Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 17, 2014

Like Mike

Filed under: Alameda Landing, Election, School — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

I dunno if it’s just me, or if it’s this election, or the fact that I’ve been away for the past few weeks, but I’m feeling super uninspired by this election.  Maybe because the candidates for City Council are just so meh.  The only thing that leaves me with a cold dread is the possibility that Trish Spencer could be our next Mayor.   On the bright side though, she has been on her very best behavior at the School Board meetings, I imagine that after the election if she is unsuccessful in her bid for the Mayor’s seat she’ll revert to the old Trish Spencer that we all have come to know.   Interestingly enough at the last School Board meeting she voted “yes” to the designs for the Encinal pool remodel but yet voted no again and again to the mechanism that actually would pay for the remodels.  In fact, she touts her opposition to the complicated land exchange between the City and the School District as a reason why people should vote for her.   That is where the money comes from the pay for the renovations.   But typically Trish Spencer, vote for the easy stuff to say you “supported” something, but then not for the means to pay for it.  Which is so like a “fiscal conservative,” eh?

But anyway, I’ve decided against writing out profiles for the School Board candidates.  Call it apathy, whatever.   Solana Henneberry will likely win because 1) female,  2) education background, and 3) support of the unions.   Gary Lym has hedged his support for the bond measure which tells me that he is Trish Spencer redux.

Every time Mike McMahon runs I always get a bit nervous for him.   Why?   Because he’s not the warmest or fuzziest of Board Members.  In fact sometimes he can come off as downright abrasive.  But ever since the departure of Ron Mooney from the School Board, Mike McMahon is the only one, the ONLY one, that really truly understands all the nuances of public school funding.   To lose that sort of expertise simply because he rubs some people the wrong way would be a tragedy for the School District.

Not that some of the others don’t have their strengths on the School Board, but if you want institutional knowledge about how and what the School District has done in the past as well as an understanding of any new public school financing information and data: Mike McMahon is it.   So, this year I’ll be casting one vote for School Board and that will be for Mike McMahon.

Speaking of school related stuff.  When we were in Vietnam here’s a little something interesting that I learned.  In order to be accepted in public colleges in Vietnam you have to test into the school.  These tests are very difficult to pass.   But once you get in the cost of tuition is very affordable.   According to the young man I spoke to, it is around 64 million Vietnamese Dong per year which translates to around $300.   Book and materials will run another approximately $100.   This is for college in Nha Trang which has a population of around 500,000.   The rural colleges are much cheaper and the big city colleges in Saigon and Hanoi will run you more money.   Even so, the young man indicated that some very poor families, particularly in the rural areas, are unable to afford this even if their children are smart enough to pass the exams.

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93 Comments

  1. Not that some of the others don’t have their strengths on the School Board, but if you want institutional knowledge about how and what the School District has done in the past as well as an understanding of any new public school financing information and data: Mike McMahon is it. So, this year I’ll be casting one vote for School Board and that will be for Mike McMahon.

    ===========================================

    This all the way. Mike is the key member of the board and a true community asset. We must re-elect him.

    Comment by dave — October 17, 2014 @ 6:20 am

  2. Last night, with heavy competition from the NLCS game clinching win by the SF Giants, the Alameda school board candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Alameda was lightly attended. For more voter information on this race as well as all of the races on your ballot, you can go the Leagues’ Smart Voter website: http://votersedge.org/alameda-county-california-election-voters-guide-to-ballot-measures-and-candidates?ed=2014-11-04#.VEEvR2d0zIU

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — October 17, 2014 @ 8:07 am

  3. I’m with you guy’s on this one, I find him to be very open and willing to talk about issues. He has great knowledge of these issues.

    Comment by John P. — October 17, 2014 @ 9:36 am

  4. I’ve seen some weird combinations of signs this year. On one block two yards with Mataresse and Oddie. One with Glimore and Lym. Haven’t seen Trish and Oddie yet.

    Comment by MI — October 17, 2014 @ 9:37 am

  5. I don’t think this is a race where you only need to vote for Mike. The point of voting only for one would be because you don’t want your second favorite candidate to beat your first. This means that you (Mike 1, Solana 2) are fearing that Solana would place second by one vote over Mike. Ergo, Gary Lym would have to be the #1 vote getter to create the possibility of this scenario. That seems incredibly unlikely to me.

    The city council race seems much more unpredictable and a “vote only for one” strategy might make more sense.

    Comment by BMac — October 17, 2014 @ 9:46 am

  6. As far as the mayoral race…. It is frightening. Trish seems to have a bit of a groundswell potentially working her way. My Gold Coast neighborhood has way more Trish signs. I guess this neighborhood would be more focused anti-tax, anti-development, anti-union than the island as a whole. But, they also are more likely to vote than the renters and urbanists.

    Comment by BMac — October 17, 2014 @ 9:55 am

  7. The Gold Coast is weird though, they had a lot of the Slate signs back in 2006 as well but they all lost.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 17, 2014 @ 10:01 am

  8. who the hell is Mark Greenside and where did he teach as Professor of Political Science? His first column against Del Monte project seemed thoughtful, but subsequent columns are rants. Obviously the Sun likes his bona fides as “professor” because they have given him yet another op-ed column where he touts voting for anybody but the incumbents That’s real genius, like comedian Russell Brand’s new book “Revolution” where he urges young people not to vote at all, just to rise up…. and?. I responded to his previous op ed which picked out Trish as his poster child for “vote out the incumbent”. Last week somebody responded to my letter with a big defense of Trish, trotting out her BIG SIX no votes and how they are the product of “courageous critical thinking”. There are arguments to rationalize each vote but they are not the product of critical thinking as a process of careful deductive reasoning, just knee jerk critical votes without an integrated vision or principle other than “NO!”, and no regard for consequences. As Lauren points out Trish can’t even connect the dots regarding conflicts in her own voting record. Since anybody can read this blog it is technically “public”, but letters to ed are pointedly out there in public. Even though I have huge problems with the impacts of Trish’s behavior, going negative on an individual in letters doesn’t sit well these days. It may have even back fired in that the last letter made her sound like a real warrior for those who are raging against the status quo. On the bright side Marie only has to win by one vote and she has the power of incumbency.

    Comment by MI — October 17, 2014 @ 11:14 am

  9. Since I’m a Liberal Progressive (which is the only realistic “reality” in Alameda) and it’s a toss-up between the two candidates, I’m voting Blue and Gold over Cardinal Red in the Mayor’s race, school ties trump. Marie can run somewhere on the Peninsula.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 17, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

  10. Except for Marie Gilmore also went to Berkeley for law school. So you’re really voting for Western State University against Stanford.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 17, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

  11. Mark, where to begin with the Sun. This is supposed to be a newspaper, but looks so much like “action Alameda” on paper. This week for example, Greenside again attacks Del Monte under the heading “commentary” last week a letter from someone who misrepresented many facts about the planning board meeting where Del Monte was discussed. So what does the Sun do to balance out the debate, they put a letter from City Planner Andrew Thomas trying to explain what actually took place at that meeting six pages into the back of the paper, they don’t identify him as City Planner they just put it in as any other letter, then they place another letter right after his calling him the city planner. The only reason they did that was because the letter was opposed to this issue. I don’t have a problem with them having an editorial position, however when they try to slant everything that they print in only one direction its pretty sad. They have done this so many times that I simply can’t trust anything they print. They are just not a real home town newspaper, they are just a propaganda rag.

    Comment by John P. — October 17, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

  12. Re. lawn signs. I contacted Gilmore’s campaign, twice, for these and didn’t get either signs or a reply. Gilmore’s running a low-energy campaign compared to Spencer.

    Comment by BC — October 17, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

  13. 10
    I don’t get it. Did you mean Western State against Boalt Hall or Cal against Stanford? Grad schools don’t count for brand loyalty.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 17, 2014 @ 2:19 pm

  14. Why not? Unless you are using an incredibly arbitrary method of deciding who you are going to be voting for…oh wait…

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 17, 2014 @ 2:22 pm

  15. Well, so are you…by just counting the no votes.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 17, 2014 @ 2:49 pm

  16. I’m basing my vote on numerous years of watching both ladies in action. Trish Spencer’s numerous “no” votes are the least of her deficiencies to make her qualified to be Alameda’s mayor.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 17, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

  17. Can’t agree with you more about Mike, and apparently the other two candidates are in agreement as well. I’ve attended both school board forums and it was not unusual to hear something along the lines of “As Mike said,” or I agree with Mike..” from the other candidates. Solana was also impressive with insight from an experienced educator who can bring ideas from the classroom as well as exposure to another district. She clearly gets it’s about the kids. In any case, re-electing Mike McMahon is crucial. His understanding of education finance and the complex workings of Ca Ed Code will prove instrumental as we make our way through the new local funding rules and common core.

    With regards to Mayor, I’d rather have a Mayor who is collaborative and dedicated to moving this City forward than one who has lots of signs and the “No” votes to match. Press either one for real plans for the future of this community and you’ll realize their truly is only one choice.

    Comment by Anne DeBardeleben — October 17, 2014 @ 4:45 pm

  18. #12 “Gilmore’s running a low-energy campaign compared to Spencer.”

    Gilmore is the object of one of the highly financed Alameda campaigns led by the developers, firefighters, and police. She has never shown much energy. She collects the money, though.
    Then they spend it on her behalf.

    And the campaign postcard pile grows day by day.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 17, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

  19. Word is that Gilmore’s lawn signs are getting stolen, maybe the campaign is being cautious about distribution so they don’t lose them all to the lawn sign thieves

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 17, 2014 @ 5:09 pm

  20. You should have seen Spencer at the Park St car show, shootin the breeze with the geezers, kicking the tires, making them laugh having a great old time..,.didn’t see Gilmore or any of the bikemores.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 17, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

  21. If Mike’s so great and been around so long and must be re-elected why are Alameda’s schools in the sorry state everybody says they’re in?

    Comment by jarfree — October 17, 2014 @ 7:55 pm

  22. #17 Yes, there “truly is only one choice” Trish Spencer for mayor.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 17, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

  23. 20, no amount of breeze shooting will make an ignorant person any less so

    Comment by ajryan — October 17, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

  24. Jack….. Gilmore missed the car show and got caught in traffic in Alameda and then got a flat tire from a chuckholes in the street…The Bikemores tried to Inflate by blowing more air up the Mayors Tires…When that didn’t work they went by and tried to use the generator from the self back patting machines at the firehouse..To no avail..She tried to make it though…She was missed.

    Comment by I need air — October 17, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

  25. #19: Yikes; that’s lame. Well, all the dumpier houses in my neighborhood seem to have Spencer lawn signs, and they seem to sit unmolested. I trust (and also hope) Gilmore’s campaign knows what it’s doing.

    #20: Being a geezer-pleaser doesn’t make a person mayoral material.

    Comment by BC — October 17, 2014 @ 8:21 pm

  26. 25 ……But being Authentic Does…..Trish Spencer is Authentic…Actually listens to people without getting berated and bullied like our Present Mayor.

    Comment by I need air — October 17, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

  27. #26: Actually, unless combined with other qualities like intelligence, it doesn’t (even you if you capitalize it).

    Comment by BC — October 17, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

  28. Spencer was the only one that asked the tough Questions at the School Board meetings….Most of the reasons she voted NO was because no one could give her an intelligent reason to vote yes….Asking tough questions and wanting intelligent answers and being bullied by other Board Members doesn’t qualify as her not lacking intelligence. It shows her grit and determination to do whats right……I know that concept shocks most.

    Comment by I need air — October 17, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

  29. I agree, we must re-elect Mike McMahon, and we must re-elect Marie Gilmore if we’re to move forward and not backwards.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 17, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

  30. .Most of the reasons she voted NO was because no one could give her an intelligent reason to vote yes…

    Here’s one — Put our children first!

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 17, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

  31. 30

    Which she did……Unlike the others on Board kowtowing to Raises every year for all administrators, staff, and teachers whose only focus seems to be on their pay while we cut every extra curricular activity and sports programs, computers, supplies that would directly benefit the students….It’s a popular theme in Alameda….Just look at the action of our present Mayor and Council…..Wholesaling anything to sustain the unsustainable..They even dumied books up saying Golf Course was losing money while they used as piggybank…

    Comment by Three Card Gilmore and Gang — October 17, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

  32. Then tried to pawn off that story on the public to Sell the Mif……On top of that they had bad appraisal and that had to be redone….You need to Count your fingers after shaking hands with this crew.

    Comment by Three Card Gilmore and Gang — October 17, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  33. I don’t see how voting “No” against anti-bullying lessons and voting “No” on the school facilities bond measure — puts our children first.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 17, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

  34. If you want anti – Bullying videos just watch what NOT to do with our Mayor and City Manager at Council meetings…Just maybe school facilities bond measure is not well written and very misleading and leaves too many things up in the air…But just say Yes…reminds me of the Bobbleheads on School Board.

    Comment by Three Card Gilmore and Gang — October 17, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

  35. Unlike the others on Board kowtowing to Raises every year for all administrators, staff, and teachers whose only focus seems to be on their pay

    Trish Spencer voted for teacher raises every time they came up after receiving the AEA endorsement for her school board race.

    while we cut every extra curricular activity and sports programs, computers, supplies that would directly benefit the students

    Trish Spencer also votes time and time again for programs that directly benefit students. Because she votes no on nearly everything. You can check out an accounting of her no votes here.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 18, 2014 @ 7:32 am

  36. Just look at the action of our present Mayor and Council…..Wholesaling anything to sustain the unsustainable..They even dumied books up saying Golf Course was losing money while they used as piggybank…

    Actually that was under Mayor Beverly Johnson and Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant. Oh and Frank Matarrese was on the City Council back then too, as was Doug deHaan. I know keeping track is confusing, but if you want to be taken seriously, you need to get basic facts right.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 18, 2014 @ 7:37 am

  37. On the golf course from 2008:

    “We can’t afford to run 45 holes any more,” said Council member Frank Matarrese.

    In the meantime, the city is looking for an interim operator while it meets with the community and commissioners to create parameters for the long-term management, maintenance team.

    “Since we are going to engage the community, we don’t want to preclude anything,” Council member Marie Gilmore said. “We could include parts of the master plan.”

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 18, 2014 @ 7:45 am

  38. And from 2007

    The city should contract out the management of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex, according to an outside consultant who has written a report critical of the facility’s operations.
    The problems at the complex include management decisions based on politics, poor customer service and a “pervasive atmosphere of an entitlement culture,” according to the strongly worded report.

    The findings were no surprise to Mayor Beverly Johnson, who said the complex has been mismanaged for a number of years.

    “There seems to be a lack of accountability at the golf course throughout the organization from the top to the bottom,” she said.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 18, 2014 @ 7:47 am

  39. 28. you need oxygen before you become brain dead. This tough questions thing is getting real old. She asked some questions others didn’t ask, but she also wouldn’t stop asking them no matter what answers she got. She has also pulled consent items which is fair if you have a question, but her habit is not to engage for real discussion b ut to whine on and on. Some people think that a pit bull comparison is s good one, but pit bulls also lock their jaws and don’t let go like their brain has been overridden by some visceral instinct beyond reason. They will let go if you dump cold water on their head. Not Trish Spencer. Maybe Gilmore and company have changed their votes because of public pressure, but that would be a good thing, yet it is claimed over and over that they already have their minds made up because the fix is in. Trish on the other head is like a one person echo chamber where she only hears herself.

    Comment by MI — October 18, 2014 @ 9:37 am

  40. 26. “authentic”? you really believe that don’t you? Spencer supporters more than anybody have the will to see what they want to see. Just like the Sun thinks they are fair and balanced and doing the right thing.

    Comment by MI — October 18, 2014 @ 9:41 am

  41. Lauren, how about a Post titled “Like Trish” so we can talk about Mike?

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 18, 2014 @ 10:15 am

  42. Good Afternoon Everybody! From what we are hearing around town, and from Mayor Marie Gilmore supporters, are her Lawn Signs are quickly vanishing. If anybody who once had a sign, or would like a sign for the first time, please contact us at http://gilmoreforalameda.com for a new lawn sign.
    Thank you.

    Comment by ben — October 18, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

  43. At a June meeting the Board of Education was discussing placing the bond measure on the ballot. Board member Spencer was bemoaning the fact a future Board with only three votes would be able to approve expenditures of bond proceeds. After numerous “questions” to staff about the approval process, I was totally frustrated. Here was my response to Board Member Spencer lack of understanding of basic governance principles for elected bodies of five members:

    “All you’ve gotta do is find two people who will align with Trish and you guys will be able to hold everything locked down solid and this district is not going to basically be able to invest in schools forever. For 10 years now there has been no moving forward on anything that meets your approval. There’s not been one single plan presented by this district that has met your approval. And if you can find two other people who are willing to run that would support your position we will allocate the money but we won’t spend it. And I find that to be extremely disheartening and very upsetting.

    I’m running on a campaign that is basically going to continue to do what is best for the district and give the voters a chance to vote. And I’m sorry I made a personal attack on you Trish, but I am fed up with it. Six years of basically saying no without presenting any plausible solutions always using language and technicalities to, in fact, create hoaxes and false arguments really just, ultimately just…”

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — October 18, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

  44. I

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 18, 2014 @ 6:28 pm

  45. take it then, you support Trish for mayor.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 18, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

  46. Board member Spencer was elect to serve on the school board. Her background and experience made her a viable candidate for school board. I see very little in current resume that would qualify her to be a candidate for Mayor. So no I am not supporting her for mayor.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — October 18, 2014 @ 6:50 pm

  47. Trish Spencer interacts with the people ….. looking out for whats best for everyone…It’s a ground roots campaign to do whats best for those who live here versus those that just work for city……I can see why to don’t support Mike..

    Comment by Not in the Agenda — October 18, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

  48. When your total focus is on what’s best for employees than whats best for the kids and parents you lost me……

    Comment by Not in the Agenda — October 18, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

  49. This is enough for me.
    Spencer, a school board member known for speaking her mind, opposes most development plans in Alameda. “We know there are housing developers that want to come here and build, build, build. We know that. Is that best for Alamedans? No. Many of us do not want that,” she said. “That is why I’m running. We have housing development that is occurring way faster than any real solutions to address the transportation issue.”

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 18, 2014 @ 7:07 pm

  50. Was Trish Spencer supporting kids and parents when she voted to not support math initiatives designed to help kids struggling with math? Was Trish Spencer supporting kids and parents when she voted against the funding mechanism to fix the pools at both high schools used by community members and students? Was Trish Spencer supporting kids and parents when she voted against allowing the Girls Inc program to continue their after school program at Earhart Elementary? And so on and so forth.

    People should just own and be honest about the fact that Trish Spencer panders to their very specific “anti-whatever” sentiment that they may have about the state of the City and the School District rather than try to frame her as the better candidate. Think Trish Spencer is going to be able to grind development to a halt? Or stop Ron Cowan from proposing whatever his latest idea for Harbor Bay? Or dismantle the Firefighter Union? She cannot build consensus, she’s had six years on the School Board to attempt it and she has never, once, tried to find common ground. If that’s what people want, fine, but at least be real about your motivations for voting for Trish Spencer, which is really a vote against what your perceptions of Marie Gilmore are.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 18, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

  51. 46
    Mike, I thought I read somewhere that if Trish lost the mayor race she’d revert back to her school board position. Now if I was so adamantly against working with her, I’d be happy to see her be promoted.

    That’s how it works in the Fed Government…and it works well.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 18, 2014 @ 7:28 pm

  52. 50
    Anti…Duh, that’s what makes her a better candidate, I understand that doesn’t set well with a snooty rich progressive but this city has roots. Send Russospiere back to Oak town.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 18, 2014 @ 7:37 pm

  53. To any reader who has ever purchased any piece of real estate: did you have the property appraised by an independent (not involved with the transaction) appraiser?

    Heck, just a few months ago the school board, the city council and the city housing authority (essentially the city) did a three way trade of various pieces of real estate.

    Most people have no idea of where those parcels are, or how valuable they were then and will be after the city is finished wheeling and dealing with them and developers.

    Most members of the AUSD voted for it. Members of the city council voted for it. The housing authority voted for it.

    Who was the only one who questioned it??? Trish Spencer. She was correct in questioning it and voting against it.

    Shortly after that land swap, the school superintendent departed for a new job in southern California.

    Trish remains here, working for the citizens of Alameda.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 18, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

  54. #53 — but that doesn’t answer the questions Lauren asked in #50 nor does it address Mike’s point in #43. The more I learn about all of her “No”votes — it’s unbelievable. Her votes don’t make any sense. How can you say you support children and not support after school care or Girls Inc?

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 18, 2014 @ 7:49 pm

  55. And Mike, thank you for your comments in #43. This is a reminder who Trish really is…..

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 18, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

  56. Well, course they don’t make sense to someone who says ‘yes’ to every scheme dreamed up by the ‘crowd everybody in’ and damn the consequences crowd.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 18, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

  57. My daughter went to after school care at Girl’s Inc. I was a single mom at the time so it was important for me to find a safe place for my daughter to be after school, and the Girl’s Inc. was it. She had adult supervision and participated in all the various after school acitivites. It was a wonderful experience for both of us.

    Thanks to Girl’s Inc my daughter graduated from St Josephs high school; received a full 4 year scholarship from NASA and an internship, and earned her Masters at Duke University.

    These are the kind of stories you’ll hear from parents like me who depend on after school programs like Girl’s Inc…..and Trish said “No”.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 18, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

  58. Trish voted to not support math initiatives designed to help kids struggling with math …. unbelievable. My daughter was a Math major and her greatest joy is finding creative ways to help children understand math — especially those who are struggling with it, and the children love her for it – parents too! These “No” votes literally break my heart.

    All children are worth saving Trish!

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 18, 2014 @ 8:21 pm

  59. wow- there is going to be core group of sorry constant posters on this site the day after the election. Incumbents and warhorses going down despite union support. People remember the YES votes- mostly for raises and bad land deals. And the school bond is losing, too. Read the tea leaves.

    Comment by Unbelievable — October 18, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

  60. 53.To any reader who has ever purchased any piece of real estate: did you have the property appraised by an independent (not involved with the transaction) appraiser?

    There was an appraisal done for the property AUSD owned on Everett. AUSD never received title to the Tidelands property and as a result the property would have reverted to city without any compensation to school district. Totally agree that were no appraisals were done for Alameda Point property. The only problem is that appraisers can not predict the future and rely on past sale transactions to create an appraisal. So we could have waited until 202X but Encinal pool would not be redone.

    Who was the only one who questioned it??? Trish Spencer. She was correct in questioning it and voting against it.

    As an elected official sooner or later you have to make decision based on the information available at the time. It is intellectually dishonest to oppose an issue based on a position that is not consistent with the facts. I have no problem with an opposition vote, just be honest and own your reason you are opposing.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — October 18, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

  61. I didn’t see a place to vote for the Mayor of West Alameda. Oh wait, there really isn’t a Mayor of West Alameda. It is just a title an old guy at Starbucks gave himself.

    Comment by Patrick — October 18, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

  62. Excuse me…Mayor of West End.

    Comment by Patrick — October 18, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

  63. 60 ..Mike you are worrying about the Encinal Pool Now…….Our Pools have been neglected for all the years you have sat on the School Board into disrepair……Plus I have seen cuts to all monies that would benefit kids directly while you focus on raises for your supporters…It’s not what you say but how you act……Most Students and Parents have come up short…

    Comment by Not in the Agenda — October 18, 2014 @ 11:11 pm

  64. #63 Our pools, like most of our facilities, are in disrepair because the State of California no longer provides funding for maintaining our buildings.

    Mike was the only board member who voted no on every pay raise presented – the Superprintendent, administrators, teachers, classified staff and maintenance because of the instability of state funding.

    During his time on the board he has approved programs parents and teachers have brought for approval. Our schools rankings have improved over his tenure.

    Comment by Anne DeBardeleben — October 18, 2014 @ 11:33 pm

  65. To any reader who has ever purchased any piece of real estate: did you have the property appraised by an independent (not involved with the transaction) appraiser?

    As in most cases: it depends.

    You set a price that you are willing to pay for the property and then move forward. The only time an appraiser gets involved is if you are trying to secure a mortgage on the property and the lender needs to decide if it’s “worth” it. If you can pay cash or put a large enough down payment on it so the amount that the lender needs to loan you is low, they may or may not hire an appraiser.

    As Anne DB stated, Mike McMahon really is the only one with a consistent vote against all pay raises which, as you can imagine, makes him super duper popular with bargaining units. Unlike others, he is fiscally conservative and knows that if you vote to approval a capital expenditure that there’s no money in the budget for (like the Encinal pool remodel) you need to support and vote for a way to pay for it (AUSD/City of Alameda partnership).

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 19, 2014 @ 7:43 am

  66. So essentially, Trish Spencer’s campaign is attractive because:

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 19, 2014 @ 7:50 am

  67. If Measure I passes,(a bond to raise approx. $179.5 miliion to be spent by the AUSD) how long will people be paying for it? 30 years?

    Can seniors opt out? No, they cannot. Is that being advertised? No.
    Is it common knowledge? No.

    #60 The school board willingly traded land (some underwater with boats anchored there) where boaters had paid monthly berthing fees.
    Where did that money go? Was it used for the schools (students) while AUSD had that property on their books?

    If the AUSD had “never received title to the Tidelands” why did the AUSD think they could trade it?
    And again, who received the rent from the yacht club located there and the boats anchored there for years?

    There are good reasons to question, doubt, and not believe what the AUSD and the “officials” in city hall tell us.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 19, 2014 @ 9:19 am

  68. A. neighbor, so far you haven’t posted anything but your opinion, and it ain’t a very good one.

    Comment by John P. — October 19, 2014 @ 9:23 am

  69. #68–other than the words “good reasons” in #67, there are no opinions in that post.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 19, 2014 @ 9:36 am

  70. Machiavellian politics on a very small scale. I must say Spencer designed her campaign in such a way that the anti-Spencer clique is caught between a conundrum and a dilemma.

    She has promised her SB constituents that if elected Mayor she will bring AUSD issues to the Mayor’s table. But who knows, she may resign the SB position if elected Mayor. So what does Do do, vote for Spencer as Mayor with the possibility the SB will be free of her ‘no’ votes or not vote for her as Mayor and let her run havoc on the SB two more years. I think secretly Spencer has determined she’ll get a lot of Mayor votes from her anti-SB folks and that may be enough votes to make her Mayor.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 19, 2014 @ 10:15 am

  71. 70 ” I think secretly Spencer has determined she’ll get a lot of Mayor votes from her anti-SB folks and that may be enough votes to make her Mayor.” how’s that a secret? That is her entire strategy. The thing about Machiavelli is that we think of him as having mapped things out several steps ahead. I don’t think Trish has that capacity and I’m not even sure this mayor thing was her idea. More likely somebody like Gretchen Lipow. It only takes 50% plus one for Marie to maintain office. The theft of signs is a pretty good indicator of the mentality of her opposition. Sophomoric.

    Comment by MI — October 19, 2014 @ 11:15 am

  72. O.K., this is so easy, I’m voting for Mayor Gilmore and I’m voting for Mike McMahon. Now I’m going to have a beer and watch football the rest of the day.

    Comment by John P. — October 19, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

  73. 71 and 72 makes two more votes for six more years of SB no votes. You guys don’t care for the kids, eh?

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 19, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

  74. #73, Absolutely! As much as she is extraordinarily difficult to have on the school board, the damage has been contained to a certain degree because of the other board members working together.

    The last time Spencer put her name forward for Pres of the School Board her sole arguement was because it was her turn. Mayor is a serious job for an experienced leader who can build concensus and represent our community in Alameda and beyond. That is why we are voting for Gilmore. The public will have an opportunity to decide on school board in 2016.

    Comment by Anne DeBardeleben — October 19, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

  75. And why it is so important to vote for Mike McMahon for School Board!

    Comment by Anne DeBardeleben — October 19, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

  76. Alameda Green Party must still have only one member, Gretchen Lipow. The idiots at the county have rubber stamped her endorsements for Alameda for several years now. You’d love that bunch Jack.

    Comment by MI — October 19, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

  77. Surprised you don’t (love her), Mark. She and her bunch were in charge of the Cal campus during the time when I was there. There were actually quite a few vets at Cal during the early 70’s and I look back on it with amusement remembering how many times we were asked to burn our draft cards.

    74 Anne, if Trish wins she WILL have a consensus of folks who don’t like where the present regime is taking the city.

    John P, I hope you are a member of the Rock Wall wine club. That place is THE west end jewel. Join by buying at least two bottles of club wine per quarter. Benefits include a free glass of wine every day for you and two guests and half price for any more you want. They pour liberally. Wife and I just returned from picking up this quarter’s wine and couldn’t resist having an afternoon glass of Viognier. The view of the City/ the taste of the wine/ the absolutely perfect weather/ the nostalgia of the Base (for me) and the many many people there make it a perfect afternoon whether or not the Raiders win.

    Comment by Jack Richard — October 19, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

  78. Jack, on my way to dinner, but you and I agree, Rock Wall, Scolaries, Faction Brewery, St. Georges. I love it there, please don’t tell any one else about it, O.K.

    Comment by John P. — October 19, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

  79. From all the support, It is clear that Trish has built a consensus. You Trish-haters just don’t like the one she represents. Her consensus hasn’t been backed by a manipulative political machine, so it isn’t in office yet.

    Trish has always listened to what I have to say, and asked me what I think. Frank Matarrese & Marilyn Ashcraft are like that also.

    OTOH, I have known Marie Gilmore much longer than Trish, and, since the 1990’s, Gilmore has yet to answer any of my emails to her. [Even Lena Tam answers my emails!]

    Gilmore may be a nice figurehead, but I find her distant & out of touch with what Alamedans need & want.

    Comment by vigi — October 19, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

  80. vigi- You don’t know what you speak. Gretchen lusts after a political machine she can manipulate. She’s done well with County Greens. For all intents and purposes Trish is her puppet. It’s easy to “listen” to what somebody has to say when you know that you are already in agreement.

    Comment by MI — October 19, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

  81. I do wish that people would stop bringing up the absence of a senior exemption in the new school bond. It has been stated at several forums/candidate’s nights that the reason there is no senior exemption is not because of some political “plot” but because the state law prohibits senior exemptions on measures that have a 55% threshold, as this one does. It is allowed for measures that have a 2/3 majority threshold requirement, but forbidden for those with a 55% one. So even if the makers of the measure’s language wanted a senior exemption, they were prevented by current state law from having it in the bond. If you don’t believe me; look it up for yourself.

    Comment by Kate Quick — October 19, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

  82. Kate I was under the impression that there is NEVER a Senior Exemption for Bond Issues only Property Tax Assessment.

    Comment by frank M — October 20, 2014 @ 6:49 am

  83. How is the decision made as to whether a bond will be placed on the ballot as either 55% (no exemption) or 66.66% (senior exemption)? It’s obviously easier to get 55% “yes” on any given vote, but is this a strategic decision that the measure sponsors make or are there set rules about it somewhere?

    Comment by Alison — October 20, 2014 @ 10:13 am

  84. Short answer:

    Proposition 39, passed by voters in November 2000, authorizes voters to pass certain school bond measures with 55% of the vote. Education Code §15266 was subsequently added by the Legislature (Ch. 44, 2000, AB 1908) to clarify that such elections shall only be held on a primary or general election, a regularly scheduled local election, or a statewide special election – NOT on any Tuesday.

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 20, 2014 @ 10:29 am

  85. #83 Yes, the strategy about placing a bond on the ballot in 2014 was openly discussed at AUSD meetings.

    They figured that a 55% vote was likely this year when they anticipate fewer people will vote than in 2016 when more will vote because it’ll be a presidential election year.

    Then they chose not to explain in the little bit that goes on the actual ballot that it needs only 55% to pass and seniors can not opt out from paying.

    The had it all figured out, they thought.

    Those who wrote the measure know this…..the general voting public does not.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 20, 2014 @ 11:32 am

  86. Oh! Also–Gilmore has never—-never responded to any—-any email I have sent her.

    Ditto #79– “Figurehead, indeed. Distant and out of touch with what Alamedans need and want.”

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 20, 2014 @ 11:36 am

  87. Maybe Mayor Gilmore doesn’t know how to find “A Neighbor” or just plain “vigi” in the phone book. None of us know who you are. If you tell me your name, the next time I talk to her I will give her your info. She has never been out of touch with anyone I know.

    Comment by John P. — October 20, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

  88. #87 I have sent Gilmore several emails with my name and email address. Not once did she respond.
    -Not even to say, “”got your note. ‘feel your pain. g’bye.” or a more diplomatic version of the same sentiment.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 20, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

  89. 88. on the one hand we can just take your word for it. on the other we have no context like who you are or seeing actual emails. I know you are going to say that any and all email should get SOME response and in theory we all get that too, but then there are the particulars….. If I were bombarded with rhetorically negative emails from a I might chose not to respond….impossible to really judge without all the context. Johnson was known not to respond, but one was never sure they were read in the first place.

    Comment by MI — October 20, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

  90. #89 The non-responsiveness of both Johnson and Gilmore makes very responsive Trish Spencer a very refreshing elected official.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 20, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

  91. It’s all relative. Gilmore and Johnson were probably just as responsive when they were in Tish’s position. Somebody recently posted Ambrose Bierce quote about what is solicitous to one constituent is pandering to another depending on the candidate. And so it is with Trish’s great attentiveness and listening skills. Trish’s record of being a broken record is anything but refreshing.

    Comment by MI — October 20, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

  92. “Having now reviewed the record on Ms. Spencer’s two most recent controversial “No” votes, we find the case against her considerably overstated, if not grossly exaggerated.” Read more in Robert Sullwold’s blog: http://alamedamgr.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-trish/

    Comment by Paul Beusterien — October 26, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

  93. Paul, the fact that Trish is on the defense trying to explain all of her “No” votes is reason enough to doubt her logic behind her voting record.

    A wise person once told me that you should ask for what you want and then be willing to negotiate the difference. That’s because it’s difficult to get 100% of what you want, but one’s willingness to negotiate the difference takes collaboration and a willingness to compromise — something that Trish’s “No” voting record shows she is unable to do.

    But nice try…….

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 26, 2014 @ 8:36 pm


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