Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 6, 2015

Worst of both worlds

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

I have to say that I am most frustrated by this whole OPEB discussion by Tony Daysog.  (I rewatched the video yesterday if you didn’t get that) If you listen to the discussion and the questioning by Tony Daysog it’s clear that he wanted his comments to seem to support the unions, but in his eventual vote he voted against the unions.  And why?  Because the proposal was not “comprehensive” enough.  Of course, no one ever presented the Russo plan (for ease of typing) as a comprehensive “one size fits all” proposal.  And nothing that Tony Daysog kind of, sort of proposed would have done much to close the gap either.

The whole premise of his support/opposition (because Tony Daysog always wants to try to appease both sides) was that he believed the trust fund proposal to be “under capitalized” which, no duh dude.  Everyone, from staff to the consultant who reviewed it, said that the trust fund would run out of money if nothing else is ever done.

So essentially Tony Daysog’s solution  is to continue doing nothing because the first proposal doesn’t go far enough.  In the end his reasons for voting against the proposal falls short and he ended up alienating public safety for no good reason.

Oh wait, it’s also to give away another something and get nothing back.

How is that?  Let me explain.

Instead of dealing with discussing this very distinct issue of these MOUs which would start having labor pay into this OPEB trust fund, Tony Daysog wanted to talk about a different pension fund that exists in the City for older retirees.  To nutshell, there exists in the City pension plans that are separate from CalPERS for retirees who opted to not go through CalPERS.  This pension plan is paid out from the general fund and as people die off (yeah, kind of morbid) the liability reduces because the less people pulling from the fund means less money required to fund it.  The liability for those funds will eventually hit zero because no one gets added to those pension funds.

Tony Daysog wanted to talk about how to incorporate those funds into the MOU discussions for funding this new trust fund.  I don’t have to point out to you all how that would be premature (as was pointed out to Tony Daysog that night) because it’s not as though adding those potential future funds (whatever the amount would be) would make the proposal “comprehensive” either, but here’s when I realized that Tony Daysog either (a) didn’t know what his actual opposition was or (b) was very very confused about the proposal, it’s when he said this (after a lengthy explanation by John Russo about the premature nature of trying to do something with the funds and about how those funds could be used at a later date to leverage more concessions):

In pursing this idea, I don’t want to use it [the other pension funds] to begin bargaining again, like if we do this I want public safety now to give this.

Uh, what?

Isn’t this how we got to this whole liability thing in the first place?  Giving away something for nothing? John Russo handed to the Council what they could do with this pot of money in the future which could be discussed as part of the standing group created by the Council to continue to examine these liabilities.  And then Tony Daysog — who doesn’t vote for moving forward with at least a small step toward “capitalizing” the trust fund — wants to not use this other potential pot of money as a bargaining chip for future negotiations.


Tony Daysog wants to appear to be a big picture critical thinker but in the end he just fails at presenting his logical and cogent arguments, but much like his yes and no votes on the Alameda Theatre project he just wants to have it both ways.


  1. Very well written observations here about the “non role” that Daysog took in the discussion and in the vote. My wife watched the meeting while I was there in person, and we both car away with a very negative opinion of Daysog . . . again. We have no understanding of what he is doing. We thought he was smarter than he is and more in tied with what was good for the public. He seems only to be playing the Daysog cards these days which is very disturbing and disruptive to our future it seems.

    Comment by Bill — May 6, 2015 @ 6:18 am

  2. Daysog was definitely doing his best Darrel Hammond as Al Gore impression. “Lockbox.” The Elmer Fudd act was in full effect last night too, being shocked that he didn’t need to get a separate business license for each room he rents out from his house.

    Comment by BMac — May 6, 2015 @ 8:00 am

  3. Lauren, I swear that the first time I posted here was within months of you starting this blog and my comment was about Tony. I described his style as “on the other hand, there is the other hand”. He obviously has a depth of knowledge on any number of topics and issues, but when it comes to making a point he can take a long time to not say very much. Often on hard issues he wants to be seen as invoking the wisdom of Solomon, but that story was about a pose which causes parties to back off revealing a truth. In this case we could just end up with a dead baby.

    Comment by MI — May 6, 2015 @ 8:06 am

  4. This is not directly about Daysog, but about speaking plain truth. It occurred to me that in bargaining there are concessions and sacrifices. The safety people have made concessions but many of us don’t call them sacrifices and that is where the real disagreement lies, in whether they should make sacrifices, Perhaps sacrifices which hurt. Many public speakers who supported the contract lauded the safety units for their great work and spoke in platitudes which didn’t really speak to the heart of the disagreement. They do a great job which enhances the value of living in Mayberry. Nobody really disagrees. But many detractors didn’t really make a direct point either. “we should wait” doesn’t cut it. I said comments by Knox White were most direct. He said that this deal puts units at risk in worst case where their 2% raises yields a net loss against 4% OPEB. I Googled 2014 COLA and got 1.7%. There must be regional and national calculations for COLA but whatever. If the economy has down turn and these groups don’t get a net benefit today, their concessions to contribute more to their own retirement will benefit them later. In my opinion, any sacrifice will be minimal. Meanwhile we’re inching in the right direction is just that, inching and it’s better than nothing, but it is based on some guess work like 6.5% return on investment for trust. benefits are fixed but returns on trust are not. What happens to that in an economic down turn? Hopefully by the time this contract has run it’s course we will begin to see clearly what is what.

    Anyway, I am frustrated that there was so little direct engagement of the issue or conflict by either side with the language people used. The anecdote from a local contractor about $16 K permit fee and permit tech only getting a quarter the compensation of some safety salaries, was simply lame. Not even a good dog whistle. The yes vote has bought us time. Time to lay the ground work for some really honest discussion for the next round. And time to prepare emotionally to have it. concessions, sacrifices.

    Comment by MI — May 6, 2015 @ 9:03 am

  5. oh, actually Spencer’s domestic check book comparison was clear and direct if it had been more applicable. I would use the analogy of a person who was married to somebody who died and left them in debt to IRS.

    Comment by MI — May 6, 2015 @ 9:13 am

  6. Sounds like you would be in favor of applying the 4 minute councilmember speaking limit, proposed by Jim Oddie, to Tony Daysog. Wouldn’t hurt to put a cap on how much total time Ashcraft can monopolize in a council meeting either.

    Comment by vigi — May 6, 2015 @ 9:24 am

  7. Let summerize the situation
    Spencer was born with a NO , I don’ want to eat my food , I don’t want to change diaper , I don’t want to go to school!
    Nothing has changed !
    Sizi talk for ever because she is still trying to get her bearing like a scientologist who just landed in the desert or like Marie Antoinette gathering her thought after being beheaded
    Day dog cannot comme to term that the USA are very much underway with normalization with Cuba , which he previously used as a benchmark claiming he had transformed the city in one of the most socialist in the USA , by the way should you still be looking for the unaccounted 100’of millions Alameda power and telecom squander ask Him He took the credit to create that monster.
    Matarrese is looking for the next deal to be made.
    Oddie has second thought and wonder which middle school He his in
    Masa while City Employees do whatever they want.

    Comment by Arnold — May 6, 2015 @ 11:58 am

  8. Some interesting post,
    At work someone posted a Cartoon .
    Want to feel Important ? Have time to waste?
    Let’s have a meeting !

    MI , I love to see the break down of that permit , the trouble in Alameda , there are no home owner association to challenge the building permit and enforcement , process etc , I have taken every single permit , yet had Client which had 3 different opinions from 3 different inspectors because each one interpret the building code to fit their Fancy.

    However should we have a loose association most would be able to afford legal advice , such as one of my neighbor who made the mistake of doing minor repair work , they required Him to bring back a property built 100 years ago to today’s code with huge fines .

    My Apologies to everyone to deviate from the topic.

    Comment by Joel Rambaud — May 6, 2015 @ 4:44 pm

  9. Thanks again Lauren for the breakdown and explanation. It’s a civic service. At least you make sense of Tony. I feel like a cow hit between the eyes with a stun gun trying to follow and make sense of the half sentences, pauses, return to ideas mentioned 5 minutes ago and attempting to connect it to a thought he’ll have in three minutes. No punctuation in the thinking. There seem to be two parallel meta-processes occurring simultaneously: the words said by his mouth, and the torturous scramble of thought before the word. Maybe it’s the simpler “politician speak from both sides of mouth”. I don’t know. I can’t make sense of what his point is. I find myself tuning out.

    Comment by Gabrielle Dolphin — May 7, 2015 @ 9:00 am

  10. I think #3 Mark hit the nail on the head. Somehow listening to him you feel your life slipping by.

    Comment by frank m — May 7, 2015 @ 10:25 am

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