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Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

This is a very timely article due to the fact that Oakland lacks transparency, and has struggled with issues of equity for years. Oakland has paid several high profile lawsuits that span wrongful termination to police corruption. Oakland is lucky to have a City Clerk who can sit between the City Council and the City Administrators without being conflicted or controlled. This helps to eliminate bias and improves public trust. When we start allowing City Officials private spaces to meet without someone to keep a record of the actions, we allow obfuscation of the political process. The public is completely in the dark as to their actions, intent, and policy motivations.

Above I read someone speak on the Clerk having a 10th grade education and found that interesting because it sounds like an attempt to insult Ms. Simmons personally and professionally. Boasting a credential or formal education in an attempt to use it as some type of a trump card is an act of immaturity and likely some form of jealousy. I would respond to that by saying John D. Rockefeller, nor Henry Ford had a high school education and became billionaires and both contributed significantly to the world we live in today. Moreover, Rachel Ray, Dave Thomas, Steve Jobs, Madam CJ Walker, Richard Branson, Michael Dell and several other people worked hard and built legacies. None of these people graduated from high school. While I do not reduce the idea of formal education, because I have plenty (AA -2, BA, BS, MSA, PMP), sitting in a classroom collecting credit hours is not the only way to gain vital experience.

I wanted to add that many of the Ivy league schools offer free online classes now. You do not earn credit hours, but you are able to get a command of the educational materials. Doesn't Ms. Simmons have all of the Clerk designations and certifications, project management education, etc? How can someone stay in a job for more than a decade if they are incapable of doing it? Why did I belabor this point so much? I have a problem with people who think they are better than other because they have a formal education and others may not. It is a divide that has history in my community. Ms. Simmons is from my community and is a beacon of light and hope for others.

In a simple math equation, it takes approximately 120 credit hours for someone to earn an undergraduate degree, and an additional 48 to 60 to earn graduate level credentials. When I looked over Ms. Simmons background it appears she has worked approximately 48,000 hours in administrative positions with significant levels of responsibility managing others, processes, dealing with budgets, organizational restructuring, etc. I couldn't ignore that type of experience unless I was simply immature, foolish or suffering from some form of narcissism, deeply arrogant or just having delusions.

Oakland needs to address the lack of affordable housing and jobs for their citizens, get their police in line, and bring some recreation back for their kids. The last thing we need in the city I love and cherish is for our valuable resources to be squandered harassing the clerk and trying to hide actions from Joe and Josette Public. What I find most astounding about this article is that the City of Oakland wants to control whistleblowers and information that should be public and accessible. Ms. Simmons is the perfect person to be at the table because she has the history of the city, is well versed in the rules and processes and has been a staunch advocate for transparency and public access.

Posted by Mason Cooper on 07/23/2016 at 12:25 PM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Man you're literally talking about removing a huge help to that community. I lived near there, im from West Oakland and say this is absolutely bonkers.

Posted by Ronald Tre Brown on 07/22/2016 at 6:19 PM

Re: “City Forcing West Oakland’s Alliance Metals to Close on August 20, But Supporters Argue Recyclers Have No Safety Net

Not mentioning being cited for excepting stolen property makes this bad journalism

Posted by Trevor Latham on 07/22/2016 at 5:29 PM

Re: “Oakland's Culture Clash

Wow. It has gotten bad there. I owed a home in West Oakland from 2005 to 2008. In 2004 the city of Oakland was supposed to help build a People's Co-op Grocery store where the old abandon train station is on Wood St. They didn't do this not because the funds weren't there or that they didn't have a location. The real and honest reason simply is that city officials don't care about the black community. If you live there or move there, help support community gardens, keep calling and writing to the city until they come through with their end of the bargain, and if you can help the schools out by offering to tutor kids that need it for free. It's been over ten years that the city was suppose to build the grocery store. It's time. And if you have a problem with music then don't live there. West Oakland historically was been one of the corner stones for jazz, blues, hip hop, you name it. There are several music studios in West Oakland. That neighborhood has been a black community for many generations and they deserve some respect and some nurturing.

Posted by Cari Geld on 07/22/2016 at 12:37 PM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Jamala Rahim you really need to stop. Looking at your social media page one would think you are still in high school. Just because you read some books and passed some tests doesn't make you smarter than anyone else. It certainly doesn't make you wiser. LaTonda has way more wisdom, character, excellent work ethic and moral values than you will ever have. That's why she was your manager. Kill the bitterness. Maybe you will move up from being the side chick which you consistently boast about on social media to a main chick.. Then you will have the attention you so desperately seek.

Posted by Paul50 on 07/21/2016 at 8:17 PM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Whoever had the courage and vision to share this information with the press, I am grateful. Of course, the news about giving away public land made the city look bad. That's because their actions were illegal & reprehensible. Duh! How stunning that these elected officials have made so many promises to improve transparency at city hall & now they're desperate to find out who's been sharing their embarassing secrets. Perhaps they were talking about switching from waxed paper to clear plastic wrap for their lunches. I hope that in November & other future elections, Oakland voters will not just vote for their old friends again. We so need new officials who will be honest, trustworthy, ethical leaders.

Posted by elisebernstein on 07/21/2016 at 4:15 PM

Re: “Beyond Cap-and-Trade: Many Environmentalists Say California Will Improve Climate Policy If It Reduces Emissions at Source

The issues contained within the present concepts of offsets are just one part of the larger problems created by CO2 emissions.

No matter what the scale of emission reduction is, atmospheric CO2 concentration will not be reduced. Only return to Earth of mineralized carbon can do that. Sequestration of carbon dioxide by regrowth of forests and greater soil organic carbon content will quickly be balanced by ecological releases of CO2.

Interregional and international offsets and traded allowances have been prohibited in several places around the world, and I would endorse their application , especially in places like the Bay Area. National policies might cap total emissions, and distribute them to the county levels and take into account the offsets from a variety of actions in national control targets. But, locally concentrated generation of GHG and other pollutants must, in all justice, remain -or be taken- under control of the local stakeholders.

I work with "Associated Carbon Technologies, Inc" that advocates conversion of biomass to fuels and residual chars, with the mineralized chars returned to soils as "biochar", an agriculturally beneficial soil amendment, with potential financial benefit to the biomass producers and converters from the sale of 'permanent' sequestration offsets.

Posted by Charles Laws on 07/21/2016 at 4:12 PM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Integrity does not come from or with a college degree. Does the word "transparency" have any definition in the city of Oakland?

Posted by PAM DAVIS on 07/21/2016 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Secrets and lies and watermarks. If the Mayor wants to know why her administration looks so bad she has only to look in the mirror.

Posted by Lindsey Urbina on 07/21/2016 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Jamaal,
Please read the City Charter banning the Clerk from closed session is illegal and the Clerk does not under the City Administrator aurhority. The Clerk works for the Council. Council is the only body that can legally hire/fire the City Clerk. The meeting at the City open/closed are Council meetings not administration meeting. The Administrator is simply staff in those meetings. Lastly, just because someone has a degree doesn't make them smart or correct. It appears there is something personal going on between the City Administrator and the City Clerk. It should not however have an impact on the Clerk performing the duties outlined in the Charter.

Posted by THERESA64 on 07/21/2016 at 11:19 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Have a great day Tiffany ....this was fun:)
#kidsplay LOL

Posted by Jamala Rahim on 07/21/2016 at 11:12 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

You have the wrong person. But I see you have nothing of substance left to say so you're resorting to desperate personal attacks. I see why the work was too much for you. I really hope you're done this time. You dumb is showing.

Posted by Tiffany Wheeler on 07/21/2016 at 10:47 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Mrs Wheeler how do you go from being a Day care provider and watching my son for 10 bucks an hour in 2010 to ranking #1 on the Legislative Recorder list with no prior experience? Are you having fun at the DOE, or maybe I have the wrong person.....LOL

Posted by Jamala Rahim on 07/21/2016 at 10:09 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Ok. So be clear. You don't know me. If you did... You would know that you are ill equipped to continue this back and forth. Also, I'm using my real name so, unlike you I'm not hiding behind a pseudonym (fake name).

Now.. When I was hired at the city there was no list for Legislative Recorder. Another young lady and I were brought on as provisional. A test was created. I took it. Placed number 1 on the list and was hired permanently. I'm not sure where you got the information that I want hired over people that placed higher than me. It's simply a lie.

Also, LaTonda disclosed, prior to me being hired as provisional, that we had a prior relationship. It was no secret. There is no bombshell to drop. Everyone who needed to know... Knew. If they found out later it was none of their business to begin with.

To finish clearing up your lie filled post...I'll tell you that my reasons for leaving had nothing to do with the quantity of work. And it's none of anyone's business. I was doing more than my share of work long before I had to run the department by myself. I then continued to run agenda, including Council agenda and minutes, until a few months before I left. I didn't need overtime. I didn't need a ton of help. I just did my job. Everyone was doing multiple things. I didn't worry about what whoever should be doing. I did what needed to be done. I would have gladly gone back. I enjoyed my time at the City, because I did my job and left on excellent terms. So no...you don't understand me. Not at all.

Posted by Tiffany Wheeler on 07/21/2016 at 9:27 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

I know who you are Tiffany. Your that personal friend of LaTonda's before your started working in her department. That she skipped over higher ranking individuals on your RANKING LIST to hire you! That was very unethical of her. FACTS on top of FACTS....

But you dont work their anymore, was doing all of Latonda's work too much for you...lol You you start to realize that doing City Council minutes was the City Clerk's job and not the Legislative Recorders job....I understand your pain👍

Posted by Jamala Rahim on 07/21/2016 at 8:06 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

No, honey...the point you missed is that while the City Administrator banned her. The COUNCIL is voting to bring her back permanently. So I'm not sure what kind of victory you're celebrating. I wrote paragraphs in hopes that you would better understand what's going on. Clearly that didn't work. So I'll be quick. I've now realized who you are and who you're connected to. So since you want some shine, I'll let you know you are a star at the City. People still talk about how you "resigned" (if that's what you want to call it) after offending contractors (that are still afraid to come to the building) and making it so everyone has to take a course in sexual harassment and the appropriate use of City Systems. Thank you for making my work harder and thank you for making me shine brighter. I really hope this exchange is over, because using small words is making me tired.

Posted by Tiffany Wheeler on 07/21/2016 at 7:48 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

No, honey...the point you missed is that while the City Administrator banned her; The COUNCIL is voting to bring her back permanently which the CAO cannot override. So I'm not sure what kind of victory you're celebrating. I wrote paragraphs in hopes that you would better understand what's going on. Clearly that didn't work. So I'll be quick. I've now realized who you are and who you're connected to. So since you want some shine, I'll let you know you are still a star at the City. People still talk about how you "resigned" (if that's what you want to call it) after offending contractors (that are still afraid to come to the building) and making it so everyone has to take a course in sexual harassment and the appropriate use of City Systems. Thank you for making my work harder and thank you for making me shine brighter. I really hope this exchange is over, because using small words is making me tired.

Posted by Tiffany Wheeler on 07/21/2016 at 7:41 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

The City Manager saw it fit to BANNNNNNNN Latonda from Closed Session.

If you have to write paragraphs to defend her work ethic thats longer than her resume and educational accolades....I MISS THE POINT LOL LOL LOL

Posted by Jamala Rahim on 07/21/2016 at 7:24 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Yes, something improper OCCURRED over a year ago, however there is no proof the City Clerk had anything to do with it. If you worked in the City...and in the Clerk's office it shouldn't surprise you that there were leaks. When I was there information was leaked all the time. I guess being fair doesn't matter to you, though. You do hold a grudge ma'am, because you are still providing no facts. I would absolutely fill out a speaker's card on July 26th, however, I don't think it will be necessary as the President of the Council has brought this legislation forward and ONLY council can pass a resolution to release the Clerk of her duties. After reading your last post, it is clear that a college degree does not equate to intelligence so I can see why she intimidates you. She would never make the grammatical, syntax or spelling errors that you did even with her "G.E.D.". I do not hide the fact that I consider her and Mike Munson close friends. That is why it is so personally offensive that you are trying to disparage both of them on this public forum by implying they are not intelligent enough to perform duties that you obviously couldn't manage yourself. Now, in my time at the City I heard nothing but accolades for her work. I DID have to work twice as hard to rebuild the reputation of past Legislative Recorders and even the ACC position as there was apparently some problems in THAT position historically. You hold no grudge, but felt it necessary to make her your profile picture. You hold no grudge, but you want someone that has many achievements and few (if any, failures) during her time in the Clerk's office to resign. Clearly, you don't care about the City of Oakland at all. Either that or you are just as immature as the current administration. If that weren't the case, your personal opinion of her wouldn't matter. You would be able to see past whatever happened more than 5 years ago, as I don't have a clue who you are and I worked there beginning in 2011, and focus on the duties of the Clerk and whether or not she's performed those duties effectively. You can take your petty platitude somewhere else. I don't need you to wish me a blessed day. I've lived a blessed life and will continue to do so.

Posted by Tiffany Wheeler on 07/21/2016 at 6:53 AM

Re: “Survivor, Oakland City Hall: Power Struggle Led to Expulsion of City Clerk from Closed Session

Mrs Wheeler this is a public forum ..its called free speech..lol
....I hold no grudge. Facts are Facts. Something improper accurred in Closed Session over a year ago and the CAO BANNED Latonda from Closed Session!
If she is your close friend, fill out a speaker card on July 26 and tell the City Coucil that her higher education doesnt matter:) And her G.E.D. is suffice.
Have a blessed day because I am💛

Posted by Jamala Rahim on 07/21/2016 at 6:06 AM

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