Shortly after the Alameda County Registrar of Voters announced the latest vote count in the Alameda Mayoral race last night, five bells rang on the Merry-Go-Round’s wire service machine, and the following story appeared:
ALAMEDA — It appears that sufficient votes now have been counted to make Trish Spencer the next Mayor of Alameda.
The tally released Sunday evening gave Ms. Spencer 10,243 votes to 10,116 votes for incumbent Mayor Marie Gilmore. Although it is not known how many, if any, Alameda votes remain to be counted, the 127-vote margin seems insurmountable.
Mayor Gilmore did not respond to an email request seeking her reaction to the latest count. Sources close to the Gilmore campaign said the Mayor was closeted with her speechwriter, Assistant City Manager Alex Nguyen, working on how to spin a defeat as vindication of her “vision” for the community.
City Manager John Russo refused to concede that Ms. Gilmore had lost. “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die,” Mr. Russo said when reached at the home of newly elected Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.
Nevertheless, the City Manager announced that Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor would be performed from the steps of City Hall Monday afternoon. The Whiffenpoofs, the college singing group of which he was a member, will serve as the chorus; Mr. Russo himself will sing the tenor part.
Reactions from Gilmore supporters varied widely.
Planning Board member John Knox White was seen loading his bicycle with household goods. Asked about his plans, Mr. Knox White said he was “heading home” to Mercer Island, Washington. “They’ve got a very robust TDM plan there,” he said. “I should know. I wrote it.”
Former IAFF Local 689 president and current fire chief Mike D’Orazi issued a warning to Alamedans about leaving empty pots on their stoves. “With this new administration, I can’t promise we’ll be able to send three fire companies to turn off the burner,” the Chief said.
His colleague, current union boss Jeff DelBono, irately denied suggestions that the firefighters had not provided adequate support to the Gilmore campaign. “I can’t ask my guys to drive in from Walnut Creek and Danville to man the phone banks every day,” he said. “Why couldn’t Chris Seiwald get some of those software geeks to lend Marie a hand?”
Councilwoman Lena Tam, who was trounced for a seat on the BART board after being termed out on Council, was despondent. “Marie promised me a job at City Hall if I didn’t make the BART board,” she said. “Now what I am going to do? Become a shop steward for the AFSCME?”
Ms. Spencer herself, asked if she had any comment on the results, responded: “No!!!”
Note that Fire Chief D’Orazi retired two days ago (as posted by Tam on her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marie.gilmore.14?fref=ts). Curious timing for a retired fire staffer hired by city manager Russo with Mayor Gilmore’s approval and whose resume showed he was fully unqualified to be a fire chief at all and anywhere let alone for a city of 65K+ people. It just gets curiouser and curiouser … D’Orazi’s pension, no doubt, is substantively higher now have been fire management for several years (instead of his prior pension for fire staff).
I love your satire and comment on the election!!
Check this web site below to see how much our Firemen/Firewomen and City Staff are “over”paid…..
Thanks for your fine journalism and exposure to the reality of Fire Union excessive control of former elections…….
Keep up the good work.
Fire Services Retirement Benefits Thoughts:
From The Alamedan….
I don’t have any info on Chief D”Orazi on way or the other.
And I wish him well in his new retirement.
Also, I appreciate the emergency service workers of our city including Fire and Police and am glad they are here when we need them, just like the garbage men/women, Alameda Power and Light worker crews, Alameda Public works field workers and all City workers etc etc.
Firemen/Firewomen are paid to extract us from the clutches of death and that is as laudable a profession as they come. Sure they do other tasks but, I’m just sure we need not pay them as much we currently do.
There are lots of problems with how much our city and most california cities pay for emergency services especially the excessive and unsustainable salaries and benefits now paid to most Firemen/Firewomen especially in the Bay Area.
Linked below is access to database of 2012 City of Alameda Salaries and Benefits paid to Alameda City employees. A stunning 1943 persons on the payroll that year. Just scan thru the amounts paid and benefits received for a work week for which most workers are employed only four days a week for the City Offices are closed on Fridays. Im sure most Alamedan’s don’t come close to most of these police, fire and administrative staff salaries.
Chief D’Orazi received a 2012 base pay of $181,587.77 and with benefits an amount of $265,740.19.
Yearly CALPERS Retirement for Firemen is calculated at (3%/year employed x highest salary). Thus D’Orazi from my calculations using year 2012 and based only on Base salary are the following:
3%/year employed x 26 years x $181,587.77/year 2012 = $141,638.46/year in retirement.
So the Chief will likely be paid at least $141,638.46/ year for the rest of his life including yearly cost of living adjustments with medical benefits too. Paid for mostly by your and my taxes! Not a bad retirement package.
No wonder the (Fire Union) IAFF Local 689 works to control (and has controlled) many elections in this town. They have built the most powerful and well funded union political power here in Alameda.
WHY? Because the City Council votes on their city employment contracts and underwrites a significant portion of their retirement benefits.
When Firemen/Firewomen (IAFF Local 689) have enough BBQ’s, Pancake Breakfasts, Pumpkin give aways and underwrite the campaign costs of the mayor and most city council members they have in the past had a winning team to extend and ensure their pay and benefits….except it did not work this year as we voted out Stewart Chen and voted in a candidate which took no money from unions or developers.
If our current mayor (Gilmore) is ousted (should know later this week) we will have replaced two of the IAFF Local 689 controlled City council members with those not beholden to them.
Hopefully Matarrese and Spencer will be able to input reason and control to keep the city out of bankruptcy created mostly by the 75-80% of the budget for the city which goes to Police and Fire!!!
Well it is all over….Gilmore conceded on the steps of the City Hall at 11:00 am today!!!
Robert your predictions were made real! Now on to the dias and the fun to see Russo and the new Council….
I am sure you will have a lot to write about this victory for Trisch and Frank.
Keep up the good work..
It’s not over. Rather than defer to the incoming mayor and vice-mayor, Gilmore & Company intend to vote on the ENA (Exclusive Negotiating Agreement) with Alameda Point Partners this coming Tuesday. City management & leadership and developers & capital partners all need to be put on notice that Agenda Item 6-D should be removed from the Tuesday, 11/18, Alameda City Council Meeting Agenda: http://notoz.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/do-something/