Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 7, 2017

Grizzly pique

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

Tonight there is the big issue of FAAS’s ask from the City Council.  Last night FAAS will have had a huge rally to rile folks up to go down to City Hall and demand “fair” funding. I did not go to said meeting so I don’t know what new numbers FAAS is putting forward and why they couldn’t just release the new numbers since their old numbers were already released by the City in the third party review, but whatevs.  Anyway, you can review the past FAAS posts here and here if you’re interested.

However, I will say ahead of time, if supporters of FAAS are going to message with garbage like this:

They’re going to see a lot of their support dwindle down pretty rapidly.

It’s essentially the critique that pops up, particularly during controversial issues like renter protection or building housing, that some folks in the City care more about animals or trees than they do about actual human beings.  With statements like that, it’s really hard to argue that that is not true.

Today I just wanted to highlight a rally that will happen at City Hall today at 3:30 p.m. to oppose the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.  Democratic congress members have been Holding the Floor to make a final stand against the nomination of Betsy (we need guns in school because of grizzlies) DeVos.


If you’re looking for a local action to resist aa truly terrible nominee, here it is.



  1. Lauren…you are better than this. You are trying to conflate this matter and take out of context what happened at this moment last night. Take away
    from the evening was that the City Manager affirmed support of FAAS and that a deal is close. Let’s play nice and not try to scare folks.

    Comment by Roberto Marinelli — February 7, 2017 @ 6:39 am

    • Fairly sure that there is no “context” that makes calling potential job seekers from APC “dysfunctional” any way a positive thing.

      Comment by Lauren Do — February 7, 2017 @ 6:52 am

      • FAAS has openings. Have people at the Point submit an application for employment today.

        Comment by Roberto Marinelli — February 7, 2017 @ 8:50 am

      • the person that disparaged APC people was an audience member. FAAS has no idea who that is, or why she said such a rude thing.
        I grabbed her mic to shut her up, and said FAAS “would love to work with APC” if we are able to fill a position.

        This is a really bizarre smear campaign going on, for what purpose I do not know. People on social media are coming up with nonsense. Not proud of this display.

        Fact FAAS runs the shelter with the best outcomes in the history of the shelter, our current proposal is a lower cost than city will have.

        Comment by Janet Davis — February 7, 2017 @ 3:56 pm

  2. The Trump/Devos/Milo/MAGA Resistance on the City Hall steps continues leading to the ultimate cutoff of federal funds…do the anarchists show up in the rain?

    A small, secretive private military force, the Resistance was founded by rebel hero Leia Organa to monitor the actions of the First Order. Most New Republic power brokers tolerate the Resistance while regarding Organa and her fighters as dead-enders with an unfortunate fixation on the past. Organa’s cash-strapped movement relies on credits, ships and equipment quietly funneled to it from the few senators who share her concerns.

    Comment by Captain Obvious — February 7, 2017 @ 6:39 am

    • “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” — MLK, Jr.

      Comment by Lauren Do — February 7, 2017 @ 7:32 am

  3. Alameda Merry Go Round does a substantive job of clarifying the FAAS issues:

    Comment by Roberto Marinelli — February 7, 2017 @ 6:42 am

    • I dunno, there might be some kernels of substance buried in the reams of self-congratulatory pseudo-intellectual bullshit that post comprises. I think Mr. Sullwold is afraid of plain, simple language because it would expose the emptiness of his arguments.

      Lauren isn’t without rhetorical sin either – “ask” is most definitely not a noun.

      Comment by ajryan — February 7, 2017 @ 8:05 am

  4. After the dysfunctional comment and seeing that most of the staff are related I’m not confident in this organization. If the city agrees to their demands, I hope that they will require sensitivity training and strict oversight of the budget and money spent. Some folks on the point could use some of the jobs that FAAS needs to hire for. It seems the best use of that money would be to hire some of those people and yet we have an org that is prejudiced against these people.

    Comment by Angela — February 7, 2017 @ 7:49 am

    • Bizarre conclusions here?!? Trying to wrap my brain around the agenda here?
      The comment disparaging APC came from an audience member. So since a concerted attempt by multiple people is being made that is came from FAAS as an organization is bizarre. I am the one that took the mic interrupted her and said “we would love to work with APC”. None of us knew who she was or really what her position was. I could not tell from her questions, three in all, where she even stood on the issues.
      We are in the middle of what are supposed to be private negotiations.
      “The staff are related”? No staff are related!
      Why are people talking about bits of nonsense to discredit FAAS, very strange smear campaign.
      If the city tried to contract this service, they legally must pay for, to a decent shelter like Oakland SPCA the price would be 1.3- to 1.5 million, with improvements needed to our city shelter also before they would want the contract.
      FAAS proposal is less than a contract with a good shelter with positive outcomes like Oakland SPCA. or if the city took it back.
      If the city went out on RFP to a decent shelter they would learn that.

      Comment by JSD — February 8, 2017 @ 5:54 am

  5. As someone not up on the details, I went to a City webpage for a description of FAAS’s vs the City’s proposals for next year (or this year)’s budget, and patsted it below (after taking out some of the argumentative language). On the face of it, it sounds like the City is proposing decent increases in funding. How are these numbers wrong, what is being left out, and what happens if the end result is closer to the City’s?

    FAAS seeks to increase their annual budget by 77%, from just over $1 million in 2015-16 to over $1.8 million in 2016-17.

    The FAAS proposed budget:
    • Increases salaries and staff, along with the professional services they contract out for by 102%
    • Reduces the amount FAAS contributes through fundraising by 30%
    • Reduces the amount of fees they collect by 7%
    • Reduces the amount they bring in annually through grants by 77%
    • Reduces in-kind donations by 41%
    • increases direct funding from the City by 338%.

    The City has proposed the following:
    • Increase FAAS’s total budget from just over $1 million in 2015-16 to nearly $1.7 million in 2016-17
    • Increase direct City funding from $328,000 in 2015-16 to $600,000 in 2016-17
    • Take over pet licensing and deliver a guaranteed $150,000 per year to FAAS
    • Provide an additional $50,000 to FAAS if their new hires are from the Alameda Point Collaborative
    • Take over and pay for payroll services
    • Provide light-duty officers to assist with staffing needs
    • Provide an additional $100,000 in Animal Control Officer staffing
    • Provide $170,000 in building improvements (this amount is being spent this year on a new roof, kitchen upgrades, and heating system)
    • Continue to provide the shelter facility at no cost

    Comment by MP — February 7, 2017 @ 8:25 am

  6. New plan presented last night was for $908,000 with FAAS raising the difference. As for most of
    the staff being related…not accurate. Question was asked last night and answered.

    Ops Mgr left. FAAS was in a jam and needed help ASAP. The Board reviewed and cleared this ‘relation’ for
    an interim position. Nothing else to the story. “Most staff related” appears to be a deflection.

    The ‘dysfunctional comment’ was not supported by any FAAS Board member. They stated their desire
    to support the community and hire the best qualified people for the job. Odd how one tweet has people
    condemning the entire organization. Sadly, these are the times we live in.

    Comment by Roberto Marinelli — February 7, 2017 @ 8:41 am

    • So is FAAS committing to hire folks from APC? If FAAS does not support the framing made by a supporter that residents at APC are too “dysfunctional” to take a position at the Shelter then I hope there will be a commitment to hire and train for some of the entry level position residents from APC.

      Why did the Operations Manager leave? Was it a dismissal or a voluntary exit? If a dismissal what was the reason for termination. From what I understand the new Operations Manager is related to someone on the Board, how was the determination made that there was no conflict of interest to hire the spouse of a Board member? How was the position posted and advertised? Were there any other applicants for the position that did not require a conflict of interest ruling?

      Comment by Lauren Do — February 7, 2017 @ 11:42 am

      • You never cared about conflicts of interest when Gilmore hired Russo. You never cared about the city budget when Russo gave the unions a fat raise 2 years early. You’ve never cared about the GF budget at all, in fact you have defended overly flabby budgets time & again.

        What is the source of your new-found fiscal responsibility & clean government? The change is laudable, yes, but it is curious. Why does a few hundred thousand extra for FAAS so knot your knickers while you blithely ignore millions for the IAFF?

        Comment by dave — February 7, 2017 @ 11:49 am

        • I believe those questions that you have asked were answered a long time ago, however not to your satisfaction because you disagreed with the players. I would go back and meticulously link to every single one of those posts where your questions have been answered, but what’s the point when you’ll simply dismiss it because Russo, Gilmore, and IAFF = bad?

          In the case of FAAS, FAAS agreed to a deal in 2012. At no point did they say during those negotiations (with John Russo by the way who was attempting to trim budgets in the aftermath of Ann Marie Gallant if we’re being precise here) that the deal was infeasible. Now they come in not four years later to hold out their hands for more at the same time rejecting what the City has offered which is exponentially higher than what they agreed to by dismissing it as “unfair” and asking people to sign off on a petition calling the City’s offer “unfair.”

          A contract is a contract. A contract was made between FAAS and the City in 2012, now FAAS wants to change those terms and use the public as a cudgel. A contract was also made between the City and IAFF, just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t make it illegitimate and doesn’t make the people who negotiated it back scratches because, let’s not forget, those “raises” came with a shit ton of things that had been negotiated by City Councils and City Managers past taken away. Because that’s what a negotiation means, it doesn’t mean that you screw over unions because you don’t like their politics or the fact that they get involved in politics.

          Comment by Lauren Do — February 7, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

        • Oh, to enjoy the privilege of being your ally, where rules and standards never apply.

          Comment by dave — February 7, 2017 @ 12:16 pm

        • Since I’ve never asked you before, I’m puzzled by your statement that you have answered.

          Please explain why FAAS hiring a spouse is a conflict, but Gilmore hiring a contributor under highly unusual circumstances is not. Please explain why the IAFF bankrolling politicians who vote their fat pay packages is not a conflict, while a private organization hiring a spouse in a pinch is.

          Please explain why you aggressively defend ~3 million per year in tax dollars going to a non-essential, non-public purpose (movie house) while complaining about a fraction of that going to a legally mandated public purpose.

          Please explain why now you care about the GF while never having previously.

          I’m not the only one who’d like to hear.

          Comment by dave — February 7, 2017 @ 12:30 pm

        • I’m shocked to find out that Mayor Gilmore hired Russo, how the heck did she get away with that. I always thought the entire council had to vote on something like hiring a new city manager. Dave you must know something I don’t. My question would be was the whole council in a conflict of interest when they voted or was it just Mayor Gilmore.?? I’m baffled.

          Comment by JohnP.Trump is not my President. — February 7, 2017 @ 12:39 pm

        • And how many of that council took Russo’s cash before they hired him?

          That is a clear conflict of interest, it is very hard to think of a clearer one. yet it was defended, loudly, by our blogmistress, who is now calling out others for same.

          But hey, maybe it’s just me. I have weird ideas like rules & standards applying to all sides, and the budget being a concern for every spending item.

          Comment by dave — February 7, 2017 @ 12:45 pm

        • Asked and answered. The posts are there for public consumption. I’ve argued many times about the speciousness of “special interests” and of any campaign contributions equaling favors given. You can search for them. I don’t feel the need to go dig them up if you didn’t feel the need to read them the first time around.

          I’ve always cared about the GF, just not the same elements of the GF that you care about.

          While I’m not a fan of outsourcing government work, here’s my position on the Shelter services. It was deemed to be unsustainable under the existing budget in 2012. There was talk about outsourcing the legally mandated public purpose to another existing agency which would have fulfilled the public obligation. FAAS stepped in and said that they could make it work at a certain funding level and at no point indicated that it would be unworkable. Now they are saying something different and requiring a huge infusion of money. That’s why their budget request warrants scrutiny. You may be all cool with it now that it’s gotten many footnotes of approval so I would imagine that as long as you’re taking positions on an issue based on who supports it instead of the merits then yes, rules and standards need never apply.

          Do you know that the Operations Manager had to be hired in a pinch? If so why was that necessary? Was the Operations Manager terminated or did s/he leave voluntarily? What was the compensation for the former Ops Manager? What is the compensation for the new Ops Manager? I don’t know the answers to any of this, and all the people with the answers keep them closely guarded or only want to bend the ear of select individuals who they believe can sway others to their side. The big difference between this and say the GF in general is that the GF is out there for anyone to consume and read and elect to question or not. Questions only arise when there are no answers readily available.

          Comment by Lauren Do — February 7, 2017 @ 12:51 pm

        • I think you mean to say that you doubt, or are suspicious of, this particular request, or that you believe it deserves a high level of scrutiny, not merely that it deserves “scrutiny”. A budget request, as a budget request, deserves scrutiny (I think), whether the requester asks for more now than before or, instead, asks for more after claiming underfunding over a long period of time. In either case, the request for more might be a good or a bad idea as measured against the ends and the Ways and Means.

          Comment by MP — February 7, 2017 @ 1:49 pm

        • Considering that FAAS has not released their new numbers, not even at last night’s Town Hall there remains more questions than answers,

          Comment by Lauren Do — February 7, 2017 @ 1:54 pm

        • Everything at the top of MP’s list is irrelevant at this point. The city wanted private negotiations so FAAS honored that.

          • Provide an additional $100,000 in Animal Control Officer staffing. (the current contract calls for two part time animal control officers, there has always been only one) That is a separate service from FAAS and the city’s legal obligation.
          • Provide $170,000 in building improvements (this amount is being spent this year on a new roof, kitchen upgrades, and heating system) -this is deferred maintenance and not to be included as the city did to bump an appearance in funding levels. It was raining in the shelter and it is deferred maintenance
          • Continue to provide the shelter facility at no cost- the city is legally obligated to provide the shelter and regardless of who operates it that cost is there.

          Comment by JSD — February 7, 2017 @ 11:52 pm

  7. Lauren’s questions are fair ones, especially if FAAS is expecting the taxpayers of Alameda to fund close to 80% of their budget.

    Comment by Alan — February 7, 2017 @ 1:00 pm

    • The only reason FAAS has not released detailed budgets is the THE CITY requested the negotiation be private. FAAS has complied and not released detailed paperwork and is in fact working quite hard to comply with negotiation requests

      Comment by Janet Davis — February 7, 2017 @ 8:25 pm

  8. I’ve argued many times about the speciousness of “special interests” and of any campaign contributions equaling favors given


    Yet your twitter feed contains items from Joe Callaghan and Parker Molloy highlighting De Vos’s campaign contributions. They note that De Vos has contributed significantly to several GOP Senators who voted for her nomination. They also note, quite pejoratively, that De Vos openly stated her political contributions were intended to buy influence. Is it fair to presume that you agree with those tweets, since you re-tweeted them?

    Those tweets are not controversial. Any political contribution’s goal is to buy influence. Any contribution to a politician who then votes for your benefit is most certainly a conflict of interest, or less politely, a legal bribe. Except, apparently, Alameda contributions to politicians you like. Nope, your friends on council would never dream of granting favors to check writers.

    THAT is specious, to use your adjective.

    Second request to explain why FAAS hiring a spouse is an issue, but Gilmore, Tam and Bonta hiring a contributor isn’t.

    To be fair — because fairness is my primary concern with politics — FAAS does deserve scrutiny for the reasons you state. Their actions could be easily construed negatively and a proper hearing is most certainly called for.

    But I’ll say again, it’s very odd for someone who has never expressed concern over the budget and has defended poor budgeting practices to suddenly care about good government now.

    Comment by dave — February 7, 2017 @ 3:37 pm

    • we shall see henceforth evenhanded application of these principles in all matters

      Comment by MP — February 7, 2017 @ 3:57 pm

    • You sure you agree with your declaration in the second line in your second paragraph?

      Comment by jack — February 7, 2017 @ 6:55 pm

    • If you have a minute, I am still hoping to hear why one person’s political contributions are intended to buy influence while your allies’ are not. While you’re at it maybe you could say why FAAS hiring a spouse is a conflict of interest ( your words) but why your friends on council hiring a contributor isn’t.

      Comment by dave — February 8, 2017 @ 3:54 pm

  9. Live from tonight’s City Council Meeting…both Kearney and Kennedy spoke… said they reviewed the new proposal and urged the council to close the deal with FAAS. Feb. 21st TBD.

    Comment by Roberto Marinelli — February 7, 2017 @ 7:40 pm

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