Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 29, 2014

Marie Gilmore, Jim Oddie, Mike McMahon

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

I just realized that I haven’t yet released my election recommendations because, well, everyone else is doing it and I’ve done it year after year, why break with precedence.

If you haven’t yet guessed, for Mayor I have already voted for Marie Gilmore.   I say “already voted” because I like the whole absentee ballot thing because it’s really quite simple to knock it out in my spare time.

It’s fluffy but is pretty well done for a local election:

Why am I voting for Marie Gilmore?

Well during her time on the City Council Marie Gilmore has been a strong leader.  I don’t agree with some of her votes 100% but her deliberations on the dais show someone who is thoughtful and careful when she votes a certain way to lay out policy.  If she doesn’t agree with something before her, she attempts to find a middle ground that meets the differing sides halfway.  Even for issues that are super unpopular, she allows the process to take its course without signaling her opinion or bias in order to appease a few angry voices.   That is probably the most difficult thing about being an elected official.  It’s easy to pander to whoever is in the crowd, to soothe and placate folks and say “I’ll do x, y, and z.”   It takes a leader to hear out both sides of a particular issue and make — not the crowd pleasing decision — but the decision that is in the best interest of the City of Alameda as a whole.

As a person who, dare I say it, encourages development, I actually find Marie Gilmore more deliberative than I would like on issues of development.  To put it bluntly: I think she moves way too slow.  So when I hear people talk about how “fast” everything is moving, I can only chuckle.  It’s taken more than 15 years to actually get Alameda Landing to the state that it’s currently in.  What I will say for Marie Gilmore is that she is probably the best candidate to make sure that development is done properly in order to improve and mitigate potential traffic issues.   The reality is that even if development were to stop tomorrow, traffic will still increase.   It will take someone who believes in sound transportation planning and policy to make sure that the quality of life in Alameda is maintained as opposed to someone who thinks you can just put the brakes on everything and all problems will magically disappear.

Additionally, while people will decry Marie Gilmore‘s close relationship with the different bargaining units in Alameda, during her term in office there has been more accomplished with regards to negotiations with the bargaining units than in previous administrations.  The benefit of having a good relationship is that you come in to negotiations in a place of trust as opposed to a place of immediate conflict.  I think that the work that has been done is worth recognition and in fact this was the reason the Alameda Journal/Oakland Tribune endorsed Marie Gilmore for Mayor as well.

So Marie Gilmore for Mayor, she deserves your vote.

As to her opponent.  I mean, I think I’ve been pretty clear on why Trish Spencer is not fit to serve as Mayor, but you can always review my previous posts to understand my objections.

For City Council, despite threatening to write in a candidate this time, I actually cast a single vote.  This vote for was Jim Oddie.  I decided to not judge Jim Oddie on his spectacularly unimpressive support of Trish Spencer at the Alameda County Democratic Club two years ago when she was running for re-election.  Instead by the context of all his public service.   He is heads and tails better than the two other candidates.  One who is disappointment on the current City Council.  The other who ended his term on the City Council as a disappointment as well.

Jim Oddie did a commendable job on the first open government commission crafting policy to make the City of Alameda more open and transparent during a time when city government was not forthright and open with the public.  Hopefully his work at the State level as a staffer for Rob Bonta will position Alameda for some more grants to move parks and other much needed infrastructure projects forward.

I realize that not voting for a second candidate means that I really have no say in who fills the second seat, but honestly both Frank Matarrese and Stewart Chen will probably make the same sort of impact on the City Council.  So *shrug*

For the School Board I will also cast a singular vote as well for Mike McMahon.   It’s more of a statement of support for Mike McMahon than a vote against anyone else.   I could have easily been happy to vote for Solana Henneberry, and recognize that with her background and the boots on the ground stumping for her, she will win easily.   I already wrote a post about why I 100% support Mike McMahon but I’m going to cut and paste it here again, because it deserves saying again and again:

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.

Mike McMahon is that quality elected official that, despite people wanting to vote for someone they can be buddies with or can press the flesh and whoop it up at a street fair, can talk about all the issues that confront the school district and is the official that we so desperately need to retain.  He can break down all the challenges and the possible solutions and understands it all.  That is a rarity for a local elected official, but at one point Alameda was actually blessed to have two people on the School Board that had the same skill set and it was pretty exciting and humbling to watch the School Board to see that knowledge slung around.

Mayor: Marie Gilmore

City Council: Jim Oddie

School Board: Mike McMahon

In a few days I’ll do a brain/heart/gut post too, just for fun.


  1. The reality is that even if development were to stop tomorrow, traffic will still increase.


    Those of us stuck in a time warp, not progressive about development, have a tough time understanding that line. Could you explain it, and dumb it down for the less enlightened?

    Comment by dave — October 29, 2014 @ 6:24 am

  2. The traffic studies that have been done previously for both the SunCal plan — a project that people believe would have been “too much” for Alameda to handle.– and Alameda Landing remnant parcel both show that traffic will have degraded a similar amount for the project and if there were “no project.”

    Those are both the two examples I could find quickly that I have written about in the past by searching for “traffic will increase.”

    Comment by Lauren Do — October 29, 2014 @ 7:15 am

  3. Plus, Alameda has businesses that people from outside Alameda patronize. Even if Alameda freezes, nearby areas are growing and will contribute more traffic.

    Comment by ajryan — October 29, 2014 @ 7:21 am

  4. #3 There is no doubt that Traffic will increase anyway. It is a matter of how much? If you add four thousand additional people to our population do you really believe that the increase traffic would be the same as if the population remained stable. Really this is one of the most ridiculous arguments I have ever seen. It just defies common sense. I am not one who wants to stop development. My gut feeling is that by the time Del Monte and Chipman are finished we will see the impact and perhaps by that time it won’t be too late. We are relying on a ‘new demographic’ to solve our traffic woes. We have no way of predicting of exactly what that demographic will be. It makes no sense at all that one project (Alameda Landing) is approved with a shopping center and massive free parking when we are trying in other projects to discourage driving. I am one of the fortunate not only retired but live within walking distance of most anything I want to do. However in walking I do see the backup on Park St. in the morning and evening already.

    Comment by frank m — October 29, 2014 @ 7:51 am

  5. 2

    The Suncal plan strained credulity then and hasn’t improved with age. The numbers quoted in it were (and remain) fanciful. If development halts, the only two factors that would SIGNIFICANTLY increase traffic would be a major baby boom or a spike in per household car ownership, neither of which is particularly likely.


    Outsiders patronizing Alameda businesses are generally driving opposite the normal commute pattern, therefore adding far less strain that new residents would. And in any case, there’s some doubt as to how much of that will ever happen. We already have significant commercial vacancies, and will have more when the Landing empties the Marina Village strip center. That isn’t a sign of major customer inflow from off-island.

    Comment by dave — October 29, 2014 @ 8:00 am

  6. Your insights are helpful. Thanks for expressing them. Our family of four have voted for Mayor Gilmore. She has been professional and I trust her judgement when dealing with major issues. I do not agree with everything she has said or done, but I don’t expect that of myself when it comes to city or state government. I have observed Mayor Gilmore in various situations and have always found her to be steady and professional. Even when she was forced to get around with a crutch, she still attended events that most people would have stayed home for. She has always taken her position seriously and I appreciate that. BTW, at some point, the mayor position in Alameda should become a paid position.

    Comment by Bill — October 29, 2014 @ 8:38 am

  7. Cirque du Soleil anyone?
    The elections are over we can almost breathe a sight of relief from all the garbage which has been flying around .
    Someone posted yesterday about one of the origin of the nasty flyers , which came from 5940 College ave Oakland CA 94618 , yes indeed it is a CPA firm the Henry levy Group ….. { }. Stacy Owens is the principal and political treasury manager { } they do a good job trashing candidates.

    I went there , the door has a brown combo key system , a very nice Lady let me in , I explained I wanted to make a contribution to Mr Chen Campaign …… 15 minutes later there I had it , 28…Johnson Ave in Alameda with the phone number , only one slight problem it was for Mr Matarrese ..

    Sorry Mr Chen and Oddie the Peoples you paid to run your advertising do not have your campaign address , but they provided me your opponent . Hand written on a sticky on the back of their business card .LMAO

    Could this lack of basic communication explain the poor situation at the Alameda Hospital which you both were elected to supervise

    How anyone can rely on such peoples to run their campaign when they hand over the opponent address and phone number .Mr Chen it does very much look like deja vue , the very reason you ended up in legal trouble.

    I hope they do a better job at accounting , or their Clients will have a hell of a problem with the IRS …..
    Indeed monitoring 3 computer screen at the same time do require skill .

    On an equally serious side , this is the reason you should not hand a check to your party but to the candidate you believe in , Elections are better than any IPO , they happen at regular interval , an insured income for them ,

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — October 29, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  8. The flyer trashing Frank Mataresse is all you need to know about the character of his opponents. If you want lying, cheating, opportunists backed by ruthless self-interest groups, vote for Chen and Oddie.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — October 29, 2014 @ 11:37 am

  9. Great interview! It’s hard not to be proud of our Mayor. One of the reasons I support her is because she has a regional perspective and related connections which will grow our economy, and help us solve some of our transportation issues.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 29, 2014 @ 11:42 am

  10. #8 Let’s say that loudly and clearly.

    Alameda is so small, it’s easy to see that

    Oddie+Chen and their closest allies (some of whom are also up for one position or another–they just covet political power) are backed by lying, cheating, opportunists financed by ruthless self-interest groups.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 29, 2014 @ 1:38 pm

  11. A Neighbor – who are you? How do we know that you are a local citizen and not come Super Pac? You’re pretty downright nasty when it comes to the candidates you don’t like.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 29, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

  12. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like negative politics but I also believe that there are a few people that are blogging on this blog that are not local citizens but are part of a Super Pac. How convenient for them that they can point fingers and then hide behind names like “A Neighbor”.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 29, 2014 @ 2:26 pm

  13. #12 I am a neighbor. 94501 is they zip code where I live, work, play, and receive mail.

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 29, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

  14. Sorry, I’m not convinced. Anybody can produce a zip code.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 29, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

  15. Just checked my mail….addressed to me, at my home. in 94501

    It says “Tell Matarrese to play by the rules”…..
    “Termed out Frank Matarresse is using a loophole in the law to run again.” That’s a lie.

    It tells people to vote for Chen.

    The return address is
    The Golden State Leadership Fund PAC
    1525 S. Sepulveda blvd. #101.
    Los Angeles, CA 90025

    Why believe someone who tells lies?
    Why vote for the people they finance?

    and the rest of you–look closely at your mail!

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 29, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

  16. Obviously, you’ve chosen to be anonymous while attacking the candidates you don’t like while at the same time pointing a finger at others doing it. It’s hypocritical that’s what it is.

    There’s a saying, while you point the finger at someone else, there is a finger pointing right back at you. Try it!

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 29, 2014 @ 3:39 pm

  17. Why are these people so interested in getting Chen elected in Alameda?

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 29, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

  18. #16 Chen and Oddie’s Supporters are the one providing the NEGATIVE Campaign Mailers. Really I have no objection to any organization making Contributions to Candidates. I do object to all the negative crap because when the Election is over we all have to live with each other. I also have a RIGHT to point out that I don’t like them. Your argument is ridiculous.

    Comment by frank m — October 29, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

  19. Frank – I don’t like them either, and I don’t like negative campaigning. I never have, and I never will. Many of us on this blog have been pretty open about who we are, and why we’re voting the way we are. Most of us are people who feel pretty comfortable sharing our views and we have the courage to put a name to it. In my opinion, it’s hypocritical for someone to attack candidates under the name “A Neighbor” and then attack other people for sending out anonymous mailers.

    I’m not saying its right or wrong – I’m saying it’s hypocritical.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 29, 2014 @ 4:49 pm

  20. A neighbor .
    I flushed out the one from northern CA gave you their name and email , please do the same for that “other group” everyone should really be concerned , behind the garbage thrown at candidates there are decent Peoples with Family , they do not deserve this treatment as we are alienating qualified people from all faith and races from running

    On the other side we have businesses and scam artist who need the money from the candidate and party to survive , for them the election is just like fresh blood for the ticks.
    They have no allegiance , they have only one purpose suck the money during the elections.

    When a CPA firm give so much attention to elections, there is something else at stake .
    IT IS ,
    Your Freedom everyone else freedom , Freedom is not for sale . Unless you are Mr Oddie and Chen , which is one and the same . A lawyer and a Someone who stretch the facts to a laughing point. .

    Karen I like your post , I am not anonymous and have personally verified my post .
    I am pretty sad and sorry for the entire democratic party, I used to have respect for them it look like they are getting desperate , sad fact Mr Matarrese is a Democrat they are back stabbing Him , They want to be Civic leader ?……

    At the next major election the GOP will bank on it , the toll will be heavy for the Democrats we might have some nasty surprise , they will not have anyone else but themselves to blame , I sincerely doubt the Firefighters or the Police Union will be able to counter the GOP , just in case one forget , Texas used to be Democrat , until the GOP concentrated on it flip over to GOP almost overnight .
    The narrow minded anti Matarrese campaign will destroy the Democratic party as we know it .

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — October 29, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

  21. Johnson had an expensive mailer arrive on her behalf which I think she disavowed. That was back when local campaigns were more “grass roots” so to speak. The source of the mailer were people who backed her and were some off island interest ( “Perata’s people”?). I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. I don’t recall if that mailer was simply in favor of Johnson or against other candidates. It’s pretty unusual to have negative campaigning here in things like mailers. David Howard did trump up a web site for dumping Mike McMahon, has that been revived? This mailer is simply stupid. It not only misrepresents the facts about term limit rules, it takes a swipe at Frank and says vote for Chen. I don’t see anything related to Oddie. I don’t think it will have a lot of impact except to piss off Frank’s supporters. I think it’s too late for letters in the Sun protesting it before election time. IF elected I am interested to see if Dr. Chen disavows the mailer. I don’t doubt that. There is an associate with the firm with surname “Chen”.

    #10.”Oddie+Chen and their closest allies (some of whom are also up for one position or another–they just covet political power) are backed by lying, cheating, opportunists financed by ruthless self-interest groups.”

    I’m not casting a vote for council, or perhaps I’ll write-in, so I’m not trying to defend Oddie, but I think your statement is a bit hyperbolic regarding Oddie. I know about County Demo endorsement too, but “lying, cheating, ruthless” is a bit too breathless. We all have theories about who is or isn’t paying attention. One factor is that anybody who is likely to vote in this election is by definition somewhat more politically involved than the average citizen, so it will be interesting to see who does get elected for council. I expect Frank and Chen to be seated. also interested to see how much evidence there is of bullet voting. That’s tough one to sort out with much certainty.

    Comment by MI — October 29, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

  22. in 21 typo, I DO doubt Chen will disavow.

    Comment by MI — October 29, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

  23. #21 There were two separate mailers. The first one sent by supporters of Oddie + Chen. The second supporters for Chen.

    Comment by frank m — October 29, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

  24. “… also interested to see how much evidence there is of bullet voting”
    Check LDs Post and you’ll see how much.

    Comment by jack — October 29, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

  25. I’d advise voting against Mike for BOE. It’s the old ‘up or out’ mantra of the military. It’s time Mike moved up to the Council and the only way he’ll do it is by losing his BOE seat. Come on Mike, you can do better than limiting yourself to the farm clubs.

    Comment by jack — October 29, 2014 @ 7:44 pm

  26. Anybody know what the loophole is (re: Matarrese being able to run after terming out in 2010)???

    Comment by bayporter — October 29, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

  27. I”m guessing it’s political-ese for “alameda’s term limits just say no more than two terms in a row” but don’t limit a candidate from running for council after one election has passed. Now that your question has made me think about it, it’s seems comparable to a tax law that says you can’t do X, but then is written in such a way that X is indeed possible. Colloquially, that’s a loophole.

    Not unfair or cheating, but some might argue it’s not the intent of the voters. Somehow I doubt that candidates continuing to return to the council (Johnson, Daysog, Matarrese) was exactly what voters intended. That said, there’s no two ways about it, it’s most definitely the rules that they put in place and Matarrese is clearly following them.

    Comment by jkw — October 29, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

  28. Loophole: any perfectly legal action taken by a politician you don’t support

    Comment by Ambrose Bierce — October 30, 2014 @ 6:01 am

  29. When I first ran for school board in 1994, I had no intention of moving up any ladder. If anyone has noticed my campaigning is atypical (lost three elections) and I have never been able to secure any endorsements from powerful interest groups. I enjoy the work, the challenge and the occasional success. Most politicians who moved the ladder will tell you that serving on the school board was toughest elected job since parents can become very protective of their young.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — October 30, 2014 @ 6:02 am


    Looking for more information about the campaign spending sources in Alameda?

    Comment by A Neighbor — October 30, 2014 @ 7:41 am

  31. The anonymous mailer is slime. It attempts to mislead voters into thinking Frank has broken the law. He hasn’t. I sure hope this was an entirely independent undertaking by some dirtbags outside of Alameda, although even that is only slightly less bad than if it was engineered here.

    It’s not only dirty but also dumb, since it seems to give credence to some of the darker theories some have about what’s really going on in Alameda politically.

    Comment by Slime Mail — October 30, 2014 @ 7:54 am

  32. That piece reference in 30 should be required reading for anyone interested in the local election.

    Comment by dave — October 30, 2014 @ 7:55 am

  33. I’m going to have to believe that all of these highly dishonest politicians will get their Karma in due time. Chen and Tam should not be allowed to run after their illegal shenanigans, but after all this apparently Alameda is still the wild Wild West. I’m just wondering if Frank can sue, I think it’s time this is stopped in it’s tracks, even if he doesn’t win this election. Laws need to
    change regarding criminals running for office. Chen got away with major criminal activity and he’s certainly no Jean Valjean!

    Comment by Wendy — November 3, 2014 @ 10:36 am

  34. Furthermore, all those expensive mailers supported by corporate interests that pile up onto my front door go directly to the recycling bin. What a waste of money that could be put directly into our school system!

    Comment by Wendy — November 3, 2014 @ 10:40 am

  35. I like Marie, as a strong charming woman, but we need a leader that will keep alameda charming not chaotic. That’s why I’m voting for Trish. I know Marie’s constantly talking Green, but I don’t see anything really Green about Alameda besides it’s biking community, which has been around since Marie was a toddler! And transparency??? Huh?

    Comment by Wendy — November 3, 2014 @ 10:48 am

    • Alameda is not chaotic. It is a city with 80,000 residents of multiple cultures and backgrounds. Differences of opinion are to be expected. The people who do not understand city government want the school mom to be Mayor. She has no experience in city government, has no relations with county or state government, has no contacts with Washington DC or the Navy, and simply “thinks” she can do the job. To vote for Trish is to avoid your responsibility of being a mature resident to the 14th largest city in the Bay Area. Do not hand over the reins to inexperience. We have come to far to do that.

      Comment by Bill — November 3, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

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