Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 5, 2014

C’mon son.

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Just between you and me, about three months, maybe four months ago I was seriously considering just ending this blog.  Things were a little quiet, I was pretty happy with the direction the City was going in.  It’s like all of those angry girl rock stars like Alanis Morrisette and Shirley Manson from Garbage, once they sang out all their complaints and issues, they sort of ran out of things to say.  I sort of felt like that.

But now…

I mean.





So, I know better than to stay up and watch the votes slowly tick in. It’s no good for my stomach lining, and honestly, my time could be better spent sleeping. After all I have a full day of work and these kids are not going to take care of themselves, so I put down the AC Gov website at a reasonable hour and went to bed. Then I woke up at midnight and did what I had promised myself I wouldn’t do and checked the results which then resulted in me unable to get back to sleep, because of this:

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 12.57.53 AM


Which just made me sad to realize that the majority of Alameda voters simply do not recognize the value of having someone with deep knowledge of school related issues on the School Board.  And that the power of the teacher’s union endorsement really does still reign supreme in School Board elections.  The Teachers’ Union has again propped up another disappointingly non-committal candidate (Gary Lym) whose sole role was to unseat Mike McMahon.  I mean, he didn’t even support Measure I (which passed, a small bright light in an overall disappointing election).

But even worse is this result, which I honestly have no clue on how to start unpacking:

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 1.03.36 AM

Other than to (1) be sad as an Alameda resident because, OMG, Trish Spencer as Mayor.  Clearly the majority of the people who voted for her have never watched one single school board meeting ever and (2) realize that Trish Spencer as Mayor will probably keep this blog in content for the next four years pretty easily, I guess there’s always a silver lining.

As suggested by some commenters, Marie Gilmore really ran a rather lethargic campaign in comparison to Trish Spencer’s press the flesh campaign.  And, much like it worked for Doug deHaan all those years ago, it certainly paid dividends for Trish Spencer.  Trish Spencer, like on the School Board,  said enough things to appeal to enough pet issues for people that they felt as though she would be a good Mayor.  Apparently there are thousands of votes left to be counted, so it will be a few days before we know what the actual result is, but it doesn’t look good for Marie Gilmore. Although, I think the body that Trish Spencer needs to thank though is the Teacher’s Union who propped her up two years ago and continued to sell her brand.

Looking deep into my crystal ball, which was very off for this election, here’s how I see the City Council shaking down, with a Frank Matarrese and Jim Oddie win.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 1.29.02 AM


There will be the natural alignment of people with similar positions which is a huge question mark for a large portion of this Council because the issues that will be coming before them are all going to be relatively new. Trish Spencer will inevitably implode on the top seat.  She simply does not have the abilities to lead or form a coalition.  So, several members of the City Council should be looking forward four years to unseat her because, unlike on the School Board, Trish Spencer will have no where to hide and all eyes will be watching her.  Justifications for voting “no” on items by simply saying “I am voting against this because it diverts money away from the classroom” will no longer fly.   Mostly Frank Matarrese, who we all know has Mayoral aspirations, should be very careful to position himself as the rational moderate.   Of course Frank Matarrese might opt to wait out his full two terms before trying for the Mayoral seat, opting to wait out his “turn.”   But if he is the Frank Matarrese of the Alameda Theatre and Library campaign era instead of the Frank Matarrese at the end of his last term, he should be able to position himself beautifully for a Mayoral run.  Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft is actually also perfectly positioned, as Marie Gilmore was four years ago, to attempt a run at the Mayoral seat in the middle of her second term if she is re-elected two years from now.

Another twist is whether or not City Manager John Russo will stick it out or whether he will bail with this change in the City Council.  While I don’t think that losing Stewart Chen is a big deal, the City Manager and Mayor work pretty closely together.  It will be interesting to see if he will be able to work with Trish Spencer or if he even wants to work with Trish Spencer.   Some people won’t be unhappy to see the exit of John Russo as City Manager.  I’m on the “meh” fence about it, I’m not a rah rah fan of John Russo, he has his eye roll worthy moments for me, but it would be pretty shitty to not have someone strong minding the store particularly with someone whose knowledge of actual City issues is pretty limited in the top seat.

Anyway to wrap up: Marie Gilmore and Mike McMahon should be proud of their accomplishments and achievements on their respective elected bodies.  They both did the thankless jobs without much accolade, brought knowledge and tackled their roles without needing to spend a lot of time in the limelight and being adored.  I think that sort of introvertedness is indicative of why they both did not perform that well, neither are natural campaigners and I think campaigning is probably the most difficult part of this whole process for both of them.  We talk at a macro level about how we want more thoughtful elected officials and not just smiles, platitudes, and an empty suit.  But for Alameda, that’s exactly what was elected for the Mayor’s seat.  There’s that quote that goes something like, we get the government that we deserve, and certainly that is the case for Alameda’s City government for the next four years.


  1. Should these provisional results hold, I strongly urge the School Board to appoint Mike McMahon to fill Trish’s soon-to-be empty seat. A board with such new & unseasoned membership badly needs Mike’s experience and institutional knowledge. On top of that, doing so will save the significant cost of a special election, which Mike would probably win anyway.

    Comment by dave — November 5, 2014 @ 6:16 am

  2. Yes. Any empty seat on the School Board whether it is Trish Spencer’s or if Niel Tam decides to bow out due to health reasons should be filled by Mike McMahon.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 5, 2014 @ 6:19 am

  3. I agree, doesn’t the empty seat automatically go to the 3rd highest vote getter? (MIKE)

    Comment by alan P — November 5, 2014 @ 6:37 am

  4. only on the council.

    Comment by John P. — November 5, 2014 @ 6:39 am

  5. We’ll find out what exactly Spencer will do. She got the usual malcontents but was able to win by adding newer and younger people worried about development, something Bail and de Haan never could. Whereas the former group tends to be old-school Alamedans and conservative, I don’t get the sense that’s true of the latter. Spencer was able to get the latter because, I’m afraid, Gilmore completely and utterly ceded the narrative about traffic and development. Perhaps she was hoping incumbency would get her enough votes. She should have run a much, much stronger campaign. She didn’t and now we’re stuck with Spencer, who will, as you point out, not be able to say no all the time. Back to Alamediocre.

    Comment by BC — November 5, 2014 @ 6:46 am

  6. The election proved that many of the opinions held on this site have only marginal political relevance and that the voters rejected incumbents and their many union and demo endorsers. Time for new faces on the Board who under McMahon’s leadership managed to rubber stamp everything the Sup. said. That is why he finished third out of three. How about former principal Bill Sonneman, head of the Alameda Education Foundation? Or how about someone who actually has kids in school, talks to teachers and students and is currently head of a PTA group at one of Alameda’s schools? Those are the people who can identify issues that need to be addressed.

    Comment by Breathless — November 5, 2014 @ 7:00 am

  7. Breathless— you leave me breathless.

    Comment by John P. — November 5, 2014 @ 7:06 am

  8. #6. 48.5 % is not marginal. This vote is not a mandate. The first thing I thought is how few of the 6000 voters who voted for Trish have watched a school board meeting. Now they can watch city council with their eyes held wide open like Malcolm McDonald in Clock Work Orange. The mayor chairs the council meetings and every little thing about Trish will be glaring.

    Comment by MI — November 5, 2014 @ 7:53 am

  9. After last minute reading of election junk before voting, I found I was really taken with a blog piece by Rbt. Sullwold. I’ve decided from that, that if I’m ever being hauled away to the pokey for something, I want him for my defense lawyer. I don’t know what he really does, besides write, but he has possibly the best ability to flesh out snips of parts of fact, attach them to a barely related subject, title the whole something compelling, sound really good for long enough that one actually forgets he hasn’t said anything germane. I’d be home free in time for dinner with him on my side. Sadly, he was for Trish Spencer and a lot of people were taken in, apparently.

    Comment by Li_ — November 5, 2014 @ 7:56 am

  10. This is from a fairly disengaged observer. I am sorry that Gilmore and McMahon lost. I think both are serious, smart and hard working. From the little I have seen, I worry about erratic and arbitrary decisions from the new mayor and possible embarrassment to the city. I am concerned about the loss of a super-knowledgeable School Board member (i.e. someone who match facts with facts and arguments with arguments with representatives of the vested interests/unions who tend to otherwise dominate local bodies – the inmates will now be running the asylum, by themselves). That said, I was not surprised to see the huge number of Spencer signs all over town and the impact of her support base in a mid-term election year. I would have preferred Gilmore (over the alternative) to be involved in the big development decisions to be made. But for my tastes, and perhaps those of Spencer supporters, there was a bit too much talk of big ideas like job development and regional housing. I think most view the role city government as making THIS city better for those who are here and that the slogans sounded too much like talking points written by the developers and for the lack of answers on the transportation/traffic problems for which no real solution has been put forward. I don’t think Spencer will do any better with those issues and it is unfortunate that the candidate better equipped to deal with them has, for now, lost that opportunity because she did not effectively communicate that she had the concerns of existing residents at the forefront while pushing ahead with new development.

    Comment by MP — November 5, 2014 @ 7:59 am

  11. Very glad to see Robert Raburn retain his seat on the BART board. Lena Tam only wanted it as a placeholder so that she could be in elected office while waiting for Rob Bonta to make his next upward move. Kind of unsavory, but politics as usual I suppose.
    Sad to see Mike McMahon lose, but hope he is appointed to Spencer’s vacated seat.

    Comment by Thrilled the robocalls are over — November 5, 2014 @ 8:23 am

  12. I was also stunned by the outcome of this election, both in the city and in the nation.
    In Alameda, my immediate sense is that two events flipped this election:

    1) The proposal that new tenants of the old Del Monte warehouse will have to pay exorbitant monthly fees for their “privilege” to park their car on the property certainly woke me up to today’s reality. It’s an issue.

    2) And I believe citizens of Alameda who go through the Tube every morning are tired of the extraordinary amount of time it takes during commute hours — the current council never really addressed that issue.

    It was all the kind of thing that woke up Chuck Corica when he saw so many of our wonderful old Victorian houses being torn down, replaced with chicken coop apartments. Corica took action with Measure A, which has stood the test of time in our community. In that sense, the current council lost the feeling of most Alamedans about current development plans … regardless of what other state or federal regulations demand. The council got lost in the complexity of the problems they faced, and neglected the true feelings of the people. There’s a lot of complexity in current development plans, and they got lost in the minutia. They neglected the big picture in the process, which is the feeling of the people they represent.

    That’s my two cents on a stunning morning.

    Comment by ron — November 5, 2014 @ 8:25 am

  13. In doing the preliminary recap of the Election prediction game- whoever Central Ave #C is looks like the winner with a 45 points (30 points for correctly picking Measure I voter margin and picking School Board candidate as the top vote getter.) Thanks for playing. Overall, the echo chamber was completely off as those who actually voted did not participate in the contest.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — November 5, 2014 @ 9:00 am

  14. Yesterday there was a silent revolution in alameda. 😦

    It’s just hard to imagine what it will be like with Spencer as Mayor. Can you imagine her actually doing mayoral things, like being at ribbon cuttings, and setting the direction for the city, and leading and setting the tone for the council meetings? I’m really just shuddering. I think that now that the campaigning is over, she’ll revert back to her true form and the Alamedans who voted for her will see what a colossal mistake they made. I’ll be there to say “I told you so” but that’s a high price to pay for that privilege.

    I wish there was some gesture to make to Mayor Gilmore to thank her for her service to Alameda. She deserved better than to be replaced like this.

    The only silver lining around here, from my perspective at least, was to see Robert Raburn re-elected.

    Comment by Dan W — November 5, 2014 @ 9:15 am

  15. Anyone interested in taking a yelling class? Because it’s been my experience that Trish sides with whoever is loudest.

    Comment by Oh the Irony! — November 5, 2014 @ 9:15 am

  16. Breathless, Your observation of McMahon and your suggestion of Sonneman show how out of the loop of who gets what done you really are. Sonneman is a nice guy but doesn’t get much done and just wants to be everyones friend. He was the principal of my kids school and many times I watched him make excuses for really bad teachers etc. and pull the standard approach. Putting the kids with the loud parents with the good teachers and sticking the poor kids with the sucky ones. No way he could face tough issues.

    Comment by a parent who pays attn. — November 5, 2014 @ 9:15 am

  17. Like others, disappointed in the efforts of Gilmore. Did she think she had it in the bag? Alameda would be in bad shape were leadership/solidity/knowledgability in the name of Russo were to depart. I hope he has more integrity than to turn with hands up.

    Comment by Gabrielle Dolphin — November 5, 2014 @ 9:18 am

  18. 9. GREAT take on Sullwold.

    11. where is Bonta headed, governor? I don’t think it is accurate to attribute the same motivation to Lena as Ron Bonta. Lena had to be recruited to run for that BART spot. I haven’t spoken with Lena for some time, but my sense of her m.o. is that to a large degree she defines herself with public service and that she is not tremendously ambitious in the way you seem to think. I do imagine that not having obligations of public office may leave a void for her. At times her judgement may have been seriously flawed but I never questioned her sincerity and basic integrity. We are not close friends but I spent more time with her than any other local politician and she is a genuinely nice person.

    Comment by MI — November 5, 2014 @ 9:23 am

  19. Sound like the French have taken over with their guillotine , “the Alamedan” quoted Stewart Chen as being the king of the election with His lavish campaign finances , Mr Matarrese with 1/5 of finances beat Him clean and clear , should Mr Jeff Cambra decided to run , Oddie would have been out too .
    People are fed up with negativity , trashing , slandering , if you cannot run a clean campaign you are out .
    This also resulted in confusing peoples they did not elect Matarrese twice for His look .

    Pretty much this was the sentiment across the country , it was the Democrat’s Waterloo .

    What was really scary , to see one of my Former boss on National TV delighted by the Unions debacle , we are prohibited to be affiliated with any unions , it is a terminable offense !

    Yet our biggest customers are:
    The Fire Dept. , The Police Dept. , The Cities with leaving wages agreement , the Unions {yes that one is rather funny} the hiring wages are $9.00 an hour if you are lucky 13.00 you better be good .

    Captain Weaver , chew on that one while cashing in $ 250 000.00 a year seating behind a desk.
    Can you leave in Alameda on these wages , You said no ! you cannot afford to leave in Alameda it is too expensive. We Do , we even pay for our own Gas {the Alameda Fire Chief was not the only one filling His vehicle .

    That’s why you lost the elections , you are out of touch with reality .

    Comment by joel Rambaud — November 5, 2014 @ 9:24 am

  20. What a bunch of sore losers.

    Comment by jack — November 5, 2014 @ 9:26 am

  21. I have to wonder how much Jim Oddie wants to go back in time and not battle for the endorsement of Trish in 2012. We told you so, Jim. Enjoy the next four years of having her crazy eyes staring you down.

    Comment by Oh the Irony! — November 5, 2014 @ 9:27 am

  22. It is very concerning that Spencer was voted in as mayor. No experience, no connections, etc. will cripple the city for the next few years. It is so difficult to predict the weakness of the voters. Well, back to the 1970’s we go. The election may well impact John Russo and in some ways, Marilyn Ashcraft, who most likely would have run for Mayor in the next election. Unless Spencer grows up quickly, Ashcraft should be a shoe-in. What an embarrassment for Alameda at this point.

    Comment by Bill — November 5, 2014 @ 9:32 am

  23. The negative add have trashed the elections , yes indeed a very silent revolt has taken place , The anti Matarrese war chest was well over $ 100 000.00 before the elections even started , this to trash one of their own a Democrat.
    $ 100 000.00 for Alameda ??? anything we are all missing ?

    I like to thanks very much:
    – The golden State Leader ship aka onesourcela 1525 suite 101 s Sepulveda blvd LA 90025 , insight@onesource
    – The Henry Levy group 5940 college ave suite F Oakland CA 94618 //
    {both CPA co. hope they do a better job with their Clients tax return}
    – The COPS Voter Guide in Folsom
    – The Continuing the Republican revolution “that one got fine $17 000.00 for unethical practices .
    – The Ross g Bates consulting 3701 # 124 s Hudson st Seattle “they claim to be making elections flyers” and contributed heavily against Matarrese , interesting someone paid to do a job and funding a campaign , I forget how it’s called in English when someone put money in a business then draw a paycheck from it .
    Either way If I was a candidate running for any election , I would run from the above .
    No wonder Arnold got elected .

    On my way to give a wreath to the Henry Levy Group anyone want to tag alone .

    Comment by joel — November 5, 2014 @ 10:08 am

  24. #5. You’re right about this voter, at least. I am a mid-30s, well-educated voter. While not an Alameda native, I am a Bay Area native. I’m registered as decline-to-state and would say I’m very progressive on social issues and somewhat more moderate on fiscal issues.

    I voted for Trish Spencer. While I recognize that Spencer is not a perfect candidate, I couldn’t vote for Gilmore. She may be more knowledgeable about city government and have better connections regionally. But I truly don’t trust her to listen to and consider the desires of all Alamedan voters. I’d rather a less politically savvy mayor (even an obstinate one) who has indicated that she thinks development is proceeding too quickly than one who has shown us that she can move things along at too rapid a pace. There is a lot of development going on right now, and it would be best to pause or at least slow the pace, assess the effects of current development on Alameda life and allow the city to absorb the changes before proceeding at breakneck speed on Alameda Point development. I’m tired of the argument that development is great, in and of itself. Some change and development is essential, but it should be carried out carefully and with great consideration for the needs/desires of the current (and future) residents. The identity of a place can be drastically and forever changed, for better or for worse. To be honest, I didn’t think Spencer would do as well as she did. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in my concerns about the decisions that have been made recently and which will need to be made over the next few years.

    I am disappointed about Mike McMahon and hope he will get the empty seat. I was not a knee-jerk “vote out the incumbents” voter as some may assume. My decisions for each office were made individually.

    #9. Lauren’s blog is awesome, and I read it every day and relish the discussion in the comments. I disagree with her on several issues surrounding development and traffic concerns and chalk that up to differences of opinion and priorities. I make an effort to read about issues from a variety of angles. It’s ridiculous that people assume the people who voted for Trish are deluded or “taken in” by well-written bloggers like Robert Sullwold (I’ve read a few of his posts but none recently). Lauren is a great writer; I read her arguments about issues and am not often swayed from my opinions.

    Comment by Sarah Hernandez — November 5, 2014 @ 10:22 am

  25. My biggest head scratcher for me is that 8100 voters voted yes on Measure I and I only got 5100 votes. My only explanation is title of Alameda Unified School District Trustee was viewed as a negative and the voters wanted to throw the incumbent out.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — November 5, 2014 @ 10:22 am

  26. Bill , it make absolutely no difference who is the Mayor ,
    City Employee run the City , it will be an interesting one however looking at the interaction with John Ratto , and this in itself will be priceless , looking forward to it. No more boring City meeting.

    Hope Mac get back on the school board ,
    Breathless , take a deep one the reason Mac finished third has nothing to do with His record , but everything with His campaign , low key , low finances , Civil , Educated .
    When someone can express themselves without the need of lobbyist , insulting , cursing and swearing demonizing their opponents , they already have 80% of my vote then I look at what they have done objectively .
    I voted for Him and put my Kid thru Alameda school which need fixing not politic .

    John P sound like we should have our lunch soon …..

    Comment by joel Rambaud — November 5, 2014 @ 10:27 am

  27. 18. I didn’t mean to suggest that Tam is slimy/unsavory, rather, the process by which she was recruited was. Basically the unions were upset with Raburn over the outcome of the last BART strike and wanted to replace him with Tam. Tam *could have* seen through that and said no, I’ll run for something else. And frankly I too like Tam, and think she’d make a great replacement for Bonta someday. (I have no crystal ball on Bonta; he just seems super motivated/ambitious, so governor seems not-unlikely to me.)

    Comment by Thrilled the robocalls are over — November 5, 2014 @ 10:51 am

  28. I think the comments from MP in 10. are pretty right on. Marie and Mike may have been pretty certain they would win and that hurt their campaigns. The underdogs tried harder and it paid off for them.

    I was very glad to see that Chen’s big warchest and mudslinging boomeranged on him. Frank Mataresse is the last person he should have gone after. He’s the most experienced of the council candidates and holds a lot of good will with those who remember what a long slog the library and the theater projects were, projects which he saw through to completion, and to the satisfaction of most. Oddie is a bit of a question mark. It will be interesting to see how the new council works (or doesn’t work) together. I’m also curious to see how Mr. Russo handles all this. Time will tell.

    Those of us who remember the horribly divisive campaign when SunCal bankrolled successful slam campaigns in favor of Gilmore, Tam, and Bonta are sick to death of this kind of thing. I also think that the money spent by the public safety unions to re-elect Gilmore was a red flag to some. If indeed those who say this election’s result is push back on the pro-aggressive development stance that Gilmore has advocated, it’s an indication that some of our newer residents are anxious to preserve the character of their adopted community. Like the early American immigrants, now that they’re here, they’re not so willing to open the floodgates to everyone else.

    I’m neither a Trish hater nor a Trish supporter. She clearly lacks experience and has her share of serious detractors but she does seem to appeal to those who have been unhappy with the direction in which the City has been going. I would hope that going forward, people will put their hostility aside and do what they can to assist our newly elected officials to do the job they have been tapped to do. The sky hasn’t fallen yet. If we work together, it doesn’t have to. It’s what we need to work toward nationally as well because what we have been doing clearly isn’t working. If we can’t work together in Alameda, what hope is there for the US?

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 5, 2014 @ 10:55 am

  29. 27-28 } what are Bonta’s achievements at the State level ?

    ……………………………………Sound of silence …………………………
    Mr Bonta you had my vote , what did you do with it ,
    feel free to stop by since we are neighbors!

    AFD and APD should have stayed out of the fray ,
    I have great respect for the APD. they keep the street clear of what no one can resolve a bridge away !
    for the AFD the Jury is out ,
    Kind of interesting , after naming them for my Matarrese sign removed on a post , it was back a few hours later !

    Mr Bonta , you are welcome to stop by ……

    Comment by joel Rambaud — November 5, 2014 @ 11:27 am

  30. I am grateful to AFD. They save, not arrest people. They put out fires set by arsons so the city does not burn to the ground, irrespective of whose lawn sign is on your yard!

    Comment by Alan — November 5, 2014 @ 11:55 am

  31. Not so fast Denise – my recollection was that both the library and the theater was a wedge issue in this community (if you can imagine that) which divided our community in many ways. There are still those who believe the theater was a huge mistake – but like you say most people now see the benefit of it, and most people are satisfied with it. Park Street is a thriving retail district as a result of the theater, and the willingness to accept change was instrumental in its success.

    The benefits of future development is hard to imagine for many. Each one of our neighborhoods that we cherish so dearly was once a vision, was once development plan, was once a construction project — and it took great leadership, and forward thinking to build it.

    But now each of those developments have become part of our history, our stories, our family, our schools, churches, libraries, theaters, and memories that we wouldn’t trade for the world – and it all started with a vision, with change – with a development.

    I commend Mayor Gilmore for all of her hard work and her efforts to move us forward. She served this community well and there are many of us who trust her and appreciate her work. I also commend Lena Tam and Stewart Chen for all their contributions on the dais. They will all be missed.

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 5, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

  32. I voted for Spencer because I believe in competition for power. The Alameda City Council became a rubber stamp body for a few select interests in recent years. I don’t believe the public is well served when the people who hold elected political power are all of one mind.

    I don’t care if she’s all googly-eyed, cantankerous or not to the liking of certain view points, I want vigorous debate on public issues from all sides and may the most persuasive voice win.

    I couldn’t make up my mind which shyster running for city council would be the least of evils so I didn’t vote for any.

    Comment by Lavage10 — November 5, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

  33. 26 jesus Joel, you don’t have to be a native English speaker to get a name right, especially one which is in the news constantly. There are a lot of folks named Ratto in Alameda, but the City Manager is John Russo. 24. Sarah, I really appreciate your post and believe you, but it sounds like maybe you haven’t watched a lot of school board meetings. Trish will be a train wreck. The mayor does not call all the shots, and Glimore and council were responsive to pressure on golf course and Crown beach, so I don’t see this not listening thing. Trish on the other hand acts like she is listening, but wait. She listens to those who agree with her to begin with.

    Comment by MI — November 5, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

  34. Speaking of commendations, I commend Oh the Irony! for long ago picking a great handle for Alameda.

    In comment 21 above, Oh the Irony! reminds us one of the many recent ironies in a long series of ironies in Alameda: Two years ago, many key supporters of Mayor Gilmore gave Board Member Spencer a boost and a lot of support in her school board race. What if that boost and seal of approval from two years ago carried over and helped Mayor Elect Spencer in this election, perhaps providing a bump of 2-3% yesterday? “I have to wonder how much Jim Oddie wants to go back in time and not battle for the endorsement of Trish in 2012. We told you so, Jim. Enjoy the next four years of having her crazy eyes staring you down.”

    Comment by Commendation — November 5, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

  35. I really think Gilmore just coasted, believing that just being the incumbent was enough. She was absent from the campaigning. Trish had “boots on the ground” (in my neighborhood at least) and Trish herself was out at public events available to talk with anyone. Gilmore wasn’t accessible. For me personally, I hate the new Alameda Landing mall and that went a long way in this election. Hideous and totally car-centric. A Target, a burger drive through, and a Michael’s surrounded by massive parking lots. If that’s the wonderful development that Marie was bringing to Alameda, I didn’t want more of it. Now if Trish doesn’t change and is totally obstructionist without valid reasoning, there’s going to be problems.

    Comment by AJ — November 5, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

  36. Where were you AJ during the planning process of Alameda Landing? I stood alone many a day fighting for a more urban lifestyle format, and only one or two other persons stood with me.

    And this is very important AJ – Marie Gilmore was not on the Planning Board when the final planning documents for Alameda Landing was approved, so she can’t be blamed.

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 5, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

  37. Gilmore only squeaked in 4 years ago because DeHaan and Matarrese split the vote. Since then she’s behaved as if her 37% was a huge mandate. This isn’t some “throw the bums out” fluke; 63% of the voters in the last mayoral election wanted someone other than Gilmore.

    If Spencer is such a weak candidate, how did she manage to polish off your darling? If you choose to believe that Alameda voters are just stupid and reactionary, well, that’s just a continuation of the problem.

    I voted for Spencer, Matarrese, and Lym because I felt as if my concerns were not even being considered by the current administration. In my opinion, part of a politician’s job is to sell the public on what they want to do, rather than copping an attitude of “I know what’s best, shut up and trust me.” Unfortunately that idea lost a lot of traction in America starting around 1980.

    Just seeing how baffled and butthurt these comments are reinforces how out of touch you people are.

    I notice that the Alameda Theater project gets mentioned multiple times, as if the malcontents were trying to get “revenge” or something. It’s ancient history. I love the theater, but I thought the way the building of it took place was needlessly opaque. My objection was not to the project, but to the process, something that many folks have never figured out.

    How about Crown Beach? How about Harbor Bay Club? How about the historic house demolished on Buena Vista to make way for a parking lot that sits vacant? Ever hear of those issues? Perhaps not, because your favorite elected officials (falsely) claimed they were not allowed to talk about them.

    Deals worked out behind closed doors and presented as fait accompli, eye-rolling during public comments in meetings, violations of parliamentary procedure, disingenuous claims that incumbent politicians are not allowed to state their positions on issues they may vote on in the near future, big spending on projects recommended by organizations that give big campaign contributions, the Democratic Party machine treating Alameda city offices as a farm team for Sacramento (Bonta, Tam)….this is what Alameda politics had begun to look like to me (and others).

    Mike: you are so puzzled as to why the voters liked your bond measure but not you? How about trying to find out? Perhaps being blind to the views and attitudes of those who disagree with you could be a starting point. You are seen as being contemptuous and dismissive of those with opposing views. The very fact that you can’t figure out why you were the public’s least favorite candidate is telling.

    I know this blog is hugely pro-development. Here’s a hint from an Alamedan who is less pro-development (I am pro-business, as in jobs): you need to sell it better. Crap like Chen’s “these people are going to have to live somewhere”-as if Alameda has some moral obligation to house people who can afford million-dollar homes-just does not fly. Sell me on how it benefits current citizens of Alameda. Don’t take it as a given that everyone sees the benefits of it that you do. Now that you have city officials who are less rubber-stampy about this stuff, maybe we will be treated to some good pitches. I’m all ears (seriously).

    Comment by Wedgee — November 5, 2014 @ 2:01 pm

  38. Wedgee, how can Mike talk to you if you won’t even use your name, and don’t give me that old B.S. about fear of some sort of reprisal. If I want to go on Action Alameda or Alameda Merry go round I will just use my name so they know who is speaking. Folks like you love to come on this blog with your aliases and spout what ever it is you spout. But then hide behind some fake name.

    Comment by John P. as in John Piziali as always. — November 5, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

  39. John P., way to lead with the ad hominem rather than addressing a single point. Helps make my case. Your post is a good example of expecting what works for you to work for people you disagree with.

    I have my reasons for using an alias. If using real names is so important, why does the comments section allow aliases?

    Continue to find reasons to ignore people who disagree with you and you will continue to be baffled by the choices they make when voting.

    Comment by Wedgee — November 5, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

  40. #38 When a writer uses a pen name it is for a good reason. Do not discount that writer’s thoughts and opinions. They are as legitimate as your own thoughts and opinions.

    “Wedgee” has clearly been watching the goings on in Alameda for some time and knows what’s going on here.

    Comment by A Neighbor — November 5, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

  41. 30 which station are you from because there is an Alan at the AFD ….Curious did you call fire dept from san Jose, since none of yopu leave near by or was it Oakland again , I know Fremont covered the shore court fire.

    33 Ratto was intentional .{ ie : check the Spanish Translation}

    After 28 years in the City , I have come to experience first hand the Mayor had limited power , this was done after one of them some 60 -70 years ago defrauded everyone and was forced out in a major scandal .
    Bet you no one ever told you that one ….A fact ,
    City manager and dept head had more power than the Mayor , I believe some alteration were made a few years ago to these rules mostly pushed by Doug Dehaan anf Matarrese correct Me if I am wrong ,I love to learn.
    This actually resulted in the Alameda Power and Telecom taking millions from the City and loosing all of it , some say as much as 250 , right at the same time of the Enron crisis .
    Bet you they kept that one from your view too. Assuming it is 250 millions , this do take care of the school and police with Fire Dept pension combined .

    I am a newbie , and considered as such by the old one with more selective memory than I have {Some members of my family were here in the late 1800} One thing I do enjoy is Alameda and it’s History , First transcontinental call was made From Alameda , we were high tech before the silicon valley

    Comment by joel Rambaud — November 5, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

  42. Have you ever watched McMahon at a school board meeting? He may know the district and the finances, but it is obvious that he has nothing but contempt for his fellow board members or the people in the audience. He makes his impatience with everyone very apparent.

    Comment by ML — November 5, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

  43. Sorry – A Neighbor, Lavage 10, and Wedgee — but John is right. You pretty much have zero credibility if you have no courage to put your name to your post. John, my guess is they probably don’t even live in Alameda.

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 5, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

  44. Good lively discussion by John RUSSO today at the Mastick Senior Center! Supposed to be about State of the City; mostly about development. [Gilmore/Bonta/Tam/Chen NEVER held such a grass-roots discussion forum that I recall, but Russo does it every year].
    I hope more people who question the rampant development in Alameda will start showing up at Planning Board meetings to comment.

    Comment by vigi — November 5, 2014 @ 3:32 pm

  45. post # 39,the problem with your theory is that you want to debate issues with us, and expect us to just take for granted you are someone who even lives in Alameda. as Karen stated. Why would I want to argue with some one who has a bag over their head. . post # 40 I don’t disagree with you that Wedgee has been watching Alameda politics for some time. There are many people on this site whom I disagree with all the time, but at least we know who we are speaking to. I don’t think any of us feel some sort of threat when posting on this site. My guess is that if you used your real name you some how feel it would discredit you. But that is your problem not mine. I have met in public with most of the people I disagree with and I would never think of being rude to them.

    Comment by John P. as in John Piziali as always. — November 5, 2014 @ 3:49 pm

  46. Excellent! Find reasons to ignore opposing viewpoints! Keep it up. Ignoring opposing viewpoints is what got your preferred candidates voted out of office this time around.

    So far, nobody who disagrees with what I said has had anything to say about what I said. It’s all ad hominem, criticizing me for making use of the feature of the comments section that allows aliases. Again, telling. If that’s the best you can do….I mean, I could have made up a real-sounding name and used that and been even more stealthy.

    Blaming your disappointments on outsiders is a time-honored dodge, but I will say that I do indeed, live in Alameda, and those in the know should be able to figure out what area by parsing my handle.

    Comment by Wedgee — November 5, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

  47. I’m done for the day, need to go and put on my disguise before I go out. It would be terrible if people knew who I was.

    Comment by John P. as in John Piziali as always. — November 5, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

  48. I’m not Wedgee but I’d love to see his or her questions answered rather than shut down. So…

    If Spencer is such a weak candidate, how did she win more than half the vote with 10% of the campaign spending of her opponent, who had a natural advantage as incumbent? If “more than half” isn’t a

    Why haven’t Alameda politicians been forthcoming about their plans? Sorry, why have they outright refused to discuss any details of what they have done until after the deals have already been finalized? Why so secretive? Why were they not “allowed” to discuss Crown Beach, the Harbor Bay Club, or the “economically necessary” vacant parking lot on Buena Vista?

    As a consumer, I love the Alameda Theater. As a voter, I wonder why we have to rely on the government for entertainment venues. So much for the pretense of a free market. I’m hugely pro-development. I just don’t think that back-room sweetheart deals count as “development”. That’s crony capitalism. People claiming to be capitalists but making their money from government connections make me sick, and the politicians who make those deals belong in jail, not just thrown out of office.

    You have *my* real name. Will you answer the questions now or hide behind flimsy excuses to dismiss the questions?

    Comment by Steven M Scotten — November 5, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

  49. Name, schmame, address the idea.

    Whining about anon posters is just a lame way to disagree. The next time someone calls out an anon post they agree with will be the first.

    Comment by dave — November 5, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

  50. Personally I feel Wedgee pretty much ‘nailed it’. Good for you. If people don’t want to believe him fine. The results speak for themselves no matter what the final outcome may be.

    Comment by frank m — November 5, 2014 @ 3:53 pm

  51. @Karen Bey: I direct you to the writings of “Publius”. Surely no one should have taken those seriously, right?

    Comment by Steven M Scotten — November 5, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

  52. #47 I guarantee you, “John P. as in John Piziali as always” that if I saw you in a room I would not know who you are–unless you had a sign around your neck.

    Just as I would not recognize many of the writers here. And I live, work, and play right here in little old Alameda.

    Comment by A Neighbor — November 5, 2014 @ 4:06 pm

  53. Sorry but I refuse to debate with someone who doesn’t have the courage to put a name to their post. Why bother?

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 5, 2014 @ 4:19 pm

  54. #53 Karen, should I take that as an accusation that I am posting under a false name?

    Comment by Steven M Scotten — November 5, 2014 @ 4:29 pm

  55. So answer Steven M Scotten’s questions, then. He has the “courage” you seek.

    I love this. I feel like the Roadrunner watching Wile E. Coyote crush himself over and over.

    “The ad hominem fallacy occurs when one asserts that somebody’s claim is wrong because of something about the person making the claim. The ad hominem fallacy is often confused with the legitimate provision of evidence that a person is not to be trusted. Calling into question the reliability of a witness is relevant when the issue is whether to trust the witness. It is irrelevant, however, to call into question the reliability or morality or anything else about a person when the issue is whether that person’s reasons for making a claim are good enough reasons to support the claim.

    Good refutations of arguments try to undermine the accuracy, relevance, fairness, completeness, and sufficiency of reasons given to support a conclusion. One of the more common tactics of those who can’t provide a good refutation of an argument is to divert attention away from the argument by calling attention to something about the person who made the argument. Rather than criticize a person’s premises or reasoning, one asserts something about the person’s character, associations, occupation, hobbies, motives, mental health, likes or dislikes.” -The Skeptic’s Dictionary

    I mean, I don’t blame you for wanting to deflect. If I were you, I wouldn’t want to answer either.

    “Attacking a person, rather than the person’s position or argument, is usually easier as well as psychologically more satisfying to those who divide the world into two classes of people—those who agree with them and are therefore good and right, and those who disagree with them and are therefore evil and wrong.

    The ad hominem is attractive to lazy thinkers, who would rather ridicule or belittle a person than seriously examine an opposing viewpoint.” -op cit

    You don’t need to “debate” me, you keep making my point for me, over and over.

    Comment by Wedgee — November 5, 2014 @ 4:31 pm

  56. #55 Of course you’d say that. You’re one of those Wedge District people, aren’t you? Don’t deny it! I see your handle.

    Comment by Steven M Scotten — November 5, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

  57. Vigi :
    Did Russo address the traffic light they were supposed to install at the entrance of the South shore shopping center ,
    it was interesting to see the following a crew installing traffic survey equipment the day after the older Lady was killed by a vehicle , The driver said He did not see her she came out of nowhere , Yeah like if she was in age of jogging .
    just another day in politic .

    Comment by joel Rambaud — November 5, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

  58. I am definitely in the camp of those who put their name on what they have to say, but what amuses me is that people with distinctive writing styles, who also write articles for the local papers, letters to the editor, etc. over their own names and the names of others, are known, but think they are being clever and protecting themselves when they say cutting things about others using a pseudonym. Writing styles of repetitive posters are like fingerprints – easy to match up with the author.

    Comment by Kate Quick — November 5, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

  59. sure Spencer was a strong candidate, and she won, but the point her detractors make is that she will be a weak leader. I think it helps to actually know the players. My history with Frank, Marilyn, Marie, Mike and mayor Johnson and Doug deHaan before, going back over a decade. I’ve spoken face to face with Trish twice. I’ve watched a ton of video of BOE meetings. I don’t see these folks hardly ever or hang out because I’ve never been part of the inner circles or chamber of commerce, but we know each other by first name and I’ve spent a lot of time at City Hall (mostly in 1990s and early 2000s) and mayor Johnson appointed me to a board. Whoopie for me, right? point is I’ve been on both sides of the dais.That doesn’t make my opinion superior or correct, but I have a lot of confidence and conviction because I know people from first hand exposure rather than making general observations through the media or having been down to speak to council once. I wonder when other people are opining with certainty about politicians just what they may or may not actually know.

    I once spoke to board of education on an issue on which Mike and I agreed but while speaking Mike was leaning back in his chair and staring at the ceiling. It was unnerving and I brought it up here on this blog and I embarrassed Mike who apologized, but on the other hand we continued to speak at various civic events and I have sought him out to sit and ask him questions to get me up to speed. You don’t have to like people to work with them. I respect Mike’s knowledge and value the information he is able to provide through his web site. Social skills aside he has technical skill set that this BOE sorely needs.

    Marie was on planning board and seemed totally on the ball so when Al De Witt died I called her to ask that she throw her hat in the ring which she had already done. before that didn’t know me from Adam. I supported her candidacy for council and was really pleased with the questions she asked and her attention to detail, so I supported her for mayor. I’ve been distancing myself from city hall and have been less sanguine about Marie as mayor, but like I said to Sarah (above), the council has responded to public pressure over controversial issues, which is good. If there had been a better candidate ( not politically strong), I might have voted for that person, but I have real doubts about Trish’s ability to handle the responsibility and run a meeting well. As for Marie getting 37%, sure it is what it is, but neither Frank or Doug got even that, and that is our stupid plurality system which others beside myself have been lobbying to revise for years, but it falls on deaf ears. Nobody ever said 37% was a mandate but no mayor or council candidate in Alameda history has ever apologized for the percentage by which they were elected either.

    Comment by MI — November 5, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

  60. Why haven’t Alameda politicians been forthcoming about their plans? Sorry, why have they outright refused to discuss any details of what they have done until after the deals have already been finalized? Why so secretive? Why were they not “allowed” to discuss Crown Beach, the Harbor Bay Club, or the “economically necessary” vacant parking lot on Buena Vista?

    All of the discussions about these three particular issues have been well aired in the public realm. Nothing is secretive and nothing is being kept from the public. To nutshell, I’ll start with the oldest to newest.

    1. Vacant parking lot of Buena Vista: this is the historic yellow house that was bulldozed for a parking lot, I believe you are referring to. This was a victim of the outdated parking minimums that are required by the City of Alameda. Because everyone expects free parking when it comes to retail space. The owner of the building wanted to create x square feet of retail and, at the time, there was a requirement that per how ever many square feet of retail he is asking for he must provide x number of spaces. That’s why the Alameda Marketplace has like three small lots of parking scattered around the building. Those parking minimums predated Marie Gilmore’s time as the Mayor. In fact that project and the turmoil over the historic building predated her time as Mayor as well. (I just checked my archives, it was removed from the Historic Building list in 2009 and Frank Matarrese was also on the Council at that time) Don’t want buildings to get torn down for unnecessary unused parking, ask for relaxed parking standards.

    2. Harbor Bay Club: there are no current plans that have been presented before the City Council and/or the Planning Board (which is where it would go first). Without an actual plan talking about it would be premature. To ask that a sitting City Council member make a decision or even discuss a project that only exists based on the many many iterations that Harbor Bay has posted on-line is pretty ridiculous. The City Council in the past — including Marie Gilmore — has made it pretty clear that Ron Cowan is not “owed” the right to build any more units simply because he failed to build his entire allotment the first time around. But without an actual plan submitted to the City, it’s all just speculation and there are many other important issues before the City Council than speculating over what Ron Cowan will or will not do.

    3. Crown Beach: simple, the land belongs to the Federal Government. Full Stop. When it went to auction years and years ago to assess the “free market value” of the property the EBRPD balked and said that their assessment was that it was not worth what the federal government wanted for it. A developer felt that it was. Now before the Federal Government had even considered putting it up for auction the City, as part of the Housing Element the City had identified that site as a potential place where housing could be build. Could be. Not would be built. The State only asks for jurisdictions to identify (and zone) parcels that could hold housing that would meet the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). The distinction is that the units do not have to be built just that the land has to be zoned suitable for building. The developer found the designation in the Housing Element and requested that the land be rezoned per the Housing Element. The land was zoned from Industrial with a Government overlay to Mixed use or R-4 something residentially to bring Alameda’s Housing Element in compliance. This was all done publicly. Also, regardless of what the land was zoned, the zoning would be appropriate for the EBRPD had they simply met the asking price of the Feds. Fast forward through lawsuits and ballot measures and the City Council zoning — not REZONING because it was never this zoning in the first place — the land to open space.

    The nut in all this is that the land STILL belongs to the Feds. And the Feds can build whatever the hell they want on it. Including housing, if they so choose because the Federal government is exempt from local building and planning laws. All this is public information that has been widely discussed and discussed at length at the City Council.

    So nothing has been hidden from the public, but it’s all so much more complicated and complex than neatly packaged soundbytes about “saving parks” or implications that these deals were all done “behind closed doors.” I know they weren’t because I tracked every single one of these issues from start to finish. The Crown Beach one, I even tracked from the start of the auction. Which by the way the first auction had zero bidders and they had to extend the auction.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 5, 2014 @ 5:34 pm

  61. Wedgee , you need to switch this one is soiled…

    Are you trying to impress us , one is right or wrong no grey area . It’s interesting once you leave by these rules how simple life become , no room for interpretation ,
    Should I take this exit or the next , maybe this one no the next , Darn center divider why traffic engineer built them, , Told you not to ride while on a wedgee they never can make up their mind .
    Yes I have hacked Joel’ name , I don’t think He will mind too much.
    Joel Rambaud

    Comment by joe Rambaud — November 5, 2014 @ 5:37 pm

  62. Well, I actually don’t think that Spencer was a strong candidate. The point I was bringing up is that the mayor was beaten by someone who was NOT a strong candidate. So what does that say about how the voters feel about the incumbent mayor?

    My take on Marie is that I liked her on the Economic Development Commission back in ’99 or so, then a little less so on the planning board, then not at all on council. She was just what was needed when Alameda had to go begging for business and development: someone to grease the wheels and encourage development.

    However, it appeared to me as time went on that although Alameda had gotten to the point where we don’t have to go begging or bend over backward, Marie still behaved as if we had to do whatever was needed to accommodate the developers’ desires.

    And on her watch, the issues I mentioned in my earlier post regarding transparency and public involvement in the decision-making process seemed to get worse.

    In no way do I think Spencer is the cure for cancer, but when you mention “transparency” she doesn’t just look at you like she has no idea what you’re talking about.

    Comment by Wedgee — November 5, 2014 @ 5:51 pm

  63. Karen Bey and John P. seem to be quite taken with themselves. Do they imagine that they are gatekeepers of public opinion? That there is some need to engage them in debate or gain their approval?

    Frankly, if I ever find myself in agreement with either of those two I’m going to sit myself down and give myself a good talking to.

    Comment by Lavage10 — November 5, 2014 @ 7:17 pm

  64. Like John P., Kate, and Karen, I’m a big fan of being up front about who you are when making these comments and have sometimes criticized those who hide behind aliases, especially when they take advantage of that anonymity to be particularly vicious. I sometimes disagree with all these people I mentioned, but I respect them for having the courage of their convictions. However, those of us who identify ourselves with our full names are probably not risking our jobs by doing so, and jobs, particularly for older folks, once lost can be nearly impossible to replace. Some people are in jobs or positions where their public comments can cost them their jobs or cause difficulties for the agencies they represent. Those people are understandably unwilling to expose their employers to any consequences that may result from them airing their personal opinions. Some have even signed contracts that restrict their free speech in this way. A number of celebrities have been fired from product endorsement contracts for expressing their opinions on various issues. It’s unfortunate that some people live in fear of reprisals for simply speaking out on issues that matter to them. These days, I’m more inclined to pity them rather than attack them for their timidity.

    Karen, I didn’t mean to indicate that the library was a universally supported project. I remember all too well how crazy the debate got. It was one of the first local issues I got involved in and I was dumbfounded that such a worthy effort could attract so much acrimony. My point was that Frank rode that out and saw the project completed when lesser men would have thrown up their hands in disgust.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 5, 2014 @ 7:32 pm

  65. There are many good reasons people who live and work in Alameda might want to or feel they need to post here anonymously. Of course it can be frustrating to read an idea and not know whose it is, but the fact of the matter is that people post her anonymously for reasons other than cowardice or being an out of town person trying to stir up trouble. If you don’t like what anonymous posters say, please do ignore them.

    Comment by Commendation — November 5, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

  66. Look who’s taken with himself — our friend Lavage 10. I found this article posted in March of this year:

    Larry Ellison eyeing Honolulu for ’17 America’s Cup
    Updated 7:35 am, Monday, March 10, 2014


    You can count that as the first and last America’s Cup to be held in Wankerville. Frisco can’t be trusted as a partner in staging a world class event as iconic as the AC. Given the pluriel animus of the inhabitants to anything perceived to be enjoyed by the wealthy it’s really surprising SF didn’t go all Google Bus on their asses. You couldn’t count on that restraint a second time.

    The 34th Cup was the greatest in its history, raced on San Francisco Bay, the best sailing venue in the world. Frisco whined and cried the whole time, poor mouthed and wrapped itself in sanctimony even as the money rolled in and the world saw the best of SF (the SF built by the long-gone citizens of a different era). Better for the AC not to be associated with this current bunch of self-absorbed wankers and move on to a partner better suited to the task.« less

    What did you say about the gatekeepers of pubic opinion?

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 5, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

  67. Do you have a point?

    Comment by Lavage10 — November 5, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

  68. Ms Kate Quick
    Friend of mine got beat up in front of his Wife and family in Napa , He made the poor choice of Having a small sign saying Peace not War , when the Sheriff came they told Him it was his fault He antagonized the neighbor with the sign …….
    To a certain extend I sadly agree with some anonymous poster .

    Turning the page we need to fix the Democratic party if we want to have a chance at the next elections , Trashing each other in the gutters helped no one , it actually made the Republicon’s day .

    Anyone Sponsoring such divisive politic is suicidal , if you have only a Democrat field , let the voters decide it still stay in the Democratic field , Save your funds , do not mail that trash or make those garbage phone call , I am glad my older dog can’t hear a thing , because that’s where the phone ended , Pure waste of fund “these CPA” were” were very happy to take it new BMW for them.

    Anyone Mentioned on these dirty fliers made a very stupid mistake it back fired ,
    It does not make a difference if the flyer say “not authorized by the candidate or committee controlled by the candidate” or not the money trail lead right back to them.
    Assuming it was not Authorized then there is a Court system , the day one of them file a claim against these 4 -5 CPA firm hiding behind a pseudonym , then they may regain some credibility , at this time it was another dirty campaign which went very wrong for all of them . One has already been fined for unethical practice $17 000.00

    Joel Rambaud with the umlaut over the e.

    that is J- O- E -L not Joe , Not Joey

    Comment by joel Rambaud — November 5, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

  69. Denise — I remember the debate very well. There were those who “were for the theater” and those “who were against it”. For awhile — the two factions stop speaking to each other. I even have a button I recevied from Rob Rotto that says “I voted for the theater” (thank you Rob).

    Ironically some of those same people who were against the theater voted for Frank yesterday. It says something I guess — I’m not sure quite yet what it says — but something.

    Comment by Karen Bey — November 5, 2014 @ 8:54 pm

  70. #60: “When it went to auction years and years ago to assess the “free market value” of the property the EBRPD balked and said that their assessment was that it was not worth what the federal government wanted for it.”

    Lauren, how many (many) times has it been explained on this site that EBRPD was legally constrained from bidding more than the appraised value of the property? It’s been explained over and over and yet you persist in cheerily posting the same BS every time you come to this subject. I don’t get that, I really don’t. It says something that the people you support are just as happy to pursue tactics like these are you are, and now you can’t understand why they lost.

    Here’s why: because there’s a lot of people, not just me, who find superficial BS to be both offensive and dumb, and who want something more in their public officials, like an honest answer. Trying to pass off a favor to the developer as the latest, greatest thing in parking management, for example. Claiming that a 10% reduction in traffic, at best, constituted “transportation demand management” — with a nifty acronym, so convenient for brushing off complaints. Water taxis, for god’s sake? Hiring the same traffic consultant ad infinitum then holding up the rubber stamped results as proof of something. Then showing up grinning ear to ear for the firefighter’s luau.

    We need a city government that stops trying to blow us off with this crap. We need people who listen and take the public seriously, and that hasn’t been happening for a long time now. The voters voted, and this is what happened.

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — November 5, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

  71. 70 – Think of it this way. The Fed’s were constrained to assess the free market value of the parcel and use that amount as the price. EBRPD was constrained to use the assessed value of the parcel as the basis of their offer. So, as usually happens, there was a considerable difference in amounts. Neither side, due to their constraints, was in a position to negotiate. The end result at that time was that EBRPD offered what they were constrained to offer. The offer was not accepted as it did not match the price that the Fed’s were constrained to ask for. This was between those two government agencies. Nobody else was involved at that time.

    I really, (really!) hope this helps you out, because I too am tired of having to go over the beginning of the Crown Beach affair. Alamedans with or without tactics were not involved at this time. The rest of your rant needs to be edited. It’s too jumbled to follow clearly.

    Lauren, do you think you could make a copy of your post and make it pop up automatically when Crown Beach comes up? Thanks.

    PS: What’s the matter with water taxis? We’ve got no land to work with, but plenty of water. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to replace the ferries, big and small, than to keep pretending Oakland is somehow going to be willing to bulldoze acres and acres to give us a new bridge? Come to that — which neighborhood along the estuary are you willing to sacrifice to the cause?

    Comment by Li_ — November 6, 2014 @ 12:08 am

  72. “In no way do I think Spencer is the cure for cancer, but when you mention “transparency” she doesn’t just look at you like she has no idea what you’re talking about.”

    And that sums up why my family, neighbors, and I all voted for Trish Spencer. I may not agree with her on all issues, but she’s for Alamedans, and equally important she’s honest, won fare and square without outside corporate and union monies.

    Comment by Wendy — November 6, 2014 @ 2:02 am

  73. “However, it appeared to me as time went on that although Alameda had gotten to the point where we don’t have to go begging or bend over backward, Marie still behaved as if we had to do whatever was needed to accommodate the developers’ desires.”

    Excellent observation! Poor planning in favor of outside developers in Alameda when we can be choosey and make an amazing well-planned sustainable community without tons of chain stores and mega housing developments bringing more congested streets, bridges, and tunnel. With the national cemetery coming, Alameda should promote beautification not uglification. We should be promoting local business not corporations. I’d much prefer to see Alameda as a travel destination, unique as it deserves to be somewhat like Sausalito became than thrown to the wolves becoming like a below mediocre East Bay town like Hayward or San Leandro.

    Comment by Wendy — November 6, 2014 @ 2:20 am

  74. Darcy: Li_ pretty much nailed is as to the gap between the two negotiating positions between the Feds and EBRPD. To remove the oh so valuable “parks” trigger, let’s put it thusly:

    Say Ms. Pink owned a house and Ms. Blue owns the house next door. Ms. Blue has decided that she is going to sell her house because she no longer wants to live there any more. Ms. Pink wants to buy Ms. Blue house because she wants to expand her property. Ms. Blue has a price she believes that the house is worth. Ms. Pink has a price she believes Ms. Blue’s house is worth. Ms. Pink offers Ms. Blue the amount she thinks it’s worth and Ms. Blue says that she believes it’s worth way more than that. Both are set in the their assessments of what the house is worth and negotiations end. Ms. Orange comes in and says, hey I think that Ms. Blue’s house is worth that much and says that she’ll pay that price. Ms. Blue accepts Ms. Orange’s offer. Ms. Pink then goes around the neighborhood and declares that she has more rights to Ms. Blue’s property because she’s right next door and that Ms. Blue should be forced to sell her property at the price that Ms. Pink believes it to be worth because she’s going to do something so much more awesome with the property than Ms. Orange is going to do.

    Then lawsuits and ballot measures.

    Unless you are advocating that the Federal government should sell to people whatever they believe that the value of the land is, in that case, I think the land is worth $1. I hope they sell it to me. That’s an entirely different argument than saying that the City of Alameda — and by extension the elected officials — have done something back room and nefarious.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 6, 2014 @ 5:44 am

  75. #68. Your post with my name leading is baffling to me. The point I was making was that those who believe themselves anonymous by using a pseudonym are not so anonymous because they have distinctive writing styles which are recognizable and they write under their real names sometimes in other media so the link is easily made. They are often the ones with the degrading, snarky comments, personalizing arguments rather than dealing with the issue. Civil debate should never be personal attack; it takes away from the exposition of the many sides of the issue. Reasonable people may disagree and yet be respectful of those with whom they disagree.

    Comment by Kate Quick — November 6, 2014 @ 7:39 am

  76. However, it appeared to me as time went on that although Alameda had gotten to the point where we don’t have to go begging or bend over backward, Marie still behaved as if we had to do whatever was needed to accommodate the developers’ desires.

    Examples please.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 6, 2014 @ 7:40 am

  77. Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that Lauren is NOT a nice person. (She may be Mother Teresa, Ghandi, and Albert Shweitzer all wrapped up in one fabulous bundle in person). Anonymous commenting saves them from personal attacks when they would like to have a discussion. A great example is the Crown Beach issue where I believe based on the facts, Darcy is closer than Lauren, but given the elusive nature of absolute truth who can say. The irony which Lauren lacks the self-awareness to understand is that the whole Crown Beach debacle was worth far more than 300 votes for Trish.

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — November 6, 2014 @ 8:46 am

  78. All this denigration of anonymous commenting cracks me up. Argue on the merits of the ideas and arguments presented, not the names that are attached to them. For what it’s worth, many thousands of Alameda citizens offered anonymous comment on Trish Spencer, Marie Gilmore, and a host of other questions this past Tuesday.

    Comment by A-la-median — November 6, 2014 @ 9:17 am

  79. #74. Wrong, wrong, wrong analogy! Federal Government ownership = public property. TLC ownership = private property. EBRPD as buyer = continuation of public property. As has also been mentioned (and ignored) many, many times on this blog: the Federal Government has usual SOPs for getting rid of public property in this way, and it is *supposed* to include initial offering to other public entities for free or at a reasonable price. This step was totally missed with the Crown Beach debacle, among many other missteps by many other parties.

    Comment by Sarah Hernandez — November 6, 2014 @ 9:31 am

  80. 78. we all have different opinions, you and many others believe that to argue anonymously is just fine. point taken. I on the other hand I happen to feel that it is not. Neither of us is wrong, we just happen to disagree on this point. I will continue to express myself, and you can do the same on this site. This is why we all come to this site, the host gets roasted probably more than anyone and she just lets it roll off her back.

    Comment by John P. — November 6, 2014 @ 9:32 am

  81. Oh, and yes, the Crab Cove issue was a major consideration in my vote for Trish Spencer (against Marie Gilmore). The way I see it, the mayor and council were not “responsive” to residents’ concerns until the ballot measure made it apparent that the rezoning was going to happen with or without their approval.

    Comment by Sarah Hernandez — November 6, 2014 @ 9:35 am

  82. the Federal Government has usual SOPs for getting rid of public property in this way, and it is *supposed* to include initial offering to other public entities for free or at a reasonable price.

    Then that should be the basis of an EBRPD lawsuit against the Federal government. But EBRPD should have started the agitation process way back in 2008 when this information was first made available to the public. It also took the Federal government 3 years from then to even get the property to auction.

    But somehow folks want to put the onus on the City of Alameda, which has no claim to the land, to correct the mistakes of other government agencies.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 6, 2014 @ 9:43 am

  83. #82. The City of Alameda didn’t need to correct the Federal Government’s mistake, just their own: adding the parcel to the Housing Element and then rezoning as residential.

    Comment by Sarah Hernandez — November 6, 2014 @ 10:12 am

  84. Again, the zoning of the Neptune Pointe property is irrelevant to the plans that EBRPD had for the property. The land sale price with the private developer was negotiated by the Federal Government before the land was zoned to residential. The land was actually probably cheaper zoned at the previous zoning than it was when it was zoned residential. But regardless: Administrative Professional with a Government overlay, Residential, Mixed Use, Open Space…any of these zoning types would have not precluded EBRPD from building exactly what they wanted IF they owned the land.

    The ownership of the land is the key issue, the zoning is not.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 6, 2014 @ 10:17 am

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