Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 11, 2018


Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

At the last City Council meeting the Council voted 3 – 2 (Frank Matarrese and Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft opposing) to schedule two more special meetings to talk about the City Manager report issue.

This is what the agenda looks like:


Number of legal cases exposed to: THREE!


We’re never getting that report made public are we.


  1. I never knew there were public comments in a closed session. How does that work? Is the room simply cleared after the speaker slips are done?

    And if that is the way, who remains? Council plus city attorney & clerk, or are there others?

    What steps are taken to ensure it’s truly closed? Is the hallway outside chambers off limits? Are participants under oath or some such other bond to keep details private?

    Just curious.

    Comment by dave — April 11, 2018 @ 6:36 am

    • There were public comments when the matter was first referred to outside counsel (I think). There was a post on it here. The comment comes before (and after in that case) the Council retires to a separate room (?) I don’t think they do it like a rain delay double header and clear the stands before the second game.

      Comment by MP — April 11, 2018 @ 6:57 am

    • dave have you never actually read a Closed Session agenda before? Never been to a live council meeting? That explains a lot! I’ll remember that next time you call me a lunatic.

      Lauren cannot answer your questions, b/c she hasn’t been there either.

      This is how it works: for public comment before a closed session, everyone gathers in council chambers. After public comment, council and staff depart to the closed room behind council chambers. There is no “hallway”. This closed chamber connects directly to council chambers. The public remain behind in the chambers

      Comment by vigi — April 11, 2018 @ 9:59 am

      • yeah, dave, that explains a lot.

        Comment by MP — April 11, 2018 @ 10:06 am

      • Do Closed Session meetings somehow exist outside the realm of reality that what we see on the video is somehow different than what happens in the chambers? Yeah, didn’t think so.

        Comment by Lauren Do — April 11, 2018 @ 10:37 am

      • Having some knowledge and being a lunatic are not mutually exclusive.

        Comment by Rod — April 11, 2018 @ 11:00 am

  2. I guess we understand where at least one of those potential lawsuits is coming from. We also know from our fairly recent past that those types of lawsuits can easily fail. Hopefully, those cases discourage those who might sue this time. Were I city attorney, however, I’m sure my first thought would be to recommend maintaining the privilege and keeping the report(s) confidential, if only out of reflexive caution. Why tip my hand not knowing what an adverse lawyer might seize upon in the report? Hopefully, the Council will not give in to reflexive caution, but rather weigh the risks of disclosure in light of the failed litigation in the past and against the public’s need to know how its city actually works. For any parts of the report(s) withheld, I’d hope for much more of an explanation than short phrases like “pending litigation” or “A/C privilege”.

    Comment by MP — April 11, 2018 @ 6:54 am

  3. Lauren, was there discussion on the record at the time of the 3-2 vote to go schedule the closed session(s)?

    Comment by MP — April 11, 2018 @ 7:01 am

    • No, it’s just the report out. No discussion about why.

      Comment by Lauren Do — April 11, 2018 @ 9:16 am

  4. The 3-2 vote on whether to schedule more closed sessions sure seems like a possible preview of a vote to terminate the City Manager. If the whole mess didn’t cause serious disruption to people’s lives and the city’s business, it would be quite fascinating to see how this affects all the 2018 races.

    Comment by BMac — April 11, 2018 @ 6:08 pm

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