Sorry, Chip, things aren’t turning around in Alameda quite as you predicted.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson wrote on Dec. 31, “After a tumultuous year in Alameda fraught with infighting, accusations and investigations, look for the East Bay’s Quiet Island to get back to business, and identify a new developer and a new plan to redevelop the city-owned Alameda Naval Air Station. In the last week, City Attorney Teresa Highsmith has announced her departure and interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant was not rehired.”
Actually, what transpired on the Island — and summarized in Chip’s last sentence — is the exact cause of the return of tumultuous times to Alameda. (If only he’d seen it coming ….)
Today, Jan. 6, Alameda Journal staff writer Peter Hegarty and other Alameda news sources are reporting that residents are irate over the City Council’s Dec. 28 closed-door decision to place Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant on paid administrative leave — a move that was approved by Mayor Marier Gilmore and City Councilmembers Rob Bonta and Lena Tam.
“It looks like malfeasance,” resident Denise Lai said at the city council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 4. “What it looks like is disingenuous.”
“Political payback,” former City Council candidate Adam Gillitt called the decision to oust Gallant.
And on Wednesday, Jan. 5, the chairman of the city’s Economic Development Commission — Horst Breuer — resigned, saying he cannot envision working with the mayor and city council after this decision, according to
another report by Hegarty.
Regardless of what adjectives you care to use to describe it, Alameda’s political (and economic) mess continues. Sadly, it’s just the first week of 2011, too.