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Re: “Going on the Offensive

This is certainly shaping up to be quite a matter here in my fair island city of Alameda. In the interest of trying to provide a look at this matter from a variety of perspectives, here's what a local, Alameda blog ( https://alamedamgr.wordpress.com/2017/10/2… ) had to say about two specific issues mentioned by Mr. Tavares, on the animal shelter and Alameda Point water quality matter.

From Alameda Merry Go Round, by Robert Sullwold: "The strategy for the defense" (October 20, 2017)

Excerpt: Alameda Point water contamination incident: " 'The City Manager participated in conference calls and was in direct communication with me throughout the incident,' Ms. Ott, who was on the front lines with Interim Public Works Director Liam Garland, told us. (She added, 'I was also in direct and regular communication with the Acting City Manager, the Police Chief, Paul Rolleri.') Likewise, after reiterating his previous praise for the Citys response, Mr. Biggs confirmed to us that 'the absence of the City Manager, who I understand was at an out-of-town meeting, was not a deterrent or caused a delay in any way.' "

Excerpt: Alameda Animal Shelter negotiations: " The final example of Ms. Keimachs purported incompetence cited by Ms. Harris was one not previously mentioned by Mr. Tavares: the 'huge delay in the FAAS decisions,' presumably referring to the negotiations over the renewal of the lease between the City and the Friends of the Alameda Shelter. . . .We wont spend a lot of time on this one, since its not immediately clear what action by Ms. Keimach Ms. Harris was criticizing. We recall that Mayor Trish Spencer publicly complained about the length of time the talks were taking, and that there were some FAAS supporters who suspected staff was dragging its feet in order to get a better deal for the City. But if those suspicions are correct and we are in no position to know; neither is Ms. Harris Ms. Keimach is guilty of being a sharp bargainer not an inept manager."

Posted by Tony Daysog on 10/25/2017 at 9:56 AM

Re: “Letters of the Week: Our Readers Chime in on Last Week's Issue

Ms. Chen: The issue of what makes the folks of West Oakland vulnerable to housing displacement is neither their color nor creed, but rather their choice to be renters not owners. As demand for property in Oakland grows, rents and property prices will all rise. Theres nothing sinister about economics. Learn from it.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 10/25/2017 at 7:36 AM

Re: “Activists Hasten Oakland's Slow-Moving Plans to Permit Homeless Encampments

We need a tough approach to this problem- not allow any tents or encampments anywhere in Oakland. This is a complete hazard for all. Look at the mess near W Grand and MLK. Do you want to live near the "Walking Dead?"

Posted by Garry Ovalbach on 10/24/2017 at 9:51 PM

Re: “A Towering Scam

"Quan, the first Chinese-American woman to be mayor of a major U.S. city" - why does the Express not check the facts before it reprints her self-inflating falsehoods? Quan began by claiming to be the first Asian mayor, man or woman. Then she backed off to first Asian woman mayor. Well, Japanese-American Eunice Sato became the mayor of Long Beach, California in 1980. Did Quan ever narrow her claim again? Cecelia Xie Birge became mayor of Montgomery, N.J. in 2007. Quan kept adding modifiers to be a first. Yeah, maybe the first U.S. mayor to get into an auto accident in a City car while driving and talking on the phone at the same time. She did that on June 8, 2014.

More important, the Express buries the basic shame of the EB-5 program: rich families in China with $500,000 get a U.S. green card. The federal government barely audits whether the required jobs are created. The money is really a purchase of a greased path to U.S. citizenship for their son or daughter or whomever.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 10/24/2017 at 5:37 PM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

Before the 2014 election Daniel Bornstein of the EBT conducted the EBT's endorsement interview. When Mr. Bornstein asked us about our platforms, Ms. Roberts launched into her stump speech about applying the highest CPA professional standards to the Auditor Office. Mr. Bornstein presciently cut her off by saying that all those CPA professional standards and ethics didn't help in the Enron and other auditing scandals.

Those professional standards/ethics of independence and objectivity don't mean diddly without the threat of SEC enforcement actions and shareholder lawsuits against CPA's who fail to audit businesses aggressively and independently. In the government sphere, the only practical threat an elected City Auditor faces is from the voters at re-election time.

Consider removing the City Charter requirement that candidates for City Auditor must be either CPAs or Certified Internal Auditors. (anecdotally one of our prior Auditors got that requirement inserted in the Charter to eliminate potential opponents) Plenty of other city's and states have elected effective Auditors and Treasurers who don't have those professional licenses. Removing those requirements would give voters a wider choice and could generate more voter attention.

Section 403 of the City Charter gives the job description of the broad powers of the City Auditor. https://library.municode.com/ca/oakland/co…

A 2007 City Attorney opinion lays out the very broad investigative power of the CIty Auditor. http://www.oaklandcityattorney.org/PDFS/Op…

In the last twenty years, we've never elected a City Auditor who took full advantage of the powers of their office to scrutinize the operations of our city government.

Posted by Len Raphael on 10/24/2017 at 11:39 AM

Re: “Billy Beane’s Last Fire Sale

Since the late 80's Bash Brothers era, the Oakland A's have defined success as competitiveness, not winning. That had much to do with the ownership having tight pockets and no commitment to Oakland. Beane served his purpose well by delivering a low budget competitive team that teased the fans with an occasional playoff berth, but never could advance to the World Series. Once Lew Wolff bought the team, it got worse as the A's became the farm team for the rest of baseball looking for young talent. The fire sale of Cespedes, Donaldson, Moss and the organizations best prospect (Addison Russell) to the Cubs for 2 average months of John Lester was unacceptable. What made it worse was that Lester ended up back with the Cubs the following year and both he and Russell shared in the Cubs World Series victory. At the same time Donaldson and Cespedes were both candidates for MVP awards in each league. This year again A's fans watched our players now on various teams participate in the playoffs. I am sorry, if it is time to make the commitment to turning the page and committing to success in Oakland, Beane has to go. The A's need a new ballpark, but they also need a new image and organizational theme. That has to be the drafting, development and retention of young talent that can identify with the fans. That is the only way that the fans will fill up the new park, no matter where it is built. Billy Beane is not the guy to make that happen.

Posted by Gary Patton on 10/23/2017 at 7:34 PM

Re: “Activists Hasten Oakland's Slow-Moving Plans to Permit Homeless Encampments

Clarification of my preceding comment:

I enthusiastically support the creation of sanctioned campgrounds ("safe havens") as an alternative to encampments on our streets for the (temporarily or permanently) nomadic local population -- in conjunction with a crash program to build permanent, low-income housing. The point is to remain focused on housing and land-use issues, and not become mired in other (dubious) agendas.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/21/2017 at 5:59 PM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

You can judge a person's character by the way she treats her assistant.

Posted by Holly Harwood on 10/21/2017 at 2:48 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Made False Statements About ICE Raid

The OPD admit they lied to the public. Who will be held accountable? How can we be expected to trust the police after they lie? I was happy to hear the OPD helped stop human sex trafficking. I thought they did something good for once. Guess not.

Posted by Holly Harwood on 10/21/2017 at 2:14 PM

Re: “The Mother and the Officer

I don't understand why there was a cover up. There isn't a jury in the world that would convict a cop for shooting someone in a stolen car with a gun in it, who tried to flee the police. Now there is a cloud over the cops for the rest of their lives, due to the cover up. The victim's mom can't get closure, due to the cover up. And Oakland trusts the people who covered up with our children.

Posted by Holly Harwood on 10/21/2017 at 1:35 PM

Re: “Activists Hasten Oakland's Slow-Moving Plans to Permit Homeless Encampments

40 campers? Are they kidding? The objective should be to get massive numbers of campers off the sidewalks -- where they don't belong (and where there should be Zero Tolerance enforcement of health and safety codes). Ultimately, the goal should be to build massive amounts of low-income housing.

So-called "services"? Lance Caruthers, himself a camper, speaking without the patronizing and politicized (and self-serving!) attitude of social workers, politicians, and "homeless advocates," hits the nail on the head: "'They wanna keep track of our whereabouts.' 24-hour management and controlled access, which will likely involve fences and sign-ins, though no curfews, is infantilizing."

It's also costly, which in turn, limits "safe refuge" to a tiny proportion of the huge population in need of a place to camp, and siphons off precious funds needed to build brick-and mortar housing.

The mentally ill and substance users have long been with us, but this is a HOUSING crisis! "Transition"? Build it, and those in need will come -- and at that point, let them build their OWN lives.

The "services" our citizens need -- housed and unhoused alike -- don't require a social work degree or a paid bureaucracy. On all sides, they're called common decency and mutual respect.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/21/2017 at 10:47 AM

Re: “Activists Hasten Oakland's Slow-Moving Plans to Permit Homeless Encampments

City Council members should each provide their front yards for homeless encampments. And, they should promote the use.

This will, of course, provide more space for the homeless to settle in. The encampments will be as geographically diverse as our council. Perhaps we can even accelerate the immigration from areas less friendly to homeless.

The council members will also be able to personally experience the impact these encampments have on safety, sanitation, and the ability of community merchants to conduct business. It sets an example of leadership to the rest of the community and demonstrates true commitment to "Love Life."

Posted by Michael Good on 10/21/2017 at 8:02 AM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

Dear Fellow Oakland residents,

Ms Roberts has asked her campaign treasurer/assistant city auditor (yes, she appointed her campaign treasurer to be her right hand man) to post the statement below on behalf of her anonymous staff members and it really isnt helping her cause. If this letter was signed, I would be more inclined to believe its contents. As she mentions on her website, Anyone who has ever managed people knows that its not always the right fit and I am sorry they are struggling with the consequences of that. As voting residents of Oakland, we are her managers, and we will not be sorry that she deals with the consequences of her not being a good fit for the position of an elected, ethical City Auditor.

Ms. Roberts - please do us all a favor and dont run for another term.

Posted by Jim Chen on 10/21/2017 at 12:19 AM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

Dear Fellow Oakland residents,

Ms. Roberts has asked her campaign treasurer/assistant city auditor (yes, she appointed her campaign treasurer to be her right hand man) to post the statement below on behalf of her anonymous staff members and it really isnt helping her cause. If this letter was signed, I would be more inclined to believe its contents. As she mentions on her website, Anyone who has ever managed people knows that its not always the right fit and I am sorry they are struggling with the consequences of that. As voting residents of Oakland, we are her managers, and we will not be sorry that she deals with the consequences of her not being a good fit for the position of an elected, ethical City Auditor.

Ms. Roberts - please do us all a favor and dont run for another term.

Posted by Jim Chen on 10/21/2017 at 12:16 AM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

This letter reflects the opinion of our active staff members at the Office of the Oakland City Auditor.

We feel compelled to respond to the recent article released about City Auditor, Brenda Roberts, as it does not accurately portray her management style, is one-sided, and relies heavily on allegations Brenda was absolved of. Simply put, we do not recognize the woman portrayed in this article.

We know Brenda to be a professional, caring, intelligent, passionate and compassionate leader. She ensures her staff is well trained, intellectually challenged, and cares about our career trajectories, and overall well-being.

It is a pleasure to work with her. She cares deeply about serving Oakland and makes certain we feel a sense of pride and ownership around our work and audits. She offers guidance and support and encourages us to attend trainings to boost our crucial audit skills required to ensure the City of Oakland runs more efficiently.

Brenda embraces the celebration of milestones (such as the release of audits, birthdays, newly hired team members, etc.) and develops relationships with other departments so we arent working in silos, disconnected from the larger workings of the City.

She also NEVER stops working. Whether she is out in the community at Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council meetings, responding to Whistleblower complaints, attending City Council meetings, or guiding us through audits, her strong work ethic infuses our work. We have produced a total of 10 audits since Brenda took office in 2015. Another 4 audits in OFD, OPD, Public Works and the Public Ethics Commission will be released soon.

Housing, of course, is one of the top issues facing Oakland and our Rent Adjustment Program audit was pivotal in bringing about significant changes to Oaklands housing and rental program. We are proud our Rent Adjustment Program audit was recognized with a Knighton Award and will positively impact Oaklands response to the housing crisis.

Currently, our team is united, thriving and gaining traction. We are honored that Brenda is at the helm of our office and feel lucky to be working and growing with her.

We look forward to engaging in the important work ahead of us, and most importantly, serving this City we all care so deeply about.

Respectfully,
The Office of the City Auditor

Posted by Carlos Hickerson on 10/19/2017 at 3:41 PM

Re: “The Mother and the Officer

Under lawful CIRCUMSTANCES & EVENTS Police must have equipment to 'detain' motor vehicles just as Police 'detain' persons in handcuffs.

Posted by Peter Quinn on 10/19/2017 at 7:17 AM

Re: “The Mother and the Officer

So two officers went up to a car, the occupants tried to run, appeared to be fighting, and had a gun in sight. What are the officers supposed to do? Apologize and let them go?

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/19/2017 at 7:14 AM

Re: “Activists Hasten Oakland's Slow-Moving Plans to Permit Homeless Encampments

The City of Oakland is a criminal enterprise!
https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateFraudOr…
Regards,
Allen Sanford

Posted by Allen Sanford on 10/19/2017 at 7:05 AM

Re: “East Bay Homeless Campers Accuse Caltrans of Illegally Confiscating and Destroying Valuable Property — and Even Family Heirlooms

BRUCE AND REBECCA

ON MY MIND TODAY IS THE FACT THAT CALTRANS WORKERS CAME TODAY A DAY EARLIER THAN USUAL ...,
AND WHAT BOTHERS ME THE MOST IS HOW THEY TORE OUR HOUSE CAMP TENT UP AND MADE A BIGGER MESS THAN WAS THERE TO START WITH ALSO THE FACT THAT THEY PICKED AND CHOOSE WHAT THEY TOOK .
AMONG THE THINGS THEY TOOK WERE OUR FOOD LOCKERS , ALL OF OUR CLEAN LAUNDRY AND CLOTHES , MY WEAPONS 3 LONG GUNS , 6 LAPTOPS , OUR SOLAR PANELS , HONDA GENERATOR , BATTERY CHARGER , WIRE FEED WELDER AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS TOOLS , AND THINGS I'M SURE WE WILL FIGURE OUT LATER AS WE REALIZE THAT THEY TOOK THEM,
THEY DESTROYED THREE TENTS AND MADE A HUGE MESS THAT LOOKS WORSE THEN ANYTHING WE EVER HAD , WE MAKE A POINT OF OUR CAMP BEING CLEAN AND NEAT AT ALL TIMES AND THAT OUR TRASH IS HAULED OFF ON A REGULAR BASIS FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT OUR CAMP IS HIGH VISIBILITY TO THE PUBLIC AND EVEN THOUGH WE ARE HOMELESS WE STILL RESPECT OUR LIVING SPACE AND THOSE THAT HAVE TO SEE IT , BEING HOMELESS IS NOT AN EXCUSE TO LIVE LIKE A SLOB , AND WE DON'T..............
THEY DID LEAVE SEVERAL ORANGE TRASH BAGS OF TRASH THAT WE HAD PICKED UP FROM AROUND THE AREA THAT WE STAY THAT CAME FROM THE PUBLIC THAT EXITS THE FREEWAY NEAR US AND FEELS IT'S ALRIGHT TO THROUGH THEIR TRASH OUT THE WINDOWS OF THEIR CARS AS THEY PHONE IN COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE HOMELESS THAT ARE JUST TRYING TO STAY UNDER THE RADAR OF THE PUBLIC HIT SQUAD THAT THEMSELVES ARE ONLY MISSING 1 PAYCHECK AWAY FROM JOINING US.
ALSO THEY TOOK OUR BED CLEAN BEDDING, SLEEPING BAGS. NOW I'M SURE THEY HAD A GOOD IDEA OF WHAT THE WEATHER WAS GOING TO BE LIKE TONIGHT, AND AS YOU CAN TELL IT'S TRYING TO RAIN AND IS CONSIDERABLY COLDER TONIGHT THAN IT HAS BEEN ,
I HAVE TO GO NOW AND FIGURE OUT HOW I'M GOING TO KEEP MY LOVE REBECCA AND I WARM TONIGHT..

Posted by Bruce Nix on 10/19/2017 at 12:34 AM

Re: “The Mother and the Officer

Once again Darwin Bond Graham shows his bias in reporting and does not paint the full picture. Bellusa was fired from the Oakland Police Department. Sarna had issues, but he was about to eliminate the sergeants position that Bellusa was occupying. As far as Jordan, he should keep his mouth shut. He was the worse chief in Oakland Police Department history. He was Quan's puppet and yes man. How can he say he wanted the internal affairs case, but let a Sarna take over. Is that leadership? No, as chief he was also in charge of the criminal case, but did nothing to ensure it was conducted properly. Jordan had a history of burying his head in the sand when it comes to criminal investigations and pointing the finger at others. Jordan is quick to offer his opinion when a reporter puts a mic or notepad in his face, but lets be real Jordan was "fired" as well from OPD and has an ax to grind. Jordan left on a medical for no heart or spine? I see now he also has no brain.

Posted by Daffy_Duck on 10/18/2017 at 8:20 PM

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