Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 22, 2018

It’s Not

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

Quick one for today, from Tuesday night’s meeting. Trish Spencer manages to extend the City Council meeting again by pulling a consent item to “let the public know” what’s going on and yet manages to mangle what the agenda item is about so badly that even Frank Matarrese has to correct her.



March 21, 2018

Not playing

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

Because it didn’t get enough attention, here are excerpts from the letter from the State of California Housing and Community Development Department in reference to Trish Spencer and friends attempting to remove the Multifamily Housing overlay.

It essentially starts out by saying, we know what you’re trying to do, so don’t think you can slip this behind our backs:


A brief history of how we got to the multifamily housing overlay in the first place. (hint: it’s because we have a little thing in place called Measure A)



March 20, 2018

Say no to this

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

Tonight at the City Council it looks like the Council will be moving forward with appointing an Acting City Manager.  Which makes it weird that the agenda item right above that one still reads that Jill Keimach will be negotiating with East Bay Regional Park District about some land in the Northwest Territories.

So who could be the candidates for Acting City Manager will be sort of the usual folks: Assistant City Manager Liz Warmerdam would be the natural candidate.  She was appointed as the Interim City Manager after John Russo left.  Also interestingly enough, she never applied for the job of City Manager.

While Jill Keimach was at some conference Police Chief Paul Rolleri was appointed to serve as Acting City Manager when the whole business of tainted water occurred at Alameda Point.  So he could be in the running as well if the idea is to appoint someone who may not be interested in the permanent City Manager if it becomes open.

There also is Jennifer Ott who has served in the City Manager’s office previously as a deputy City Manager and would be a strong candidate to take over during these bumpy times.


March 19, 2018

It’s happening!

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

Immediately after four out of five City Councilmembers voted to move forward with Site A by approving the third amendment, the City of Alameda put out a press release and Alameda Point Partners went to work.  As they mentioned, once that Metering Provision was lifted they were able to close on all of those residential lots which meant that construction on the infrastructure could begin, oh, like almost immediately.

From the City’s Press Release:

As part of today’s transfer, the City and its affordable housing partner, Eden Housing, received $10 million for a new Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal, $3 million in funds for affordable housing, and a $1 million payment for a planned Sports Complex.

“The land transfer immediately provides $14 million in funding for the projects that matter most: affordable housing and new transportation improvements, like the new ferry terminal, and paves the way for construction to begin in the next month, resulting in 2,500 construction jobs,” stated Jennifer Ott, Director of Base Reuse and Transportation for the City of Alameda. “The City Council’s continued support of this project has allowed us to get to this point, where our next step is to schedule the official groundbreaking — something we all look forward to.”


March 16, 2018

Wasting no more time

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

What a timely piece in Alameda Magazine! A few days ago this article “Measure A R.I.P.” hit the internets and it’s timely given the Council Referral by Trish Spencer on deck for Tuesday’s meeting.

First, from the article:

In the past few years, state lawmakers — concerned about the extreme shortage of new housing in many of California’s urban areas, out-of-control home prices and rents, and greenhouse gas emissions — have enacted new legislation aimed at circumventing local anti-growth laws like Measure A. These new laws require cities and counties to build their share of new housing, regardless of whether they have no-growth rules on the books. They also make it easy for developers and pro-housing groups to sue cities that violate the new housing laws.

In other words, they’re making local initiatives like Measure A increasingly obsolete.


March 15, 2018

Bearing the burden

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

What happens when you don’t build enough housing?  Low income renters bear the brunt of the burden.  From City Lab:

For six years, the National Low Income Housing Coalition has released an annual report calculating the discrepancy between available affordable housing units and renters who earn below the poverty line or 30 percent of the area median. Last year, they found that for every 100 households categorized as extremely low income (ELI), only 35 affordable rental homes are available—a shortage of over 7 million affordable and available homes. That same figure stands today.

Part of this shortage is caused by an influx of higher income households into more affordable homes: Almost half of the affordable rental units are occupied by families that earn above the poverty line. As incomes get higher, cumulative shortages get less pronounced. Households that earn less than 50 percent AMI have 56 affordable and available rental homes; those below 80 percent have 93.


March 14, 2018

National Horror Story: rearranging deck chairs

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Surely we must all be MAGAing as of now.

I mean, all stable and genius administrations lose top leadership positions before a full two years have lapsed…oh wait…

March 13, 2018

Council interruptus

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Another video from the files of “working well together” this is on an item at last Tuesday’s meeting around allocating money to keep AC Transit’s line 19 running at 20 minute headways during commute time.  Eventually the City Council did vote to provide the funding to keep this line at the shorter headways, but man it took some really painful discussion to get there, including this exchange.

I will point out that the answer that Trish Spencer is asking for is literally IN THE STAFF REPORT. If City Councilmembers aren’t going to read the staff reports and then seem shocked about how long the meeting in running, I’m really not quite sure there is any hope for any sort of meaningful meeting management.  If City Councilmembers aren’t going to show up prepared by at least reading the staff report, well, clearly it wouldn’t be wise to eliminate the staff presentations on the agenda items as Trish Spencer’s appointee to the Open Government Commission was pushing for.


March 12, 2018

By your administrative leave

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

Well, well, well.

Fire Chief/Memo/City Manager-gate sure did take quite the unexpected turn.  From Steven Tavares writing for the East Bay Express:

Following a nearly five-hour closed session meeting Friday evening, the Alameda City Council, in a surprise move, unanimously voted to place City Manager Jill Keimach on paid administrative leave.

Alameda Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer declined to comment on Friday’s announcement or offer a reason for placing Keimach on leave. But the post-closed-door meeting statement read by Spencer suggests that the city’s investigation into Keimach’s claims may have uncovered new information.

“The report includes confidential advice regarding potential litigation given to the council, which the council is currently assessing in conjunction with its attorneys. The city will release the actual findings of the investigative report as soon as possible after the requisite legal analysis has been completed and delivered to the city council,” according to the statement.

“The city manager has been place on paid administrative leave with full salary and benefits during this assessment by unanimous vote of the city council.”


March 9, 2018

Meeting managed

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

And…there’s another vaguely worded Closed Session meeting today at 1:30 p.m.:


Significant exposure to litigation pursuant to subdivisions (d)(2) and (e)(1) of Government Code Section 54956.9

Number of cases: One (As Defendant – City Exposure to Legal Action)

Which is probably going to be about that report about City Manager gate? Fire chief hiring gate? Whatever.

Hopefully what will come out of this meeting is enough people voting to release the damned thing to the public.  Figures that if someone feels confident enough that the material in the report absolves whatever has been alleged we should all be able to judge for ourselves based on the information in the report.

It would be helpful to know, if that motion is made, which Councilmembers voted for or against releasing the report.


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