Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 13, 2014

All eyez on her

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

It’s official, Trish Spencer is now the Mayor of Alameda.  Marie Gilmore took the very very high road yesterday with a graceful concession speech and eliminated any ambiguity by stating that she would not be seeking a recount.

I think that’s the classy thing to do and it allows everyone to move forward instead of delaying the inevitable.

As I mentioned before, Marie Gilmore deserves a lot of thanks for the time that she has dedicated — and probably will continue to dedicate — to this City. It takes a lot of grace and humility as well as the ability to take a lot of flak to sit on that dais.

Video of the concession speech which was recorded and uploaded by former City Council candidate Adam Gillitt. It’s one of the first times that Marie Gilmore has had a chance to define her time in the Mayor’s office in her terms:

I think Marie Gilmore’s reserved nature isn’t one that translates well into the world of campaigning.  As a fellow introvert, I totally get that.  People think she’s not friendly or that she’s snobbish because she doesn’t smile and giggle or dance to the Beach Boys in public.  But it’s these kinds of thoughtful leaders that we need as opposed to people who shake the most hands or win congeniality contests.

Anyway, it’s all water under the bridge now about what Marie Gilmore should have done, now it’s time to move forward. Commenter Kate Q. said it best while reflecting on the aftermath of this election, particularly for a close race such as this one:

[W]e live in a community where many are not actively engaged and where those who are engaged enough to vote are just about evenly split. That’s a fact, not an opinion. Such splits require special efforts on those who govern to make an attempt to reconcile the differences to govern effectively. Sometimes, when votes are really lopsided, these special efforts are not so much required but I think in this case they will be.

It will take about six months to a year to see what kind of Mayor Trish Spencer turns out to be.   Hopefully she’ll rise to the occasion and exceed expectations.   I’m sure we’ll all be watching.


  1. What is going to happen with the del monte vote Lauren? Thats what I am worried about, I hope it passes.

    Comment by peaceful038 — November 13, 2014 @ 9:05 am

  2. I don’t think Gilmore, Tam or Chen will have a problem voting for the project, as opposed to shirking their responsibility to do their jobs for the entire term to which they were elected/appointed. I think it passes 5-0, or maybe 4-0 w/ an abstention, just a guess though.
    If we don’t want things to get done in lame ducks, we should not schedule meetings between elections and swearing in. Otherwise, I expect them to do their job.

    Comment by BMac — November 13, 2014 @ 9:19 am

  3. Very classy speech , Thank You Mrs Gilmore for your work.

    what took Mrs Gilmore out is a combination of those negative mentality blaming the current President for the sorry state of the Country , something the GOP created ,
    the garbage flyer with Her Name on it ,
    {some now say that actually thousands died in Mexico for expressing their view disguised as drug war , not 43 ….
    very much the first part of Her Speech , yes it is still wrong not to be Anglo Saxon In the USA .
    last part would be the very low turn out at the polls , not something to be proud off in the Country which has taken Freedom as logo.

    Oakland voted and gave themselves $2.5 raise not much by all account in reality it will take them 10 years to achieve on the average {professional, city employees and Union not included } can you survive on $9 00.
    The main reason there was so much turn over is simply because one director had taken and was running his department like it was his own house , firing or forced to quit more than 1/2 the staff , definitely anyone which was not agreeing with Him , refusing to release survey which were public record , the list goes on , fortunately the sewer system has been upgraded , his name went with it .
    If I was Coward , I would not claim victory too fast , Bay Farm is more than ever welded together against any new project , they wait at the bridge every day …..come in and coming out .

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — November 13, 2014 @ 9:25 am

  4. It’s one of the first times that Marie Gilmore has had a chance to define her time in the Mayor’s office in her terms


    Hasn’t she had that chance every day for 4 years?

    Comment by Mr. Blutarsky — November 13, 2014 @ 11:15 am

  5. Not really given our Alameda past time of defining what things mean and who is in whose pocket.

    But I meant during the election since she really did allow her opponents to frame her record and she never challenged that framing even when it was incorrect.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 13, 2014 @ 11:17 am

  6. I honestly think Trish won because she appeared to many to represent a more moderate approach to development which is popular not only with long-time residents, but with many of the new arrivals who fled high-density settings and are not about to watch their efforts to transition away from places like that be in vain. Whether or not Spencer turns out to be the champion of preserving the unique character of our city that voters believed her to be remains to be seen. I don’t think everyone who supports a slower development pace is anti-everything. When done with care and consideration, new additions can be a great asset. When rushed into, when developers’ sales pitches are accepted at face value without considering unintended consequences, they can be a disaster. I hope our new council and mayor can find a middle ground so that we can all benefit from the innovations of the future without losing much of what we already love about our city.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 13, 2014 @ 11:18 am

  7. Denise, I attended my first community meeting about the reuse and redevelopment of alameda point in 1996. What is this rushing into you speak of?

    Comment by notadave — November 13, 2014 @ 11:39 am

  8. 5

    Re: pockets. She took money from the IAFF and from Russo. She then acted for the benefit of those two parties. That was her choice, not forced on her by some “Alameda past time.” If she didn’t want people to think she was in someone’s pocket, she could have simply stayed out of said pocket, no?

    Re: framing. Again, her choice. Nobody, not even some alleged meme of a past time, forced her to phone in her campaign. Just a little elbow grease would have surely secured her re-election.

    It is ridiculous to suggest that speech was her first chance to define her Mayorship.

    Comment by dave — November 13, 2014 @ 11:41 am

  9. Or we could simply not assume the worst of people that they are so easily bought off by a campaign contribution that they are owned for life because a check has more than one zero at the end. I’ve never seen anyone suggest that any candidate is in the pocket of Christopher Seiwald who has contributed generously to lots of campaigns, including Marie Gilmore’s, with lots of zeros at the end of that check.

    But I agree that Marie Gilmore should have put a lot more effort into her campaign and not allowed others to control the narrative.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 13, 2014 @ 11:47 am

  10. If Siewald was getting 1/3 or so of the GF, that would be a very rational conclusion, no? But he’s not.

    Comment by dave — November 13, 2014 @ 11:52 am

  11. Funny, did you have the same concerns about Frank Matarrese back when he was accepting checks from the Firefighters Union too? Of course when he was accepting checks there was no expectation of concessions from the union. But somehow when concessions are actually agreed to that, marginally, help with those unfunded liabilities that makes that person in the “pocket” and is somehow framed as a bad thing. Perhaps Marie Gilmore should have taken a page from that book and just done nothing.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 13, 2014 @ 11:56 am

  12. I was unaware that the unfunded liabilities had been decreased. Please enlighten me.

    Comment by dave — November 13, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  13. Concessions and contributions toward pensions (currently unfunded), spouse removal from lifetime health benefits, caps on reimbursement rates.

    I must have missed where I wrote “decrease” because I thought I wrote “concessions are actually agreed to that, marginally, help with those unfunded liabilities.”

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 13, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

  14. I’ll bet she really appreciates the lyrics:

    Comment by jack — November 13, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

  15. I am entertained by this whole “rushing into” idea- when I came to Alameda 20 years ago- I worked at the Del Monte plant in 1995 and everyone there was told then that they would be laying everyone off in a few months because the building was being sold and developed. They did lay people off (I had already moved on) and …20 years later- not much has changed, stinky trucks spewing, building is older and more crumbly than before.Not exactly warp speed. Perhaps, if we continue to “rush” in this fashion- Mother Earth will take care of it for Alameda instead of a developer.

    Comment by librarycat — November 13, 2014 @ 12:21 pm

  16. 13

    At best the rate of increase has been slowed. What needs to happen is a reduction, THAT would help.

    Slowing the rate of increase, particularly when the city is projected to burn through the much-ballyhooed reserves in 5 yrs due to public safety compensation, isn’t an achievement.

    Continuing to give raises to groups who have bankrolled your campaign isn’t an achievement either.

    Comment by dave — November 13, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

  17. Amazing that the same folks that berate Marie for taking donations from the fire fighters union, praised Spencer for taking money from the teachers union while she was on the school board. Spencer herself pleaded with the teachers union to fund her mayor campaign. Principles? not so much

    Comment by notadave — November 13, 2014 @ 12:33 pm

  18. I have never praised Spencer for that.

    Comment by dave — November 13, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

  19. As opposed to the years before Marie Gilmore was Mayor when it raced along unchecked. When contracts with worse terms for the City than these negotiated ones simply auto renewed because the union and the administration couldn’t agree on the color of the sky. Slowing was at least a start. Perhaps Trish Spencer will be able to accomplish the overnight miracles you expect.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 13, 2014 @ 12:40 pm

  20. Past sins notwithstanding, giving raises under these circumstances was reckless & foolish, and in no way resembles good government.

    Comment by dave — November 13, 2014 @ 12:45 pm

  21. In an ideal world, I would agree with you. That there should be no raises, ever, when finances are so in flux. Period.

    However, the nature of negotiation is not black and white and there is not a good guy and a bad guy. There are two parties coming in from very disparate bargaining positions and trying to meet somewhere in the middle. No one is going to come away completely happy and if you dig in your heels then we end up with auto renewing contracts with terrible terms because no one is willing to cede any ground.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 13, 2014 @ 12:51 pm

  22. And the checks that were cashed had NOTHING to do with the outcome — NOTHING

    Comment by Sgt Schultz — November 13, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

  23. I hope Gillitt’s videography and manning the voting stations don’t portend another run for the council but simply are because he’s between jobs. I’ve lost confidence that so-bad-they’re-funny candidates always lose.

    I think Alameda’s quite a lot better off for Marie’s work as mayor and in her prior roles. This city is so much more vibrant than it was a dozen years ago. Park Street has people out and about and restaurants that serve edible food. Lauren, I think you are right about her being reserved, something that is admirable in most walks of life but not in retail politics, where geezer-pleasing matters.

    Spencer has quite a task ahead of her. She assembled a very heterogeneous coalition to win the election. It’s nicely captured in her campaign sign: you have the dog-whistle slogan “Alamedans First” to appeal to the conservative old guard and the green-ink brigade (think Alameda Citizens Taskforce); and the leaf and green color to appeal to people who are more “progressive”, whatever that means (more than one person I’ve spoken to tells me Trish will restore the Point to nature). She’s someone on whom people are projecting what they want, and she’s done nothing to deny she’ll meet all their (likely conflicting) demands. I’m not sure who the real Trish Spencer is, and she will have to define herself in her new job. It’ll be interesting to see which group she pisses off.

    Comment by BC — November 13, 2014 @ 1:15 pm

  24. She’s someone on whom people are projecting what they want, and she’s done nothing to deny she’ll meet all their (likely conflicting) demands. I’m not sure who the real Trish Spencer is, and she will have to define herself in her new job. It’ll be interesting to see which group she pisses off.


    She is indeed a mercurial character, and she will surely piss off some and maybe all.

    Comment by dave — November 13, 2014 @ 1:23 pm

  25. When will Trish reveal her plans with respect to her seat on the school board?

    Comment by Election Aftermath — November 13, 2014 @ 5:37 pm

  26. Trish is off to a great start attending the RAB meeting tonight. [Ms. Gilmore never attended a single one-ask the Navy representative].For those of you who don’t know, tonight’s meeting featured a presentation on the NAS Alameda 2015 Environmental Plan.

    Never could understand how the previous council could discuss development out there without talking about the clean-up timetable…

    Comment by vigi — November 13, 2014 @ 10:02 pm

  27. Noticed at the end of Letter to the Editor, Michele says that Trish will be sworn in on Dec 16?

    Comment by Li_ — November 14, 2014 @ 9:17 am

  28. 24. Spencer doesn’t really know who she is either and there in lies some of the problem. Some folks predicted a recall within months. As much satisfaction as that might give some of us, it’s really that last thing this town needs.

    Comment by MI — November 15, 2014 @ 9:36 am

  29. Why don’t some folks just call for a recount then count the ballots themselves and voila Gilmore wins. That’s the usual democrat method.

    Comment by jack — November 15, 2014 @ 10:09 am

  30. Jack, I thought I posted a response to 29 but don’t see it. That was whether you made a little “d” typo on democrat. either way, you comment is kind of lame. just sayin’. have nice day.

    Comment by MI — November 17, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

  31. Always ‘fun’ looking back to see what people were saying the last time a Mayor was elected.

    Comment by frank m — November 17, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

  32. 31
    I must say I nailed the truth in #93 comment back then and it’s still true today.

    Comment by jack — November 17, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

  33. had to go back and read it twice Jack, that is what this blog is all about, ugly as it can be at times.

    Comment by John P. — November 17, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

  34. “…it is wrong to think that because Marie did not get a majority of the votes that 2/3 were “against” her”. So true, and even with only 1/3 of the vote! Just imagine if a candidate had an actual majority…

    Comment by Darcy Morrison — November 17, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

  35. 7. and 15. Let me clarify. First of all, I’m not just talking about Alameda Point. We have several developments on the table that are lower profile in other locations. Secondly, just because the economy tanked and created a yawning gap between the time the land was available and the time anyone stepped forward with a workable plan does not mean that the current plan under consideration was not rushed along because, it may have been reasoned, that the land had stood idle way too long and better this than nothing. It is exactly this sort of situation that leads to hasty decisions with unintended consequences.

    We should not let developers do whatever they want to do just because we are tired of waiting. They are not going to have to live with the result. Even our elected officials can move on to greener pastures. Who better than the citizens with a commitment to and investment in the community, the home and business owners. to weigh in on what we do and do not want to see built here?

    Again, since apparently some need to have the obvious pointed out time and time again, most of us agree that new development is a positive. The difference is that some of us want it restrained and built in harmony with the character of the community. Some don’t care about that as long as it serves some other value they hold dear, like getting people out of their cars or attracting government funding.

    I don’t think our civic responsibility should be limited to the voting booth. Recent events in the City have shown the importance of an informed and involved populace. Isn’t this what this blog is for? In spite of the fact that I’m glad to be rid of some of the old guard, I will still be keeping a close eye on the new and speaking out when I disagree with the decisions they are about to make and in support of those I think are good ideas.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — November 18, 2014 @ 3:35 pm

  36. Denise, you said :”We should not let developers do whatever they want to do just because we are tired of waiting.” On face value that makes perfect sense and I agree. Then I think about the last ump-teen years since 1993 when base closure was announced and all the public input meetings took place. The Grand Massage of public sentiment.

    When FISC was up for RFP and three groups were in contention: (Catellus, Lincoln Properties and Martin Group), Catellus was clear front runner for whatever reason. We didn’t have people like Lauren to do research for us. I sat in library and read the 3 booklets. Tony Daysog was at the next table reading some other bureaucratic tome. Diane Lichtenstein and I were only members of the public to speak in favor Martin Group. Lincoln properties had partners including James Baker, Reagan’s Secretary of State. I don’t recall anybody speaking in their favor but my recollection is that several of the appointed board members and civic boosters ( “the usual suspects”) spoke on behalf of Catellus. Gee, was the fix in? I also clearly recall that Michael Covarrubius (, the pitch man for Martin Group, said that after the profitable housing ( Bayport) the rest of the proposed R&D in the plan would actually be dependent on the market. His comments were prescient in that the market for R&D was hot then but his caveat was that by the time housing was complete that the market could shift, which it did. I don;’t recall what he might have proposed in that event because I was a neophyte and didn’t take notes.

    Catellus plan called for R&D but when that market tanked Catellus immediately proposed big box which was universally rejected by the “grass roots”. We were then courted by a number of prospects, including the guys who did the Ferry Building in S.F. . We had interesting proposal with Cliff Bar as anchor, but gee wha’ happen? Catellus diddled, was sold and sold again, and here we are today, Target and In-N-Out Burger! (as a quick editorial aside, I don’t think it is fair to tar Marie and Russo for this mediocre outcome. but that is a digression) The fact is that this is the product of capitalism and grass roots be damned. This is what consumers and the all mighty market REQUIRE. It’s this or another fifteen years of fallow land.

    But here is the silver lining. The footprints on the buildings like Target have super foundations which mean they are super permanent with piers to China, but the tilt up stuff on top is comparatively just fluff, so in the big picture you might consider the real possibility of multiple reuses on the footprint we are probably stuck with. Just a thought.

    Comment by MI — November 18, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

  37. 31. I stepped away from internet for a few days last week and I am playing catch up. So, I actually glanced at first few posts and last few. Nothing too severe but comments 32 and 33 are cryptic and unsettling. If you have some Xanex I might venture to read between comments 9 and 90, but the sight of name Dennis Green gives me stomach flutters. I’m still on the fence whether it’s R.I.P. or R.I H. Since he can no longer step to the plate I’ll leave it there.

    Comment by MI — November 18, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

  38. Stomach flutters? Dennis was a breath of air blown into every face the owner of which contributed to this blog. Whether the breath was sour or sweet doesn’t matter, his observations lent grist to this pompous mill and I do not doubt that whether it’s RIP or RIH neither gets a free ride on Green’s derision.

    Comment by jack — November 18, 2014 @ 8:15 pm

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