter guide) is:

I am running for re-election as Mayor to keep Alameda moving forward.

Since I was elected Mayor, we’ve strengthened our city government and enhanced the quality of life for business owners, seniors, children and families.

At City Hall, we’ve improved transparency and increased our budget reserve. We’ve worked with public safety personnel to address future pension costs. At no cost to Alameda taxpayers, we now control Alameda Point and planning is underway to transform it into one of our greatest economic development assets.

We are planning and actively seeking funds for new parks and usable open space. Transportation challenges are being tackled head on.

In the community, we’ve supported programs for seniors and preserved emergency room services at Alameda Hospital. We launched new events to promote Alameda-based producers and manufacturers.

In the midst of the recession, we protected city-funded after school activities, youth sports and public library services. The library has implemented widely popular new reading programs and we continue to work with the school district to restore funding cuts from the state.

I would be honored to earn your vote to continue as Mayor of Alameda. Together, we can keep Alameda moving forward.

Add to the wiki but if you do make sure that you reference it with a link.  There are various questionnaires floating out there with varying levels of readability. You can start with those if you like.



  1. Another view of the mayor’s “achievements” can be read here:

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 6:27 am

  2. post #1, I believe that is Alameda’s version of Fox News.

    Comment by John P. — October 1, 2014 @ 8:02 am

  3. Nah, that would be Action Alameda. Read Sullwold’s stuff, he’s good. Yes, he has an agenda, but he backs his points up with facts.

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 8:24 am

  4. sorry Dave I have already read his stuff, its just opinions like all of us he has an agenda and opinions.

    Comment by John P. — October 1, 2014 @ 8:33 am

  5. I think of Action Alameda as Infowars and Howard as an extremely unsuccessful Alex Jones.

    Gilmore isn’t perfect and could have gotten out in front of the transportation planning stuff with a vision. She’s been surprisingly reactive.

    But the alternative is risible, but will attract the usual ragtag group of the bitter and bewildered.

    Comment by BC — October 1, 2014 @ 8:34 am

  6. You can disagree with his opinions, nothing wrong with that. But the man backs them up with facts better than any other local blogger. He’s worth reading.

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 8:36 am

  7. One of the things I most appreciate about our Mayor is her ability to work with others and get things done for the City of Alameda – also known as governing.

    With her leadership, Alameda has survived one of the most difficult economic times in our history – the 2008 financial crisis. This to me is a major accomplishment! While some predicted our city would go bankrupt – we in fact did not. Not only did Mayor Gilmore work with city staff to preserve most levels of services – they worked together to find creative solutions to solve some of our financial problems. They accomplished this by cutting costs wherever possible, increasing fees, and working with labor to renegotiate pension benefits. Together they laid the foundation for more work to be done in the coming years, recognizing that a stable city government is necessary for economic growth. Others will suggest this administration should have cut more, done more, etc. — but there is and has been a great debate in this country about cutting services and salaries during a severe economic downturn. It’s a balancing act – and I think the Mayor got it right!

    Because of her leadership and the foundation that has been laid for economic growth, Alameda is set to take advantage of one of the most exciting economic recoveries in the country. We’re seeing this unfold with the development of Alameda Landing – which sat dormant for several years after the financial crisis. The Del Monte development is another exciting development what will invest $100 million dollars to restore one of our historical landmarks. Alameda Point is another exciting development unfolding with some of the top developers in the Bay Area and top designers competing for a chance to build in Alameda.

    But it’s the new policies that this Mayor and city staff has put in place that will help us balance our budget in the coming years. For one, the development impact fees that have been put in place on new developments by the Mayor and city staff will pay for the construction of new parks, and the property transfer tax increases will help to maintain them. The development of the Jean Sweeney Park, Estuary Park, and the Cross Alameda Trails are just a few of the parks that will benefit from this new policy.

    These policies came about by working together with city staff and city council to create solutions. Her record is clear – she is a strong leader, and she works to find solutions.

    I appreciate knowing that a vote for Mayor Gilmore means that we will be moving forward and not backwards.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 1, 2014 @ 8:46 am

  8. But it’s the new policies that this Mayor and city staff has put in place that will help us balance our budget in the coming years. For one, the development impact fees that have been put in place on new developments by the Mayor and city staff will pay for the construction of new parks, and the property transfer tax increases will help to maintain them. The development of the Jean Sweeney Park, Estuary Park, and the Cross Alameda Trails are just a few of the parks that will benefit from this new policy.


    As one who closely follows the city budget, I see no reason to believe it will be balanced anytime soon. The recently departed Fred Marsh made it very clear the reserves trumpeted by Russo & Gilmore will in fact be depleted within 5 years. Please share with us your evidence that the budget will be balanced and that the parks you mention will be constructed as you state.

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 8:57 am

  9. With the exception of Berkeley and Piedmont we have the highest Property Transfer Tax in the entire State. Most everywhere it is $.0.55/$1000.00. In Alameda it is $12.00/$1000.00. Depending on how you view Taxes I guess some would consider this good and others regressive. In any case this was instituted in 2008.

    Comment by frank M — October 1, 2014 @ 9:34 am

  10. Dave, the fact that you tout David Howard and Fox News is reason enough for me not to engage in a discussion with you. Good luck with your “the sky is falling, the budget will never get balanced, and the parks will never get built” rantings!

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 1, 2014 @ 11:33 am

  11. Excuse me, but I seem to recall that someone else was Mayor in 2008. Please back up your adulation with contemporaneous facts. Raising taxes & city fees makes Alameda a more expensive place to live & do business. I do not call that “leadership”.

    In today’s Alamedan: “In a letter to District Attorney Nancy O’Malley released to the media Tuesday, Mayor Marie Gilmore asked that the suspects be charged with the crimes they were arrested for and that if convicted, they receive the maximum punishment allowed by law.” Nothing like a lawyer mayor who is unclear on the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

    You must forgive Karen. She just finds everything connected with development so “exciting”. The girl can’t help it.

    Comment by vigi — October 1, 2014 @ 11:45 am

  12. I don’t “tout” Howard and am on record for despising him & his tactics. I also am on record for mocking Fox news and its adherents.

    That the budget is in structural deficit is an established fact, Karen. Every credible scenario shows that it will remain so absent significant changes, changes which are thus far unplanned. The city own finance director stated that the reserves cited by the mayor and you will burn out within five years.

    These facts notwithstanding, you claim that the budget will be balanced, though you offer no facts, no numbers, not even reasonable guesses. When asked for evidence for your claim, you have none, and instead equate me to Howard, which is a deeply slanderous thing to say.

    I ask you to re-read both your claim about the budget and my riposte to it. After doing so, please give evidence backing your statement, and concede that it is baseless and retract it.

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 11:46 am

  13. typo: give evidence OR concede

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 11:48 am

  14. #9 Transfer taxes are voted on by the public. In 2008 Alameda voters, by a small margin, approved the city increase from $5.40 to $12.00 per $1,000. The average for the state is well above the $0.55 you noted, though the Bay Area is among the highest. The $0.55 you are referring to is likely the County transfer tax of $1.10 per thousand which is customarily split between Buyer and Seller in Alameda.

    Comment by Anne DeBardeleben — October 1, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

  15. Actually I look on Action Alameda website to figure out who not to vote for. Every since Dave Howard, The Slate, Tom Pavletic (use to be my neighbor), and many other issues which I don’t agree with if it is attached to Action Alameda I know they more or less not for us. They sort of took over for Don Roberts from Alameda Daily News.

    I always like Marie Gilmore every sense I moved here and saw her in Counsel meetings. She seems to have a great sense of judgment about her, is knowledgeable, knows what questions to ask and seemed real. I have met a few others and they didn’t really listen. I may not agree with her on everything but that is because we all have different perspectives.

    Comment by Joseph — October 1, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

  16. #12, I don’t mean to offend you but I thought you sounded a lot like Howard. I actually thought you might be him just not using your last name. I have know Karen for 15 years and I find her very creditable with a good head on her shoulders, and only want the best for Alameda. She presents what she want or likes and often backs it up.

    I just say what I want or like and someone said I wasn’t political…and this is a political blog. I disagree because I have a votes which makes it political.

    Comment by Joseph — October 1, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

  17. Karen, guess what , you don’t need to retract anything as this is just a blog with a bunch of people disagreeing. I happen to agree with you. Because someone on this blog says something is a “fact” does not make it a “fact”. I won’t argue that it makes it an opinion. Post #11 Vigi, Karen did not say that Marie was Mayor in 2008, she said there was a financial crisis in 2008. Then you go on to say that the Mayor is unclear on “innocent until proven guilty”, her letter states “if convicted,” your trying to hard, ease up a bit. try thinking “liberally”.

    Comment by John P. — October 1, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

  18. John:

    Any chance YOU care to back up the claim of a balanced budget?

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 1:31 pm

  19. your on the right track Joseph, I have known Mayor Gilmore for over 15 years, I have had the pleasure of sitting next to her for about 5 years on the planning board. I found her to always be fair and respectful of other people views. Also to be completely honest and above board in all matters.

    as for Karen, I sometimes disagree with her , but I have great respect for her also, and I like her views on development. This is after all an urban area, not the country.

    Comment by John P. — October 1, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

  20. For your convenience, here is the link from the city’s finance department.

    Read through and then tell me what is not factual about what I have stated. Please also state how & why, using verifiable evidence, you believe Karen’s claim that the balance will be balanced soon.

    I anxiously await your response.

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

  21. Okay Dave — now you’re sounding more and more like a reporter. John P and Joseph thanks. I wasn’t planning on conceding anything.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 1, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

  22. Please cite evidence for your claims.

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

  23. I believe you dave, but anybody who thinks Trish will do anything constructive to fix it is more deluded than you claim Karen to be in repeating Glimore’s claims. Even Sullwold in his version of Buckley interview acknowledges that. Five years is a whole year after the next mayoral term expires.

    Comment by MI — October 1, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

  24. sorry Dave, I just went for a nice walk on the base, beautiful day, great breeze, super views.

    post#18, I never claimed there was a balanced budget.

    post#20 I will as soon as you show verifiable evidence that it took you over 30 min. to cross Alameda.

    post#22, absolutely no, no ,no. I have to go and make my Gazpacho right now or it won’t be ready for tonight.

    Comment by John P. — October 1, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

  25. John:

    In post 9 you say you agree w Karen, did that agreement not apply to budget claims she made?

    RE: 20, recall that I said 20 was typical but 30 has happened a few times.

    I like to add include a bit of radish in my gazpacho, give it a try.

    Comment by dave — October 1, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

  26. #25 Prior to Fred Marsh, Lisa Goldman and Juelle-Ann Boyer also showed projections that the city would be burning through their reserves if no action was taken. There have been a number of actions that have been taken that you do not seem to be included in your list of facts: closing of Fire Station 5, layoff of firefighters, cuts in Police Department with a cumulative total of $4M since 2010, cutting staff in half at the Building and Planning Department in 2011. The City now has a 24% fund balance with all these cuts, and City Hall is still closed on Fridays. At some point, the community will want restoration on some of these services and funds will be needed…like the dreaded property transfer tax from 2008 with the sale of the properties from Del Monte or Alameda Point.

    Comment by Alan — October 1, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

  27. Thank you Dave, I will do that as I have decided to have the Gazpacho tomorrow.

    Comment by John P. — October 1, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

  28. Perfectly balanced budget if you don’t include 650 Million in Deferred Maintenance to our City Assets like buildings, streets, parks ect……and another 250+ million in Deferred Pension Liabilities and Medical Liabilities…..Who worries about that stuff….Why should they even be in budget.

    Comment by We will just set this over here — October 1, 2014 @ 10:34 pm

  29. Oakland transfer-tax is $14/1000 and soon Emeryville will be the same. San Francisco is $25/1000. Cost of doing business in Alameda is far cheaper than all cities in immediate east bay.

    Comment by JJ — October 1, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

  30. #29 SF transfer tax

    Comment by frank M — October 2, 2014 @ 6:01 am

  31. #29 San Francisco is ‘cheaper than Alameda’ for a home valued a $850,000. As of this date Emeryville doesn’t have a Transfer Tax and in order to establish one two separate Ballot Measures (U and V) must pass in November. San Leandro is $6.00/$1000.
    Here is a list of the Cities which have a Documentary Transfer Tax and the Tax in Alameda is the 4th highest in the State

    Comment by frank M — October 2, 2014 @ 9:24 am

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