Opposite Day.

Tuesday night, Gilmore showed her true colors. Again. It’s interesting how well-prepared the GilBonTam are when their favorite past times are on the agenda (contracts that benefit their benefactors). She demonstrated another well-orchestrated offensive towards anyone who might question the integrity and intentions of the GilBonTamJo contracts with our public safety unions.

But Mr. DeHaan apparently had the audacity to speak up and do that thing, you know, they all were elected to do: speak up for us, represent the residents of Alameda? And Gilmore would have none of it (hilarious). She lost it, unable to maintain meeting decorum, she went off on Mr. DeHaan, shut down the discussion, and quickly moved to the vote that she knew she had the majority for.

Gilmore: seriously?!  Behaving that rudely in your private life is your own business, but on OUR city dais in OUR city hall to a fellow elected official? Well! We do not accept you behaving that way. That was poorer form than even I could have expected from you. And I have a pretty low regard for your abilities to manage a meeting, keep your hands still, and speak well in public.

And Gilmore’s “unclear” why DeHaan is “arguing”. HELLO?! I’m sorry, that’s what I expect to happen in a public forum grappling with critical issues, don’t you?  ….. Rational, transparent, argumentation undertaken in a tone of civil discourse to fully and earnestly suss out every angle of an issue, big or small. And this is a big complicated issue. It deserves discussion and argumentation. A lot of it, actually. Yet Gilmore has a problem with this?!  And she does not have a problem with her own rude outburst on the dais?  WTF?

Red Flag #1: Gilmore puts the union contracts on the Consent Calendar, indicating no discussion is required, needed, or otherwise desired. Huh?

Red Flag #2: Irrational, inappropriate outbursts displaying frustration that things are not going her way (immature much?)…she’s actually being forced to hear more than one side of the discussion…in public. This is not a picture of someone with the leadership skills that can serve us well. It’s a picture of someone with limited capabilities (self-restraint and otherwise) and who has agendas. (Who voted for this woman anyway?! Yawl ought to be drawn and quartered. THAT said, she’s who got elected so we must—old school style please—work with her respectfully. That doesn’t mean we have to tolerate or believe the bullshit. And it doesn’t mean we let her shut us down: we must continue being actively engaged in the discussions that are important to have whether she likes it or not.  And: Go Doug!)

Translation of Tam-speak: our elected representatives are behaving in fear of what the staff and unions will do if we don’t give the unions what they want in their contracts. And Johnson thinks residents should exhibit more trust towards the Mayor and City Council in the process moving forward….HUH? What on earth makes her think trusting them further in this process makes sense? Hey, maybe they’ll get more money from the Alameda Firefighters PAC…is that what she’s talking about? Now THAT’s something we can trust to happen.

BevJo must have missed this quote from an early blogpost:  “What may begin as a temporary method to circumvent reasoned discussion and debate for the sake of a prized political goal may very well end up permanently undermining the trust required for its existence.” – Jason Stanley

As Bonta has said: they got to a contract with the firefighters (FFs) in 6 months, record time. Gee, I wonder why….maybe because—unlike ICM Gallant last year who was actively pushing the negotiator to get concessions [uhuh, there was good reason the contract was taking so much time…]—-they did not negotiate any real concessions from the firefighters this year. Now that would certainly speed things along, right? SPIN: Giving the firefighters everything they want = we did our job well. NOT. (Kind of like the spin Bonta spun at the healthcare district: his financial savvy + substandard medical services = a win-win for the hospital and Alameda residents. NOT.)

Tuesday night, everyone speaking from the dais–except Doug—sounded like they were speaking on Opposite Day.

And WTF? Why is the Mayor so involved in the actual negotiations? That’s the city manager’s job. Oh right, we didn’t have a qualified city manager for the first half of this year while these negotiations were taking place….Gilmore’s been Acting Higher Rank. (rotflmao—laughing at my own joke here….) She’s not supposed to do that. She’s supposed to provide leadership, guide the city management in our near and longterm goals, and she’s decidedly NOT supposed to micromanage the day to day decisions.  Opposite Day lasts way longer than one day around here.

Doug was right on: displaying prudent judgement…. accurately, ethically, morally and civilly representing many of us last night on the dais, bringing up out very real concerns. Shutting him down was not only the height of impropriety, but it was yet another action meant to disenfranshise the public.

Tuesday night’s majority was making every effort to continue the silencing.

We won’t be silenced. We are gravely concerned….with good reasons.

We are gravely concerned that the big “groundbreaking” wins—in the public service contracts that protect current employees (political payback) from any pay & benefits concessions and gain concessions only from future employees—are going to do our city in. Well, that and the exorbitant, concealed costs of the multiple lawsuits against the city that the Friends of SunCal and the firefighters have generated so much cause for…

Like other cities we need realtime and neartime cuts to present costs…

What Corinne Lambden wrote about our financial condition (below) this past April still holds true:

To the Editor of the Alameda Sun:

At the April 5 meeting of the Alameda City Council I spoke to the council, stressing the necessity of appointing a city manager with a sound background in finances.

Alameda is presently at a pivotal point, when any wrong-headed decisions by our city leaders will (not might, but will) lead our lovely city perilously close to, if not into, bankruptcy.

In spite of Mayor Gilmore’s protestations, the information presented jointly by City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy and City Auditor Kevin Kearney, presents an accurate snapshot of the current state of Alameda’s finances, and like it or not, we must face up to reality.

Unless some hard and deep cuts are made to present (and future) levels of spending, Alameda will sink under its burden of commitments and will follow Vallejo into bankruptcy court.

These projections are not pie-in-the-sky figments of imagination; already the bond markets have flagged Alameda, along with Hercules, as municipalities with a strong likelihood of financial failure.

It is therefore essential that we have at our helm a city manager who understands the implications of Alameda’s economic difficulties, and has the wherewithal to take necessary steps to restore the city’s financial soundness.

Again I urge the city council, in the strongest possible terms, to act responsibly, to remember that Alameda’s charter dictates that the city manager position is one of strength, and to acknowledge that we need a city manager who can take unpalatable positions to ensure the future solvency and survival of the Alameda we all know and appreciate.

I also encourage Alameda’s residents to take time to educate themselves on the budgetary issues that face the city and to advocate for a financially savvy city manager.

Don’t forget that this is your city too and if you don’t want to see decisions about the direction of Alameda being made by a bankruptcy judge rather than an elected council, you must let the council know without delay that you have a voice and want to be heard.

— Corinne Lambden”


About Denise Lai

Alive. Swim (fly is the best). Walking with my dog (weims are the best). Life is good. Would prefer people understood negative externalities and prevented themselves from creating them. Feeling the love anyway. View all posts by Denise Lai

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