November 2012

I haven’t written in a while. Why? Because when CM Russo made the decision to offer the permanent fire chief position to D’Orazi, I realized that none of my research, my writings, or my civic participation matter. No amount of critical thinking, evidence, or fact-based discussions matter. If a city manager can place an unqualified retired firefighter at the helm of fire services for a city of 74,000 people without nary a recruitment process, and everyone in this city lets him i.e., no one is alarmed at the outrageous level of risk this puts all of us at or the corruption that it indicates, then this blog is nothing but a total waste of time. As is, apparently, most civic engagement in this city. Thanks goes out (facetiously) to the GilBonTamJo Four and CM Russo for making the residents of Alameda plus our priority and our safety as well as the normative standards in the fire services industry wholly irrelevant.

Moreover, few residents and none of the city leadership/management are alarmed at the financial risk the fire services contracts put us at, or the abnormally high number of fire fighters per capita we have, or the low number of police officers per capita that we have. I don’t have the numbers, but haven’t you noticed? I could be wrong but I used to see them regularly whenever I went out, but I rarely see an APD cruiser anymore, do you?

City leadership is intent on making bad decisions on significant, way too significant, issues and the majority of residents prefer having their heads in the sand and heavily resent having it pulled out even momentarily. Many are rightfully up in arms about the landswap, but seriously?  That’s more important than the risks to our individual, public and environmental safety and health? I think not! Like the hospital and the healthcare district, people would prefer to believe everything is copacetic. I assure you, it is not. The facts are glaring.

I’m tapping out, folks. Why? Because the city leadership and management are entrenched, haughty, deaf, and worse.

That and I actually have productive things that I can do with my time. You  know, the type of activities that actually accomplish something because the people you’re working with make sense and give a damn for all the right reasons? Yeah, that. Actually, anything could be categorized as more productive than being civically engaged in Alameda in 2011.

No amount of civic engagement and dialog is going to do a damn thing here. The only thing that is going to fix Alameda, and I quote another Alamedan here, is to “vote the bastards out”. He was talking about the mayor and city council.

In November 2012, remember: vote the sitting mayor and city council members out. Until then…

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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