Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 12, 2015

Victor scrum

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Tonight there is yet another City Council meeting on, what else, the budget.   Can I just say that whoever on City Staff (or maybe it was a consultant firm) that put together the Capital Improvement Program budget presentation did a phenomenal job. It is very impressive and professional looking and really tells a story about the projects that have been completed and those in the pipeline.

But instead of writing about the budget meeting tonight instead I’m going to write about what happened at one of last week’s City Council meetings during Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft’s Council Referral about appointments to regional boards.  What was a bit frustrating about the comments that resulted from the Referral is that it appeared that some of the City Council members wanted to rewrite the narrative as to why Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft placed the referral on the agenda.  Really the whole thing was quite simple, the rationale for placing it on the agenda was two fold:

  1. To align the process of regional appointments with Alameda’s boards and commissions process, meaning that the Mayor would nominate and the City Council would approve.
  2. Ensure that the votes that are taken at these regional boards align with Alameda’s position on these issues and support the work that Alameda has already done.


May 6, 2015

Worst of both worlds

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

I have to say that I am most frustrated by this whole OPEB discussion by Tony Daysog.  (I rewatched the video yesterday if you didn’t get that) If you listen to the discussion and the questioning by Tony Daysog it’s clear that he wanted his comments to seem to support the unions, but in his eventual vote he voted against the unions.  And why?  Because the proposal was not “comprehensive” enough.  Of course, no one ever presented the Russo plan (for ease of typing) as a comprehensive “one size fits all” proposal.  And nothing that Tony Daysog kind of, sort of proposed would have done much to close the gap either.

The whole premise of his support/opposition (because Tony Daysog always wants to try to appease both sides) was that he believed the trust fund proposal to be “under capitalized” which, no duh dude.  Everyone, from staff to the consultant who reviewed it, said that the trust fund would run out of money if nothing else is ever done.

So essentially Tony Daysog’s solution  is to continue doing nothing because the first proposal doesn’t go far enough.  In the end his reasons for voting against the proposal falls short and he ended up alienating public safety for no good reason.

Oh wait, it’s also to give away another something and get nothing back.


May 4, 2015

Rent rise up this morning

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Development, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

It feels like we just had a City Council meeting, oh yeah, we did…

Tomorrow night there’s yet another meeting and then another one on Wednesday night too.  Despite all these back to back meetings that go well into the wee hours of the night it doesn’t seem as though the City Council has the ability to actually complete a full agenda without bumping something to a future meeting.

There will be an agenda item specifically about the rising rents issue so if this is an issue that concerns you, plan to attend.  This is the culmination of work by the stakeholder group, facilitate by Alamedan Jeff Cambra.  One of the main items that there is not consensus on within the stakeholder group is whether or not a certain percentage raise will trigger a review from the Rent Review Advisory Committee.  City Staff has created ordinances to cover both positions and, I guess, at this point it’s up to the deciders to decide.

Here’s the table that would shows the difference between the two:


April 29, 2015

Looking back

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

In preparation for tonight’s meeting where some militant Alameda residents have threatened to come out and speak out to the City Council about the proposed labor MOUs.  They even went so far as to place flyers on cars in residential neighborhoods too… I thought it would helpful to post all of the historic MOUs that have been approved over the years for the labor groups.  Not the managers but the rank and file police and fire department staff.

Many many thanks to the City Clerk and Human Resources office of the City for helping to compile all this information.  Muffin baskets for everyone!


April 22, 2015

Exercise in utility

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

One interesting thing that came up as part of last Wednesday’s City Council meeting, which was sort of a budget workshop (good watching for anyone that was a general overall understanding about the City’s budget) is that one of the items of revenue that the City could be taking is, but is not, is around utility users taxes.

Essentially it was reported last week that the City of Alameda’s ordinances around utility uses is around 20 years old and so it doesn’t take into account some technology, like cellular use, and therefore the City is unable to collect taxes that could go into the General Fund to help bring in some much needed revenue.


April 15, 2015


Filed under: Alameda, Alameda-ish, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

There’s a City Council meeting tomorrow on the Budget, different from the other budget meeting that was discussed at last week’s meeting that caused so much confusion for Mayor Trish Spencer.  Maybe I’ll write about the budget meeting tomorrow, but who knows.

As I mentioned there are some awesome quotes from last week’s meeting from a few City Council members including Jim Oddie who threw some major shade at someone on the City Council who sits around in coffee shops complaining about issues but then doesn’t do much to actually get anything accomplished. I wonder who he was referring to… Anyway, hopefully I can get some video spliced in the next week or so, but no promises.

What I did want to write about was a referral placed on next week’s regular City Council meeting by Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft which may seem very cryptic if you haven’t heard the rumor mill with regard to Alameda’s representatives to regional bodies.


April 7, 2015

A change is gonna come

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

I’ll point out the major difference between the interim City Manager contract with Elizabeth Warmerdam and between our former interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant: no automatic renewal clause.   Tonight, the City Council, which had already voted in Closed Session to offer to current Assistant City Manager Elizabeth Warmerdam the top job while the City Council figures out what to do about the permanent City Manager search, will be voting in public session to approve her contract.  Honestly, between you and me, given how very little business has been done in these first three, now entering into the fourth month, getting all of the City Council members to first agree on a process and then get that process into place and then agree on a singular person to offer the permanent job to, I think Elizabeth Warmerdam might be wearing the title of Interim City Manager for a long long time.  She can probably confidently make herself comfortable in that seat for the long haul.  Maybe get one of those massager bead type chair covers for comfort during those long  meetings.

Salary is $240,000 which sounds pretty standard, she has the option of moving back into her Assistant City Manager role if she so elects to after the appointment of a permanent City Manager.  That’s of course if she doesn’t go ahead and throw her hat in the ring herself for the permanent spot, which makes the case to outsource the City Manager search to head off any claims of bias or favoritism from the jump.

Anyway, congratulations to Elizabeth Warmerdam.  It’s novel to have an Alameda resident in that top seat again.


March 27, 2015

Second class

Filed under: Alameda, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

On Wednesday night apparently the City’s Transportation Commission voted 4-2-1 against the Clement Street bikeway design which would have been a true protected cycle track, which is such a shame.  It was disappointing to hear people who actually use their bicycles a lot advocate against the project as well.

Here’s why protected bike lanes are so important: it makes people who are not confident on bikes feel safer biking.

The Knight Foundation recently funded an organization called 8 – 80 cities which advocates for making public spaces accessible and safe for walking and biking.  The headline, which is extremely relevant to all discussions in Alameda about bicycling: Want to build a bikeable city? Focus on those who don’t bike, highlights:


March 25, 2015

Parked outside

Filed under: Alameda, Public Resources, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Tonight there is a hot agenda item at the Transportation Commission which involved parking around the Harbor Bay Ferry.

Let me lay down a few obvious things, increased ferry ridership is a great thing.  One more rider on the ferry means one less person crossing a bridge.  I assume that person is crossing a bridge because if they lived near the tube they’d be using the other ferry terminal.  The ferry is an amazing way to commute because it’s probably one of the least stressful ways to commute.  There’s almost always a seat and it feels incredibly civilized.

Anyway, there is currently spillover parking into the residential neighborhood which I am both sympathetic but also apathetic to and wonder if that’s even possible.  On one hand, it must suck because apparently the mail people on Harbor Bay are quite aggressive and do not play around if cars block mail boxes, on the other hand, if they are public streets they really are no different than the residential neighborhoods that surround major commercial districts like Park and Webster Streets.


March 23, 2015

WETA workshop

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Development, Public Resources, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Now that WETA actually has a lease with the City of Alameda they can begin presenting designs for public consideration even though some folks thought that WETA should have started the process of presenting designs for a parcel of land they had yet to have control of before they were actually given control of that property.  Most people like to present real designs for consideration if they (1) own the land in questions or (2) have been given some indication, like a lease, by the current property owner — and apparently WETA has that same policy too even though they seem to be getting grief for not being more proactive about having a crap load of community meetings about land they neither owned nor had control over.


Renderings follow:

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