Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 19, 2020

Why you gotta be so rude

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

Looks like we don’t have to wait until Trish Spencer is seated on the dais for some drama. Councilmember Tony Daysog has decided that he will fill that role until Trish Spencer returns to the Alameda City Council. On Wednesday morning, while reviewing #alamtg on Twitter this tweet caught my eye:

It sounds pretty bad but the video was oh so much worse and really doubled down on Alameda’s reputation as insular and hostile to outsiders

He made a slightly less rude scoffing during this public speaker’s time but still rude:

And then decided to throw an absolute fit during his own comments about the public speaker he was originally rude to and rant about people from Campbell coming to lecture Alameda and a sneezing Silicon Valley:

Tony Daysog didn’t just stop at interrupting public speakers, he also managed to interrupt his own dais mate to tell him that he was incorrect about something which it turns out Tony Daysog was incorrect about specifically his reference to a “State Housing Overlay.”

So I emailed the City Clerk because I didn’t think that if I emailed Tony Daysog directly I would get a response and so here was his response:

Which didn’t really answer my questions, so I clarified:

This was his response:

I still have one outstanding question which he has yet to answer about the “state 30 acre requirement.” It’s a talking point I heard during the campaign described as a “cap” which tells me it’s some factoid that Tony Daysog has been pushing in various iterations.

I don’t know if Tony Daysog’s mute button was broken and maybe he always makes snarky asides like this from the comfort of home/a conference room at City Hall when no one is there to listen or if he was feeling emboldened on Tuesday night. While it might have been that Tony Daysog thought these verbal barbs would make him seem like a tough fighter but it just makes him look small and petulant.

31 Comments »

  1. Poor Tony Daysog. He led the “No on Z” campaign and won, and thought that would be the end of that, back to his solitaire or minesweeper games on his laptop while sitting on the dais and collecting his council stipends. But these outbursts suggest that he’s starting to realize that this is just the beginning of a long and protracted battle, and that he has his work cut out for him for months and years to come. The fact is, Alameda isn’t a completely autonomous entity, we cannot just opt out of our obligations to the region and the state, especially during the middle of an unprecedented housing crisis. If the state and ABAG are compelling us to build, simply building smaller homes in more strategic locations to better mitigate traffic should be a no-brainer. Article 26 may have lived another day, but I just don’t see it surviving for much longer. It was challenged twice in the court already, and I believe it was saved each time by a settlement before the court could render a verdict that most likely would have struck it down.

    Comment by Reality — November 19, 2020 @ 7:13 am

    • Do you know why Tony Daysog can say what he wants? 60% of Alamedans voted for his arguments against Measure Z, that’s why.

      C’mon man. Why don’t you, Jason Biggs (Reality), Gaylon, JKW and the other losers follow “president elect” Joe Biden’s advice and just “accept” the results of this election with some dignity, instead of dragging this out in meaningless challenges and dog whistles to your base in a time of “national crisis” when our community needs to “come together in unity?”

      Comment by Nowyouknow — November 19, 2020 @ 8:08 am

      • Funny you should mention Joe Biden, because this is what it says on the President-elect’s housing platform:

        “Eliminate local and state housing regulations that perpetuate discrimination. Exclusionary zoning has for decades been strategically used to keep people of color and low-income families out of certain communities.”

        Comment by Reality — November 19, 2020 @ 8:39 am

  2. Sounds like he’s another guy with small … hands … trying to overcompensate.

    Comment by bayporter — November 19, 2020 @ 7:13 am

  3. How can public officials violate someones rights like that without penalty?
    Kudos to the Mayor for strongly stepping in. His attack on a citizen deserves Council a censure.

    It is public official training 101 that anyone, citizen or not, may make comments and do not have to even identify themself during a “Public Comment” period.

    Certainly telegraphing there will be plenty of “Alameda First” action by T&T in the near future.

    Sad, very sad.

    Comment by Ron Mooney — November 19, 2020 @ 7:58 am

  4. The interruption was out of line, for sure.

    Is the moral of today’s blog, especially in the context of the immediately preceding Council meeting, that Daysog should have waited his turn to trash the speaker?

    I did not watch the immediately preceding Nov 4 Council meeting and rely, instead, on this account of it: https://alamedamgr.wordpress.com/2020/11/08/repeat-offenders/

    “Then came Mr. Knox White, and he picked up where Mr. Oddie had left off.

    Mr. Foreman was the first victim. (Like his amanuensis, Mr. Knox White prefers to trash people without using their names but making clear their identities.) The retired judge and lawyer “literally” told the Planning Department that “he doesn’t care about the equity issue as much as he cares about getting [rid of] housing in Alameda.” (Ever hear Mr. Foreman utter those words, Mr. Thomas?) Moreover, he played key roles with such despicable organizations as “Liveable California” and the “No on Z” campaign. (Which, we suppose, he ran out of the basement of a pizza parlor in northwest Washington.)

    But Mr. Knox White saved the worst for last. “It seems that every single time I turn around he’s pushing for inequitable outcomes for his own benefit,” the Vice Mayor declared (emphasis supplied). In this regard Mr. Foreman was no different from a typical Trump supporter. “I personally believe,” Mr. Knox White said a minute later, that “we are literally” – there’s that word again – “living in the middle of a national discussion right now with our election, in which half of our country is prioritizing themselves over everybody else because they’re benefiting.”

    If Mr. Knox White hadn’t previously crossed the line from criticism to slander, he leapt over it with these remarks. There was a time when they would have entitled Mr. Foreman to challenge him to a duel at 30 paces. (And, though Mr. Foreman is 82 years old, our money would be on him.)”

    If you must say “whataboutism” and “false equivalency” or that the linked-to blog misrepresented what happened at the Nov 4 meeting, of course, feel free, but please explain how and why.

    Comment by MP — November 19, 2020 @ 8:24 am

    • Did you watch the video of what Vice Mayor Knox White said or are you relying on someone else’s characterization of what he said?

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 19, 2020 @ 8:28 am

      • That question is answered in my comment above.

        Comment by MP — November 19, 2020 @ 8:39 am

        • Perhaps you should watch then to get the full context and read the written correspondence. But to answer your question about how this is different, here it goes.

          Mr. Foreman, unlike the public speaker, is someone who is holding himself out to be a leader in this community. He heads a PAC and a political group. He is a frequent commenter on all things City related and sends reams of correspondence to the City Council. He is someone who holds the ear of Tony Daysog who couldn’t even ably defend his referral because it was not something that he felt strongly about but rather brought to the City Council at the request of Mr. Foreman. He is, by all intents and purposes, a political gadfly.

          Mr. Foreman sent correspondence in which he dismissed equity as lesser than the issue of natural hazards:

          You can’t just say “I accept the equity factor” and go on to say how this other thing is more important and should factor in to Alameda getting a smaller allocation without being expected to be called out for being disingenuous. And so when that’s characterized as putting a reduction in housing above equity, where is the lie?

          Equity is a hard and difficult road. It means that people *waves generally* who already have quite a slice of pie may need to give up a little more so that those without any pie can get a little bit of pie. Equity is hard because as selfish people that we all are we continue to want to hoard opportunity for ourselves and our loved ones. We give lip service to caring about equity but then make excuses as to why we can’t commit to it.

          That critique of Mr. Foreman is not personal attack or “slander” it’s addressing what he has already admitted to: that equity is not important as natural hazards because he believes that argument will lead to a smaller allocation of housing to Alameda.

          And when Vice Mayor says we are in the middle of a national discussion where half the country is putting themselves over others: where’s the lie? When it comes to COVID-19, the state of the election, the state of our democracy, the state of the economy, there are people who are willing to throw a shit ton of people to the wolves because they think it will help their 401Ks.

          So miss me with the handwringing over Paul Foreman being “trashed.” Pointing out what he has said without dressing it up in disingenuous placations around equity being “accepted” is not a trashing.

          Comment by Lauren Do — November 19, 2020 @ 9:14 am

        • I should probably let Mr. Foreman speak for himself (and his community), but the idea that “he’s pushing for inequitable outcomes for his own benefit” sounds like a statement that is both very personal and of the type that would tend lower the community’s view of him. (Also, here, I believe that “equity” or “equity factor” are defined terms (within the RHNA context), and to say then that he is pushing for “inequitable outcomes” quite likely conflates statutory and common use definitions). More broadly, and correct me if I am wrong, I think he made the comments in the context of ABAGs proposed allocations between communities within its jurisdiction. If you read Dave’s 9:08AM comment about the relative densities of Alameda and Campbell (which is in the heart of Silicon Valley, i.e. the primary driver of growth in the Bay Area), one can quite reasonably ask about the relative allocations between the two places without being guilty of not being willing to give up any part of the pie.

          Comment by MP — November 19, 2020 @ 9:45 am

        • Fun fact: the South Bay is already receiving the bulk of the RHNA allocation. If Alameda were to get a reduction per the CoCoCo plan it would go to Oakland. Our neighbor. The one we shuffle cars through every day.

          Equity, as defined by RHNA, is socioeconomic equity. What Mr. Foreman is asking for, a reduction in the allocation per the CoCoCo county plan would result in less equitable outcomes regionally. Ergo less equitable outcomes for his own benefit. His own benefit being less housing to Alameda without caring where those housing units go.

          Comment by Lauren Do — November 19, 2020 @ 9:53 am

        • Dave Hart’s density “analysis” has often been corrected numerous times and yet he continues to push a false narrative, and it’s sad that others pick up on it. It does not control for factors such as parks, nature preserves, industrial and commercial zones, and other non-habitable lands. For example, San Leandro’s habitable density is actually higher than Alameda’s once you take out their marshlands, shoreline parks, massive industrial parks that stretch from near the airport to near Bay Fair Mall, etc. The correct metric we really should be using is capita per residential zone area, or something akin to that. It’d be interesting if Dave Hart or Paul Foreman would be willing to put in the effort to do that level of analysis, otherwise their claim should be dismissed outright because it’s just plain lazy and misleading.

          Comment by Reality — November 19, 2020 @ 10:57 am

  5. Yeah, Tony was a bit rude. But he is not wrong.

    Campbell has a population density of less than 7000/sq mile. Alameda’s effective density is about 12,000 — 78,000 people living on the 6.5 square miles of dry land East of Main. Campbell really has no standing to lecture Alameda.

    Tony is also right that Z lost decisively, that A/26 remains in force, and Alameda should proceed that way. It’s hard to see how his words on that subject qualify as “throwing an absolute fit.” He didn’t yell, gesticulate wildly, or behave in any way that is “a fit.” The vice mayor’s tone and diction in the following video is no different than Tony’s comments before it.

    He really should have shown some professional courtesy to a fellow public servant, the gentleman from Campbell, but the characterization of herein is really overwrought.

    Comment by dave — November 19, 2020 @ 9:08 am

    • The hundreds of people living on dry land west of Main and the thousands of residents from all over the island who work and play west of Main on a daily basis would be surprised to find out they are not part of Alameda when doing so. I can maybe understand leaving out the runways, but the core of the former NAS is very much part of Alameda and we all benefit from the homes, open space and businesses there. You don’t leave out Central Park when calculating the density of Manhattan or Disneyland when calculating the density of Anaheim.

      Comment by BMac — November 19, 2020 @ 9:47 am

      • Agree that it is an inexact calculation, but it barely moves the needle to add a few hundred people to 78,000. The point is that our city is already quite dense and already punching well above its weight by local standards.

        The other point is that it’s an area very much in transition and fairly early in said transition. When it’s fully built out and inhabited, it should become part of the total calculation. I’d estimate to be inhabited land area of 7.5 square miles. Have you seen a population estimate for the city when it’s complete?

        Comment by dave — November 19, 2020 @ 9:57 am

        • There you go again, Dave Hart. Please put in some effort to do a real density analysis that accounts for lands that are not habitable, such as nature reserves, parks, industrial and commercial areas. Do a proper density per residential area analysis. Alameda is very much a suburb with lots of landfill built out specifically for housing, so you have a town that has extremely high residential zoning to land ratio, compared to other cities. What we really should be looking at is population relative to residential areas.

          Comment by Reality — November 19, 2020 @ 11:00 am

        • I’ll type this part very slowly to help you understand it:

          The 6.5 sq. miles of land East of Main includes parks, school/college campuses, a golf course, commercial & industrial areas, religious institutions, nature preserves, shopping centers, and fair amount of city-owned paved streets. It is also concurrently inhabited by approximately 78,000 people. That’s where the approximation ~12,000/mile derives from. It’s our current reality (by coincidence, one of the handles by which you embarrass yourself daily).

          The approximately 4 square miles West of Main is currently in redevelopment. Approximately 1 square mile of it will be developed, the remainder will not be. The permanently undeveloped area should not be included in the denominator of future density calculations. There is a reasonable case to be made that the area under redevelopment can & should be developed at a similar scale as the already-developed land East of Main. Said redevelopment is currently a major policy focus in our city, in case you hadn’t heard.

          Those are the facts, now for the opinion:

          Daysog, churlish though he was, is correct to believe that a city of 7k persons per mile density has no standing to cajole or lecture on density a fellow city of far greater density. Disagree if you like, but do so at least from an informed position.

          Comment by dave — November 19, 2020 @ 11:39 am

        • Awful quiet, Mr Reality.

          Comment by dave — November 19, 2020 @ 8:07 pm

        • I was saying that the land west of Main, in addition to being home to an increasing number of Alamedans, is very much a part of this city. Spirits Alley, many innovative employers, Bladium, WETA, the Hornet and lots of open space (some of it gritty) that people use daily. Alamedans interested in using our “effective density” to compare against other cities actual densities are not comparing apples to apples. We love to think we are special here and think the things that make us unique should be applied to us while treating everyone else as normal. Every place has their thing. In any case, density is not a punishment, and there are lots of good criteria being used in the RHNA to figure out allocations.

          Granted, Campbell is less dense than Alameda. I am sure the speaker is advocating pro-housing policies at home if he is bothering to show up in Alameda to do same. Can I not encourage ABAG or Oakland to be aggressively pro-housing because my neighbors imposed an apartment ban and density cap in Alameda?

          Comment by BMac — November 20, 2020 @ 10:21 am

        • I know I’m asking this very imprecisely, but Wikipedia says the below which I think is based on the entire land area of the city, including the base (minus that part of it sitting, for whatever reason, in SFCO). Under “current plans” what pop. increase do we expect from development at the base? Roughly, obviously.

          Area[7]
          • Total 23.10 sq mi (59.83 km2)
          • Land 10.45 sq mi (27.07 km2)
          • Water 12.65 sq mi (32.76 km2) 53.79%
          Elevation[8] 33 ft (10 m)
          Population (2010)
          • Total 73,812
          • Estimate (2019)[9] 77,624
          • Density 7,426.00/sq mi (2,867.30/km2) ……which equals approx [=77,624/10.45 (Land area)]

          Comment by MP — November 20, 2020 @ 10:40 am

        • Bmac,

          The old base is certainly a part of the city, but only recently. It was federally owned until just a few years ago.

          The point is that a Alameda is already a very dense city. That portion already developed is at 12k/mile. Alameda has contributed much more to density and housing availability than most other Bay Area cities, Campbell and many others. Cities that have done much less should focus on their own.

          Comment by dave — November 20, 2020 @ 10:59 am

  6. TRONY, (tony) is just trying to show he can be just as disruptive as trish.

    Comment by Bidenismypresident — November 19, 2020 @ 9:51 am

  7. Gee, Tony didn’t have a problem with out of towners when it was out of town landlords trying to stop renter protections from happening!

    Comment by Rod — November 19, 2020 @ 11:02 am

  8. “I asked @tonydaysog to clarify what the ‘state 30 acre requirement’ is and I have not received a response.” . . . The City of Alameda went over this extensively in 2012 (roughly July) when it discussed the Housing Element. I suggest you go on the web-site and look that up. You can also google . . try the following search terms:

    Section 65583(c)(1) 30 units per acre

    Good luck in your research!

    Comment by tony daysog — November 19, 2020 @ 12:44 pm

    • Tony Daysog, Google says, “(iv) For a jurisdiction in a metropolitan county: sites allowing at least 30 units per acre.”

      I’ll repeat a few times for emphasis:

      “At least.”

      “At least.”

      “At least.”

      The last time I checked, “At least” does not indicate a “cap” but a minimum.

      Comment by Reality — November 19, 2020 @ 2:10 pm

    • My question was:

      [C]an you further clarify what the “state 30 acre requirement” you are citing is and what that means, practically, in Alameda’s case.

      You have cited a state law which says:

      (3) For the number of units calculated to accommodate its share of the regional housing need for lower income households pursuant to paragraph (2), a city or county shall do either of the following:

      (A) Provide an analysis demonstrating how the adopted densities accommodate this need.  The analysis shall include, but is not limited to, factors such as market demand, financial feasibility, or information based on development project experience within a zone or zones that provide housing for lower income households.

      (B) The following densities shall be deemed appropriate to accommodate housing for lower income households:

      (i) For an incorporated city within a nonmetropolitan county and for a nonmetropolitan county that has a micropolitan area:  sites allowing at least 15 units per acre.

      (ii) For an unincorporated area in a nonmetropolitan county not included in clause (i):  sites allowing at least 10 units per acre.

      (iii) For a suburban jurisdiction:  sites allowing at least 20 units per acre.

      (iv) For a jurisdiction in a metropolitan county:  sites allowing at least 30 units per acre.

      How does that answer my question?

      And — to take this further — how can this state law live side-by-side with Alameda’s A/26 which caps densities at much lower than 30 acres per unit. So, for Alameda which decisively voted to retain A/26 in its Charter, how should Alameda move forward with its Housing Element and honor the will of the majority of voters to keep A/26 exactly as it is written in the Charter? Are you proposing that City Councilmembers tasked with approving the upcoming Housing Element violate the City Charter to do so?

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 19, 2020 @ 2:18 pm

  9. Ugh . . .. like I said, this was vetted in 2012. I can’t do your research for you. In Alameda, it’s 30 units per acre. Again, good luck in your research!

    Comment by tony daysog — November 19, 2020 @ 2:40 pm

    • So we are just going to walk right past the point where you were an absolute embarrassment to the community by not being in emotional control and acting unprofessionally, Tony? Ugh is right. If we have two years of abstaining from votes and acting like a child on camera, just let Kenny the Clown sit in the meetings for you.

      Comment by notadave — November 19, 2020 @ 2:58 pm

    • Tony, I believe the city council could vote to increase beyond 30 units per acre. It could be 120 if they wanted to, which would allow for highrises. 30 is not a figure that’s enshrined in the charter, it’s a council decision. You should know, you’re on the council, aren’t you? 30 is not a cap but a minimum.

      Comment by Reality — November 19, 2020 @ 3:01 pm

    • In Alameda, Tony, we have a cap based on A/26 that was recently affirmed by the voters of Alameda. Are you proposing that City Councilmembers tasked with approving the upcoming Housing Element violate the City Charter to comply with state law?

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 19, 2020 @ 4:14 pm

      • I asked Paul Foreman about this 30 unit “cap” on nextdoor:

        Me: “Could the City legally justify zoning to a higher density than 30 units per acre (through another MF overlay, for example) if it determined it was necessary to meet its obligations under the [Housing Element Law], or would anything higher than the bare minimum of 30 units per acre necessarily violate the Charter?”

        PF: “That is an open question, but, at the least, I think that they would have a heavy burden to prove that there was not sufficient land in the City in build their low income allocation at that density. The great majority of these projects qualify for at least a 20% density bonus which raises density to 36 units per acre.”

        Comment by Doug Letterman — November 20, 2020 @ 3:11 pm


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