Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 19, 2014

Appoint taken

Filed under: Alameda, Election, School — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

Commenter “Election Aftermath” keeps reminding us that with the election of Trish Spencer there will be a vacant seat on the School Board.  And, as Niel Tam is very ill and I’m not sure if he is necessarily interested in returning, there might be two instead of one vacant seat to be filled the question becomes how should the School Board move forward will filling that seat.

There are two ways the School Board could approach it: 1) appointment or 2) hold a special election.  The downside of an appointment is that it will fill seats with two years remaining left on its term and, well, as suggested by Election Aftermath, not allow voters to weigh in on 1/5 or perhaps even 2/5s of the make-up of the School Board.  The upside of an appointment in that it gets warm bodies into those seats immediately when the School Board needs some warm bodies.

The upside of a special election is that it gets into those seats someone who — ostensibly — matches the “will of the voters”.  The downside is that it will be costly and those seats will go unfulfilled until the election.

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November 18, 2014

Set the tone

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Development, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Tonight will be an interesting first test of what sort of Mayor Trish Spencer will actually be and how she will set the tone for her administration moving forward.  First, there is the priority conflict of which meeting to attend.  The School Board is having its meeting at the same time as the City Council.  Both have extremely important topics to tackle, and technically, Trish Spencer’s commitment is still to the School Board where she still holds a seat.

What’s on the School Board’s agenda includes a closed session discussion of the hiring process for a permanent superintendent, the “sunshining” of AEA bargaining agreement, discussion of infrastructure projects, and how to move forward with the high school discussion.   These are all pretty important agenda items which I can’t imagine that Trish Spencer wouldn’t want to weigh in on at the very end.

However, on the City Council’s agenda is the big ticket item of a possible vote to open an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with Alameda Point Partners for Alameda Point.  As I suggested, it would be best for this existing City Council to wait on this issue and allow the new City Council to make the decision because otherwise it might waste additional time and some people may feel knee jerk against this particular developer if they were “blessed” by a City Council they didn’t agree with.

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November 17, 2014

I will wait for you

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, Business, City Council, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

So some folks have been angrily posting about the agenda for the City Council meeting coming up on Tuesday that this “lame duck” Council shouldn’t be able to do anything but twiddle its thumbs between now and when the new Council is sworn in. And while I’m not necessarily going to angrily post about it, I have to say that I agree that relatively new substantive matters that are at the beginning of the process should probably wait until the new Council is seated before taking a vote.

For example, on the City Council agenda for Tuesday is an agenda item to approve an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with one of the pared down finalists for Site A. I’m not going to get bogged down in a substantive discussion on whether the City should or should not start the negotiation process by entering into an ENA with a developer, I’m just saying that as the City is at the beginning of this ENA process, it might be prudent to wait to allow the new City Council time to weigh in on the ENA. That’s all.

Mostly because if the new City Council is going to undo all the work anyway, it simple strings along all the parties unnecessarily.

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November 13, 2014

All eyez on her

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

It’s official, Trish Spencer is now the Mayor of Alameda.  Marie Gilmore took the very very high road yesterday with a graceful concession speech and eliminated any ambiguity by stating that she would not be seeking a recount.

I think that’s the classy thing to do and it allows everyone to move forward instead of delaying the inevitable.

As I mentioned before, Marie Gilmore deserves a lot of thanks for the time that she has dedicated — and probably will continue to dedicate — to this City. It takes a lot of grace and humility as well as the ability to take a lot of flak to sit on that dais.

Video of the concession speech which was recorded and uploaded by former City Council candidate Adam Gillitt. It’s one of the first times that Marie Gilmore has had a chance to define her time in the Mayor’s office in her terms:

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November 12, 2014

Look for the silver lining

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Over the weekend I had a lot of time to think about the election while painting. And not the artsy kind of painting, the wall kind of painting. There’s not a whole lot to do other than listen to music and think.  Before you ask, the color is “soft pumpkin” and that equals orange.

Anyway, I was tossing this comment over in my head:

I suspect that if almost anyone other than Trish had run on Trish’s platform, this election would have been a complete blowout. I think there are a fair number of people like me who just couldn’t vote for Trish because I think she’s nuts. If anyone else (with a few notable exceptions) had run on her platform s/he probably would have gotten my vote. (But I also know a few people who voted for Trish because they think she’ll do less harm at the city level than she does on the school board.)

Because I was thinking more along the lines of “I wonder if others that had mayoral aspirations are kicking themselves for ceding the battle against Marie Gilmore to Trish Spencer.”  Like a Doug deHaan or even a Frank Matarrese.  I wonder if they look at Trish Spencer’s win as a missed opportunity because of the sentiment stated above.

But here’s the thing: I think this win had to be Trish Spencer’s because she is forever underestimated from the view point of traditional political candidates.

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November 10, 2014

I have an opinion

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

On Friday I was reading the comments section on another Alameda site and on it the host indicated in the comments section that there was a question on whether — if Trish Spencer wins the Mayor’s race — she would be required to resign from her School Board seat.  The definitive answer was not given as to whether or not she would have to, just this vague reference to “questions.

This came up in the comments section previously and a commenter cut and pasted a blurb from the FPPC wesbite that says there are no explicit laws that prevent someone from holding two public positions simultaneously.  But, of course, we all know that there is always a loaded “but…” following such a vague general statement.  And further down the FPPC noted that there was the doctrine of incompatible offices, but that they didn’t have anything to do with that determination, so go ask the Attorney General’s office.

As a result someone did ask Trish Spencer explicitly and the commenter dutifully reported back that she nodded affirmatively that she would resign from the School Board if elected as Mayor.  So I’m not sure why this vagueness about whether she would or would not be required to resign.

So rather than continue to speculate, I searched on the Attorney General’s website for the information.

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November 5, 2014

C’mon son.

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

Just between you and me, about three months, maybe four months ago I was seriously considering just ending this blog.  Things were a little quiet, I was pretty happy with the direction the City was going in.  It’s like all of those angry girl rock stars like Alanis Morrisette and Shirley Manson from Garbage, once they sang out all their complaints and issues, they sort of ran out of things to say.  I sort of felt like that.

But now…

I mean.

W.

T.

F.

People.

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November 4, 2014

Who run the world?

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Beyonce knows!

A few races I’m watching closely.  The Alameda mayoral one, of course.  We have an interesting situation where both candidates are females, a match-up that hasn’t existed in Alameda in probably ever.

The other must watch race is the Oakland mayoral election.  RCV is especially interesting because of how Don Perata, who would have won in a traditional match up four years ago, was edged out by Jean Quan and the anybody but Perata campaign.  This year the front runners are (mostly) female: Jean Quan, Rebecca Kaplan, and Libby Schaaf.  But I’m going to watch because I want to see where Peter Liu ends up.   Did you know he was featured on Jimmy Kimmel?   The full read of his position on the digital divide is pretty hilarious as well.

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November 3, 2014

Brain, Heart, Gut — Election 2014

Filed under: Alameda, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

As usual, I’m going to give out my best Brain, Heart, Gut predictions for this election.  As a reminder, the “Brain” is who you logically believe will win based on actual data and stuff.  “Heart” is who you want to win.  And “Gut” is who you feel will win based on nothing more than the churning of your bowels.

If you want to memorialize your picks in a contest, check out Mike McMahon’s annual contest where the winner will receive nothing more than accolades of being either a really good guesser or the biggest political geek in Alameda.

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October 31, 2014

Change your mind

Filed under: Alameda, City Council, Election — Tags: — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

I have to say that I was always a little surprised of who came out to rally behind Frank Matarrese when he ran for Mayor against Marie Gilmore and Doug deHaan.  However, you didn’t get the full sense of the transition of support for Frank Matarrese until this election.  It’s funny because if you look at the list of people and organizations who donated to the Slate back in 2006, it mirrors the list of supporters for Frank Matarrese today.

It’s so strange to see the transformation of Frank Matarrese from being in the “developer’s pocket” to now the protector of all that is good and righteous.  I don’t know if it reflects more on him as a politician or the people who are rallying around to prop him up that formerly were the ones lobbing stones at him.

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