What I wrote recently is 100% true: ANY HOPE THAT OUR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT MIGHT LEAD TO BEING HEARD AND CONSIDERED CAN BE TABLED.
Who’s house is it anyway?! City hall. It’s our house right?! Yes. But the way Gilmore behaved last night, you’d think Alamedans are unwanted guests overstaying our welcome!
The meeting video is here. Citizens start weighing in at around 8 minutes…
And all yawl who spoke last night were awesome. AWESOME!
The Kevins totally had everyone’s backs! “There is no future.” Kennedy rocked it first (starting at 56 minutes). Then Kearney brought the house down (starting at 1:05:32)!
Many regular ol’ citizens took considerable time to be well-informed and then to attend the meeting and speak last night. We’ve done our research. Our concerns are well founded. We deserve to be heeded.
Apparently not. In response to all the important public comments, GilBonTam droned on with descriptions about how wonderful they themselves are, ….. what a conscientious job they themselves have done, and how wonderful the environment of mutual respect and trust they had between the firefighters and themselves when crafting the contract (for crafting it was; it cannot be called a negotiation!). That’s nice, isn’t it? NOT. WTF? The city is supposed to manage the AFD and extract from them what WE NEED: lower pay/benefits in this recession and improved performance! Their work on this contract is anything BUT conscientious!
Russo then pretty much told everyone they were stupid. Between his emails last week and his demeanor last night, he’s gained zero credibility with this punitive domination mode he’s chosen to take with us. And then last night, Alan Wang, ABC 7 News, reported that Russo told him that the Zack Investigation will be completed by the end of June 2011. WTF? As far as the public has been told, that investigation has not even begun. And now it will be completed in under ten days?
Alamedans have been through a lot lately. Yet Mayor Gilmore’s tenor last night was to put us through more! Where’s the consideration and kindness that should be shown us, the ones doing the suffering here in Alameda from the AFD performance failures?! And budget issues that really need addressing?! Neither GilBonTam nor Russo showed any consideration of their responsibilities to see to our quality of life, to give a damn about us. We are irrelevant and dispensable: they are having a pleasant time doing their jobs and that’s what matters! And by all indications given last night, we are just mucking that up something terrible for them. Hilarious. And embarrassing. But they are not embarrassed.
Last night was a charade of massive proportions….there was nothing but audacity and arrogance shown us at city hall last night.
No one on the dais addressed the very obvious demands that should be made of the firefighter union: 10% reductions in pay/benefits like other cities, etc. Moreover, the mayor and city council members should be talking about cuts they could be making to the expenses they are responsible for. And city management should be offering a 10% cut in pay/benefits! Other cities are. Why not ours?!
Johnson remained true to form, The Mediator, tipping her hat to residents but voting for the contract anyway. And it looks like DeHaan has finally found his voice. But as the sole vote that actually represents we-the-people, it does us no good.
As someone said last night, this is not government for the people by the people.
FYI / Here’s the local news on last night’s city council meeting:
SF Chronicle‘s Carolyn Jones reporting