C: Post mortem

Congratulations to all the Alamedans who read up on the facts and became informed voters. You took our city back for all Alameda residents!  And protected us from a financial debacle of tremendous proportions. And thank you to the Alameda Sun for having the stones to publish hard-hitting facts that know no political sides, for publishing the truths as the city documents state them. And to the Alameda Journal: you shoulda been agnostic to our politics; shame on you!

Now for the really hard work: get the city leadership and management to properly manage our general fund and prioritize we-the-residents in this fine city.  The multi-millions we would save from proper staffing levels and reduced salaries would easily restore our library and senior center staffing, pave our roads, fix our sidewalks, and start addressing some of the desirable capital improvements.

In looking at this recent election over the backdrop of past elections, I hate to think that this might be true, but is sure looks like two things:

1. Have the fire unions have been getting overpaid overstaffing in exchange for approximately $50,000 per election? Were they promised  much, much more with the passage of Measure C?  Multi-million dollar fire stations, training tower, computer center, and control of our city’s emergency operations center? All of which would further increase already over-staffed staffing levels! The fire unions paid $20,000 to ‘Citizens Preserving Alameda Committee for Measure C’ (source is here), walked the streets for C knocking on doors, and manned phone banks.

2. Did someone tell the understaffed and usually reticent police department to play ball politically?  Is this what it takes to get the city to provide proper police staffing levels to service our city safely? I don’t recall seeing donations from our police unions in past elections. They gave a whopping $28,000 to ‘Citizens Preserving Alameda Committee for Measure C’ (source is here).

Yes, we have overpaid firefighters and police, but we also have some people in positions for which they are unqualified yet they are making the salaries/benefits of someone who is an out-performer/over-qualified.  And we have some city workers in top positions with questionable performances getting reviews that reward them.  And we have had under-performing fire services delivering us significant failures year after year primarily, IMO, due to a lack of performance (outcome) management tied to contemporary (fully updated) performance protocols and procedures. Our GOBs (general operating bulletins) continue to be substandard, incomplete, and inadequate, putting both the fire staff and all residents at unnecessary risk. Having staff unqualified for the position of chief doesn’t really help. Fire Chief D’Orazi seems affable, seems to know fire fighting stuff. But there’s zero in his CV that prepared him to be fire chief for a city of 80,000 residents. As I said, we have staff in some departments who don’t have the CVs for the position or the exorbitant pay. There are many ways for our city leadership and management to adjust staffing levels and salaries in order to properly allocate our money for better & higher uses that will improve our city’s ability to serve us.  Note to the city: laying off the janitor at our senior center is not one of them!

Let’s stay on it, Alameda. We’ve got November ahead of us coming up pretty soon here. Stay informed. Stay engaged. Manage up.


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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