Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 2, 2018

Who I’m voting for

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

I’m not going to cover every race and — somehow — this election season seemed endless but also it went by way too fast.  I was supposed to do profiles of each candidate and keep up my endorsement tracking page, but I seem to have run out of time.   Anyway, on with how I’m going to mark up my part of my ballot over the weekend.

Mayor: Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft

This is one of those times I really, really, really wish there was ranked choice voting.  Because even though I’m voting for Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft I think there will be some people torn between her and Frank Matarrese.  His message and platforms have hewn very closely to Marilyn Azzy Ashcraft‘s over the last few months and he’s definitely running a more laidback campaign.   In fact, if you are basing the effort that the candidate is putting into running for office then Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft deserves to win hands down.   But more than just working to actually win, she’s been a reliably informed vote on the City Council.  Folks may not like her roundabout style of setting up context before she deliberates, but it’s clear that Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft has done her homework prior to getting on that dais.  She doesn’t have a beef with staff and understands the usefulness of subject matter experts on issues of complexity.  This is important to note because apparently some people feel that gut intuition or longevity on this particular piece of dirt called Alameda is a replacement for education and reputation.   She also is willing to be the adult in the room, and has proved it time and time again, to make the difficult and sometimes unpopular positions because it has to be done, legally.  So to vote for the sober, thoughtful adult who can win: (because I don’t think Frank Matarrese has run a robust enough campaign to win but he fits most of what I wrote above although ideologically I disagree with his positions more ) vote Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

City Council: John Knox White

This was by far the easiest choice for me.  Not because John Knox White is my friend but because we deserve someone like John Knox White on the City Council.  This may be his first go round for elected office, but he knows how the City Council (and this Alameda City government) works.  He doesn’t need to learn how anything works, he doesn’t need figure out that everything that he’s been spouting and promising during the campaign simply won’t work or can’t happen, he doesn’t need to reach back into the annals of history to come up with accomplishments — John Knox White is ready to serve.   Much like Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft he values the subject matter experts and the important information they can provide to make an informed decision that is data-backed.  That’s so crucial in these days of anti-intellectualism.  He’s a great consensus builder and showed that on his time on the Planning Board where he was successfully able to build to a medium place agreements with Planning Board members who were placed on the Board for sheer obstruction alone.   That shows the John Knox White will be able to work with anyone on the City Council, even the most obdurate ones if they’re coming from a place of good faith and reasonableness.   Vote John Knox White for informed thoughtfulness and consensus building.

School Board: Mia Bonta

I don’t think there has been a more qualified candidate to run for School Board in a long, long time.  Mia Bonta is the absolute real deal when it comes to everything that I believe is important in Alameda (and schooling beyond Alameda).  Some people may get triggered by the Bonta surname, but much like the spouses of other elected officials, she should be judged on her own merits and not simply the person that she married.   Because her merits are pretty great folks.  But what it even more exciting about Mia Bonta is her ability to connect with the people she really is serving.  No it’s not you taxpaying citizens, it’s students.  After meeting with Mia Bonta students — not connected her her campaign — spontaneously created a short video on why they’re voting for Mia Bonta which was amazing.  The School Board has had some really great School Board members in the past, but Mia Bonta running seems like a gift from the education equity gods.   Vote Mia Bonta for overqualified excellence and a focus on equity.

Measure K: No

Placing anything in a charter is a bad decision given how difficult it is to clean up anything that is set in the City’s charter.   Placing something as dynamic as housing policy into the City’s charter is even more ridiculous.  The City Council needs to be able to respond to emergencies in housing issues through policy.  If there had never been a proven need for it then maybe proponents would have a point about keeping this form of rent stabilization consistent for purposes of certainty.   But bad actors have popped up again and again and threatened the housing security of Alameda residents who have had to throw themselves on the mercy of the City Council because there are no strong protections for them if the pockets of the bad actor are deep enough.   That historic reality is reason enough to vote no on K to allow the City Council flexibility to act and react if the housing stability of its residents are threatened once again.   The fact that there is attempt to place a weakened form of rent stabilization in the charter that even the League of Women Voters says is a bad idea in advance of the Prop 10 vote is telling.   Vote no on K to say no to bad governance and to allow elected policy makers the ability to respond to emergencies.



  1. Jeff Cambra’s post yesterday about the effectiveness of Alameda’s rent program (you can call it rent control, you can call it rent stabilization, you can call it a fair compromise) is worthy of a read. As you can see from the individual cases discusses, the system that Measure K would protect is flexible when that is what is needed and has been successful in putting the breaks on big rent increases.

    Good governance would have been for the City Council to listen to what voters said in 2016 (yes on Measure L1) instead of flip-flopping around and finally taking it apart and inserting elements of the soundly-defeated Measure M1.

    Rent control can be a complex subject, but voters get the main issues and now have over 2 years of experience with the program that Measure K would protect, the results of which – discussed by Mr. Cambra – speak for themselves. Finally, if Alameda voters decide to change that program, they can. Councilmember Ashcraft has been somewhat misleading when she says that it would take an expensive or special election to adjust Measure K. Not so. The Council could place amendments, if any are needed, on the ballot at any time (our Charter has been amended over 60 times).

    “Dave is correct when he says, “The vast majority of rent increases since L1 have been 5% or lower.” There are about 14,000 rental units in the City. Housing providers that wish to raise rents above this amount are required to file an RP-04 form with the Alameda Housing Authority. It is mandatory. According to the AHA Annual Report for FY 2017-2018, there were 172 forms filed. 52 were withdrawn by the property owner leaving 120 valid rent increase notices for rent increases over 5%. That is 120 out of 14,000 units. This was a significant decrease from the 408 that were filed in FY 2016-2017.

    In FY 2017-2018, there were 17 requests (out of the120 received) for rent review that actually made it to a RRAC hearing. Of the 17, the RRAC did not have to make a decision in eight cases, because the parties arrived at an amount they both agreed to during the meeting. There were four cases where the RRAC recommendation was nonbinding possibly because the unit in question was an exempt property. So, in 2016-2017, the RRAC only made five binding decisions out of 14,000 rental units.

    One observation. I content that the “average” rent increase the RRAC approves has little to no relevance to its functioning, because every resident/housing provider tenancy is unique, and the amount of any rent increase is tied to the unique characteristics of each tenancy. Check out AMC Section 6-58.85 B for a partial list of the factors that the committee considers when making a recommendation. Specifically, I will draw your attention to the “financial hardship of the Tenant” consideration. Unless one knows all the circumstances and history of the tenancy, it is impossible to evaluate any aspect of the RRAC and its effectiveness.

    With that said, here is the summary of the five cases:
    In August of 2017, the RRAC heard case 886. The unit was a 1 bedroom renting for $900. The original tenant and her daughter received a reduced rent in exchange for performing work for the owner. When the tenant could no longer perform the required work, the owners still kept the same rent for an additional two years. When the original tenant moved out, the daughter remained and continued to pay the same rent but never performed any services for the owner.
    Market rate for comparable units was $1600 – $1800. Owner noticed a rent increase of $450 or 50%. RRAC issued a binding recommendation for $250 or 28%.

    The RRAC hear case 872.1 on September 6, 2017. The unit was one bedroom unit renting for $1100. Owner noticed a rent increase of $650 (59%). The resident indicated that he was the sole income provider, because his wife was finishing her Masters in Chemistry. He indicated that he could only afford $100 and that when his wife graduated and found a job, they would be able to pay more. The owner indicated that the property needed repairs and the increased rent would go for these repairs. There was some question about the income from the second unit, but the property owner indicated that he was not prepared to discuss the income of the other unit. The RRAC made a binding decision to accept the $100 amount offered by the resident.

    Case 963 heard by the RRAC on January 10, 2018 demonstrates how the committee assesses the actual need of the property owner for the rent increase verses the hardship that amount would create on the resident. In this case, the new property owners purchased a triplex and moved into one of the units. The second unit was paying market rate rent, and the third unit was considerably under market – $1310 for a two bedroom unit. Comparable units were renting for between $2300 – $2500. Apparently, the previous owner of the building may have kept the rent very low as part of the resident’s compensation for work performed in the owner’s restaurant. The new owners noticed a rent increase of $1,190 (90.8%). The both tenants worked, but did not have high paying jobs. Based on the ability of the new owners to obtain bank financing based on the current cash being generated by the property and the extreme financial hardship the couple would experience with a substantial rent increase, the RRAC accepted the tenant’s offer of a $65 rent increase.

    Case 984 was heard on March 5, 2018 and involved a two bedroom unit that rented for $1732. The owner noticed a rent increase of $368 (21%) based on damage sustained to the roof and fence due to trees present on the adjacent property, tree trimming costs, and renovations made to the unit. A review of past rent increases indicated that they were very reasonable and gradual. He indicated that comparable units were renting for around $2300. The resident was the only person living in the two bedroom unit, except for an occasional visit from her uncle, who did not contribute to the rent. She indicated that almost 50% of her income goes to rent. Based on the documented increase in expenses, the possibility of downsizing to a one bedroom, and the tenant’s offer to pay an increase of $118, the RRAC recommended a $168 (9.7%)

    In June of 2018, case 1025 was heard by the RRAC. The unit in question was 2 bedroom renting for $1650. The owners were requesting a10% increase to help offset the cost of maintenance, repairs, and some upgrades. The resident had recently been laid off after losing her job. She was performing contract work while looking for full time permanent employment. She indicated that the 10% increase would not be a problem if she was working full time. The Committee recommended a stepped increase of $50 (3%) per month for 6 months and an additional $75 per month for the remaining 6 months. The increase amounted to a 6.8% increase when annualized.”
    Comment by Jeff Cambra

    Comment by MP — November 2, 2018 @ 7:22 am

    • “Instead of flip-flopping around and finally taking it apart and inserting elements of the soundly-defeated Measure M1.”

      Isn’t that literally what Measure K is doing? Taking the “charter amendment” element of the soundly-defeated Measure M1? Hypocritical much?

      Comment by Jason B — November 2, 2018 @ 12:34 pm

      • In 2017, a slim majority of three city council members voted to depart from the recently (voter) passed Measure L1 by inserting elements of the rejected Measure M1. One of those three city council members, in fact, called that, “overturning the decision of the voters”, or words to that effect.

        Perhaps you see it differently, but I would draw a distinction between a decision of three city council members to overturn a voters’ decision and Measure K, which would be a decision of the voters. Were it not for the former, there might not be a question of amending the charter.

        BTW, the long quote from Jeff Cambra above starts out, “I think I can clear up some of the disagreement between Dave and Jason.” Any response to the substance of Mr. Cambra’s comments about the functioning of Alameda’s current rent control program that Measure K seeks to protect?

        Comment by MP — November 2, 2018 @ 2:42 pm

        • “A slim majority of three…” Put another way, 60%, which is considered a supermajority in some cases. This whole “overturning the will of the people” argument is nonsense. Primary arguments made in favor of L1 were that M1 went too far and that we shouldn’t be putting a rent ordinance in the charter because we needed to be able to continue making improvements to the existing law as needed. Adding just cause eviction protections is a substantial change to 3148, sure, but it is a long way from M1s autonomous rent board with .65% CPI cap on increases. The voters also chose two councilmembers in 2016 and charged them with representing their interests and enacting just laws on their behalf. People are free to make their arguments on the merits, that’s fine. But I get so sick of hearing these false claims of an elected body enacting a perfectly logical, if contentious, policy as being some anti-democratic act. Were it not for the million dollar campaign by a dozen large corporate landlords to collect the signatures and deceive the public, there would be no Measure K with its phony effort to protect the will of the voters. /rant

          Comment by BMac — November 2, 2018 @ 5:25 pm

        • Don’t take it from me, BMac.

          It was councilmember Jim Oddie who said it would be “overturning the decision of the voters” to make the changes the Council made in 2017. Then he went ahead and voted for those changes.

          But please don’t mischaracterize what I said (I assume you were directing the “false claims….of anti-democratic acts” comment my way). I did not claim it is was “anti-democratic” for the Council to overturn the decision of the voters. The Council had the legal authority to do that, even so soon after voters not only overwhelmingly rejected M1 in Nov 2016 – they had also passed Measure L1. But it was, as Councilmember Oddie said (at least before he changed his mind a few days later) a vote to overturn the decision of the voters. It might be that voters think they know just as much or more than the city council and, this time, want to put future changes to the rent ordinance in their own hands.

          (Also, a technical question: since when does a margin go from “supermajority” to a mere 40% with the swing of one vote?).

          To the merits then…maybe you can address Mr. Cambra’s points above. They seem meritorious.

          Comment by MP — November 2, 2018 @ 7:33 pm

        • Perhaps Jim was looking for cover for the tough vote he was about to take, I don’t know. My frustration with the argument is based on the many people who have used in in various forms, including this one. Not all use the term anti-democratic, but many with almost identical arguments as yours do. As for Mr. Cambra’s comments above…. tl/dr. I’m afraid I have discussed these issues with Jeff at length over the years and have formed my view of where he stands and what his agenda is. I am not interested in turning that stone over once more at the moment. Cheers.

          Comment by BMac — November 2, 2018 @ 9:30 pm

  2. Grab the popcorn and get ready for Tuesday. Want to play along. My election day guessing game is up and running. I posted on Facebook groups so the predictive power of these guesses is not scientific at all. For purely entertainment value.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — November 2, 2018 @ 7:34 am

    • Wait, why isn’t Hospital Board part of the game? Pete Rose rule in effect?

      Comment by MP — November 2, 2018 @ 8:19 am

      • I left off some races that are not competitive. BART board is one example. Much like my “campaign” for City Auditor, the reason I place my name on the ballot was to draw attention to the position and its responsibilities. After Alameda Health Systems, the Alameda Hospital main responsibility has been to keep the community informed about the parcel tax expenditures and progress in meeting seismic requirements for 2020 and 2030. As long as the voters are happy with the current state of information being received then we are all good. I am guessing very few people are aware that the Hospital Board is considering spending $300,000 on facility assessment.

        Comment by Mike McMahon — November 3, 2018 @ 9:21 am

    • We have broken the 100 guess level. Invite your friends to participate and create your own side bets.

      Comment by Mike McMahon — November 4, 2018 @ 8:30 pm

  3. MP, I disagree with your assessment, Ms. Ashcraft is correct that to change “K” if it gets in, it takes an election, that is restricted, and the County charges $$$ to hold elections. It is costly and bad governance to put K in the Charter. I’m voting No on K.

    Comment by Ron — November 2, 2018 @ 8:23 am

    • I agree in part with that. It would take an election to change the text of a law enacted by the voters. But it would not require a costly special election that the County would, of course, charge extra to conduct. The Council could propose amendments to be placed on the ballot for a regularly scheduled election, much in the same way that it placed Measure F on the current ballot. City Council could also pass ordinances and regulations that do not conflict with it without going to the ballot.

      Comment by MP — November 2, 2018 @ 8:39 am

      • If we even think that we need to modify the language or pass ordinances and regulations it seems unwise and, as Ron stated above, bad governance to set it in the charter.

        Comment by Lauren Do — November 2, 2018 @ 9:03 am

      • Measure F is running virtually unopposed, that’s why it’s been cheap. What about Measure K? It’ll be in the $300,000-$400,000 range, by the time the election’s finished. Any time the people or the council propose an amendment to be placed on the ballot for a regular election, what makes you think the outside corporate landlords won’t pour in hundreds of thousands of dollars again to stop it? If the people propose Just Cause protection, you seriously think Don Lindsey and his investor buddies will just stay on the sideline and “let the people vote”? Just face it – once Measure K gets into the city charter, only the rich will be able to afford the key to unlock any more changes.

        The Measure K financial backers are right about one thing – let the people decide. And the people should decide NO on K to stop this corporate meddling.

        Comment by Jason B — November 2, 2018 @ 12:39 pm

    • Ron: Here are the costs to hold an election straight from the source – The City Clerk’s Office: “The Elections Code does not allow cities to charge proponents anything other than $200 filing fee that is refunded if the petition is found sufficient. The total for L1 (from adding up the invoices) is $26,197.74.” I asked this question in regards to the costs incurred by the proponents of L1 and M1 in the 2016 election.

      Comment by Jeff Cambra — November 2, 2018 @ 9:53 am

      • Jeff, What does the County charge the City?

        Comment by Ron — November 2, 2018 @ 10:07 am

        • The County charged the City of Alameda $26,197.74 to put L1 on the November 2016 ballot. I did not ask about M1, but iswould be slightlu less since it had fewer pages to print. The costs include translation, typesetting, proofreading, pre-press, printing, pointing, binding, transportation, and mailing according to the invoices I saw.

          Comment by Jeff Cambra — November 2, 2018 @ 10:36 am

      • 2016 was a presidential election year. The election would be run regardless if L1 and/or M1 were on the ballot. If a special election needs to be run what would the per vote cost be for the City to hold a special election since that is the worst case scenario.

        Comment by Lauren Do — November 2, 2018 @ 10:30 am

        • Agreed. I am wondering how many special elections have had to be called in other jurisdictions that had voter approved rent regulations.

          Comment by Jeff Cambra — November 2, 2018 @ 10:40 am

      • Jeff Cambra – you’re ignoring all the other campaign costs necessary to win a ballot, in addition to the administrative cost in getting a measure onto the ballot. How much did Measures L1 and M1 cost altogether in 2016? It was around $400,000. This will literally happen again in 2020, 2022, etc if Measure K prevails. The people will propose an amendment in 2020. The corporate investors will put up the big money again to fight back. And around and around it goes. Let’s try and nip this in the bud on Tuesday by voting no.

        Comment by Jason B — November 2, 2018 @ 12:43 pm

        • Jason: I was responding to Ron’s specific inquiry regarding what the County charges. I guess I draw a distinction between the hard costs to get something on the ballot and the advocacy costs. As to the scenario you pose, what would you suggest to prevent the cyclical nature of this issue?

          Comment by Jeff Cambra — November 2, 2018 @ 1:53 pm

      • Jeff, I find it disingenuous that you are comparing an expensive charter amendment election to changes to rent regulations in other cities that can be done through council action. Likewise you over-inflate the strength of the current ordinance by referring to it as rent control and not rent stabilization. Taken together it is clear that you are now advocating for the landlord’s position, and no longer a neutral facilitator in this. I hope your position is adequately clarified at the RRAC, so that people don’t get the impression you are impartial.

        Comment by notadave — November 2, 2018 @ 3:29 pm

        • I hear and understand your point of view. Not all rent regulations can be changed by a city council. When voters approve a law, then only voters can amend the law. Councils have no authority to change these voter created laws unless there is a specific grant of authority to do so. That is my only point. As to the terminology, I will direct you to the courts and the media who consistently refer to rent regulations as rent control. More to the point, the current law established a rent review mechanism that can result in a binding and enforceable restriction on rent increases. I respect your choice of terminology.

          Comment by Jeff Cambra — November 2, 2018 @ 3:49 pm

  4. Follow the money:

    Comment by Allan Mann — November 2, 2018 @ 9:17 am

  5. Whatever happens on Tuesday, I have to congratulate JKW for running such a positive, issues focused campaign. There’s a 200+ message thread on Nextdoor and for the past several weeks, he’s been responding politely to all kinds of rather loaded questions that have been flung at him. This just shows why I don’t have the temperament to go into politics — no way I’d have the patience for that 🙂

    Comment by trow125 — November 2, 2018 @ 9:30 am

    • Much in contrast to Matz’ overly defensive Q&As on some of the Alameda Facebook groups where he dismissed people for being John KNox-White supporters and had a lot of negative things to say about the unions and “Bontaville.”

      Comment by Rod — November 2, 2018 @ 10:53 am

  6. I went into last night’s School Board forum (sponsored by the Alameda PTA Council) thinking that I was going to vote for Ms. McKereghan and leaning towards Ms. Bonta (though I needed to do more research about Gary Lym). I left the forum feeling that I would likely vote for Mr. Lym.

    In general, I was a little put off by Ms. Bonta’s demeanor and her underhanded and cutting references to the other candidates even though that was one of the stated rules that the participants had agreed to NOT do. But mostly, I did not like Ms. Bonta’s dismissive and very negative response to the schools consolidation question, especially given that she is chairing the committee. My takeaway was that she felt that the committee, that was established to really dig in and study the issue, is a waste of time because everyone already knew the answer (no go because AHS doesn’t have enough space for so many students) and what we, as a community, really need now is a new AUSD master plan. She also felt that the process has been divisive.

    Perhaps she is right that many had a strong hunch that consolidating the high schools is just not a viable option (setting aside all of the emotional baggage that comes with it). But I believe that the committee process itself has been productive because it has methodically presented the context, constraints and challenges of a key range of issues that AUSD faces to our community and will allow us to more thoughtfully address the question at hand, and debate alternatives to increasing teacher salaries, improving equity and improving our facilities more firmly grounded in facts (assuming that everyone agrees that those are our common goals). To me, the series of presentations and the committee’s final report ARE the initial building blocks of an updated master plan. I’m perplexed as to why she thinks this process has been a waste of time.

    Finally, regarding divisiveness — this particular discussion of potentially merging the schools is a highly (highly) charged one but I believe that this committee of our students, residents and peers, has so far, tamped much of that down and kept us calmer. But if Ms. Bonta feels that the process is already over-heated, what has she done, as the chair, to steer the ship in a different direction? She did not refer to any of this in her closing remarks.

    Ms. Bonta certainly seems qualified but the last thing we need in Alameda (and everywhere) is someone who is going to stoke more divisions, vs. elevate the debates and work towards bringing us together.

    Comment by Deni Adaniya — November 2, 2018 @ 10:35 am

    • Follow the money:

      Comment by Allan Mann — November 2, 2018 @ 11:18 am

    • Having been involved in school board operations for over 25 years, the District’s use of committees has been for the most part disingenuous. From the 1990s when Superintendent Chacanos would put together committees where the outcome had already been decided to committees formed Superintendent Nishino that were exercises that accomplished nothing, committees can be dangerous. While the educate and engage the community, they can also raise expectations about what is possible.

      We elect five members to make the hard decisions. If Board wants to educate and engage the community, they should hold community workshops on the topics rather than create committees. Placing committees in the middle of any thorny issues does not add any value to the process.

      Comment by Mike McMahon — November 3, 2018 @ 9:37 am

      • I understand and generally agree with all of your assessments Mike. Committees can certainly be a royal waste of time or worse, a public manipulation tactic. You have much (much) more experience in this arena than I, but, in this case, I don’t believe that to be so.

        Sure, the Board could have held a series of 10 (or however many) community workshops to discuss each of the components of the consolidation question (which, as you know, has been explored a couple of times in the relative recent past). But as a very interested citizen, I am finding these committee meetings and their topical deep dives to be much more illuminating than the previous public discussions of this topic, which also seemed to go nowhere. And to me, the decentralized process makes it easier to engage in dialogue than otherwise. Many of us now know a member of the committee so this is a topic that many of us are directly engaging in our kitchens or front yards or playgrounds.

        It’s obvious that no one is going to recommend consolidation, again. But I really appreciate the work that is coming out of this committee as the foundation for a community dialogue to address the underlying concerns that prompted consolidation: improving teacher salaries, improving education equity and services across the island, and maximizing the finite public ed resources we have (ie. improve efficiency, where possible). And while we may not be consolidating high schools, there may certainly be other consolidations coming.

        Comment by Deni Adaniya — December 6, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

  7. John Knox White – Agreed, we should be so fortunate to have John running for City Council. He definitely has my vote!

    Comment by Karen — November 2, 2018 @ 11:56 am

  8. I know you said you weren’t covering every race but I am interested in what you think of the assessor race. It’s hard to see what difference it makes who the assessor is but I’m all ears if you have an opinion.

    Comment by dave — November 2, 2018 @ 3:19 pm

  9. Lauren Do – You only listed one City Council choice. I, too, will happily vote for John Knox White.

    Have you decided on your second choice or will you leave the second position blank on your ballot?

    I had initially decided that I could not vote to re-elect my friend Jim Oddie — largely because he apparently failed to read and follow the spirit of Article VII, Section 7-3 of our City Charter during the process of hiring a new fire chief last year.

    Recently, though, I have seen evidence that Oddie has had a change of heart since the controversy last year. I have also seen that none of the other candidates are as capable or well-qualified to hold elective office as our incumbent City Councilmember.

    Alameda will not be well served by yet another retread of the Daysog show (same old, same old ineffective leaderlessness). I have sat through far too many ambivalent, on-one-hand/on-the-other-hand speeches — read from his laptop, no less — to want to sit through even one more.

    Robert Matz has no prior experience as a part of our city goverrnment, which means a very steep learning curve. For the past four years we have seen how damaging that can be to Alameda, so no thanks. We cannot afford to have another on-the-job-trainee in office. Besides, Matz’s claims to be the “first” to support water taxis, estuary shuttles. and “common sense” transportation solutions is 10-15 years too late to be credible or accurate. (See his ill-informed transportation claims in the Matz Alameda SUN insert on November 1, 2018.)

    Stewart Chen went over to the Dark Side with his endorsement of Measure K, quite apart from his previous ethical “issues” as a business owner. (I am bothered far more by the fact that he tried to hide his past difficulties from the voters when he ran for office than the fact that he ran afoul of the law.) His “no” to renters (I am one) in supporting K is a huge deal-breaker, though: I could not vote for him even if he were “squeaky-clean.”

    Which led me back to reconsidering Jim Oddie. Along with enduring the fire chief/city manager controversy, Jim has recently come out as a a gay man, married the love of his life, and battled cancer. These seem to have made a difference in the way he sees public service and I am willing to give him a chance to “make amends” for his mis-steps regarding the fire chief and City Charter.

    If Jim Oddie makes good on his promise to make amends as a public official, I will be very happy. But even the old Jim Oddie is better qualified to be on our City Council than any of his opponents.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — November 2, 2018 @ 5:07 pm

    • If you consider the charter as “law,” Oddie has also run afoul of the law that subjects one to “removal from office” by the Grand Jury for corroborated statements and evidence that he exerted undue pressure on the City Manager to hire Domenick Weaver for fire chief. Oddie has not apologized, must less make amends. It would be a wasted vote if Oddie is re-elected, only to be removed from office in July.

      Comment by BarbaraK — November 5, 2018 @ 3:29 pm

  10. I voted the same way. It is nice nice to have it done and put it in the drop box.

    Comment by Jake — November 2, 2018 @ 8:11 pm

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