Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 2, 2016

The fixer

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

So, it’s up in the case that some folks haven’t read the article or have been hoping that it would just go away.   The online version has probably the most unflattering photo of Trish Spencer that I have ever seen.  Generally she is fairly photogenic, but this particular photographer managed to capture Trish Spencer at her least finest in both the magazine edition and the on line article.

Since it’s up now, highlights of the part that was not the going after the officer that pulled her husband over for an alleged DUI:

Records and interviews show that in addition to the incident with Officer Hansen, Spencer personally involved herself in a city code enforcement department’s decision to close the Frank Bette Center for the Arts. Spencer has intervened on behalf of residents on a variety of issues, including those who have sought to get out of paying their parking tickets.

Some city employees interviewed for this report say Spencer often attempts to tell department heads and their workers what to do. Sources say lower-level city employees are often put in a bind over whether to acquiesce to Spencer’s orders or ignore them. “I can talk back to her,” one department head said, “but they can’t.”

Spencer has sometimes attempted to involve herself in trivial city matters, including helping residents clear parking tickets. In one instance, emails show that Rolleri was tiring of the people usurping the established process for challenging tickets issued by the police department. Spencer had forwarded an email to the chief from a city resident about citations she received for partially parking on a sidewalk. In her forwarding email, Spencer acknowledged that she had specifically asked the resident to email her about the parking ticket problem. The mayor added that she was “hopeful that the City can make progress on all your concerns this time.”

Earlier this year, the mayor also appeared to position herself as an advocate against the city’s own interests involving the Frank Bette Center, which city officials had red-tagged for safety reasons. A March email from the city’s code enforcement department noted that the center was riddled with safety problems: The facility had a room containing a fuse box that was locked and inaccessible to the building’s tenant; a water heater was installed with potentially flammable materials; hazardous electrical wiring was evident all over the dwelling; and there was a rotting second story walkway. Even after a second inspection by the city, many of the most serious violations had not yet been fully corrected, according to the email, and “still constitute serious life safety issues and are sufficient to require the building be vacated until they are corrected.”

But according to City Hall sources, Spencer interjected herself in a dispute between the city’s code enforcement division and the Bette Center’s tenant, which along with its attorney was seeking to challenge the city’s decision to red-tag the building. The challenge was denied.

I wonder what version of Trish Spencer we’ll see at the next City Council meeting post this expose.  Either she’ll be cowed or defiant.  My money is on defiant.  Should make for interesting viewing and a slew of “no” votes.


  1. I would think what she is doing is illegal and she should be held accountable for it. There should be clear lines between her business, that of the police department, and the judicial system. She has managers who run the different departments and that is what they know how to do best and her interference is not only crossing the line, but unfair to the people who work for the City of Alameda. I have worked for mirco-managers in the past and they are the worst and most ineffective and inefficient at getting a job done it the best possible way. I personally could not work for her.

    Comment by Jake — September 2, 2016 @ 6:52 am

  2. This is why it’s so important to vote in midterm elections.

    Comment by Angela — September 2, 2016 @ 7:53 am

  3. The unflattering photo of the politician thing has really become a thing this year. The person at AP who chooses what photo gets selected to use for a story and his counterpart at Reuters both seem have it out for Hillary, always selecting the very worst photo possible. Trump seems to have a permanently fixed — either surgically or chemically or naturally — dour expression, so he comes out the same in every shot, just about.

    Comment by MP — September 2, 2016 @ 8:02 am

  4. Alameda did not vote for Mayor Spencer because of her political and government prowess. They voted for her because she had a cause. She wanted to slow down development and make sure it did not negatively influence our lives. Unfortunately, development was too far along for her to have much impact. As a result, the streets have become crowded and will continue to be so as we flirt with 85,000 residents and multi-family dwellings. Mayor Spencer may not get to serve beyond one term, but she stood for something and gained 50% of the vote, thus we should be looking at what she stood for and ask ourselves if we are accomplishing anything or are we being overly influenced by some writer and low paid photographer with poor judgement from Alameda Magazine?

    Comment by Bill2 — September 2, 2016 @ 8:42 am

    • We judge elected officials on their performance in their capacity as an elected official, not what they “stand for.” Trish Spencer wasn’t unable to stop development because it was too far gone, she was unable to do it because she lacks the skills as a consensus builder to do so. There is one thing that this community does well and it’s make development super duper difficult. Even with that legacy Trish Spencer was unable to cobble together two other votes even though she had one person (Frank Matarrese) who is fairly development adverse these days and another (Tony Daysog) essentially at her beck and call.

      The problem with voting for people for what they “stand for” as opposed to their abilities to actually perform in that role is why the Republican party is stuck with someone like Donald Trump as their standard bearer, who can’t even be consistent about a key plank of his platform with a six hour time frame.

      But that’s what happens when you elect people with simplistic sloganeering that appeals to the pettiest parts of human beings like “Alamedans First” or “America First”

      Comment by Lauren Do — September 2, 2016 @ 9:04 am

      • “We judge… ad nausium”, should read et judicem. And just what is it the Hillary stands for and why is the democrat party stuck with her. The only thing Hillary seems to do extremely well is lie, but that’s what politicians do.

        Comment by jack — September 2, 2016 @ 9:49 am

        • turn off Fox, and say hello to your next president of the United States, Hillary Rodem Clinton.

          Comment by John P. — September 2, 2016 @ 3:28 pm

        • You better switch parties John, at least you might be able to spell the candidate’s name.

          Comment by jack — September 2, 2016 @ 5:25 pm

      • Boom.

        You should put this in the main post.

        Comment by brock — September 2, 2016 @ 9:50 am

        • Lose the “r” in your handle and maybe someone will listen to you.

          Comment by jack — September 2, 2016 @ 6:33 pm

        • The only “bock” I am familiar with is this one

          We used to buy a case of 24 bottles (a night’s consumption) for something like $5 in the mid 90s. One time my friend was drinking his and the bottle neck spontaneously shattered, after he’d already finished about half of it. When we looked in the broken neck, there was some kind of a mushroom fungus growing in it. He said he didn’t notice that it tasted any different up to then. That’s because Huber Bock was terrible. And that’s why we could get 24 for about $5.

          Anyway I don’t really get your joke.

          Comment by brock — September 3, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

        • Is your last name Turner? Beer or Rapist, take your pick.

          Comment by jack — September 4, 2016 @ 9:29 am

  5. are you questioning my spelling???? I spelled FOX right.

    Comment by John P. — September 3, 2016 @ 10:44 am

    • It’s not the Fox, John, it’s your spelling of your candidate. You put an ‘m’ at the end the middle name when it should be a ‘t’.

      Comment by jack — September 3, 2016 @ 10:51 am

      • Are you two jerkoffs done? The correct spelling of Clinton’s middle name is Rodent.

        Comment by Bill — September 3, 2016 @ 6:16 pm

        • Jack, this person just called you a jerkoff.

          Comment by John P. — September 4, 2016 @ 9:52 am

        • Yeah, I’d expect that from Hillary, but not Bill.

          Comment by jack — September 4, 2016 @ 10:23 am

        • You probably remember when Bill Clinton was at NAS Alameda back in 1993. He stopped in Bld 530 and did a short tour of our missile program, shook our hands and then went to Bld 5 and gave a speech about how he’d make sure the base cleanup was expedited and the great possibilities for the future of the base.

          Comment by jack — September 4, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

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