Bashing Measure A

In anticipation of the “public forum” on Measure A at the January 13 Planning Board meeting, the City has posted on its website a paper written by Planning, Building and Transportation Director Andrew Thomas that he describes as an “evaluation” of the Charter provision (Article XXVI) banning multi-family housing and limiting residential density.

But the paper is hardly a neutral evaluation of the topic.  Indeed, Mr. Thomas finds nothing good at all to say about Measure A – and a lot to say about the multitude of evils he contends it has produced.  The theme is stated right at the outset:  “Article 26,” he writes, “continues to impede the community’s efforts to address local housing, transportation, and environmental problems facing the Alameda community in 2020.”

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Posted in City Hall, Development, Housing | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Let the sun shine in

For months, the Alameda City Council didn’t tell the public anything about the efforts by two of its members, Malia Vella and Jim Oddie, to get the City to pay the bills rendered by the law firms they retained to defend them against the charge – later sustained by the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury – that they had violated the City Charter by attempting to influence the selection of the next fire chief.

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What’s on the tape

Fans of the long-running political farce, “The Bully and His Henchmen,” got the opportunity this week to listen to both the national and the local editions of the show.

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

The end of Measure A?

Ever since July 2012, when Council adopted what it called the “multi-family overlay” and slapped it on 12 separate parcels designated for residential development around town, the Merry-Go-Round has been sounding the death knell for Measure A, the provision in the City Charter prohibiting multi-family housing and limiting residential density in Alameda.

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Posted in City Hall, Development, Housing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The John and Jim show

Cynics that we are, when we first read that Vice Mayor John Knox White and Councilman Jim Oddie were going to put on a “town hall” about gun violence (which Mr. Oddie voguishly described as a “serious public health crisis”) on October 14, we immediately wondered whether the two Council members were engaging in anything more than an exercise in self-promotion.

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How do you get to Carnegie (Innovation) Hall?

For any private entity offering to lease City-owned land or buildings and renovate the property at its own expense, our pro-labor City Council has a message:  If you want a deal with the City, you’ve got to take care of the construction trades unions.

It happened in 2016, and it’s happening again now.

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Vella to City: check, please

Councilwoman Malia Vella and her backers would like Alamedans to believe that her unsuccessful defense against the charge that she illegally sought to influence the selection of a new fire chief has forced her to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees out of her own pocket.

But it isn’t so:  her re-election campaign committee, using primarily contributions from organized labor, and the City of Alameda, taking money out of the General Fund, already have paid about $60,000 of the $110,000 in legal bills Ms. Vella racked up through April.  How much, if any, of her own funds she has spent for her defense is unknown.

And next Tuesday, it appears, Ms. Vella will ask her colleagues on Council to get the City to pick up whatever balance remains owing to her lawyers and to reimburse her re-election campaign committee (and, perhaps, herself) for amounts previously paid.

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Posted in City Hall, Firefighters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments