Blogging Bayport Alameda

June 7, 2016

Have a seat

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

I really won’t be able to concentrate on much today other than the fact that there is voting going on somewhere and the Democratic primary should wrap up today.

But tonight there will be a City Council meeting, hopefully it won’t go too late.  The one thing that I’m concerned about is the appointments to the Boards and Commissions.  It feels like every single board or commission has a seat or several seats up for nomination.  The Planning Board is the big one and it’s pretty obvious that Mike Henneberry, who has not been shy about privately (or publicly) opposing Trish Spencer, will not get the nomination.  That is a big seat up for grabs and a few members of the Trish Spencer admirers club are on the list for nomination and are probably — based on quickie Google searches — the least qualified of the bunch.  Let’s see if Trish Spencer goes for political affinity over quality.

The one seat I am really concerned about though is the Transportation Commission where the most knowledgeable commission member, Eric Schatmeier’s seat is up.  All around armed with information and facts, the loss of Eric Schatmeier would be a real blow to the Transportation Commission.  But given that every NIMBY’s favorite transportation engineer Eugenie Thomson has throw her name in for contention, it looks like Eric Schatmeier may be given a thanks no thanks this time around.

Of course this was also the same person who managed to get appointed to the Planning Board but then resigned after the City Attorney at the time suggested that there might be conflict of interest, Eugenie Thomson asked the FPPC to indicate whether her actions were a conflict of interest, they decline, but did provide these helpful facts of the general story:

Until recently, you were a City of Alameda planning board member.  The College of Alameda president and a board trustee approached you and requested you to assist in evaluating the effects of the Tinker Avenue roadway project that is in the design and planning process by the city.  The new roadway would require taking a right of way from the College of Alameda.  Secondly, the college asked you to develop a transportation circulation plan for the college.

You advised the college that you could provide it with the services for the internal transportation circulation issues and could review the city documents.  At the time, you had completed the design for the Tinker roadway and had presented this to the college president.  For this effort, you had not intended to be reimbursed by the College as this was related to the needs for Alameda as a whole and the concept was an update of one you had submitted to the city manager earlier this year.  The effort, as stipulated in the contract, was to review any city plans and documents and to develop an internal transportation system for the college campus.

You planned to abstain from voting when the Tinker Avenue project came before the planning board.  However, you then received a written opinion from the city attorney’s office that suggested that you had a broader conflict of interest with the planning commission’s efforts to revise the general plan, based on your assistance to the College of Alameda and the Tinker Avenue project.  

You submitted your oral resignation from the Alameda planning board on September 19, 2000, and the mayor wrote to accept your resignation on September 21, 2000.  You resigned from the planning commission, in part due to the city attorney’s letter concerning your role and possible conflicts of interest in the Tinker Avenue project and the Amelia Earhart Elementary School project, which involved helping resolve traffic at the school.  You are not currently serving on the planning commission.

The mayor has subsequently asked if you would be willing to work for the city as a professional consultant.  You are interested in clearing up whether you did or did not have a conflict of interest so that in the future you could reapply to the planning commission or run for city council.

Anyway, the choice is between a dedicate and knowledgable commissioner who has served thanklessly and with distinction.  Or someone else.

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18 Comments

  1. Henneberry has voted on matters that directly affect his employer, which is a Capital C Conflict.

    Comment by dave — June 7, 2016 @ 6:22 am

  2. Might want to check with the City Attorney’s Office on that one Dave.

    Comment by Mike Henneberry — June 7, 2016 @ 6:34 am

  3. Please correct me if either of the following statements are incorrect:

    1) You are an employee of a union (UFCW) which accepts dues from grocery workers

    2) You voted on an item that limited non-union grocery sales at Target

    3) Said item was specifically intended to preserve union grocery jobs

    4) Said union grocery jobs pay a portion of your salary in the form of union dues.

    If the above are correct, that is clearly a COI.

    Comment by dave — June 7, 2016 @ 6:44 am

  4. In Daves world.

    Comment by John P. — June 7, 2016 @ 7:47 am

  5. From the attached legal opinion:

    the Act prohibits public officials[4] from making, participating in making or using their official position to influence a governmental decision in which they have a financial interest.

    Voting on an item that feathers one’s own nest is a conflict of interest, in both your world and mine.

    Comment by dave — June 7, 2016 @ 7:56 am

  6. Might want to check with the City Attorney’s office on that one. Opinions don’t always equate to facts.

    Comment by Mike Henneberry — June 7, 2016 @ 8:20 am

  7. Are any of the items in post 3 incorrect?

    Comment by dave — June 7, 2016 @ 8:27 am

  8. Yes, in my opinion they are all blatantly incorrect. Now I have to go to breakfast, maybe Mike can take over for awhile as we know this will go on and on until we let Dave be correct.

    Comment by John P. — June 7, 2016 @ 9:00 am

  9. By all searchable accounts, dave is right.

    Comment by Jack — June 7, 2016 @ 6:47 pm

  10. by all searchable accounts that you would search of course, but the rest of the world would naturally disagree.

    Comment by John P. — June 7, 2016 @ 8:39 pm

  11. Thanks John.

    Comment by Mike Henneberry — June 7, 2016 @ 9:20 pm

  12. I can connect dave’s dots,…. for once.

    Comment by MI — June 7, 2016 @ 9:54 pm

  13. No Mr Henneberry, you don’t understand. Based on his written proclivities dave supports those who run askance of of proven or even suggested nefarious enterprises. His little four point synopsis in # 3 above doesn’t even come close to meeting the threshold of mentioning in his apparent scheme of wrongdoing levels. You’d have to blame a filmmaker for killing a couple of hauled seals next to the Hornet or pass classified state secrets to whoever pays your price in order to firmly secure his admiration and support.

    So my suggestion is ignore the little “d” dave and the Capital B bullshit he spouts and carry on.

    Comment by Jack — June 7, 2016 @ 10:10 pm

  14. Which of the 4 statements in post 3 are incorrect?

    Comment by dave — June 8, 2016 @ 6:24 am

  15. Logical arguments do not persuade in Alameda, “dave”. Alameda is an alternate reality. Surely you know that by now.

    Comment by vigi — June 8, 2016 @ 10:21 am

  16. My point in 13 was that you choose to rag on the relative insignificant yet kiss the ass of the magnificent.

    Hillary’s rap sheet on just one of her many, many glorious state department adventures.

    1.) 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

    2.) U.S. Code § 1924 – Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material

    3.) 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) — Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

    To sustain a charge under 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b), a federal prosecutor need only prove that the accused transferred and held the only copies of official government records (whether classified or not), the very existence of which was concealed from government records custodians.

    4.) 18 U.S. Code § 641 – Public money, property or records

    The prohibited conduct is the conversion of official records (whether classified or not) to the accused’s exclusive use and the mens rea is simply the intent to do so.

    5.) 18 U.S. Code § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees
    The mens rea is knowledge of the committee’s interest in obtaining the official records in the accused’s custody or control. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1505 is a felony with a maximum prison term of five years.

    6.) 18 U.S. Code § 1519 — Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations
    The prohibited conduct is the concealment and withholding of documents that impede or obstruct an investigation. The mens rea is the intent to conceal or withhold. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1519 is a felony with a maximum prison term of twenty years.
    The prohibited conduct is the concealment and withholding of documents that impede or obstruct an investigation. The mens rea is the intent to conceal or withhold. Violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1519 is a felony with a maximum prison term of twenty years.

    7.) 18 U.S. Code § 1031 — Fraud against the United States
    18 U.S. Code § 1343 – Fraud by wire, radio or television
    18 U.S. Code § 1346 — Definition of “scheme or artifice to defraud”
    18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to defraud the United States
    The prohibited conduct is having the United States pay an employee salary and/or official travel funds for performing private services on behalf of accused. The mens rea is simply the knowledge of the employee’s status as a public servant and that the government was not fully reimbursed for the costs to the government of such services. The wire fraud conviction can be sought if it can be proven that accused used electronic means of communication in undertaking such scheme or artifice to defraud.

    8.) 18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy to commit a federal offense

    If any accused and any third party can be proven to have colluded in any violation of federal, criminal law, then all involved can be charged with criminal conspiracy as well as being charged with the underlying offense.

    Comment by jack — June 8, 2016 @ 10:26 am

  17. 16

    I wasn’t aware this thread was about Hillary, but if you must bring her up, here goes:

    My support for her is quite lukewarm and has much more to do with with the dangerous buffoon she’s running against than any great belief in her.

    The point I was making was that our blogmistress seems troubled that Thompson once had a conflict. But the system worked then: Thompson accepted such and honorably resigned, which was the proper course to take. I cited Henneberry as one who had a very clear conflict on the Target vote but our blogmistress blithely ignored that one.

    Comment by dave — June 8, 2016 @ 10:45 am

    • First, I’m pretty sure that we’ve already had this back and forth about Mike Henneberry and his votes. I even pointed out the possible conflict that his day job had on the line of questioning regarding the Target application.

      Second, The difference between Mike Henneberry and Eugenie Thomson is only one of the two has a letter from the sitting City Attorney at the time specifically declaring a conflict of interest as opposed to regular folks spit balling about appearances of possible conflicts. Of course she could have opted to simply recuse herself from all discussions that the City Attorney identified as a possible conflict of interest but chose to resign from the Board as a whole.

      Comment by Lauren Do — June 8, 2016 @ 11:00 am


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