While I was away it appears that the underlying tension between Mayor Trish Spencer and staff has made itself public in a rather meaningful way. Not content to just snark at staff during City Council meetings, Trish Spencer has decided to air her inability to make nice with city staff in no less than a ballot initiative rebuttal.
Usually Trish Spencer relies on her trusty surrogates at other blogs to snipe at city staff, but this time Trish Spencer decided to just do the job herself. According to Steven Tavares at the East Bay Citizen, despite appearing in a video saying that the Utility User Tax Modernization Act does not raise taxes, the video is cued to the exact spot so you don’t have to search for it:
Trish Spencer performed an immediate about face and decided to write that the initiative could, potentially, cause some people’s cell phone bills to increase $240 per month, a number that is not substantiated by any real facts. According to the City’s FAQ if your cell phone carrier is not already applying the tax then, at most, you could see an additional $5 max per person per month.
Of course if you have 48 people on your cell phone plan, perhaps then Trish Spencer’s estimation would be correct.
But the fact that she wrote the ballot argument against the UMA is not even the strangest part, the surreal part is that she decided to also pen the rebuttal to the argument for the UMA but decided to go deeply into conspiracy theory territory alleging, according to EB Citizen:
In the rebuttal, Spencer also attacks the city manager and includes a link to a website that features the salaries and pensions of state and city employees, including Alameda.
“After I voted against Measure__, I believe the City Manager retaliated by falsely accusing me of wanting to bankrupt Alameda and canceling my meetings with City Staff,” wrote Spencer.
Look, I get that she’s still all mad because no one other than Tony Daysog wanted her to be in charge of the Disaster Council but this is some middle school level whining. And even that characterization is offensive to middle schoolers who probably have more sense than to diverge so far off the topic at hand to cry conspiracy and retaliation in a ballot rebuttal about a UTILITY USERS TAX.
Given the level of kid gloves Trish Spencer has been handled with by, it would appear, practically everyone on City Staff and this is how she reacts when she doesn’t get her way, I’m not sure how she would act if she were truly challenged with more force.