Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 18, 2014

Pon de replay

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Election — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

So who watched or was at the City Council meeting on Tuesday?  A few of you I know because I saw you speak during the Del Monte section.  By the way, I just wanted to say that Helen Sause getting up there and speaking was so admirable.  She has a strength of conviction that is enviable and I don’t think anyone would blame her for taking a pass Tuesday’s meeting, but she showed up and I thank her for that.

The meeting is sort of divided into three distinct parts, Part I was the special meeting where the outgoing City Council took care of old business.  I have thoughts about the comments, particularly those of Trish Spencer, but that’s for another post. Part I was as expected, Marie Gilmore ran the meeting in her usual way, public comment was about as expected, and the vote was not a surprise.  Although I honestly thought that Tony Daysog would choose to abstain since it’s kind of his MO when it comes to issues that may have a little bit of conflict.  More on his comments and his overall approach to TDMs in another post.   (See, already paying dividends on post material!)

Part II which I’ll call, the “changing of the guard” was just strange.  First, Trish Spencer calls out into the audience for kids under the age of 18 to come join her while she’s being sworn in and, I guess, for a photo op.  I think later she explained that it was because under 18 kids are what she’s there for, for “the future” or something like that.  Usually people invite their family members or just take the oath alone, but I can go along on this “kids are our future” ride with her.

Trish Spencer then starts her remarks (this is usually when you thank the outgoing members, thank your supporters and then say you’ll work for the good of everyone) but this is where it gets weird. After the thanking of the outgoing Council and the thanking of the supporters.  Trish Spencer then says:

I’m going to thank each and every one of you for being here this evening; for walking with us — all of us — every step through the campaign, as we are here today.  You are supporting us; we will do our best to meet your needs.

Which is sort of a departure from the typical line that newly elected politicians use when they tell us — even if they don’t mean it — that they will work to represent everyone.  In this particular version, and I say “version” because there are two versions  which just adds to the overall strangeness of Parts II and III.  Maybe I’ll thank Trish Spencer for at least being honest about the fact that she will do her best to meet the needs of those “walking” with her through “every step of the campaign.”  But it’s surprisingly tone deaf from someone who is typically so careful about the optics of being inclusionary.

So after this whole portion wrapped up Trish Spencer announced that they’re going to do the whole thing, again, so that people that didn’t make it into the chambers would be able to see and hear her be sworn in and give her remarks again.  And by “all over again” I mean she did it all again, including the request for under 18 kids in the audience to join her.  She was re-sworn-in by the City Clerk, she gave similar, but not identical remarks as before, which morphed into a slightly more inclusionary version since she didn’t make a mention of need meeting this time around:

I want to thank each and every one of you, and our community-at-large, for their support  — for your support —  not only for the past six years when I was a member of your school board throughout the campaign and now moving forward.

In grand Trish Spencer fashion she got the best of both worlds, a chance to reassure her supporters that she would work for their best interests and of course the more neutral statement that just thanks people for their support without making promises.

At the end she wrapped up with something like “we’re going to do good work.”  To be honest, I really believe that Trish Spencer really believes that she is going to do good work.  Now, I’m sure that her definition of “good work” probably differs from my definition of “good work” but I don’t doubt her sincerity.

Fun factoid as shared by Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft, three of the five members of the City Council all have twins.   Some good trivia in case someone somewhere is nerdy enough to come up with the “Alameda Political Trivia” game.


  1. I thought Jim Oddie gave a thoughtful and eloquent opening statement. I look forward to seeing him in action as the council moves forward. The new mayor would do well to learn some style lessons (speaking style) from her dias mates.

    Comment by david burton — December 18, 2014 @ 7:56 am

  2. It’s “Dais”, not dias. Buenos Dias! Thanks for making your anti-Trish Bias known, former Planning Board president. Duenos Bias! (an ironically appropriate phrase).

    Note also: I believe John Russo has twin sons. Eerie.

    Comment by vigi — December 18, 2014 @ 9:56 am

  3. Vigi – thanks for the spelling correction; typing too quickly early in the morning. My point, perhaps lost on one looking for fault around every corner, is that Jim’s statement was very well written and delivered, was respectful towards his predecessors as well as his new dais (!) mates, and spoke to the community at large. Trish will now be the representative of our community, both at council meetings and in larger forums (regional, state, national) and in order to be effective in that representation I think she will need to work on her presentation style. If you look back at video of most council and board members you will see that many of them have changed and polished their speaking style over time. As for any bias on my part, that’s not relevant and isn’t the focus of this post. I wish the new mayor the best of luck and hope she can be successful in (as she says) doing good work.

    Comment by david burton — December 18, 2014 @ 10:28 am

  4. It seems like our new mayor is two-faced with twin personalities or the electorate has itself a Ms. Jekyll and Hyde. We are in for a long chaotic ride in Alameda.

    Comment by Alan — December 18, 2014 @ 10:30 am

  5. Does anyone know if the new Mayor has resigned her post on the school board or is she going to try and have the best of both worlds?

    Comment by RP — December 18, 2014 @ 11:06 am

  6. There’s a lot of over-analysis of each little utterance from Ms. Spencer here. It really seems like you’re just yearning for her failure so you can say ‘told you so’. Of all the things going on in Alameda is it necessary to dissect each unimportant detail of Trish’s odd acceptance? Imagine if she had used the word “mandate”. That would have really sent the micro-analysts into overdrive.

    Comment by AJ — December 18, 2014 @ 11:15 am

  7. “Now, I’m sure that her definition of “good work” probably differs from my definition of “good work”…”

    God i hope so!

    Comment by jack — December 18, 2014 @ 11:23 am

  8. #6 This is just the beginning of 4 years of BS nitpicks, whining, some valid difference of opinion, and some actual cause for concern. Lauren is already mostly unreadable on the subject of Spencer unless you are part of the bitter chorus (BC, JP, MI with the occasional appearance of Burton, Spangle, and JKW)

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — December 18, 2014 @ 12:44 pm

  9. There will be initial comments about the new Mayor and her skills, though based on her performance on the school board, there is good reason to be concerned. The results of her term will be based on her ability to understand the various issues, nit just development, her ability to work with the City Manager, her ability to work with the Council Members, her ability to work with City staff, and her ability to manage a very diverse group of issues that require diplomacy, patience, and professionalism. We have yet to see her skills in these areas beyond her school board efforts, thus we will al have to wait and see.

    Comment by Bill — December 18, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

  10. 8. people can be unreasonable. That includes you whether you are prepared to admit it or not. I can be plenty bitter and I often am, but if you read what I wrote yesterday, I think I was taking pains to not be snarking all over the place and to state what has been my real and legitimate concern all along, and that is that Trish may not be ready for prime time, particularly to be chairing council meetings. I agree with Bill, 9. above. It is fine that she is the new beacon for anti-development legions, really. But it would be MUCH better if she were on Council and Frank were mayor. I for one would be much more laid back about that scenario. We survived Doug de Haan, who unfortunately, is simply not a very articulate person even when he does have a point. Lots of snark has passed under the bridge at his expense here on this site.

    David Burton has been almost unfailingly civil on this site and his comments about Trish’s style above were almost out of character in that regard so I have to infer that he really means it and his comment is not simply a gratuitous bash. JKW has also been very even in his infrequent posts, so I think it is unfair to lump the two of them with JP and me as “bitter”. In Fact you sound bitter. When it comes to civility, you need to separate people who simply differ in views from those of us who may be fast and loose in expressing those views. If you want the high road you have the opportunity to stake it out right now, but if you continue to be sanctimonious and snarky, and anonymous to boot, yet try to justify it by claiming to be speaking in defense of the down trodden who get slighted, like vigi or Trish, go ahead with that, but I’m not buying it. I am going to try to use more restraint and stay calm out of respect for Lauren because I feel bad when the debate really goes off the rails. But if you really want to mud wrestle, get my email from Lauren. I don’t care who you are, or who you think you are, whether you reveal your identity or not. I think you operate by a double standard. Your choice of “people can be unreasonable” speaks volumes about who you think you are. And to me that a person who is just as fucked up as the people you pick fights with.

    Comment by MI — December 18, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

  11. MI, you and I agree about one thing and that is Bill’s comment #9. I am not really about civility here; what I am about is good faith and fair dealing. Criticizing Trish the way she does, Lauren just is always dealing in bad faith (even when she makes a supposedly generous nod to Trish being “sincere”, it’s just a back-handed way of criticizing her). I mean if we want to be all critical, how about the fact that Gilmore wouldn’t even stick around for the ceremonial swearing in?

    You don’t have much use for Sullwold, but he backs every post with 1000% more citations (and they are valid citations, not cherry-picked only to support the argument being made like going to Vancouver to find your data) than lauren and, I believe, much more deliberation. If and when he starts evaluating the new Mayor as having issues then I will be more likely to pay attention. If and when, Lauren stops dealing in bad faith then I will be more likely to pay attention.

    (P.S. WHO is RP and how detached, mean-spirited, and lacking in impulse control do you need to be to post that comment?)

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — December 18, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

  12. Back to Trish, for a moment, I haven’t watched her very much, but am I the only person who thinks she seemed manic or ADD at the meeting? At the first swearing, she was looking everywhere but at the clerk and seemed not to really be paying attention, nor able to stand still. I’m not sure who the young man standing next to her was, but he clearly didn’t know why he was there and was embarrassed. Later, she sat staring at the ceiling, grinning, while others spoke, then when it was her turn, I couldn’t figure out what she said. Her sentences didn’t hang together. I’m not against her, I’m not trashing her, I just can’t figure out what I saw. Is this the new norm, is she always like this, and if so, can anyone tell me what, (besides she likes kids and wants to do good works), she said? She seemed to tolerate Jim and Frank’s speeches, and ignore Marilyn and Tony. After the second swear did she settle down, pull the council together and make sense? I hear she didn’t say the same things and there was more to the meeting, but I was requested to leave so others could see second swear, so didn’t see that yet.

    Comment by Li_ — December 18, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

  13. Li_ there was not much of a meeting after the swearing in, they elected a Vice Mayor, who is always the highest vote getter for the Council position, and that was it. If I would have to sum up Trish Spencer’s demeanor at the event, I would say that she still “in shock” — for lack of a better term — that she is the Mayor. But I can’t say that she was ever that cogent at School Board meetings either, but I guess I’m just “mean” for giving my opinion after six years of watching her on the School Board.

    As an aside: How long is the waiting period to criticize a newly elected official? Asking for a friend…

    Because I’m pretty sure that Marie Gilmore didn’t get a respite period when she was first elected as Mayor and people were calling for Rob Bonta’s (and frankly Marie Gilmore and Lena Tam’s) heads by January 1. And let’s not forget this shot at Rob Bonta’s mother during public comment:

    Comment by Lauren Do — December 18, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

  14. Drove by City Hall this afternoon and saw our new Mayor looking very professional and official having her photo taken out in front. As she settles in to her new role, I think we all need to give her the time and space to transition from candidate to Mayor. She’ll be going to the League of California Cities boot camp for the newly elected, I guess, so she will have the benefit of lots of information and advice.

    Comment by Kate Quick — December 18, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

  15. Lauren, you’re not “mean” for stating you don’t like her. We get that loud and clear. What makes you mean is that you never let it go. That every post you make is based on your agenda of portraying her in a bad light. For a totally different take and much more sympathetic look at how the swearing in went, you could go read the article at the East Bay Citizen. Worse than being nice or mean; you’re boring because the only people who care about this overdissection (sp?) of every word and gesture of Trish Spencer is people who agree with you already. For the record, the criticism of Gilmore right out of the box had nothing to do with any speech she made from the dais or dias but had everything to do with one of the first actions the Council took (and you know that, but again cherry-picked your example).

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — December 18, 2014 @ 8:13 pm

  16. I read the EBC article, personally I don’t have a lot of time for “oh woe is me, what do I do now?” from someone who ran for an elected position, has been an elected official now for the past six years. It comes off as disingenuous. It would be nice if she actually understood the issues that she is discussing and that she will be tasked to help set policy about. But, what is problematic is her acknowledgement that she would only be meeting the “needs” of those that supported her. Also, I never said I don’t “like” Trish Spencer, I don’t know her personally enough to make that decision about whether I “like” her. Based on past performance, I’m not sure she’s up to the task and her recent comments during public comment haven’t convinced me that she’ll be able to get up to speed that quickly either.

    As for critiques right out of the gate: here:

    Nobody has repeated the most “clutch the pearls” worthy moment of the night when the mayor told Marie Gilmore that her week in Washington for a mayor’s conference is no excuse not to have special meeting during that month to seal this deal.
    When Gilmore suggested she didn’t have time to meet, the mayor told her that there are 31 days in January.
    It’s noteworthy because Gilmore ran on the fact that she could be a “full time” mayor, and then she squabbled at the first opportunity to show it.


    #36 Nope, just ask yourself how bad things in Alameda might be when working in Barstow looks better! Next up is the ICM, as you’ve all been wishing for, and then we’ll be totally at THEIR mercy! We’ll get the yes-men and stooges we deserve. Think the SunCal Slate wants the best employees they can get? Ha! You don’t know politics, or Alameda.


    Bottom line, Alameda is so screwed. If you like Alameda the way it is now, start thinking about when and how you are going to sell your house

    That’s just a quick sample I could find on my blog, I’m sure if you ventured over the David Howard’s site, you can find pre-AMG contract non-renewal negative comments.

    Comment by Lauren Do — December 19, 2014 @ 6:26 am

  17. There are at least two blog sites that are anti-Gilmore administration, and they are Action Alameda News and Alameda Merry Go Round. #11 you might try those sites if you feel more comfortable, but I must say that Lauren’s site is one of the few sites that people from all viewpoints feel comfortable posting on. We’ve had some tough moments, but looking back I think we all learned something from the exchanges.

    Lauren’s site has been around a very long time — and we’re fortunate to be able to look back and see what people were saying on this blog as far back as 2006. Thank you Lauren for your diligence.

    Regarding the swearing in — I watched it on television and since it was such a close election, I was listening for messages that reached out to the entire community.

    Comment by Karen Bey — December 19, 2014 @ 7:46 am

  18. Close election? Gilmore Was elected by only 36%; Spencer by more than 50%. I may be wrong, but in Alameda history, hasn’t Gilmore been appointed to office more times than she has been elected to anything? She was appointed to the Planning Board, left it and Alameda for an opportunity in Palo Alto that didn’t pan out, then when she returned, she was put back on the Planning Board! Nobody else has received that kind of special treatment. There has never been any doubt that Gilmore is the darling of special interests in this town. The question is: do those special interests represent the voters? I think not, and this past election proved it. Outside this BBA blog, Gilmore-Bonta-Tam were widely known as the SunCal Slate, which Alameda voters have never forgotten.

    I cannot help but wonder if Lauren Do’s unceasing vitriol towards Trish hides a latent anti-Hispanic bias. When has this blog ever said anything positive about Latinas?

    Comment by vigi — December 19, 2014 @ 10:43 am

  19. Its raining and I have nothing better to do, I also have a cold.

    post#8, p.c.b.u. if you think Lauren is unreadable you should read “Alameda Merry go round”, its written by an arrogant know all who is extremely snarky and mean, also very opinionated. His attacks on Mayor Gilmore are far worse than anything written here. I don’t know about the other guy’s but MI an JP are just warm and fuzzy misunderstood contractors. I love them both. JP

    Comment by John P. — December 19, 2014 @ 10:47 am

  20. Opinionated: adjective. The quality of having opinions that diverge from one’s own. Never found in oneself, frequently found in others.

    Comment by Ambrose Bierce — December 19, 2014 @ 10:57 am

  21. Snark: jokes or other humor that make fun of oneself or allies

    Wit: jokes or other humor that make fun of others, especially those whose opinions aren’t in line with oneself’s (see also: opinionated)

    Comment by Ambrose Bierce — December 19, 2014 @ 10:59 am

  22. post#11, “you don’t have much use for Sullwold, but he backs every post with 1000% more citations”. His credibility is a matter of opinion just as yours or mine is. He is a lawyer and talks just like a lawyer. He twists and turns and adds or deletes as he wishes when writing on a subject which is what he was trained to do.

    p.c.b.u. I have also noticed that when you call us out for criticizing some one, you always end up criticizing some one yourself. Is that irony?? or what. You ever notice how many people post here including yourself, as opposed to your other favorite sites??? could it be that Lauren dose not censor anyone.

    Comment by John P. — December 19, 2014 @ 11:01 am

  23. I’ve always liked the words “snark” and “snarky” and use it to describe myself and other people whose work I enjoy.

    Comment by Lauren Do — December 19, 2014 @ 11:11 am

  24. vigi, your post #18, your asking for trouble when you start with your comment on a racial issue.

    my question to you would be , when have you ever said anything positive about Lauren, or Marie. one is Asian and one is black. please don’t go down this road.

    Comment by John P. — December 19, 2014 @ 11:11 am

  25. John:

    Sullwold is indeed a snarky writer, dry & droll in a Buckley sort of way. But “mean”? Cite anything he’s written that’s mean. Meanness would be personal attacks, or drawing someone’s family into things, and the like.

    Calling BS on a politician who is BS-ing is not mean, no matter how much you like that particular politician.

    Comment by dave — December 19, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  26. Dave, I will rephrase, it is my opinion that he is mean, you can have yours and I have mine. I think he is mean because he does not like my favorite Mayor, O.K.

    Comment by John P. — December 19, 2014 @ 11:33 am

  27. 18. do the math lady, 36% was in a four way race which makes it pretty substantial, even though if one or the other candidates had not run she might have lost, but Lauren actually did a very credible scenario on how using ranked choice she may have won anyway. Marie lost this last election with nearly the exact same 50% by which Trish won, so what exactly is your point again.? You don’t like plurality elections then lobby to have it replaced. Your arguments need the equivalent of Viagra.

    11. I have use for Sullwold when he hits the nail, but he often flap his wings a lot but doesn’t take flight. His 1000% more citations for his posts are window dressing for the most part. Your 1000% claim is specious. Lauren doesn’t employ them, but she can certainly back up her opinions with source material and often that is the actual content of her posts. Sullwold is into trappings of lawyer but it doesn’t always mean much.

    Finally, PCBU wrote: ” (P.S. WHO is RP and how detached, mean-spirited, and lacking in impulse control do you need to be to post that comment?)” really? that is so hyperbolic it is ridiculous. All RP did was repeat the question many have asked, whether Trish was going to vacate her school board seat, but once again your response makes you even more guilty of that which you accuse others. I believe it is also moot because Trish said she plans to let go her BOE seat, but perhaps that’s wrong.

    P.S.- Going back a few weeks you claimed you need anonymity to be protected from people like me but I am still here attacking your erroneous comments which is all I would ever do. It’s as if you wish to imply that if we knew who you were we might beat you up or burn your house down. Don’t flatter yourself that it matters that much who you are. What matters to me is your faulty logic and double standards in debate.

    15. In both Tavares’ articles in the Alameda Magazine ( one pre-election and one post) he has repeated claims of others as fact for which he doesn’t cite sources nor does he call on the accused for comment. I don’t know much about his journalism creds other than having broken story of Chen’s legal troubles, but both those articles fail some basics. It is certainly logical to link expensive election mailers to AIFF, but there are no conclusive facts to substantiate that, yet my reading was that he simply credited them for it. These mistakes may not be egregious but they are careless when you think about it and they belie a certain bais. Of course everybody has a bias, but we expect journalists to try to mute theirs.

    Comment by MI — December 19, 2014 @ 11:38 am

  28. vigi, I take it you are Latino, so are we and your comment #18 is ridicules…on all points as somewhat twisted. We are Latino and don’t agree with Trish views thus far.

    Comment by Jake — December 19, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

  29. MI, I can’t let your defense if RP go unremarked upon. At the time that RP posted the question, Trish had resigned verifiable at multiple sources. The whole idea that Trish wanted to be on the School Board and Mayor simultaneously is really an attack (you can call that opinion but not everything is opinion – It requires you to believe a narrative that she is just in it for attention/power, to disbelieve what she stated in the campaign, to ignore election law, and to not bother actually reading any story about her last school board meeting. Hence, my criticism was totally legitimate.

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — December 19, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

  30. Unreasonable: I’ll give you some credit for reading stuff that isn’t the Alameda Sun, but citing an insightful post by an eminent economist only strengthens your case if it is relevant to what you’re arguing. To go from RP’s question to your assertion that it is an attack (not in your opinion, but, no, objectively!) makes a few logical leaps. Quoting smart people doesn’t make you smart.

    Comment by BC — December 19, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

  31. BC, you don’t understand. I stated my reason that I think that RP’s comment is indefensible. The fact that you continue to defend it and my assertion regarding the attack is “just an opinion” is what I have a problem with. To explain my dissatisfaction with MI (and you) defending RP, I brought up Krugman’s great meme “views-still-differ-on-shape-of-planet” where he talks about those with an agenda will ignore the obvious and get away with it because others are not willing to hold them to a standard. You can believe that RP was really asking the question because of a disinterested curiousity; I think you are objectively wrong in that belief. I think the more you try to argue that RP is just a misunderstood naif who should not be held responsible for ignoring Trish’s statements, the extensive discussion (on this blog and others), and the reported fact that she resigned shows how incredibly biased you are. (But I did lump you with the member of the bitter chorus so your protestations don’t surprise me one iota.)

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — December 19, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

  32. I’ve no idea what she or he was thinking. But your assertion that you know objectively (rather than having a strong, possibly correct, belief) is wrong. Objectively. Basic epistemology.

    Comment by BC — December 19, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

  33. This reminds me of the AEA crew trying to intimidate the School Board and Verbally throwing hand grenades and passing out Coal for Christmas….Tactics of Young Children with some major issues.

    Bullying Definition

    An unhappy teen boy walks away from bullying girls. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

    In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

    An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
    Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
    Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

    Comment by Jerry Springer crew on Steroids — December 19, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

  34. The AEA that backed Spencer?

    Comment by BC — December 19, 2014 @ 7:24 pm

  35. No the AEA backed Gilmore for Mayor……They ranted and raved like lunatics the night of the gifting of coal to all their backers on the School Board. Class bunch….They are the Bullies Of the City….Pretty sad representation of our Schools.

    Comment by Jerry Springer crew on Steroids — December 19, 2014 @ 9:38 pm

  36. AEA backed no one for Mayor. But supported Trish Spencer for School Board.

    Comment by Lauren Do — December 20, 2014 @ 7:52 am

  37. Teachers’ Union does not support Trish Spencer for Mayor

    The Alameda Education Association (AEA) reiterates its support for the re-election of Mayor Marie Gilmore, who has been a strong advocate for public education and teachers in Alameda.

    Comment by Bully Stalker From Trish Truth Says it . It must be true — December 20, 2014 @ 8:59 am

  38. John, you who have bullied at so many points in your tenure here LOVE to accuse people of being bullies. ( how does a steaming turd video rate against a lump of coal?) That’s what hypocrites do after all. Trish Truth is simply posting of Spencer’s own words spoken in public. Do you know what the judge told David the Stalker Howard when he tried to sue for slander after somebody suggested his behavior resembled that description when he posted people’s home addresses and financial information on line? The judge said that the standard for public figures is entirely different ( “heat in the kitchen” etc.) and Howard had created a very high profile for himself in the public debates. And another ruled at the restraining order hearing after DH tried to suppress free speech with further abuse of the legal system, “the world of politics is sometimes rough and tumble”, get used to it.

    Comment by MI — December 20, 2014 @ 10:28 am

  39. MI, I still have the two letters from his lawyer, one of them was strategically delivered on Christmas eve. unfortunately I was in Lake Tahoe, but others did receive them that night. what a sweetheart he is.

    Comment by John P. — December 20, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

  40. wonder what Santa is leaving in his stocking this year. since he appears to have stayed out of trouble since alleged physical abuse of his spouse, perhaps it won’t be a lump of coal. ho-ho-etc

    Comment by MI — December 20, 2014 @ 12:59 pm

  41. I still have my two letters too and the letters sent to my husband. I, unfortunately, did get them on Christmas Eve, which essentially put a damper on that holiday.

    Comment by Lauren Do — December 20, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

  42. Oddie’s “speech” was more like something a verbose Congressman reads into the record to an empty chamber to be republished for his constituents at home to show he was doing his job. About half way through people were rolling their eyes, as he read on and on…He even mentioned “development” thus pleasing his masters. What was obvious is that he cannot speak extemporaneously. Mattarese’s in contrast, was short and too the point. Spencer, as always, was genuine, if not polished. There are no eloquent members of the City Council or School Board.

    Comment by Breathless — December 22, 2014 @ 7:55 am

  43. Breathless, you sound just like the Tea Party. Your very proud of the fact that Spencer can’t speak in sentences. Good for you.

    Comment by John P. — December 22, 2014 @ 8:31 am

  44. Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft is a very eloquent speaker.

    Comment by Lauren Do — December 22, 2014 @ 8:36 am

  45. Breathless–Sorry, but I disagree. Jim Oddie–whom I know and consider a friend–felt a debt of gratitude to many people and tried to include them all in one speech. You may not agree with his choice and prefer Frank Matarrese’s brevity, but Jim is sincere and honest in this. He went on too long, but that is a tradition that should not belong only to the “old hands” on the City Council. (As an aside, I always appreciated Marie Gilmore’s brevity and ability to be straightforward. I hope Trish Spencer will do as well as he predecessor in this regard.)

    I look for eloquence in my elected representatives, but will always be happy with intelligent decision-making by prepared legislators. since that is their job. I most certainly trust Jim Oddie to do that, which is why I voted for him. I trusted the previous council to make smart decisions, which is one reason I felt comfortable *not* attending as many CC meetings over the past 4 years as I felt I had to during the Johnson and Appezzato administrations. Now I will have to be there more often, because I do not have the sense that my views will be represented fairly.

    PCBU–I strongly disagree with you that the critiques of Marie Gilmore 4 years ago were any more justified than our critiques of Trish Spencer now: both had positions and track records with which people disagreed. The electorate is now split 50-50, and it is incumbent on any mayor to represent ALL of the community. How well Trish Spencer does this will be, as I see it, a large measure of her effectiveness as mayor.

    In light of this, was not happy when Trish Spencer thanked “each and every one of you” (everyone in the room) for campaigning for her, since I did just the opposite and was sitting in the front row. I hope and pray that I will be pleasantly surprised by her ability to govern and her decisions while she is in office. It is hard to withhold judgment, even based on her first outing as mayor, but I am going to give her the benefit of the doubt as much as possible.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — December 22, 2014 @ 8:52 am

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