Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 8, 2016

Mic stop

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

On Tuesday night the Council agenda was delayed (of course) after the City Council fell all over itself to prove who was the biggest supporter of parks.  Hint: all of them.  After allowing public speakers during the parks discussion to go over the allotted time there were people in the audience that were naturally peeved that the agenda was nearly an hour over time.

Typically Trish Spencer loves to have young people in the audience and will gush over the existence of these folks.  Not so on Tuesday night.  While the group came up out of turn, I found it interesting that the solution that Trish Spencer decided to land on was to say that she would speak to them in the hallway and then told staff to turn off the microphone when the speaker was attempting to tell Trish Spencer that there were minors wanting to speak and that they had curfews and couldn’t stay out until the wee hours of the morning like a typical Council gadfly.

Later the same young lady spoke and even though earlier the Council was so permissive with public comment time for an agenda item about parks, there was a a bit of back and forth about whether this speaker — who had time ceded to her — was being given six or only four minutes to speak.

It is a shame that nearly every time this rent issue comes to the Council the public comment comes so late that most people have left by the time public comment has opened.  Whether it’s by coincidence or by design, it’s something that this particular Mayor was so concerned about before she was elected to office, but somehow has managed to preside over late night meeting after late night meeting.

There were some truly heartbreaking public comment that you have to be pretty cold to not feel some sympathy for the speaker.



  1. Just to complete the story, Mayor Spencer, over the objections of some other council members, carried a motion to push the rent issue ahead of other issues on the agenda in order to get speakers on the rent issue on a little earlier.

    Comment by MP — July 8, 2016 @ 7:07 am

  2. One problem was that so much was stuffed into this one meeting agenda, that it was overwhelming. Under the best of circumstances how could they even get through all the items in reasonable time?

    Comment by AJ — July 8, 2016 @ 9:28 am

  3. Meeting Agenda here

    Once again, Lauren, you were not there, so your description of events is slanted and inaccurate. Look at the agenda: the rent issue was item 6-G. Sweeney Park was item 6-B. Up to 4 items had to be pushed to midnight so these rude teenagers could cut into line and be heard when they wanted. They just didn’t want to wait their turn–a hallmark of immaturity. During the Sweeney Park speakers, all of them lined up along the wall and glared at the council. And as you can see from the video they all went up to the podium en masse, so as to appear more threatening. It worked, too. The lone APD officer remained cowering in the corner and failed to take any initiative to preserve order. Trish had to talk him into going out into the hallway.
    Those unruly kids broke all the rules of speaking at a council meeting. [as for them being minors, I’m sure they were out late the night before since that was the Fourth of July and there were fireworks everywhere]. Suddenly when they decided to commandeer the meeting, who should appear but Steven Tavares and his photographer [who were not there until then], which put pressure on council to preserve the optics.

    I was actually there to hear about one of the NAS leases, but I had to leave since there was no telling when or if it would be heard.

    For someone who was hypercritical of Kurt Peterson for a minor disruption of another meeting, you are pretty sanguine about this one. Bias, Bias, Bias, Ms Hypocrite.

    Comment by vigi — July 8, 2016 @ 9:53 am

  4. vigi, if you were a parent your condemnation of youth might be more convincing, but it’s hard to believe you were ever young yourself. Get a life. Speaking of Tavares, who originally gave Trish what I thought was a fawning profile in Alameda magazine….

    Comment by MI — July 8, 2016 @ 11:22 am

  5. It’s true the mayor allowed people speaking about the Jean Sweeney park plan to have all the time they wanted while those of us waiting to speak on other issues had to wait. It was quite dismissive and disrespectful of everyone, not just those waiting on the rent ordinance item. The young people in question were correct to challenge the way the agenda was handled. They may have appeared rude but they spoke up for everyone who waited until 10:30 to get past item 6B. They gave hours of their time to gather signatures for the proposed rent control ordinance, while attending classes and with many of them under threat of being evicted from their homes with their families. When they challenged the mayor and the city attorney, they had every justification.

    Comment by Laura Thomas — July 8, 2016 @ 12:42 pm

    • Laura Thomas. ” They gave hours of their time to gather signatures for the proposed rent control ordinance, while attending classes and with many of them under threat of being evicted from their homes with their families. When they challenged the mayor and the city attorney, they had every justification.”

      You do need to be over 18 to collect Signatures in California.

      Comment by frank — July 8, 2016 @ 4:27 pm

  6. There have been numerous city council meetings that ran very late. If the agenda item you are concerned about is scheduled late, that’s just the way it is. You wait your turn to speak.
    Sometimes it means you are there late. Take a book to read while you wait.

    Or talk with the scheduler two weeks before the city council meeting agenda is arranged and ask to be scheduled early in the meeting.

    Who, exactly, is responsible for scheduling the agendas in advance?

    Comment by A Neighbor — July 8, 2016 @ 2:18 pm

  7. The rent issue has been heard to death. Everyone knows the sob stories. Those of us who have been priced out of Alameda have found other places to live. Life goes on. No one is entitled to live anywhere.

    Comment by Eyeroll — July 8, 2016 @ 10:00 pm

  8. What I found more interesting was why didn’t Debbie Potter name who volunteered for the ad hoc Economic Panel?

    Comment by Eyeroll — July 8, 2016 @ 10:09 pm

  9. As this delved into rent control: Interesting article about the property taxes expected rate increase in SFGate today. When calculating this out, I realized that my property taxes and other expenses will actually increase at a higher rate than the ARC ‘forced upon’ rate that we’ll be allowed to raise our rents. So, each year- rental property owners will increasingly become disadvantaged. Not so bad if you were one of the ones that jacked up the rent significantly; sucks for landlords like me who only raised it $40.00 or so every 18-24 months and are now well below market in an effort to be fair and look out for our tenants. Being considerate ends up bitting you in the end, it seems. If this passes, there is no incentive to own rental property in Alameda.

    Subsidized housing, if that is what we want, should come from the government and we all pay for it; not forcing it on the backs of landlords who have been more than fair all along. The ARC initiative should have had clauses to address situations like mine (low rent charge in a misguided attempt to look out for our tenants) as we’ll never get to a point where our properties turn a profit; always further sinking into a loss. Entitlement is beholden to the renter it seems, certainly not the property owner- if this prop passes.

    Comment by Brian Keith — July 9, 2016 @ 12:07 pm

    • I doubt you’ll see this, but…

      Your analysis that your permitted increases in rents will be outpaced by the increases in property taxes is incorrect. 2% is larger than 1.7%. But two percent of an annual property tax bill of say $15,000 is only $300. If you are collecting $60,000 per year in rents, you can increase rents by over $1000. You’ll survive.

      Comment by BMac — July 11, 2016 @ 5:16 pm

  10. We get it ! They are minors ! So what? This is the same group that yelled and screamed chants at a different council meeting . Why are these families not applying for section 8?
    Enough is enough ! We have to change the town , spend millions on a rent control ordinance so that you don’t move to San Leandro where you may actually be able to afford it.


    No on is entitled to live in Alameda !
    This group is Bonta’s doing .

    So for the rest of your lives we have to afford you everything you feel entitled to?

    #Hayward #SanLeandro #SanLorenzo #GetIt!

    Comment by Ted — July 10, 2016 @ 6:50 am

  11. Lauren ,

    You suck ! You really do! You are that new bread of parasite that is trying to take over Alameda. Are you teaching your kids to work hard or to feel entitled? Do they get a certificate for waking up everyday? Do they go to a school where they are not judged by teachers with grades? All of you are raising little entitled people who will be mad and entitled.

    Comment by Ted — July 10, 2016 @ 6:56 am

  12. 11″Ted”you really know how to turn an argument on it’s head. First of all, all you smug bastards who post sweeping condemnations under cover of anonymity are undercutting any credibility you might have had . The ARC initiative is HORRIBLE, but like the shooting in Dallas this week, it’s blow back from years of entrenched entitlement by a class of people whose said entitlement blinds to the double standards. By the logic you all are trying to advance, life comes with no guarantees therefore if the planet becomes uninhabitable it’s just tough luck, not the fault of the entitled corporations who systematically poison it. NO accountability necessary. If ARC initiative passes, my dismissive come back will be, “Hey, life’s not fair! Push off!”

    7. Eyeroll wrote: “Those of us who have been priced out of Alameda have found other places to live. Life goes on. No one is entitled to live anywhere.” Are we to understand that you have already been priced out and writing those words from some place like Antioch? Sharing the details of your experience with the overly entitled youth who rudely spoke out of turn would be very reassuring for them. Seriously. If you have already experienced being priced out and are so sanguine about it, surely your story can only help them.

    A book seller from Books Inc. told me she is getting evicted ( legally) by owners who wish to.move family members into her apartment. The “family members” will be paying $3000 a from $1200. $1200 is more than a good deal, but the increase is150%. Moving from Alameda is one thing, but how far are people who work here for wages like $10/hour supposed to move ? To another planet ?

    Comment by Mark Irons — July 10, 2016 @ 2:02 pm

    • Not another planet. Have you even checked out the home prices in San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, Hayward…Why is it always Alameda or nowhere?
      Not everyone who goes to UCLA gets to live in Westwood. Some have to live in Palms or Culver City…boo hoo.

      Comment by vigi — July 10, 2016 @ 2:22 pm

  13. Ted and Eyeroll, keep it up guys, anything that pisses Mark off hits the mark of real truth. Lefties hate the real truth because they’ve been self-anointed with their own truth in order to tell everybody else how they should live. The idea that because someone raises rents on someone else systematically poisons the planet shows that Mark’s sewing machine has run out of thread.

    To equate the Dallas shooting as blowback from entrenched entitlements is ridiculous on its face and shows that Mark’s experimenting in artificial stupidity. The shooter was a misfit sex offender who got kicked out of the Army and had a hard-on for all authority police or military.

    Comment by jack — July 10, 2016 @ 2:38 pm

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