Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 13, 2017

Deferred business

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

At the City Council meeting last week the City Council ran out of time by 10:30 p.m. to hear the bulk of the regular agenda items.  Surprise!  I know, it’s quite a shock that the City Council couldn’t make it successfully through a whole agenda item.  I will add that there was some discussion about priority setting of Council Referrals during the cannabis agenda item.  If you didn’t realize, the topic came up as part of a Council Referral.

As I mentioned there was some urgency by a few City Councilmembers to really push this issue through despite the fact that this was the first real policy level vetting this City Council has done on the topic. When Councilmember Frank Matarrese pointed out that there were a lot of other issues, from the Council Referral process, which were ranked higher during the Council’s priority setting workshop that had not been completed yet.  Mayor Trish Spencer retorted that the priority setting workshop had occurred before she brought her Council Referral to the City Council.  To that Frank Matarrese responded that until there is a vote to set aside the priority set Council Referrals the others still have priority.  Then he dropped his mic.  Just kidding.  He didn’t.  But he should have.  Because: true.


The City Council ran out of time because the person running the meeting has zero time and meeting management skills with the exception of attempting to cut off other City Council members.  As someone commented, the poet laureate agenda item was up on deck but everyone that came for that agenda item were long gone and held the celebration without the formal recognition process.  Because time and meeting management are not strong points.  Also, we probably knew that this issue would take a long time, perhaps a workshop should have been set on another day to only talk about this one very contentious issue.  After all, as suggested by Councilmember Jim Oddie, this is not a new thing that other cities haven’t tried before.  Maybe someone should have asked San Francisco how long their Planning Commission meetings run when they’re just dealing with *a* use permit for one dispensary in a community, let alone talking about the whole policy level shabang.

At around 10:30 the Council has to decide whether they are going to hear any new agenda items, aka ones they had not yet started working on.  Four out of five City Council members must agree to actually do this.  The City Manager asked if the City Council could at least hear this item which would have amended the lease with the Hometown Donuts folks and grant an easement to the Boys and Girls Club and AUSD in order to begin work on the RAMP Cross Alameda Trail.  Council member Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft made a motion to just hear this item alone and was joined by both Jim Oddie and Malia Vella.  It failed because the required four votes.  Trish Spencer made two other motions to hear the remaining items, but those failed because the only person who would vote for her motions was Frank Matarrese.

Remember if the City Council votes to extended the meeting too many times they have to add more meetings per the Sunshine Ordinance because the idea is to not encourage late night meetings and encourage the City Council to get through their agenda items during times that people are actually awake.

It would be nice if the City Council could do a better job at taking care of business in a more efficient manner.  Like some of these things were basic housekeeping items that could have just been easily dealt with, but because it wasn’t being done the specific way that the minority wanted it to be done, it is deferred to yet another meeting further delaying much needed projects like the Cross Alameda Trail which by the way is used by a lot of students who have to trample through the unimproved property because this Council couldn’t agree to just hear the item that would have taken five minutes to get through.



  1. Speaking of Deferred Business, Rock Wall was shut down (and every other business that needs clean water at the Point) because of some kind of possibility that e bay mud actually was pumping mud to the Point.

    Comment by jack — September 13, 2017 @ 5:44 pm

    • Jack: There are two wells at the point, the Pan Am Well, and the Army (Benton Field) Well. The Army Well was being used for irrigation. Hot weather lately. Suspect that contamination is mercury from Army Well going into drinking water supply as it has done for the last 70 years. Go Navy.

      Talking about fake news, EBMUD did a emergency planning event for the media in the early 1980’s about a fictitious truck accident and release pesticides into the water supply in Alameda that some media then reported as a real event. Not sure of the exact year but the date was April 1st.

      Comment by Gerard L. — September 13, 2017 @ 7:44 pm

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