Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 14, 2015

Broadway/Jackson fight

Now you all know that Jim Oddie is not my favorite City Council person.  But on Tuesday night he really redeemed himself by asking a series of questions during the Public Works budget presentation that lead up to the final “gotcha” question.  It was like those scenes in any Real Housewives show when a character that you’re kind of lukewarm on takes on the HBIC (look it up) and redeems herself to lock in a contract for the next season.

Like that.

So here’s the lead up.  Jim Oddie starts slowly by asking about the different projects in the Capital Improvement Plan and how they align with Measure BB and whether each and every project was something that was supported by the City of Alameda.  The two of particular concern were Bus Rapid Transit and the Broadway/Jackson project.  He also asks staff about the purpose of the Broadway/Jackson project and — for those that don’t know — it’s to relieve pressure off the tube because the back up usually happens on the Oakland side when the pedestrian signal is depressed and then getting on to the actual on ramp. After the line of question he then says, let me do the back and forth dialogue:

Jim Oddie: And it’s the stated policy of this Council to be supportive of the I-880 Broadway/Jackson multi-modal transportation and circulation improvement project? City Staff: Absolutely, totally 100%. Jim Oddie: So I have one more question and I’ll kind of preface this with a little background. In my day job, I’m a professional public servant like all of you so I interact with a number of people and I had a conversation with a high level executive staffer over at the ACTC and it was conveyed to me that our representative to the ACTC said she didn’t want the Bus Rapid Transit and didn’t want the Broadway/Jackson is that communication to the person at ACTC contrary to stated Council policy?

City Staff: It appears to be.

Jim Oddie: Okay, thank you.

Trish Spencer: Okay so I think it’s appropriate for me to respond, I think that, actually I think it’s appropriate for you to have…I’m the representative, I don’t know what conversation you’re referring to, however I really would encourage that in the future if you want to have that conversation that we start offline.  I personally don’t believe as that this has been a topic other than, this topic does come up at AC Transit meetings, of which actually I believe I’ve been supportive of. But right, of course if you want to do business this way, that’s what your choice is but I think it’s really inappropriate and now I’d like to call on other members. [emphasis added]

Then Trish Spencer calls on her old standby, Tony Daysog, to start asking for esoteric information to distract from the truth bomb that Jim Oddie just laid down on the Council and the ridiculous response from Trish Spencer feeling as though the line of questioning was “inappropriate” and should have been handled “off line.”

Of course she never denies having the conversation, but rather that she doesn’t remember having the discussion (much like she didn’t recall making the statements which were recorded at Peets…) which is worrisome because it could mean that she’s had that conversation with multiple people multiple times or it just goes back to commenter Brock’s statement from the other day that Trish Spencer doesn’t have the fortitude to say what she really did or feels at a public meeting, just when she thinks she is around like-minded folks.

Just so that we’re keeping track, Broadway/Jackson came up as part of a Measure BB discussion in March, part of a list of consultant contracts in February, and part of monitoring reports in January.  It was also part of the ED’s report in February.  So the topic did come up numerous times at ACTC meetings, unlike Trish Spencer believing that it had not been a topic of conversation. Later on, as an excuse or a response or just a flow of random words Trish Spencer decides to say this:

In regards to the Alameda County Transportation Commission they have staff that creates lists of projects that are countywide and they prioritize based upon, my understanding is, what they think is most urgent as well as what projects have been submitted and everything they’ve been able to research and allocate funds for that way, but they do have a county perspective. And another issue, in regards to Broadway/Jackson, it’s not simply pushing cars through the tube as quickly as possible, it’s also protecting the pedestrians on the Oakland side and there has been injuries and, my understanding is, at least one fatality so being good partners with neighboring cities is a consideration for the commission in its entirety.

Which of course doesn’t address that issue brought up by Jim Oddie and is typically Trish Spencer: say a bunch of meaningless words that don’t actually signal what her actual motivations are at City Council meetings and then say a bunch of damaging things to people she perceives as like-minded.


  1. Just for “truthiness” purposes, what is the argument against the plan? How could it negatively impact Alameda?

    Comment by Breathless — May 14, 2015 @ 6:49 am

  2. Against: cost, construction pains

    Otherwise the completed project won’t negatively impact Alameda.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 14, 2015 @ 6:57 am

  3. These comments from our Mayor, our representative, are worrisome. It shows that Mayor Trish has no desire to fix the traffic problems we’re facing even though traffic was her number one campaign issue.

    It’s also clear she plans to obstruct any project that will ease traffic on the Island, then she will vote against badly needed housing projects in Alameda because of traffic concerns.

    Measure BB was supported by well over 50% of the Alameda population which shows that Alamedans want traffic solutions not the obstruction that we’re getting from our Mayor.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 14, 2015 @ 7:13 am

  4. One more note, the economy is heating up and a recent article in the SF Business Times predict a Bay Area hiring spree in 2015 of over 16,000 jobs.

    This is great news, but it means we need to make progress in the areas of infrastructure and transportation improvements to accommodate current and future growth.

    Comment by Karen Bey — May 14, 2015 @ 7:33 am

  5. The mayor’s comments over at ACTC probably have little effect. So unremarkable they were that she can’t remember whether she made them or not. I’ve been a little bored as a casual observer with the amount of concern re the mayor’s style, however, the quote from the mayor is bad. I don’t think the mayor is entitled to being tipped off before other members call her on statements she makes at transportation agencies before which she represents the City, particularly on this issue. Mayor, time to stand up and be counted. What are you doing to improve transportation on and off the island (a problem that exists already, no matter how many units are added in the future)? Why do people ride to and from San Francisco in the morning and evenings having to stand up in cramped, sweaty buses? Please in the future take your charge seriously enough that you remember (and be willing to stand behind) what you have and have not communicated on behalf of the city.

    Comment by MP — May 14, 2015 @ 8:00 am

  6. This is bunker mentality. She should be able AND willing to discuss her votes and explain them, PERIOD. If construction impacts are bad, we need to understand exactly how and when. We also need to know clearly what positive effects the project is supposed have, including building cooperation with Oakland.

    Comment by MI — May 14, 2015 @ 8:17 am

  7. we have her as our mayor for four years, this council is going to have to over-ride her on many issues. They might as well stand up now and let her know that she has only one vote and that one vote cannot cancel out the balance of the council opinion. Its fairly obvious why she appointed herself to all regional bodies.

    Comment by John P. — May 14, 2015 @ 8:38 am

  8. After a number of years of city leadership under Mayor Gilmore, it is unsettling right now how light the leadership has become. But, it may get better with time wen with experience. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    Comment by Bill — May 14, 2015 @ 8:38 am

  9. She uses the phrase “it’s my understanding” a lot. Seems like a qualifying remark. just in case she is challenged. In the case of the charter on procedure for council member discussion after the vote, she was dead wrong, ignoring the logic of pre-explaining being an opportunity to possibly effect votes of other council members. i.e. the purpose would be to have a conversation about pros and cons to enlighten each other. In most if not all cases she has her mind made up and isn’t interested in a conversation, but in this case can’t even give an explanation after the vote which previously she was so anxious to do. She likes to pick and chose when to make mush mouthed speeches.

    Comment by MI — May 14, 2015 @ 8:43 am

  10. 8. you keep saying that, Bill. You are a magnanimous soul in that regard. Do you see any indications of a learning curve? Serious question. If there is a change it may not be until she has exhausted every opportunity to make mistakes.

    Comment by MI — May 14, 2015 @ 8:46 am

  11. I had a conversation with some high level dude that conveyed (he didn’t speak, he just kind of winked and nudged his way then nodded when I figured out what he was conveying) that the Alameda Mayor doesn’t want what I want and I may lose biggo bucks if Alameda doesn’t go along with what I want.

    Comment by jack — May 14, 2015 @ 9:44 am

  12. And as a, not just any normal public servant but a PROFESSIONAL public servant, I interact, you know back scratching is part of the profession, with a lot of high level dudes and we all try to do whats best for the uh, proles and, you know, you throw one nut into the mix and wham there goes the circulation.

    Comment by jack — May 14, 2015 @ 9:52 am

  13. its clear that the Mayor by appointing herself to all regional bodies wanted only her opinion to be heard at these bodies, that is censorship. Now if she can’t handle that fact that another city council member is going to call her out when she does this she should just come back from these meetings and report on the meeting and how she voted so that we as citizens can all share in that information. She certainly has the right to her vote, but not the right to not disclose it to all of us here in Alameda.

    Comment by John P. — May 14, 2015 @ 10:01 am

  14. Unless you lazy bloggers are afraid to actually leave the island and venture to Downtown Oakland, you can actually attend these meetings yourself. Here is the calendar:

    You can stand up in the Public Comment part of the ACTC meeting and actually say what you think, instead of wasting your time writing it on BBA. It is hard to take any of you seriously when you won’t even stand up and be counted in public [this does not apply to Bey and Piziali-they do]. I have been on the ACTC mailing list for years. You can do it too!

    I don’t attend these meetings frequently, but when I have, I didn’t see or hear anyone else from Alameda there. if you want to understand the pros and cons of these issues, you have to look a lot further than this blog or one council meeting.

    I am disappointed with JIm Oddie’s remark, as it seemed to be hearsay from an un-named “high level staffer” available only to Mr. Oddie, and positioned to blindside the Mayor. It would have been better placed during Council Communications.

    Anyone can probably look up the minutes of an ACTC meeting to find out how the vote went, which is a more honest source for such information.

    Comment by vigi — May 14, 2015 @ 10:04 am

  15. so vigi, are you saying that the Mayor doesn’t need to communicate to the citizens what happens at these meeting and how she votes at these meetings when she is representing Alameda as a council person. perhaps she could enlighten us under council communications.

    Comment by John P. — May 14, 2015 @ 10:23 am

  16. Is this a direct democracy or representative democracy? I hope representative.

    Some of us have to work to pay off our houses (not as much a concern if you inherited yours), and pay our property taxes (not as much a concern if you’re paying 30-year-old assessed taxes on your free house). It doesn’t leave a lot of time to attend government meetings.

    Comment by Brock — May 14, 2015 @ 10:51 am

  17. 16 At the municipal level, it is both representative and direct, and those who do the most direct participating often end up as your representatives. Brock, you must be very new to California. This state has a long tradition of legislation by popular ballot initiative (direct democracy), which is why you often see dueling propositions on a ballot. Every time someone asks you to sign a petition, they are invoking direct democracy. But I don’t feel qualified to give a remedial civics lesson. If you need a refesher, the California Channel (cable) regularly has video lessons on direct and representative democracy, and how they co-exist in this state. You are going to have to learn to live with both of them.

    15. I agree, There should be a place in the council meetings where the mayor and others who are representing Alameda on regional boards officially report back to the public.

    That reminds me…at the last RAB meeting, NO council members showed up (even though two of them received specific invitations). For some time now, there has been no report back to the Council on the NAS Clean-up from a council representative to the RAB. Tonight is our bi-monthly meeting, 6:30 pm City Hall West. We will be saying farewell to Derek Robinson, our Navy BEC for the last 5 years, and welcoming his successor, Cecily Sabedra.

    Come on, Council Members! You know who you are! Don’t leave this job to the Mayor, too! I expect to see Jim, Frank, or Tony (at least one of you) TONIGHT! Be there or be square!

    Comment by vigi — May 14, 2015 @ 11:15 am

  18. Ding, ding, ding. 16 nailed it. We have elections so that our representatives can inform themselves on these things, decide what policies are in the best interest of the city, and carry out that policy to the best of their ability. Participating in the discussion is fine, if you can, but doesn’t mean that your vote is any more valuable than someone who only votes on election day. Get off your horse already with the “I only respect people who show up to all the meetings” attitude.

    Comment by BMac — May 14, 2015 @ 11:20 am

  19. 17. Is the Broadway/Jackson initiative in question a direct voter ballot initiative? No, it is not. Stop wasting everyone’s time with this bogus red herring.

    Comment by Brock — May 14, 2015 @ 11:30 am

  20. 15. I agree, There should be a place in the council meetings where the mayor and others who are representing Alameda on regional boards officially report back to the public.

    Well both Trish Spencer and Tony Daysog voted against the need to report back to the public and the Council about regional board updates.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 14, 2015 @ 11:52 am

  21. Daysog tweets every god damn word of those league of cities meetings he attends, ensuring you just glaze over and skip them. Dude needs an editor. Pick a few highlights and report/tweet out. Its not that hard.

    Comment by BMac — May 14, 2015 @ 11:58 am

  22. 18 Who said anything about voting? There is an old saying (maybe you’ve heard it) “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”. The purpose of a public hearing, mandated by law in most cases, is for people to be heard. These people don’t vote, but their opinions are noted. Then you watch them on video and complain about them in this blog.

    Funny thing is, what you say in a blog counts for just about nothing compared to what you say in a public hearing. But then you probably never heard the saying “90% of life is showing up”, either.

    How do you know the way Trish voted didn’t represent the views of the constituents who told her what they think? Have you ever communicated your opinion to your mayor? If you have the time to blog here, you have the time to send your opinion to City Hall.

    Comment by vigi — May 14, 2015 @ 12:35 pm

  23. 22. right, just ask Kurt Peterson who is delusional about being the tip of some mythic electoral iceberg which is going to take down the who status quo. He shows up to represent ! and gets speaker slip hours in advance so he can be numero uno. I hate to be cynical vigi, but unless a speaker shows up with some really compelling comments backed by some kind of authoritative credential, why would a body like ACTC do more than politely listen and thank a speaker for taking the time to come. Your obsession with showing up seems to be directed more at self flattery and bolstering you opinion of how much clout you have than anything else. I showed up at toothless EDC special meeting on a Saturday and made people wriggle in their chairs when I spoke about “sustainability”, but it didn’t influence any business that day, just made people remember me when I showed up again and again at various functions. I’m done. Haven’t given up on democracy or having my representative represent me, just switched modes. There is a sort of meme for somebody who is determined to tune things out, hands over ears, eyes squeezed shut, making loud noises “Lah-lah-lah!” That’s the mayor.

    Comment by MI — May 14, 2015 @ 1:00 pm

  24. Honestly? I often wonder if our mayor doesn’t suffer from the residual effects of chemo which is known as Chemo Brain. It is an ongoing mental fog that causes thinking and memory problems. Something to consider and if that is the case the implications are a bit scary.

    Comment by Ms. Lane — May 14, 2015 @ 1:29 pm

  25. 22. Vigi (whoever you are), Spencer is the mayor. Elected by one vote or a landslide, she represents the city. If I go to a meeting and “squeak” in opposition to the mayor, the transportation commission is going to ignore me. No one voted for me. We’re stuck with Spencer and SHE has to lead.

    Comment by Larry Witte — May 14, 2015 @ 3:54 pm

  26. post #24, no ms. Lane, she was born with this defect.

    Comment by John P. — May 14, 2015 @ 8:36 pm

  27. The Broadway-Jackson interchange has been a tough nut to crack for at least a decade,based on the agendas and notes in my computer, and Alameda’s reps on regional bodies have ALWAYS supported some form of improvement to the Broadway-Jackson status quo. The residents of both cities need an improvement to the unsafe conditions that exist.

    Many in Oakland (especially the Chinatown area) do not want their neighborhoods disrupted by:
    1) lots of cars going to and from Alameda (the status quo), and
    2) more high-speed arterials in their neighborhood that would destroy its sense of community and identity (most of the various proposals to”solve” the traffic congestion).

    Trish Spencer’s disruption of the community (Measure BB) and official (numerous board, commission, and City Council presentations.votes, and instructions to staff) consensus IS a big issue,since our neighboring jurisdictions do not know what to do with a “rogue” mayor. (From the comments here, some Alamedans share that sensation.)

    I am just as disturbed by Spencer’s apparent opposition to Bus Rapid Transit in Alameda as anything else–BRT is one of the few cost-effective solutions available to us that can provide fast transit express service to BART and other transit hubs/destinations off-island in both Downtown Oakland and Fruitvale.

    There are numerous regional and macro trends and global imperatives that *will* give us true gridlock (something Alameda has yet to see, despite Eugenie Thomson’s rants to the contrary) if we keep driving single-occupancy cars in the region. We need new transit options, and BRT will work well on our wider arterials such as Lincoln and Appezatto–and many of them used to be a railroad right of way that provided commuter service.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — May 15, 2015 @ 9:43 am

  28. 22. Spencer is the only elected representative I’ve encountered who doesn’t reply to emails in even a cursory way. DeHaan, whom I often disagreed with (or, as Jack might prefer, with whom I often disagreed) wrote back every time. I get the sense that Spencer doesn’t allow differing opinions to cloud her clear sense of how the world works.

    Comment by BC — May 15, 2015 @ 10:46 am

  29. 25 = That’s the lamest excuse I ever heard for not getting involved. I assume your opposition relates to the issue, not just the personality of the holder of the point of view. If you speak at a meeting, your input is permanently recorded for posterity in the minutes of the meeting. It takes less time and is less of a gamble than sending a letter to an editor, hoping it might get published. Our City Planner Andrew Thomas has stated for the record that he gets some of his best ideas from what speakers say during Public Comment.

    If you want your criticisms to be taken seriously, or considered at all, believe in the process and participate in it. Spencer cannot read your mind. If you are afraid to approach her, and would rather wallow in your own whining, that’s your problem.

    Comment by vigi — May 15, 2015 @ 11:19 am

  30. For the record, I personally have approached her on 2 occasions (being as how we traveled in the same circles) . She was quite nice until she heard that I was not in line with her dearly held beliefs (politely stated and open to discussion) – then she was less than responsive. eyes glazed over- nodding but not really listening, it was sortof odd frankly but I suppose normal? A definite moment of “you are for me or against me” mentality- I was open somewhat but she clearly was not. She didn’t try to persuade me- she just tuned me out.

    Comment by librarycat — May 15, 2015 @ 11:53 am

  31. 24/26
    Despicable. It’s one thing to disagree with the political position of a person and refute those positions in a honorable way, it’s totally another thing to make ad hominem public comments towards that person one disagrees with. I’m sure librarycat would agree.

    Comment by jack — May 15, 2015 @ 7:39 pm

  32. I met Trish Spencer for the First time yesterday.

    I have admired her grit and determination about not being afraid to ask tough questions while on the School Board and shinning the light on many issues.

    She is Authentic and full of energy with strong personal and social values about doing what’s right. She is Fearless and honest with tons of Courage.

    She reminds me of the 110 lb nurse that dragged Raymond Zacks body ashore while we had 20 fireman at scene with 100’s of years of water training in Alameda afraid to get their feet wet or even attempt to save his life or let alone drag his lifeless body to shore.

    She is a Survivor. She battled cancer and won, and the crap you people throw around is as vile as it gets.

    Maybe she doesn’t get everything right every time,but then again she is Human. I think she is Treasure to this city.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 16, 2015 @ 7:49 am

  33. 26. John Piziali: “I am beneath you, but nothing is beneath me.” Class Act.

    Comment by Gerard L. — May 16, 2015 @ 12:54 pm

  34. If Trish Spencer is so “tough” “authentic” “fearless” “and honest with tons of Courage,” why did she tell Mr. Oddie that it was “inappropriate” for him to raise questions about the public actions of someone who was supposedly representing the city at a public county level meeting during a public city council meeting? Why did she tell Mr. Oddie that it was inappropriate for him to raise the question publicly? Why did she tell him that he should have raised the question in private with her “offline”?

    Sounds to me like someone who isn’t so tough, who can’t authentically stand by positions and votes that she has taken publicly, who is fearful of having to answer questions herself in public, and who does not show a great deal of honesty or courage by trying to have uncomfortable questions directed to her “offline” when nobody is watching.

    There is this familiar recorded narrative that is frequently played whenever anyone criticizes Trish Spencer. Unfortunately, her actions repeatedly undercut the well worn narrative for anyone who is paying attention.

    Comment by JohnB — May 16, 2015 @ 8:52 pm

  35. Yeah, yeah , yeah, Jack, Gerald, you are so upset that anyone on this blog would criticize the mayor you support. I listened to this stuff for four years while people like you crucified my Mayor. Now you get to defend your Mayor for the next four years so ,please get used to it. After all this is the way politics works. Also I would like to make sure that Lauren understands, as she has said this is a blog not a journalistic newspaper. If you want to hear pure “bullshit” not journalism then read the “sun .”

    Comment by John P. — May 16, 2015 @ 9:33 pm

  36. John, that was not your finest moment. The cancer line in 24 was a reprehensible thing to say. For all the criticism “your Mayor” took, and I dished out a fair bit myself, I cannot recall anything so personally vicious. If such personally vicious comments were posted, I’ll bet that were swiftly condemned. Is common decency not a two way street?

    Comment by dave — May 16, 2015 @ 9:50 pm

  37. #36, Dave I wasn’t referring to her cancer, but since you bring it up I am also a cancer survivor. I don’t happen to think I need to bring it up so people feel sorry for me, its just something I had. I don’t like to hear people use it as some sort of defense. If you or Jack have had cancer , then I could see you being upset. Personally I don’t care if someone wants to refer to my cancer, as it is mine not theirs.

    Comment by John P. — May 16, 2015 @ 10:10 pm

  38. On a lighter side if anyone is interested what COBALT is, then you can watch this ninety second video:

    The video is one of the educational videos from the entire periodic table of elements.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — May 17, 2015 @ 8:15 am

  39. 32. I’m sure Trish reminds herself of that nurse also, but she should be that lucky. You description is shallow like Trish’s understanding of most things. Do you judge people by how strong they squeeze your hand when they shake it ?

    Comment by MI — May 17, 2015 @ 1:36 pm

  40. 34) If you were paying Attention to the 5/4/2015 Meeting

    The Long Winded Whiff 20 Minute Fart Cloud of a ODIferous speech by Odie Reeked from the payoffs of a Politician being bought and paid for by the Fire Department. His Financial Literacy and selling of this would fill a Manure Truck.

    A True Grifter.

    Back up the Truck

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 1:57 pm

  41. In the Real World

    Employer Contributions

    Companies contributed an average of 4.1% of participants’ pay to the plan. Profit sharing plans tend to offer the most generous contributions, averaging 8.5% of pay. The average company contribution in 401k plans is 2.5% of pay and in combination plans it is 4.4% of pay.

    Nine-five point five (95.5) percent of plans that have a match provision in the plan, made the match in 2011, up from 91.0% in 2010.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 2:03 pm

  42. Here’s the City’s contribution (just the City share, not the employee’s share) to PERS for both Public Safety (first % listed) and Miscellaneous (second %) over the past 10yrs. Hopefully this posts clearly.

    2002-03 20% 8.77%
    2003-04 24.7% 3.9%
    2004 -05 34% 9.4%
    2005-06 34% 13.7%
    2006-07 30% 12.6%
    2007-08 30% 12.6%
    2008-09 30% 13.2%
    2009-10 31% 13%
    2010-11 31% 12.7%
    2011-12 37% 14.6%

    The actuarial report the City received in Jan 2012 estimated that these contribution rates would stay at current levels if investment returns at CalPERS are good. If the returns are bad they could escalate dramatically, with safety reaching the 45-50% range.

    Comment by Kevin Kennedy — December 14, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 2:04 pm

  43. Two years Later and we the Taxpayers are now Matching 49% of their wages to pensions.. 12-25 times as much as regular working people. And that is with good returns from CALPERS.

    I would say the raises have been substantial and the Long Winded Whiff of the ODIferous speech by Odie Reeked from the payoffs of a Politician being bought and paid for by the Fire Department. His Financial Literacy and selling of this would fill a Manure Truck.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 2:05 pm

  44. “Do you judge people by how strong they squeeze your hand when they shake it ?”

    39) Did you ask the Firefighters how they judged Mr Raymond Zack after the 110 pound nurse tried to save his life and drag his body in while they watched him drown for 45 minutes?

    Did they shake his hand or Squeeze ?

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 2:14 pm

  45. 39) How about Judging the Handshake or Squeeze of This Bullying and Bullshit….

    We have seen this Bullying in Alameda by Firefighters and lost 670,000 in Lawsuit…..Same Characters now just bullying the two Kevins.
    Vanderheiden and DelBono both again returned to work in late June 2003, and were assigned to different fire stations and different shifts so they would not have to work together. Although he was working at a different station with firefighters who had not been involved in the DelBono incident, from the beginning there was tension between Vanderheiden and his fellow firefighters who, he claims, ostracized and isolated him. For instance, Vanderheiden said that when he would walk into a room, crew members would immediately vacate the area and refuse to acknowledge him.
    A captain told him he should not attend the annual union ski trip because it would not be safe for him to do so. He was told by Chief Christiansen that if he continued to serve as an instructor in the water rescue program, other firefighters might leave the program. He stated that one captain announced to a class that he never wanted Vanderheiden in his station or on his rig, and that a fellow firefighter went from station to station calling Vanderheiden a dead man.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 2:34 pm

  46. 39) Speaking of Shallow…….Mr Zack drowned in about 5 feel of water……….My Dad Enjoyed playing golf with you and enjoyed your friendship. I drove by the beach twice that Memorial Day on my way to and from Presidio……. Who would have thought this would happen here.RIP Ray

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

  47. 29. Vigi (whoever you are), Spencer is a poor representative of Alameda. You’re saying it’s my responsibility to argue with her at meetings? Don’t give me a lecture on civic involvement. I have a master’s degree in public policy and I make my voice heard.

    Look at you: hiding behind an alias while criticizing me for not speaking in public. What a hypocrite. I don’t need some anonymous gadfly taking shots at me.

    I’ve written several letters to the editor on different topics. Speak out at meetings? I’ve done that. I attended a school board meeting to look Spencer in the eye and tell her to allow us to vote on the most recent school bond measure. I’m sure what I said went over her head because it involved numbers and facts.

    I have attended other school board meetings to show my support for Lesson 9, the anti-gay bullying curriculum. Of course, in that case I couldn’t actually speak because the religious bigots swamped the speaker slots before anyone else could oppose them. But I brought a big sign to counter the “God Hates Gays” contingent.

    Next time you criticize me with no basis, use your real name.

    Comment by Larry Witte — May 17, 2015 @ 6:09 pm

  48. What you really mean, Masters Degree Larry, is that Spencer does not represent you. That’s perfectly okay but, if all your sign carrying bravado and “looking in the eye” arguments don’t sway the majority of votes, all your pontificating doesn’t mean witte.

    Comment by jack — May 17, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

  49. 48. Jack (another mystery man), you may want to read Vigi’s (whoever s/he is) post again. His/her point is that my participation in public space is just as valuable as Spencer’s. It clearly isn’t. She’s the mayor. If I show up at a transportation meeting and argue with Spencer, I’m not going to sway anyone on the commission. They may all agree with me, but Spencer pulls the levers. Thanks for the civics lesson. I didn’t realize that my pontificating didn’t sway the majority of votes. I’ll ask my graduate university for a refund.

    Why can’t you guys use your real names?

    Comment by Larry Witte — May 17, 2015 @ 7:26 pm

  50. Larry, I appreciate your response. Jack is my real name but I decided to use the lower case J so I could act mysterious. Whatever vigi (lower case) said is correct. Your participation in public space is even more valuable than Spencer’s. Think about it, you can say (or write) whatever you want and not worry about the consequences because, even though you are a highly educated public policy master, you have no one to answer to but yourself. On the other hand, Spencer must constantly consider which group of voters she needs to offend the least and carefully weigh the consequences knowing that future elections are in the balance. You, (like me) can just rattle off any drivel we feel like spewing with few if any consequences. So keep up the good work and the other side of the best thing no doubt will happen.

    Comment by jack — May 17, 2015 @ 9:39 pm

  51. I use to know a guy named Jay……When he wanted to be mysterious he went by J.

    50) I think someones self back patting batteries needed recharging

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 17, 2015 @ 10:34 pm

  52. Brock I think in the comment section it says “Say what you want’

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 18, 2015 @ 5:45 pm

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