Be sure to count your (ex)change

True or false:  An affiliate of residential developer Tim Lewis Communities is legally entitled to build 589 new housing units on the site of the former Encinal Terminals along the northern waterfront.

If you answered true, turn to the left, where Mike O’Hara – you know, the guy who plays Santa Claus at Tim Lewis’s Christmas party – is icing down the champagne in anticipation of Council’s pro forma approval next month of his employer’s latest development project.

But if you answered false (or even “I’m not sure”), pull up a chair and keep reading.

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Buy one, get one free

As former Councilman Tony Daysog (among many others) is fond of saying, “Elections have consequences.”

The latest case in point in Alameda involves Mr. Daysog himself.

Now that our elected officials are taking their August recess, the Merry-Go-Round decided to review all of the Council votes in the seven months since Mr. Daysog lost his seat to Malia Vella.  Three conclusions emerged:  with Mr. Daysog out and Ms. Vella in,

  • The disparity among Council members on contested issues has decreased.
  • The authority of the mayor over municipal affairs has diminished.
  • The ability of the unions and pro-renter groups to achieve their agendas has improved.

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Posted in City Council, Development, Firefighters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A design for affordable housing

Here in Alameda, there are two ways to talk about the issue of affordable housing.

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Our own Mitch McConnells

The Merry-Go-Round wasn’t surprised when the leftist/labor Triumvirate now in control of Council – Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Jim Oddie, and Malia Vella – voted down the two Alameda businessmen tapped to fill the open seats on the Planning Board.

After all, both candidates had been nominated by Mayor Trish Spencer.

And neither of them was named John Knox White.

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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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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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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