Letters to the Editor: Mayor should tone down theatrics

Letters to the Editor: Mayor should tone down theatrics

Letters to the Editor

I am proud to call Alameda my new home. However, when attending the January 6 Alameda City Council meeting, I watched in shock as our newly sworn council, led by a mayor who promised “openness” and “transparency,” saw no issue with holding a three-hour discussion on the already approved Del Monte project with no new information available in print, by staff, or by the requestor of the item, Mayor Trish Spencer.

Spencer had no problem holding a hearing on an item she felt important, with a blank page as a staff report. City staff was not at fault. There was simply nothing new to report since council approval on December 16.

With a supermajority against the mayor’s request for rescission of the Del Monte approval, even Spencer couldn’t vote to support her recommendation. She hemmed and hawed through her explanation of why this was a successful meeting: (1) New information gleaned? NO. (2) New voices were heard: NO. She even seemed to place responsibility on Councilmember Tony Daysog for bringing the item forward by saying, “I wanted to give him a chance to have his say!” If he had wanted to say more, wouldn’t he have agendized the item himself?

Mayor Spencer said that she is against meetings that go into the early morning hours and yet, near midnight, not one council member would support Spencer’s recommendation, not even Spencer. What was lost in all this? Half the meeting had to be continued to another time. No problem, says our new mayor, we can start holding meetings on the weekend! Because nothing says transparency like forcing people to attend and pay attention to unnecessary meetings.

What appeared to be retaliation against the council past became a moment of support and vindication. Hopefully a strong lesson was learned. A hundred and twenty votes gets you the mayor’s seat, but it doesn’t mean you have the wind of the community at your back to undo the hard work of hundreds of community members and staff. As one speaker on January 6 said: “You claimed you wanted to unite the community and your first action is to further divide us.”

It’s time for Spencer to tone down the theatrics and start governing on behalf of the 100 percent of the Island she was elected to represent. The council should have equal responsibility for influencing and setting the city’s agenda.

I call upon Mayor Spencer AND the new council to collectively articulate their vision and goals for Alameda for all of us. There are crucial policy decisions yet to be analyzed and discussed requiring strong leadership from our mayor going forward, not the setback witnessed on January 6.

Nik Dehejia

Comments

Submitted by Tom (not verified) on Thu, Jan 15, 2015

Wish the comments in your last paragraph had applied to the previous mayor before the vote on Del Monte and Crab Cove!

Perhaps we can open city hall on Fridays too!

Submitted by nora (not verified) on Thu, Jan 15, 2015

Nik, per your in-council meeting appearance, haven't you only lived in Alameda a few years? To what are you comparing this new council when you speak of theatrics?

Submitted by Li_ (not verified) on Fri, Jan 16, 2015

3 Regular Agenda Item
3-A 2015-1212
Discuss City Council Rules and Procedures for City Council Meetings and the Possibility of Holding a Future City Hall Open House. (Mayor Spencer - 1210)
Attachments:

On 21 Jan, there will be a special meeting of the CC where we will have the chance to learn about the procedures, ordinances, R&Rs of running the city. Many of us who generally don't attend the CC meetings asked for this. Hope to see you all there so we can stop passing around so much misinformation and taking our neighbors to task for things they do/don't do because of R&Rs we don't know.

Submitted by Ariane (not verified) on Fri, Jan 16, 2015

I attended the entire meeting. There were no theatrics by the Mayor and Council. It was a good meeting.

Thanks for your post above Li.