Rob Bonta, Esq.

We always knew that State Assemblyman and former Alameda City Councilman Rob Bonta was a grandstander, but we hoped and expected that, given his education (Yale College, Oxford University, and Yale Law School) and professional experience (law clerk, litigation associate, and San Francisco Deputy City Attorney), he’d still behave like a careful lawyer:  he wouldn’t bandy about accusations of criminal conduct without getting the facts straight or fire off demands for drastic action without getting the law right.

It turns out we were too optimistic.

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Posted in Housing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

AUSD to the rescue?

If you’re one of those hoping that the development approved for Site A at Alameda Point actually will come to pass, you’d better be nice – very nice – to the Alameda Unified School District, because, without AUSD’s assistance, the project might crater before it even gets off the ground.

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Posted in Alameda Point, City Council, Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ms. Spencer’s choice

Mayor Trish Spencer would have good reasons, principled as well as personal, for not reappointing Inner Ringleader John Knox White, whose term expired on June 30, to another four-year stint on the Planning Board.

But if she doesn’t, the Council majority dedicated to defeating the Mayor at every turn may find a way to force her to accept Mr. Knox White’s continued presence on the Board anyway.

For the Mayor, it’ll be:  Heads, they win; tails, I lose.

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Posted in City Council, Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The landlords’ one-two punch

Contrary to what you may have heard or read, Alameda landlords and their allies actually are mounting a two-pronged campaign to overturn Council’s recent 3-2 decision to prohibit so-called “no-cause” evictions.

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Posted in City Council, Housing | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

MX’d message

Those Alamedans who would like to see the City require that every new “mixed-use” development project provide more “workforce” housing and reserve more space for job-creating businesses will have longer to wait – maybe a lot longer.

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Posted in City Council, Development, Housing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Spend away!

Three weeks ago, the Merry-Go-Round reported on City Finance Director Elena Adair’s forecast that, if all of the additional spending proposed for the next two fiscal years were to take place, the “available balance” in the General Fund would drop to next to nothing – specifically, $159,047 – by June 30, 2022.  To put it colloquially, the well was expected to run dry in five years.

But that forecast was made before Council held its May 17 “budget workshop,” where it “gave direction” so that staff could finalize the budget for Fiscal Years 2017-18 and 2018-19.  Now the workshop has been held and direction has been given.  And staff has finalized the budget, which will be presented to Council for approval Tuesday.

The bottom line?  In the proposed final budget, the “available balance” on June 30, 2022, is forecast to be . . . wait for it . . . $685,208.  So the well may not be quite dry, but there won’t be much left to drink.

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Posted in Budget, City Council, Firefighters, Pensions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Identity crisis

It is tempting to see nothing more than political expediency behind the votes by Council members Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Jim Oddie to amend the City’s “rent stabilization” ordinance – passed by Council last March and ratified by the voters last November – to include a ban on “no-cause” evictions.

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Posted in City Council, Housing | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments