Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 19, 2016

The lady doth protest too much

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

As part of the set of emails discussed yesterday there was this really interesting portion which, if true, illuminates the reason why the “fiscally conservative” Trish Spencer was so eager to spend down the City’s fund balance above the legally required percentage.

One would think that someone mindful of the City’s fiscal soundness would want to retain as much money in a rainy day fund as possible in order to weather the, well, rainy days that might be coming if there is a future economic downturn.  After all, you can’t sock away money when things are bad, but you can be fiscally prudent (and save) when the outlook is much brighter to make sure that the bills can still be paid and services can still be rendered for the citizens when things are not so rosy.

In Trish Spencer’s email to the City Manager this is what she wrote:

I supposedly told you and other staff members that I want the City to go bankrupt. That is absolutely not true. In fact, my concern about the City’s fiscal instability is why on April 29, 2015, I was one of two Councilmembers to vote against the six-year MOU between the City and Public Safety. As was reported at that time,, I wanted to review the terms of the proposed contract as part of the City budget and its possible shortfalls. Also, I have requested that Staff prepare a long-term analysis of the City’s fiscal future, which has not yet been provided. This is a six-year contract and it is imperative that the projected financial impact be shared with the public as soon as possible.

To which the City Manager shot off this short, devastating response (my emphasis below):

And, finally, you have stated to me, members of the Council, and other staff, that you have an interest in spending all funds available in an effort to “hit the wall” as quickly as possible in order to allow the City Council to reopen the labor contracts. 

So who are we to believe? Trish Spencer who ran on this whole fiscally conservative thing but has been spending the City’s money like it’s burning a hole in her pocket.  Or the new City Manager, other members of the Council, and other staff who were told by Trish Spencer that she wanted to spend all funds available and “hit the wall” so that labor contracts have to be reopened.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Mayor of the City of Alameda: willing to have the City “hit the wall” in order to stick it to the public safety unions.



  1. In light of what’s happening all around the country — is this the message we really want to send to our Public Safety men and women who risk their lives to protect us?

    Comment by Karen Bey — August 19, 2016 @ 6:45 am

    • No. It’s not. Good point Karen

      Comment by Jordan — August 19, 2016 @ 7:29 am

  2. That’s a pretty alarming position to take. It makes her stance on the utility tax more understandable. Manufacture a fiscal crisis and solve it with draconian anti-worker methods. (No, I don’t work for the city.) Is she being advised by the great minds behind Alameda! Action News?

    That said, if she is going for broke, there are a few streets in my neighborhood that need resurfacing. Good place to burn through some city cash, I think.

    Comment by BC — August 19, 2016 @ 10:47 am

  3. You are all naive . This has nothing to do with the brave first responders. It has to do with the political machine that the unions in Alameda have become. Their stacking the council. Their financially backing Vella & Ashcraft . The biggest and most powerful politician in town is the president of the firemans Union who gives Ashcraft, Oddie and Bonta their marching orders

    Comment by May b MB — August 19, 2016 @ 11:39 am

    • And yet the labor contracts Trish Spencer is seeking to reopen have to do with the rank and file (aka “brave first responders”) and their compensation. It has nothing to do with union leadership or how the union decides on its endorsements.

      Comment by Lauren Do — August 19, 2016 @ 12:05 pm

      • The union leadership have one agenda public safety aka their budget aka their salaries . I’m all for compensating them well. I am just getting tired of Bonta/Ashcraft/Oddie/FireFighters Union President
        I’d rather you ran Lauren if you can manage not to turn into a power hungry parasite politician .

        Comment by Master B — August 19, 2016 @ 10:37 pm

  4. If anybody thinks this blog, which has about 20 or so affectionate followers, has any influence on the outcome of anything except the left wing of the left wing voters, I recommend Leonard Ferrara.

    Comment by jack — August 19, 2016 @ 7:44 pm

  5. Anyone scrambling for a copy of Alameda mag, I’ve got one. Trade it for a decent bottle of bourbon

    Comment by dave — August 20, 2016 @ 3:28 pm

    • I’m worried I’ll need something for before or after I read. Plus we’ll probably get the highlights here sooner or later. The trade value is probably no more than Rebel Yell or Old Crow. We’ll save the sippin kind.

      Comment by MP — August 20, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

      • I’d settle for Evan Williams White Label.

        Comment by dave — August 20, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

        • A couple of weeks ago the new Safeway had their single barrel, ’05-’07 – a good value – but after attempting to read the first page myself, I’m wondering if something a little higher proof isn’t called for

          Comment by MP — August 22, 2016 @ 9:11 am

        • EW was my grandfather’s brand and so remains dear to my heart. I used to like the single barrels a lot, great value, but the ’06 and ’07 were terrible, IMO. They seem to running low on honey barrels and bottling whatever they think they can get away with.

          Comment by dave — August 22, 2016 @ 9:14 am

  6. I’ve got a bottle of 13 year old Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye which I’ll trade a picture of for your copy of the mag.

    Comment by jack — August 20, 2016 @ 4:11 pm

  7. so now that you two have broken the story, I can only say thank you Steven Tavares. This is the story about a Mayor that is very meddlesome, who I have been watching since she was first elected to the Alameda school district board of education. I will only ask that people read the story and come to your own conclusions, mine of course is that she is completely unfitted for office. P.S. Jack you would be shocked at how many people read this blog but do not comment.

    Comment by John P. — August 20, 2016 @ 6:40 pm

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