Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 29, 2016

Open forum: City of Alameda

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

Not for the City in general, but rather how the City government is doing.

Possible topics: new City Manager, dysfunctional City Council meetings, etc.



  1. The General Fund revenues totaled $80 million in the FY 2014-15, a net increase of $1.4 million from prior fiscal year. Property tax revenues for the fiscal year were $32 million, an increase of $2 million or 7% from prior year. This increase is primarily due to the rise in median home sale prices in the City of Alameda and the receipt of residual property tax distributions as a result of redevelopment dissolution. This increase is in addition to another $2 million that has been reclassified from property taxes to sales taxes in FY 2013-14 for comparative purpose to conform to FY 2014-15 presentation.

    Real property transfer tax increased $1.5 million or 22% compared to prior year due to appreciating home prices and change of ownership.

    Sales tax, the second largest revenue source for the City’s General Fund, increased by $1 million, or 12.6%, over the prior year for a total of $9.3 million. This was a result of improvement in the economy and opening of new businesses in the City.

    Utility user tax continues its declining trend. It went down $0.2 million or 2% compared to fiscal year 2013-14. The revenue increases were further offset with reclassification of $2.8 million payment from AMP to Other Financing Sources category as a result of it being reported as an enterprise fund.

    General Fund expenditures totaled $70 million for FY 2014-15 compared to $65 million in the prior year. This amount excludes encumbrances. About $4 million of the increase is attributed to the Police and Fire departments and is a result of rising salary and benefit costs and increase in charges for equipment replacement.

    Comment by MP — March 29, 2016 @ 7:57 am

    • David Howard sent out an article about Jim Oddie declaring bankruptcy. If he believes in living beyond his means and promising the unions more than the city can afford, he may just push Alameda into bankruptcy.

      Comment by Gary — March 30, 2016 @ 1:35 pm

      • hard getting used to this reply function. Fuck David Howard and the horse he road in on. He’s a libertarian opportunist hack with delusions of grandeur, posing as a citizen journalist. He insinuated himself quite nicely into the film about Raymond Zack, as some sort of local expert and pulse reader. The documentarian from Brooklyn seemed like a well meaning but naive dupe. The concluding segments contained more than a little hearsay. It was a little embarrassing. Maybe Oddie has filed for bankruptcy, but there could be and probably are many explanations besides him being fiscally feeble minded. Remember Donald Trump has filed 4 times!

        Comment by MI — March 30, 2016 @ 2:42 pm

        • MI. I agree, David Howard in my opinion is the biggest “asshole” currently living on my Island. Gary if you believe or care about what David Howard has to say just go to Action Alameda and wallow in the garbage pit with him.

          Comment by John P. — March 30, 2016 @ 4:52 pm

        • Thanks for the background. David Howard is on our NextDoor blog site.

          Comment by Gary — March 30, 2016 @ 5:09 pm


    Comment by MP — March 29, 2016 @ 8:15 am

  3. Dysfunctional Council? How about that dysfunctional Hospital?

    Alameda Hospital Outsources Management to Consulting Firm [May 2005]:

    “Alameda Hospital and El Cerrito-based consulting firm Delta One Partners have entered into a two-year contract that transfers day-to-day management responsibilities of the hospital to Delta One, representatives for both sides confirmed this week, the Oakland Tribune reports (McDonough, Oakland Tribune, 5/6). The Alameda Health Care District board last week at a special meeting unanimously approved a $69,000 monthly contract, the Alameda Journal reports. Delta One, which “specializes in rescuing hospitals in critical condition,” will handle the hospital’s finances and employee management, the Journal reports. Delta One has worked for the state to assist hospitals that have defaulted on bonds and currently has a contract with the state to work at Victor Valley Community Hospital in Victorville. Despite receiving $5.5 million from an annual parcel tax approved by Alameda voters in April 2003, Alameda Hospital lost $1.8 million last year, partly because of a $2.65 million drop in revenue. Delta One predicts that the hospital should reduce its loss by $500,000 next year and become profitable in 2005. After surveying the facility for two weeks, Delta One developed its recommendations, including expanded hospital services for women, such as nutritional counseling and a women’s imaging center. Hospital CEO David O’Neill said the hospital is aiming for “the right level of staff doing the right job at the right time.” According to the Journal, hospital employees were skeptical of the staffing plans, citing concerns about elimination of some jobs. Board trustee Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft said, “Delta One has never had a hospital dissolve into bankruptcy,” adding, “They feel there’s every reason we will succeed” (Fuller, Alameda Journal, 5/4).”

    Eleven years later…Alameda Hospital still propped up by parcel tax…still failing to serve the community which supports it. How about an analysis, Councilmember Ashcraft? How has this Alameda Health Care District Board been anything more than a springboard for political aspirations [Bonta, Tam, Ashcraft,…did I miss anyone?]?

    To those aspirants for a council seat in future elections: PLEASE do not list serving on the Alameda Health Care District board as one of your “accomplishments”. In my opinion, that may count against you. So far, no one has been able to fix that place.

    Why doesn’t Steven Tavares ever do a story about the abject management failures at Alameda Hospital, and the role of the Alameda Health Care District Board in them?

    Please don’t recount your anecdotal stories about how your relative received excellent care at Alameda Hospital. What does that matter when our local hospital doesn’t even take 90% of private insurance–which the ACA now mandates most of us to purchase–anymore?


    Comment by vigi — March 29, 2016 @ 9:29 am

    • Vigi – well stated comments and information here.

      Comment by Bill2 — March 30, 2016 @ 10:17 am

  4. I would support transforming the hospital into an emergency only clinic with a large stash of supplies and a couple docs on staff strictly as an earthquake preparation. Much of the time it would be quiet but always ready to act for when (not IF) the Hayward fault moves. Perhaps the old building might be abandoned and a new, smaller one were set up, a la the Emergency Ops center under construction

    I am pretty good with numbers and penciling out projects to see if they are viable but I do not have that ability with healthcare. That said, I think it’s within the realm of the possible for the 7MM parcel tax to keep such a complex afloat. It’s an insurance policy we need.

    But the situation as it is now is an indefensible waste.

    Comment by dave — March 29, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

    • Dave, I would be concerned if Alameda Hospital had to be used to take care of our residents in case of an emergency, at this point they barely function on a normal day. I wonder if they actually have a disaster plan for Alameda in the event of a real disaster.?

      Comment by John P. — March 30, 2016 @ 4:57 pm

      • What I envision in that, John, is a total revamp into a focused ER-only type of operation with an emphasis on disaster & trauma recovery.

        If we’re gonna be stuck with the tax, let’s put it toward something we need.

        Comment by dave — March 30, 2016 @ 5:39 pm

      • This is from a probably-out-of-date LA Times article from 2011

        Northern California hospitals say their prices are driven up by significantly higher costs for labor, supplies and other necessities. But leading healthcare economists say that most of the disparity stems from a lack of competition in the north, where a wave of consolidation has given a handful of hospital networks unusual power to dictate what private insurers and their customers pay for care.

        In Southern California, competition plays a robust role in keeping hospital and insurance costs down. Half of the region’s 167 hospitals are run by independent operators, including prominent institutions such as Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena.

        Comment by MP — March 30, 2016 @ 5:48 pm

  5. The “hospital district” the parcel tax was supposed to fund would continue to collect the tax with or without an actual hospital. The new county district makes that even more murky. People have talked about having another ballot initiative to undo the tax, but I have no idea what the legal options really are. I have also “read” ( as Donald Trump likes to say) about the hospital currently not being able to process most insurance, but also know people like to bitch at the drop of a hat, so I was wondering if that is transitional, i.e. in some way temporary. If it is truly permanent then something is really broke which needs to be addressed ASAP.

    Comment by MI — March 29, 2016 @ 12:38 pm

  6. maybe the hospital will buy an ad in the Sun so we can get an article to explain the situation.

    Comment by BMac — March 29, 2016 @ 2:28 pm

  7. Sunshine Ordinance is on the agenda for the next meeting– is it mainly housekeeping changes or is there anything important we should know about?

    Comment by kevisb2001 — March 29, 2016 @ 9:50 pm

  8. Alternatives to a “vocal minority dominating the dialog” at public meetings:

    Comment by vigi — March 30, 2016 @ 10:58 am

  9. Tomorrow is Cesar Chavez Day, a California State Holiday. The DMV and courts are CLOSED. Many California city offices are closed. Are City of Alameda offices open?

    Comment by vigi — March 30, 2016 @ 1:03 pm

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