Thursday, May 3, 2018

Thursday’s Briefing: Investigation Shows Alameda Council Member Violated City Charter; Judge Rules Oakland Had Duty to Ensure Safety at Ghost Ship

By Kathleen Richards
Thu, May 3, 2018 at 10:15 AM

click to enlarge Alameda Councilmember Jim Oddie.
  • Alameda Councilmember Jim Oddie.

An independent investigation into allegations by Alameda City Manager Jill Keimach concluded that most of her concerns were unfounded. However, the report did find that Councilmember Jim Oddie violated the city charter when he recommended the firefighters union’s pick for fire chief using city letterhead — but also that Alameda’s city charter is vague and should be revised. (East Bay Express)

An Alameda County judge ruled that Oakland officials had a “mandatory duty” to ensure safety at the Ghost Ship warehouse. The decision leaves the city potentially liable for the deaths of 36 people in the Dec. 2016 fire and the displacement of Ghost Ship tenants. (East Bay Times)

A high-rise at the MacArthur BART station broke ground yesterday. When completed — which is expected in 2020 — the 24-story, 402-unit building will be one of the largest apartment complexes in the city. It will also include 13,000 square feet of commercial space. (SFGate)

Oakland Animal Services director Rebecca Katz announced she’s resigning, citing frustration with the city’s lack of support for the department. In a letter to the city, she said some vacant positions have gone unfilled for years and advocated for more funding. (East Bay Times)

Berkeley residents are being asked to vote on increasing fees and assessments to better maintain and upgrade the city’s streetlights and pipes that funnel stormwater into the bay. If approved, homeowners would pay an additional $34.31 to $51.87 per year, depending on the size of their lots, raising $2.3 million annually. Ballots are due by May 29. (Berkeleyside)

A state auditor says the University of California missed the deadline to address all of the problems related to the discovery last year that the UC president’s office reserved $175 million for preferred projects rather than disclose the money to the public. Failure to meet the deadline jeopardizes millions in funding from the state, but the UCOP says it met the deadline and fully complied with the audit recommendations. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Video released yesterday by federal investigators showed an Air Canada jet came dangerously close to hitting other planes at SFO last July. (SFGate)

Human remains uncovered at a home under construction in Alameda may be Native American. The remains discovered at a home on Mound Street were turned over to the coroner’s bureau, which will investigate their origins. (East Bay Times)

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