Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 27, 2016

Something to believe in

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Last week after Mayor Trish Spencer was reliving her “lone wolf” days on the School Board and decided to vote “no” on hiring the new City Manager many people were puzzled about her “no” vote in light of her lack of reasoning as to why she voted no.  While the other City Councilpeople expressed their reason why they were voting yet, Trish Spencer was uncharacteristically quiet about her reasoning.

But while she didn’t want to say her piece in front of an audience, she had no problem telling her favorite, maybe second favorite, blogger about why she thought Jill Keimach was not the right pick.  EB Citizen highlighted the key parts here:

Later Spencer told Action Alameda News that Keimach’s breadth of experience was lacking for a bigger city like Alameda.“We are a real, mid-sized city, and active city, not a small city,” Spencer said. “This is not a good time for Alameda to be a training ground for a city manager. We need a city manager who’s ready to go. It’s a great opportunity for her. The other side of that is that it’s a risk for our city. I think she has potential, I don’t think Alameda has time. We need a city manager to lead now. It’s not easy.”

Over questions of why she did not follow the council’s lead in supporting Keimach’s appointment, despite a clear consensus among her colleagues, she told the site, “I believe people expect me to vote what I believe in. If I don’t believe in something, I don’t put my name on it.”

Now the statement about qualifications did not go without comment and this response led to one of the best Alameda politics specific Twitter wars ever:

I mean, the lack of self-awareness is pretty staggering for someone that had no experience leading an elected board, her own colleagues on the School Board never entrusted her with running the School Board.  Not only that, she’s done an underwhelming job as Mayor even with the lowered George W. Bush-esque expectations.  The fact that she’s questioning anybody’s leadership skills is pretty ironic.  Had she been a stronger leader perhaps she could have gotten at least two other members of the City Council to not cast votes for Jill Keimach.

But maybe the best part of the exclusive secured by Trish Spencer’s second favorite blogger was this line:

“I believe people expect me to vote what I believe in. If I don’t believe in something, I don’t put my name on it.”

Which means that, according to Trish Spencer logic.  If she doesn’t vote for something she doesn’t believe in it.

Like Lesson 9.

But for a recent vote that reveals that Trish Spencer can’t even figure out how to make good on her promise made standing in front of the Posey tube during the campaign with a sign that reads “Sick of Traffic?” by actually doing anything to address the issue of traffic look no further than that same meeting.

There was an agenda item to create a Citywide Transportation Demand Management (TDM)  program to help address issues of traffic and transportation in a unified manner but incorporating project level TDMs into the overall.  This would be the first step into identifying where the need is to mitigate traffic congestion.

So, based on Mayor Trish logic she doesn’t believe in actually solving traffic issues since she voted against the only plan on the table to work toward mitigating traffic problems that Alamedans are facing.



  1. The only relationship Alameda has with “real mid-sized cities” (as opposed to fake ones) is that Alameda is near several.

    Comment by John K — January 27, 2016 @ 6:18 am

  2. She is sort of correct in one aspect. Alameda is 108 out of 481 cities by population in California according to the 2010 census…it use to rank higher but now at 108…like it or not it is mid to large size. Her lack of leadership and experience does make her comments laughable.

    Comment by joelsf — January 27, 2016 @ 6:43 am

  3. It’s sad, if not perhaps surprising, that, in her dislike of the lamestream media (heads are spinnin’!), our mayor chooses to speak to blogger so inept that his story makes his beloved mayor a laughingstock. Or is the blogger covertly an opponent of hers? In any case, good luck to the new CM and may she outlast the mayor.

    Comment by BC — January 27, 2016 @ 8:22 am

  4. Oh look, heads are spinnin’!!

    Such a perfect metaphor on several levels.

    Comment by Dya — January 27, 2016 @ 9:16 am

  5. Though she states that she did not vote for the City Manager because she did not believe inner qualifications, she also seems to have stated that she does not believe in collaboration in City Hall. By voting no, she diluted the foundation of city management and simply proved that she wants what she wants. I like Trish, I’ve enjoyed speaking with her, but she can’t stay. Based on her stated comments, Alameda needs experience, knowledge and know-how. Because of that, Trish can not stay in office beyond one term. It’s unfortunate, but we do need to plan for a more stable future with a more stable and experienced Mayor.

    Comment by Bill2 — January 27, 2016 @ 9:36 am

  6. 3. “in her dislike of the lamestream media (heads are spinnin’!)”


    Comment by BMac — January 27, 2016 @ 11:17 am

  7. It’s probably good the new CM got at least one no vote. That it was Spencer’s vote, doubly good…it keeps Do doing.

    Comment by jack — January 27, 2016 @ 12:11 pm

  8. Really excellent post Lauren. Captures the contradictions precisely.

    Comment by MI — January 27, 2016 @ 2:01 pm

  9. Yeah- what we want is for people to vote for what they don’t believe…like saying you’ll close Guantanamo, but keep it open, or get the Nobel Peace Prize but expand the killer drone program, or continue the “war on drugs” to put more Black males in jail even though you are one and used drugs as a youth…that makes way more sense.

    Comment by Captain Obvious — January 27, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

  10. 9. straw man

    Comment by MI — January 27, 2016 @ 4:18 pm

  11. Captain Oblivious?

    Comment by MI — January 27, 2016 @ 4:37 pm

  12. #10. Happy to see your post today!

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — January 27, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

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