Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 29, 2017

Carry yourself with the confidence…

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

As I mentioned on Monday, Trish Spencer has put up yet another name for contention, but this time, this one may be approved probably because of his close relationship with Rob Bonta and therefore will be nigh impossible for Jim Oddie to vote against him.

But this one has been bugging me for the last few days because of which candidates have been repeatedly passed over by Trish Spencer.  Now we all know that the incumbent has a snowball’s chance in hell of staying on the Planning Board even though — as his detractors will admit — he is very effective and knowledgeable about every issue that ever hits the Planning Board agenda.  It’s his effectiveness that make him a threat and therefore the subject of many a breathless email thread that hits the boxes of the City Council and ACT members.

But people, this is literally the self described qualifications of the most recent nominee to the Planning Board:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 4.55.26 PM

And yet these are the self described qualifications of a selection of the alternatives who have been repeatedly passed over:

Woman candidate:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 4.53.13 PM

Asian candidate:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 4.53.27 PM

Asian candidate:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 4.53.44 PM

Woman candidate:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 4.54.58 PM

I fully expect Frank Matarrese to vote for Trish Spencer’s nominee, he’s been pretty consistent about not really rocking the board over the majority of her nominations.  But for the others who vote for the current nominee, the message that will be sent is that friendships and cozy political alliances are more important than actual expertise and huge depth of experience.

In other words, a mediocre white male still trumps (pun way intended) over highly educated and highly skilled women and people of color.


  1. Do you really think Oddie won’t be able to vote against this person because of who his boss is? I suppose we’ll see, but declining to specify one’s qualifications looks like an easy way out.

    I hope we keep running out the clock. The current planning board is qualified, competent, and wants to be there.

    Comment by Gaylon — November 29, 2017 @ 6:41 am

    • I don’t think it’s just that Rob Bonta is his boss, but Jim Oddie is running next year and given that this current nominee has supported Rob Bonta in the past through campaign contributions and has been one of the hosts of his annual Bonta and Brew fundraiser, it would not be a shock if Jim Oddie supported this nominee despite the nominee’s half assed application.

      We’ll see how Jim Oddie’s “progressive” creds hold up after this vote.

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 29, 2017 @ 6:58 am

  2. Scientific question: which of these elements has a greatest atomic weight in the present environment: white, male, or Bonta and Brew ?

    Comment by MP — November 29, 2017 @ 7:50 am

    • Atomic weight is independent of environment, since it really refers to atomic mass…Better analogy?

      Comment by vigi — November 29, 2017 @ 9:52 am

      • “Your chemistry teacher probably said to you ‘atomic weights are constants of nature’, but nothing could be further from the truth,” says Tyler Coplen, director of the Reston Stable Isotope laboratory in Virginia. In fact, the atomic weight of some elements varies depending on where you are on Earth.”

        Comment by MP — November 29, 2017 @ 10:28 am

        • I HAVE been a chemistry teacher. Freshman Chem at both Berkeley and MIT. My research director was Glenn Seaborg. [Check the PT; there’s an element named after him]. The atomic weights posted on a periodic table have always been a weighted average of the relative abundance of the element’s isotopes. This is nothing new. As technical ability to detect isotopes becomes more refined, more isotopes are detected for each element examined. But really those isotopes were there all along [unless you’re talking about the man-made ones, like from the SHE project I worked on.].Yes, different proportions of isotopes of a given element are found in different environments, but, as they say, correlation is not causation.

          I still think it’s a lousy analogy,, since the factors you name are not elements.

          Comment by vigi — November 29, 2017 @ 11:55 am

        • That sounds too much like science. Erase it if you want a job in the federal government anytime soon (at least until DJT gets the Earl K. Long treatment)

          Comment by MP — November 29, 2017 @ 12:22 pm

  3. Lauren, to be fair, don’t you think you should also post the application of the Incumbent whose “effectiveness” and knowledge you are Trumpeting? As I recall, it was even thinner than the current nominee.

    Comment by vigi — November 29, 2017 @ 9:56 am

    • I’m pretty sure that application didn’t simply read “I’ve been in Alameda a long long time.”

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 29, 2017 @ 11:12 am

      • “Pretty sure”? That’s a punt. I recall that all it said was something like “see transportation commission application”. And his qualification for that post was riding his bicycle a lot.[oh and being a TransForm employee, which might be a conflict of interest]. The application stood out to me BECAUSE it is SO thin.

        It is remarkable that someone with so few qualifications for the Planning Board was appointed in the first place.

        Go ahead. Prove me wrong by posting it. I know he’s your good friend so you probably don’t have the guts to do so. It will defeat your own argument..And if you make the point that the incumbent is effective and knowledgeable NOW…well that just proves that Anyone Can Do It If They Apply Themselves.and someone new should be given a chance now.

        Comment by vigi — November 29, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

  4. Seeing how Spencer, Vella and Oddie prefer back room deals, I would not be surprised if this nomination wasn’t discussed first.

    Comment by Eyeroll — November 29, 2017 @ 10:32 am

  5. Speaking of mediocer white men………

    This oh-so-qualified incumbent claims that adding 5000 house and 20,000 jobs at the Alameda Point will add just one car to the morning commute. Only an idiot or a liar would say that. He DOES NOT belong on the Planning Board.

    Comment by A not so mediocer white guy — November 29, 2017 @ 11:33 am

    • Proof? Oh you have none because he’s never claimed that. You tried though.

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 29, 2017 @ 11:54 am

      • Post John Knox White’s Initial Planning Board Application. It’s in the City Clerk’s office in a binder, if anyone is interested in viewing an Emperor Who Has No Clothes.

        Comment by vigi — November 29, 2017 @ 12:11 pm

        • Yeah, I did that like back in July, but you know, facts and stuff.

          Comment by Lauren Do — November 29, 2017 @ 12:39 pm

        • No, Lauren. You have NEVER posted JKW’s INITIAL Planning Board app.

          I mean the one before he ever served on the Planning Board. He didn’t have the 12 years of alleged “planning experience” from serving on the PB then All these applications you are posting are from people who have not served on the PB before. You cannot rationally compare them to an incumbent’s third application, now padded with incumbency. John Knox White’s original application, please. Otherwise you are comparing apples & oranges.

          [ I feel like Capt Kirk talking to NOMAD: “You have made an error. You failed to recognize your error, That’s two errors. You failed to correct your error. That’s three errors…” (The Changeling, Season 2 TOS)]

          To use your own talking points, John Knox White is looking more and more like a stubborn white male who just won’t let go of his power trip seat. Meanwhile, many fine people with architectural and/or engineering experience–genuine experience, not just board-sitting; which does not make you a “planner” anyway–have been dissed by this Council and probably won’t again offer their services where they are obviously not appreciated. They must think the people running this city are nuts, and I don’t blame them.

          Comment by vigi — November 30, 2017 @ 9:33 am

      • I admit I chuckled when I read that post, but I sort of remembered St. John saying that. I googled “John Knox White one car” and found that he didn’t use those numbers, an EIR did, but he defended that outlandish claim. That does little for his credibility.

        Comment by dave — November 29, 2017 @ 12:21 pm

        • My favorite JKL line of reasoning from that Sun article: “…This means that if current trends hold, the impact of full-on Alameda Point development could even remove traffic from our bridges and tubes that it creates.”

          So, after analyzing the data before him, Planning Board President John Knox White concludes that “Full-on Alameda Point Development Removes Its Own Traffic From Our Bridges and Tubes”. That’s what he said in print in his own words.

          Alameda, this is the force keeping qualified planners and engineers OFF of your Planning Board.

          Comment by vigi — November 29, 2017 @ 12:54 pm

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