Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 7, 2020

Circling back

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

I always like to see issues that were put on hold for some reason or the other actually make its way back to a policy body.  It’s so easy to kick the can down the road and let another City Council tackle an issue that it’s refreshing when we see an elected official say, “hey remember this thing that we said we were going to do?  Maybe we should do it.”

Case in point, at the first City Council meeting of the year, Vice Mayor John Knox White has a Council Referral about the license plate readers that were placed on hold in 2018.

From the Council Referral:

Provide direction to the City Manager, City Attorney and City Clerk to develop a recommendation on an Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) program in Alameda.

In 2018, the Alameda City Council put on hold a request from the Police Department for ALPRs until a sanctuary city-related privacy policy was developed. Having adopted an expanded policy and provided direction for the creation of an ordinance on privacy and surveillance on December 17, it is appropriate to check in with the City Council to identify the parameters under which an ALPR project might possibly move forward for consideration.

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January 6, 2020

Happy New Year!

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

Happy 2020 everyone.

And what better way to start a new year than the City opening a section of the RAMP Cross Alameda Trail.   I don’t think the whole section of RAMP is open (it’s really hard to want to venture anywhere on the first Sunday of the month) but the section near the donut shop and in front of New and the Boys and Girls Club is definitely open.

It looks really nice anyway, it’s elevated a lot above the street level which I’m not sure is for safety reasons or for sea level rise (maybe both) but it’s an awesome addition to that streetscape because previously there was no protected bike lane on RAMP.

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December 16, 2019

Happy Holidays

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

That’s it for this year folks.  There’s a two City Council meetings coming up this week but it’s mostly clean up work before the holidays.

See you next year!

December 13, 2019

12 years a slog, continued

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

Just in case you were wondering no one showed up to the Planning Board meeting on Monday to talk/rail/complain about the fact that the Planning Board was going to do a study session on Measure A (aka Article 26 of the Charter) in January.  Not one public speaker.

For those that were around and actively paying attention will remember that designing to format of the Measure A forum itself was a big deal.  Even after getting involved in the meeting to plan the meeting, Measure A/Article 26 proponents were acting as though they had been sidelined the whole time.  It was a particularly amusing form of gaslighting before “gaslighting” became common in our vernacular.

Remember the complaining was done by people who were actively able to steer the forum in a positive direction but instead elected to be unwilling to make any compromises at all.

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December 12, 2019

National Horror Story: make it stop

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

We’ve reached the horrible part in our timeline when the president of the United States decides to snark about Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, a teenager in order to distract from all that inconvenient impeachment stuff:

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December 11, 2019

Measure A revisited

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

As part of the Planning Board’s Measure A forum, City Staff was tasked with evaluating the 46 year old law.  Unlike past discussions around Measure A, formerly known as the third rail of Alameda politics, there is very little dancing around the effects of Measure A.   The evaluation starts off:

The following staff evaluation finds that Article 26 of the Alameda City Charter does not support the general welfare of the community, does not support the community’s General Plan goals and objectives, and is not equitable. [emphasis added]

We probably would have reached that conclusion via the courts if Alameda’s City Attorney’s offices of the past hadn’t been good at their job in settlements to protect the City from an adverse judgment about it’s charter amendment.  But I digress.

The evaluation goes on to point out that because Measure A is inconsistent with state law, the City — over the years — has had to create workarounds in order to maintain compliance with the state, for example:

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December 10, 2019

National Horror Story: so professional

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

If this doesn’t sum up the level of professionalism of the House Republicans, I don’t know what else does:

And:

 

December 9, 2019

12 years a slog

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

The Planning Board, under direction from the Charter Review Subcommittee, is going to host a public forum on your favorite charter amendment and mine: Measure A.   Before I get into all that, let me take you back into the way back machine about 12 years ago in 2008 when we last had a public forum on Measure A.  It was definitely not as civilized as it seems that this public forum creation is turning out to be.

Recall that there was contention around the created Ad Hoc subcommittee to plan the real forum.  Specifically the City Council had to appease a select group of people who weren’t happy that it was just members of the Planning Board who formed the ad hoc committee to plan the forum.  Just typing that out I realized how insane that sounded but 12 years ago this was the reality.   Fun fact for those not around or paying attention during that time, current Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft was on the Planning Board and was one of the ad hoc subcommittee members.

And once the committee was in place there were last minute conspiracy theories about public emails to the subcommittee group in advance of the meeting.  Oh the comments are particularly fun on that post because it lead me down a nice memory lane trip when we were in the process of selling the first home we purchased in Bayport to move to a new home.  Apparently some people were in a positive tizzy about that one.  I think some people were getting super excited that I might be moving out of Alameda.  Some people were miffed that I was using an “Emeryville” real estate company. (Joke was on them since the listing agent was actually a Bayport neighbor, but whatevs). But I can only imagine the crushing disappointment when they learned I only moved a few blocks away, in Bayport.

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December 6, 2019

True public resource

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

Good lord, in the column of “it’s never going to end is it?” the Alameda Magazine is running a sympathetic piece on the plight of the Carnegie Innovation Hall’s implosion.

Highlights:

Sturtz laid the blame for his withdrawal with Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and city council members who, in September, after he’d had five months of negotiations with city staffers, required insurance and added a project labor agreement to the lease agreement.

Five months of negotiations with City Staff, not with the City Council.  Last I checked, it takes a super majority of four to approve a lease of City property.  It’s a shame that the CIH folks didn’t know that otherwise maybe they would have been more prepared for the actual process of working with the City.  I mean, I’ve seen second story additions on private homes take longer than five months, so I’m not really sure if this is supposed to make us feel sympathetic to CIH.

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December 5, 2019

Collaborate and listen

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

And just so we’re also clear on what Trish Spencer’s role on the City Council was, it was not to actually try to get any real policy decisions pushed forward — with the exception of cannabis of course — from the transcript:

Screen Shot 2019-12-05 at 5.36.16 AM

I mean, if anyone had asked anyone that sat on the School Board with Trish Spencer they could have echoed the same sentiment: that Trish Spencer is not collaborative.  So why she wants to return to the City Council to just be someone to gum up the works is beyond me.  But I suppose for some people, that’s the whole point of wanting Trish Spencer on the City Council.  To gum up the works.

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