Playing the Trump card

A heads up to the Alameda voters who made Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft mayor and put John Knox White and Tony Daysog on Council:  Watch carefully how the politicians you voted for handle the fallout from the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury report finding that Council members Jim Oddie and Malia Vella violated the City Charter.

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Posted in City Hall, Firefighters | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Grand Jury speaks; will Alamedans listen?

The report by the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury is out, and its conclusion is unequivocal:  Not only did the Alameda firefighters’ union and its president, Jeff DelBono, engage in “unethical” conduct in endeavoring to get their hand-picked candidate made fire chief, both Councilman Jim Oddie and Councilwoman Malia Vella violated the City Charter by attempting to coerce then City Manager Jill Keimach to go along.

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Posted in City Hall, Firefighters | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The $253.2 million gorilla

Whom can Alamedans count on now to do battle with the gorilla in the basement of City Hall?

That’s what those of us who fear the predations of the gorilla – more formally known as the City’s accrued liability for pensions and other post-employment benefits, mostly for retired firefighters and cops – if left untamed want to know.

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Posted in Budget, City Hall, Pensions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Leaders of the pack

Ever since Councilwoman Malia Vella joined Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Jim Oddie on the dais in 2016, the Council majority (which now includes John Knox White) has been trying to implement the “progressive” legislative agenda in Alameda.

The Council cabal usually has succeeded, but so far its success has had a bit of a “me, too” (and we don’t mean #MeToo) quality, since politicians in other cities have done as much or more.

That will change Tuesday night.

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Posted in City Hall, Housing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fire keeps on burning

On today’s episode of “The Millionaire,” City Finance Director Elena Adair shows up on your doorstep.  She’s carrying a check and an envelope.

The check is for $1.2 million (inflation, you know).

The envelope contains a letter enclosing a resolution signed by Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and every member of Council granting you the authority to decide how to spend the money.

But there’s a catch:  you can use the check only for one of the purposes listed in the letter.  You get four options – the Merry-Go-Round selected the first three; City staff picked the last.

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Memo to the City Manager (Part III)

Today, the Merry-Go-Round concludes our series of columns on the major challenges confronting new City Manager Eric Levitt and his staff in the coming years.

Nobody asked us, but . . . the most difficult task Mr. Levitt may face is finding the right role for our local government to play in remedying the shortage of affordable housing in Alameda.

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Posted in City Hall, Development, Housing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Memo to the City Manager (Part II)

Twenty-two years ago last week, the U.S. Navy left Naval Air Station Alameda, and nearly 18,000 jobs went with it.

Ever since, creating jobs to replace those lost – and generating new employment opportunities for Alameda residents and others – has been one of the primary objectives for developing the 918-acre property now known as Alameda Point.

This goal, however, has not come close to being met, and it doesn’t appear that the City is working on a strategy for meeting it any time soon.  Instead, it is far more likely that the current Council majority soon will decide, if not to abandon the goal of job creation at the Point altogether, at least to minimize it in favor of a policy much more attuned to their predilections:  Building more housing.

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Posted in Alameda Point, City Hall, Development, Housing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments