Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 12, 2016

Chaos and bloodshed are not a solution

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

Buried in a bunch of #alamtg tweets was this gem describing last week’s City Council meeting:

and then this:

And this:

Yes people, this is the “growth” that we were told would happen if we just gave Trish Spencer enough time to learn how to be Mayoral.   This is the danger of electing someone well-intentioned but clearly unqualified for the job.  Chaos.

To explain further, from Steven Tavares at EB Citizen:

Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, also running for re-election this fall, however, asserted Spencer was acting hypocritically by advocating greater funding for the shelter while also opposing Measure K1, which the city estimates will translate into a $5 million reduction to the general fund, if defeated on Nov. 8.

“I think it’s disingenuous to be throwing out this need for more funding while at the same time cutting it away,” said Ashcraft. Spencer quickly claimed Ashcraft had improperly advocated for the ballot measure during the public meeting, but City Attorney Janet Kern had no response.

Earlier, when referring to Measure K1, Ashcraft added, “It should be simple housekeeping, but it has been opposed by others and our mayor… We are in a precarious position of not knowing what our budget is going to look like after Nov. 8. We’re keeping that in mind.”

Prior to nearly two dozen dog and cat-loving public speakers were slated to address the council, Ashcraft and Spencer began bickering over how to proceed, in addition, to whether clarifying questions could be made by another councilmember. “Can I finish my sentence?“ Spencer told Ashcraft. Later, Spencer quipped, “I hope you’re agreeable, member Ashcraft,” to which Ashcraft muttered an unidentifiable retort. Councilmember Frank Matarrese also appeared perturbed. “Can I finish my sentence, please,” he told Spencer later in the meeting.

The confusion continued as Ashcraft and Spencer parried over whether further queries could be made after the question was called by another councilmember and differences between two competing motions after the council had voted.

Soon it appeared the entire five-person council was bickering all at once before Spencer called for a recess. But the discussions continued as some rose from their seats. The wild confusion led Malia Vella, a city council contender on the ballot next month, to tweet, “This. Is. Chaos.”

I don’t think anyone actually likes anyone else on that City Council.  They’re just a loose bunch of folks that sometimes need to agree with one another for a topic that is important, but these aren’t people that are hanging out socially together.



  1. 1) If council members were hanging out together socially, wouldn’t we be calling on the Open Government Commission to monitor and record the festivities?

    2) I watched the part of the meeting discussing FAAS and there was talk about whether they should wait for election results to see the effect on next year’s budget before deciding on a strategy for the animal shelter. In addition to Marilyn Ashcraft’s point about the utility tax revision, someone else also mentioned that if M1 passes it might cost the city $3million.

    3) Bloodshed?

    4) It’s one of the last council meetings before the election, so there was an element of council members trying to outdo each on the dais. Not totally unexpected.

    Comment by MP — October 12, 2016 @ 6:40 am

    • They can hang out in pairs without trigging brown act violation.

      Comment by Lauren Do — October 12, 2016 @ 7:01 am

      • Good one. I’ll have to watch later. Maybe the Brown Act doesn’t prohibit hanging out in any numbers so long as they aren’t discussing City business. I don’t know.

        Comment by MP — October 12, 2016 @ 7:37 am

        • Hang em all, I say.

          Comment by jack — October 12, 2016 @ 9:20 am

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