Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 8, 2018

Why me?

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

So we all knew the the tiny redacted box was “Kern” as in City Attorney Janet Kern, right?

Seriously these sorts of letter which may or may not require redactions because of public release should really use a monospaced font so it’s a bit harder to discern what those redactions may be given the proportional font sizing.

The set of screen caps below is — yet another — reflection of how poorly some on this Council work together and how poorly they work with City Staff as well.   Rather than be properly chastened after all the other previous shit that happened, City Councilmember Jim Oddie wanted to throw down with the City Attorney.  It appears that Jim Oddie was bothered by the timing of the Janet Kern email because there had been other instances previously that could be perceived as interfering with the City Manager’s job but that no reminder email had gone out from the City Attorney.

Now, then, or later; isn’t it always a good time to periodically remind the City Council of their duties without someone being super thin-skinned about it?

Seriously, as an aside, some elected officials — and this is not limited to Alameda’s elected bunch — are super thin-skinned.  One would think that being in the public eye and having to be subject to the rigors of an election and the scrutiny attached to that would toughen up these leaders we have elected.  But then you get to see the sausage making like in the whole report and you see a bunch of people that are appear to be itching to take offense at every slight.  Then in order to ensure a political majority questionable alliances are made and mean kid-ing on the dais then becomes a thing.  But I digress.

Anyway, this whole set of back and forth emails probably could have been avoided had the City Council just done its job and finished Jill Keimach’s employee evaluation prior to the whole fire chief appointment business.  It’s still not clear as to why forms used in previous years could not be used for this City Council.

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  1. M Vella’s stated reaction to the Kern Aug 24 email, that it was the first time she had heard of the Charter provision (7-3, presumably), is a little odd: (1) The City Charter is not long at all, and it uses language that should not be unfamiliar to an attorney who specializes in political law. Don’t members of the City Council – if this is where they really want to be — give the Charter at least one read through sometime before they have been in office for 6 months? (2) The Aug 24 email appears to have come well after Vella consulted Rob Gould because she was unsure about the propriety of writing a letter of recommendation for Weaver and was unsure about the selection process, and after which consultation she decided not to write a letter of recommendation on behalf of Weaver. Perhaps Mr. Gould’s advice was based purely on manners, etiquette and group dynamics, rather than anything like the lines of authority set out in the City Charter. At best, it seems a bit incurious to seek such advice yet not take a peak at the Charter. (Alternatively, and notwithstanding what may be on the tape recording of the August 16 meeting that triggered the Kern Aug 24 email, Ms. Vella would seem at least to owe Mr. Gould a big debt of gratitude to the extent that it was his advice – given her apparent lack of knowledge of the operative Charter provision – that stopped her from crossing the line in the investigator’s opinion; (3) Ms. Vella obviously does not read Blogging Bayport or at least has missed previous episodes (pre-tapegate/fire-chief-gate) focusing on that section of the Charter dealing with interference. (If the City has put out an PFR re web-based City Charter training for new Councilmembers……)

    Comment by MP — May 8, 2018 @ 8:03 am

    • *RFP*

      Comment by MP — May 8, 2018 @ 8:04 am

    • RE: knowledge of the City Charter. When I was appointed to the Planning Board in the 1990s, the city staffer gave me several documents as required reading, one of which was the City Charter. I read it first, since it was the shortest document. If all members of the Planning Board are required to read the charter, one would certainly expect the same would be required of City Councilmembers. Perhaps now there should be a quiz to prove they did so.

      Comment by vigi — May 8, 2018 @ 10:26 am

  2. Hey! Congratulations to Katherine Saxby Alameda teacher who won on Jeopardy tonight.

    Comment by Jack — May 10, 2018 @ 7:14 pm


    Comment by Catherine — May 14, 2018 @ 8:33 pm

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