Alex Gibney: “Most corrupt individuals get away with their crimes by saying ‘trust me’—like the Enron guys, for instance. You act regal and you’re not questioned.”
I published the quote above on December 11, 2010. I published these comments too: “And it was very frustrating to come expecting real facts, real dialog, and get placating feel-good remarks” and “It was meant to disarm and deflect rather than respect us enough to have a real discussion” and “It was political shenanigans, and not the gravitas we deserve”…
On that day, I was talking about the Alameda Healthcare Board. But today, these same words perfectly describe the City Council Meeting last night… and her enablers: those that cheer the Council onward with their repeated calls of “it’s time to move forward!” and are not concerned with whether or not the Council broke our laws. As Carol Gottstein MD (GOT-stine) said last night: the city charter was written in the early 1900’s and was written to be understood by the common wo/man who, relatively speaking, was not that educated or even literate. In fact, her grandfather (Carol is something like a 5th or 6th generation Alamedan) only had an 8th grade education and he never missed a city council meeting. She went further: we do not need attorneys to interpret the document for us, implying: it’s in plain english folks! I’d like to add: People! Can’t you read?!
Yet there are those that don’t want any questions asked. They got what they wanted, They are happy. They want to move forward. I wonder if they will also be happy when this city council behaves illegally again and moves in a direction that they don’t like…..hmmmmmmm…..have they even thought of this? Do they not understand the ramifications here? WHERE is their civic virtue?
WE CANNOT MOVE ON.
Until the City Council explains WHY their actions do not violate the city charter and the Brown Act, until the City Council answers our questions with real answers, we cannot move on. I find it beyond curious that Mayor Gilmore’s supporters don’t find it incredible that she has been unable to provide a legal explanation of how the laws were not violated. Moreover, if Mayor Gilmore had any character at all, she’d go to great lengths to explain fully, to authentically assure us, that her City Council acted undisputedly above the law. She has not.
You know, I recently replaced my 1893 brick foundation with a state-of-the-art rebar and cement foundation with ties and all kinds of whatnot that the city requires so that my house is sturdy enough to survive the vagaries nature might throw at her. And it’s the same with the City Council. Those of you urging the city council to ‘move forward’, are asking all of us to live on a 19th century brick foundation. It’s that rocky. It’s that risky to chose to be ignorant of the facts now and allow the City Council to proceed. You’ve abdicated your civic responsibilities in order to get what you want…in the immediate term. It’s more than an utter failure to do your job as a citizen of Alameda, California, USA. It’s collusion.
Mayor Gilmore led a violation of two very important documents, and she should not have. There simply is no reason to do so, and there is every reason to reverse what was done and proceed properly. If we let dogs lie, if we move forward now, they–as a body—cannot be trusted. Again, I ask her numerous supporters who spoke last night, who like monkeys refuse to consider, refuse to see and hear, the wrongdoing done right before all of our eyes on 12/28/2010 in the City Council meeting and actions: what will you do when the city council violates our laws again but doesn’t move in your preferred direction? Will you cheer them on then? Or will you demand at that time that they act legally? Shame on you! Whether you like or dislike the direction the Council has taken, you should be equally concerned about the validity of the process. There’s been no reasoned or reasonable explanation given. We should all together be gravely concerned. The fact that so many of you are not, is disconcerting at best. Something very wrong is going on here in our local citizenry. What is it? Moreover, why?
I’ll say it again: I did not vote for Gilmore. But if deHaan or Matarrese were sitting front and center, I’d have the same concerns, be writing the same things. I guarantee you, if the December 28, 2010, events and actions are not addressed now, if we ‘move forward’ now, that this same city council will move in a direction that you do not like and will do so against the will of the people because they can. In this new city council’s first meeting, Mayor Gilmore behaved like a petty tyrant, achieving her own goals. Her job is to act in the best interest of the people, of the city—which, if anyone is paying attention, is not what she’s done. The best interest of us would have been a stable transition that doesn’t cost us extra money (lawyer fees, paid non-working city employees). Her job is to make us proud of her particularly when we disagree.
Mayor Gilmore’s job is to fully engage the citizenry across the board in an unabridged process that then, regardless of our individual preferences, everyone can be proud. Then, and only then, should we move forward.