Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 23, 2013

But it won’t do that

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

If you all missed JKW’s comments yesterday about AUSD’s Measure C and what the sort of main talking points were, you can revisit them here.  So given that he shared a copy of those campaign materials with me, the first thing I did was drop all the text into a word cloud generator to pick out the top 50 words that cropped up in relation to the campaign:


Notice, not one of the top 50 words included “Historic” anywhere.

Most of the words refer to basic things like “plumbing”, “electrical”, “air conditioning”, “heating.”


June 7, 2012

Vote no is better than no vote

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

It’s old and tired news already, but yes, that’s right Measure C lost, which means very little for the actual budgeting process since the money collected from Measure C would go toward servicing bonds that would pay for capital improvements.   The big downside of the demise of Measure C is that capital projects which have been on the backburner will continue to remain on the backburner until something catastrophic happens and then the City will have to shift pots of money to find a way to pay for whatever needs fixing with more than just duct tape and custom machined parts.

Going through what the Measure C campaign did wrong would just take too long.  Suffice it to say — as others have written — hopefully John Russo (and I use John Russo as a placeholder for everyone who thinks this is the best way to stabilize and provide predictability in the budget) will learn from this the way that the school parcel tax folks did and come up with something that has some widespread support without seeming kitchen sink-ish and pandering.

On a more exciting note, even though I have to say this “top two” onto the November election thing will take some getting used to.   Vice Mayor Rob Bonta completely owned the Assembly 18 primary on Tuesday night.


June 5, 2012

Take nothing less than the supreme best

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

Well today is the big day for Measure C, I am cautiously optimistic about the outcome because honestly, you never really know until the vote comes down.   I am always surprised in good and bad ways by Alameda voters.

Vote Yes on Measure C if you are actually going to the polls today.   I am not a fan of trying to make time on voting day and so have already cast my ballot by absentee.   While folks will attempt to conflate the sales tax initiative with firefighters and pensions and other hot button topics out there, the major point to remember is that the sales tax will have a very small impact on your Alameda based spending, but has the potential to resonate into a lot of really great projects that will serve Alameda for generations to come.   While Measure C is not a perfect solution to Alameda’s problems, it will enable the City to be more prepared in the future and won’t be surprised by budget busting expenses, like replacing the pools.


June 1, 2012

Somethin’ on some of this realest…um…stuff

So continued from yesterday’s post where during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting  Councilmember Doug deHaan had been called out on his not really offering any concrete solutions position to dealing with what ails Alameda’s budget, where he said that the Council had never “envisioned”  any of the projects identified in Measure C prior to Measure C popping up, and suggested that closing the Grand Street fire station would result in no service delays because the other two main island fire stations could cover it, or if they needed an extra fire station the City could just reopen the one on Alameda Point.

So after denying that the City had ever talked about the projects identified in Measure C prior to their being a Measure C, Doug deHaan backtracks and then contends that the amounts of money that the City attached to those projects were much much less than what is being identified in Measure C as required to build the projects.

Then he goes after the public/private partnerships implying that the private partners will be unable to make good on their portions of the agreement.   What he is really saying because the partnerships have pretty much been identified: Youth Sports, the Swimming Community, and the Alameda Museum will all be unable to fundraise enough to build their portions and that the Swimming Community will be unable to take care of the maintenance of the Aquatic Center.


May 31, 2012

You have no idea what you’re dealin’ with

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

Tuesday night’s City Council meeting on the budget ended up being a discussion on Measure C for the most part.   But here are the big takeaways from the actual budget-y stuff that you should probably be aware of.

The big one is that the Police Department will shut down the City jail and instead outsource jailing to the County.  KTVU news has the story here.  This will result in laying off six civilian employees, but it appears to be a pretty cost effective move given that the Alameda PD will only need to transport folks to downtown Oakland and since the City only averages about two inmates per day that they jail, it makes sense during these tough time.   Councilmember Beverly Johnson was concerned that the county might close the jail that Alameda would be sending its inmates to, but the Police Chief and City Manager John Russo both noted that with the prison realignment from the State, the County will need all the beds open it can spare and all the additional revenue to help fund the mandate to house inmates.


May 30, 2012

Seek and hide

So you all know, and I know that campaign finance reform is not just to limit the amount of money that is spent on elections, but also to improve the disclosure around who is funding who and what.    The problem about insisting on more campaign finance reform is that if groups and candidates can’t follow rules that are currently in place and there are no repercussions for not following the rules in place, what’s the point?

But, you’ll be glad to know that last Thursday was the deadline for the second pre-election filing for the June election.   Preserve Alameda, the group supporting Measure C the sales tax initiative, duly filed their paperwork by the deadline and that document was up on the City Clerk’s database and attached here.  What you’re probably wondering is — like Doug deHaan’s wife — is who are the biggest funders.


May 18, 2012

I’m coming out

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

So, it appears that Doug deHaan has come out —  so to speak — and has fully endorsed a “no” position on Measure C.   Of course this appears to be a big change in his position when he voted for putting Measure C on the ballot.   This ad ran in the paper version of the Alameda Sun yesterday.   As an aside, I hope that Doug deHaan and the anti-Measure C campaign, which I heard is being run by Gretchen Lipow, will be filing all the necessary campaign expenditure reports since both Gretchen Lipow and Doug deHaan have taken the Council majority to task for not moving forward with the Campaign Finance Reform ordinance in the middle of an election season.

I’m just saying, I haven’t noticed an FPPC number on the No on C signs and one would think that folks super concerned about Campaign reform would cross every t and dot every i when it came to being open about disclosures.

Anyway, one of the things that I found interesting about the deHaan piece was something under the “Other Concerns”  about the Public/Private Partnerships.


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”


April 11, 2012

Working both sides

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

So a few weeks ago at the very end of one of the City Council meetings, Councimember Doug deHaan quickly passed out a handout to all the members of the City Council and represented this as his interpretation of Measure C, the sales tax initiative, and the costs associated with each of the items that were referenced in Measure C as proposed.

The document provided by Doug deHaan, I have attached a copy of it here, purports to have extracted the numbers from the March 7 City Council meeting staff report, even though in his introduction before passing it out, he claims that he received the numbers via the March 7 meeting and other “communications.”

For those too lazy to click on the document, it is below and you can click to enlarge:


March 21, 2012

By design

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

Yesterday two Tweeters pointed out how crappy the websites supporting Measure C and against Measure C really are:

But what puts the anti-Measure C website over the top is the graphic that they have been using to dissuade voters from supporting Measure C.   Now, I hadn’t thought about the additional meaning behind the graphic if it was removed from the context, but now it’s really all I can think of when I see the graphic and I have to say I’m a little icked out.  I really hope they don’t intend on putting those on any lawn signs any time soon.


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