Blogging Bayport Alameda

April 12, 2012

Padding the numbers

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

As I mentioned yesterday, the document that has been touted by opponents to Measure C as “official” numbers because they have been “circulated” around City Hall are not official numbers.   And if that wasn’t clear from the lack of adoption from City staff, then it should have been clear at the last City Council meeting on April 3 that the Doug deHaan document was not correct.

You’ll notice after every single time John Russo lists out a new number he says this general quote decrying the numbers that have been “circulated” by the opposition campaign:

“From a document that purports to be a city document but is not, in fact, a city document”


November 3, 2011

Higher appraisal

Quick post because I’m short on time today, the new appraisals have come out for the Mif Albright property and they vary pretty widely.

Just to refresh your memories the initial appraisal of the Mif Albright back in July came in at $9,150,000 to compare the North Loop property was appraised at $8,790,000.


October 24, 2011

Stronger than yesterday

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

I’ve been thinking a fair amount about the criticism leveled at City Manager John Russo in the comments section under this topic.  The portion of the comment that I’ve been rolling over in my head:

Perhaps I’m in error, but the last I heard Alameda is a strong manager city, not a strong mayor, (or council) city. Which means it’s your job to influence and lead the city council, not follow them: “If the Council wishes to go forward with the land exchange, I will implement their vote. If they do not wish to go forward, that’s ok with me too,” makes it sound like you are following the lead of the mayor and council.

Which again continues to perpetuate the myth of the “strong city manager” government that Alameda supposedly is.  The notion sort of mushes the whole idea of a strong mayor vs weak mayor government and the council-manager vs the mayor-council government and turns it into some great big muddy soup where people who are upset with government can turn around and declare the government one thing and say that the current structure somehow is not living up to their expectations.


October 13, 2011

Tuesday’s Council is full of Grijalva

On Tuesday night the City Council received the report from Chief Ruben Grijalva about the Memorial Day incident.   Unsurprisingly there were sort of the usual suspects expressing their unhappiness with the report.   Surprisingly one of the commenters with the most vitriolic statements happens to be related to a sitting City Council member.

But before I get into some video and transcripts of what happened during the City Council meeting, apparently there was some drama before the City Council meeting in the guise of a “press conference.”   According to this early report filed by KTVU news there was “big announcement” from Alameda residents before the City Council meeting on Tuesday night.   Turns out it was an announcement that these Alameda residents led by Adam Gillitt and Denise Lai had…wait for it…wait for it…


September 27, 2011

I have to appraise you like I should, redux

Yesterday, John Knox White posted a very common sense blog about the Mif Albright land swap and why the City needed to apply the brakes on reviewing the new negotiated Memorandum of Agreement with Ron Cowan/Harbor Bay Realty and instead get a second appraisal on the two properties in question.

The original assessment appeared to be based on some assumptions about both properties that one could surmise would lead to one parcel being overvalued and the other undervalued.   Of course with the appraisals completely out of whack, this leaves the city in a disadvantaged negotiating position with Harbor Bay Realty, since the only appraisal available would leave one to believe that the cost of the two are nearly identical.

I know that Golf Commission President, Jane Sullwold, has been all over this issue of the appraisals since they were first released.


September 19, 2011

Busting five knots, wind whipping out my coat

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

File this one under debatable newsworthiness, last Monday or sometime over the last weekend, I’m too lazy to go back and check, David Howard over on the Action Alameda blog posted this about City Manager John Russo’s Facebook status.   To quickly provide some context, apparently John Russo along with the City Council went on a boat tour of the Estuary.

Evidently someone who has access to John Russo’s Facebook status page determined that there was something outrageous about John Russo’s status and quickly sent it to David Howard who also deemed it newsworthy and posted immediately about it.


July 29, 2011

I’m on a boat

Big props to Peter Hegarty over at the Alameda Journal for a really precise Request for Information query, yesterday the Alameda Journal ran this story, highlights:

Alameda city officials were put on notice that a water rescue program was necessary for public safety more than two years before a despondent man drowned himself off Crown Beach while firefighters watched because they said department policy prevented a rescue attempt, public records show.

The warning came in a Feb. 4, 2009 grievance letter filed by a leader of the firefighters union who said the department’s fire boat and water rescue programs were first implemented “due to the inherent risk that comes with providing service for an island community” and that an estimated 2,000 private boats are docked in Alameda.


July 26, 2011

I have to appraise you like I should

Yesterday, I wrote about my concerns about the proposed Mif Albright land swap.  At the City Council meeting, the direction was to negotiate further with Ron Cowan to come up with a better plan.   However, if they are going to be starting from the land appraisals that were done for the two properties then the City is already coming in at a disadvantaged negotiating position.

The City commissioned two appraisals to gauge the potential land value of the Mif Albright site and the North Loop site.   The appraisals generated the following potential values to the two sites:


July 12, 2011

It’s the Ron way

Tonight, there is a special meeting of the City Council to discuss Ron Cowan’s land swap plan for the Mif Albright Golf Course that had been rumored about for years, denied, and then sprung upon the public at another meeting earlier this year.

Here is the packet.  According to the Staff Report, here’s the nutshell of the new proposal:

  • Provide 12. 25 acres of land for public sports fields on the North Loop Road parcels;
  • Work with the North Loop Road Business Association , the Harbor Bay Business Park Association, and companies located near the North Loop Road site to contribute addition funding for construction of the sports facilities so that no public dollars are involved;
  • Work with the property owners in the Harbor Bay Business Park to ensure that maintenance of the sports facilities is included in the work program of the Harbor Bay Business Park Zone of the City s Island City Landscape and Lighting District 8402 and paid for with assessments levied on the properties in the business park;
  • Provide $5 million in cash to the City, which the City can allocate between the Golf Complex and the sports fields as needed , with an assurance that sufficient funding will be made available for the design and building of the new Mif Albright Course;
  • Exchange title to its 12. 25 acres of land for title to the City s existing Mif Albright property; and
  • Develop new homes on the Mif Albright property.

July 8, 2011

A little bit of me and a whole lot of you

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

After the Memorial Day drowning of Raymond Zack, many Alamedans called for an independent investigation/inquiry into the events surrounding that May morning.

When the City of Alameda announced that they had hired former State Fire Marshal and former director of CALFIRE, Ruben Grijalva, to perform an investigation  and present a report probably 95% of the people who cared were relieved that the City was taking this seriously and the other 5% started Googling Ruben Grijalva immediately to show that he was unqualified to perform this task.


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