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Alameda election returns 6:12 am, the morning after

A glance at this morning’s returns (with all Alameda precincts in, but an unknown number of provisional ballots still to be counted) we’re still seeing the same trends as last night. It looks like newcomers Trish Spencer, Niel Tam and Ron Mooney will take seats on the school board, ousting two incumbents, David Forbes and Janet Gibson. In the city council race, it looks like Doug DeHaan and Marie Gilmore have been returned to office (defeating challengers Tracy Jensen and Justin Harrision). Measure P, the city real estate transfer tax, is at this moment passing by the tiniest of margins, just over 300 votes. You can see all election returns here. Mike McMahon is tracking the school board vote here.

Posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
Under: City Council, Island Life, school board | No Comments »

Alameda election returns 12:44 am

New returns just in. There’s now 37 of 52 precincts reporting. Measure P has an ever-so-slight lead: 10,429 yes votes to 10, 318 no’s. The school board ranking order is still the same (remember the top three candidates will get seats). Right now that’s Niel Tam with 11,392 votes, Trish Spencer with 8,495, and Ron Mooney with 8,238. Janet Gibson has 8,049 votes and David Forbes has 7,346. In the race for city council, Doug DeHaan and Marie Gilmore have tidy leads (DeHann has 10,068 votes and Gilmore has 9,527). Tracy Jensen trails with 7,533 votes while, at this point, Justin Harrison has captured 5,240


And now for your history in the making moment: At 114, the daughter of former slaves votes for Obama.

Posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
Under: City Council, Off-Island Life, Schools | No Comments »

Sunny day: Alameda voting underway

The parent news organization of this blog, the Bay Area News Group, has posted this mid-morning election day round up: Smooth Sailing as voting beings in Bay Area despite vandals in Santa Cruz, malfunction in Antioch. The Bay Area News Group is asking for your thoughts on this election: What was your experience of voting? What do you think this election means? And, for good measure, look for returns from all contests later in the day here. Also check out News Group politics blogger Josh Richman here. [Edited 2:30 pm: Here's an account of today's voting in Alameda County.]

Posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
Under: California, City Council, Island Life, Off-Island Life | No Comments »

The big election day has finally arrived!

Just as they’ve been across the country, voting lines were long this morning at Alameda’s Edison Elementary. [Left: Anna Martin walked over to the polls with daughter Esther. Right: Evan Ackiron with daughter Samantha waiting in line to vote. ] evan voting
mom and daughter votingI’ll have more on the election as the day goes on. If you’re still waffling, I recommend a big no on Prop. 8, which would deny same-sex couples the equal rights that have already been granted them by the California Supreme Court. For school board, I cast my votes for Ron Mooney, David Forbes, and Niel Tam. And here’s some info about the city’s Measure P.

Posted on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
Under: California, City Council, Events, Island Life | No Comments »

Alameda votes, Measure P and more

Lauren Do over at Blogging Bayport has a comprehensive local election page where you can find out more info about the candidates/ballot issues and, too, see who has endorsed whom/what.

People keep asking me about Measure P, the item on the city ballot that would raise Alameda’s property transfer tax. I will be voting for it, mostly because the more I learn about the city budget (not to mention the state’s and the nation’s) the more it becomes clear that, in order to keep things running semi-smoothly, we need to raise more funds. Michele Ellson over at the Island is supporting P, as is Lauren Do, and, too, John Knox White.

Posted on Thursday, October 30th, 2008
Under: California, City Council, Island Life | 2 Comments »

Alameda election survey fun

Over at Stop, Drop and Roll John Knox White has posted a survey on local election results. Will Measure P pass? Who will take a seat on School Board? Will we re-elect the incumbents on City Council? Go try your hand, and see if you can predict the future.

Posted on Wednesday, October 29th, 2008
Under: City Council, Island Life, Schools | No Comments »

Alameda’s Measure P

Measure P, which Alamedans will vote on in a few short weeks, would increase the city’s property transfer tax, the tax paid to the city when a property is bought or sold. Currently the tax is $5.40 per $1,000 property value. Measure P would raise it to $12 per $1,000. Alameda Mayor Beverly Johnson has a pro-P opinion piece in today’s Alameda Journal.

The Mayor’s argument is pretty straight-forward: The city has already been cutting, police and fire costs are two thirds of the city’s budget, and without a cash infusion the city may have to begin trimming those areas nearest and dearest to people’s hearts…in addition to the cuts that have already been made, the maintenance that has already been deferred and the library hours that have already been cut. Those who oppose P have a pretty well-funded campaign against (with chart and graphs and everything).

Back story: Before putting P on the ballot, the city did some polling to see what was most likely to win approval from the voters, and this transfer tax increase is what was seen as most likely to pass. Really, it’s the same old story: if you want services, they must be paid for.

[Ed. note: The Journal also has this editorial about P.]

Posted on Friday, October 17th, 2008
Under: City Council, Island Life, Real Estate | 2 Comments »

October 20: Last day to register to vote

In case you had not noticed, country-wide (and, too, city-wide) we’re gearing up for an election on November 4th. If, for some reason, you’re still not registered to vote, you have until next Monday, October 20th, to do so. Guy Ashley, from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters, sent this how-to/FYI:

Alameda County residents must be citizens, 18 years old and not in prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony to be eligible to register to vote.

Voter registration affidavits are available at the Registrar of Voters office and at libraries, fire stations and post offices. You may also download and complete the registration form on our website.

Completed affidavits must be delivered to the Registrar of Voters Office at 1225 Fallon Street, Room G-1, Oakland, CA 94612 or postmarked by October 20th in order to be valid for this election. Voters can call the Registrar of Voters Office at (510) 272-6973 or (510) 267-8683 to check their voter registration status.

It also sounds like the Registrar of Voters as well is hosting a last-minute sign-people-up-to-vote event. This also from the ROV’s Ashley:

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters office will be holding a special “Midnight Madness’’ voter registration drive outside its offices in downtown Oakland from 5 p.m. to midnight on Monday October 20th. The event will occur outside Alameda County’s Rene C. Davidson Courthouse at 1225 Fallon Street, Oakland… Staff will be on hand to distribute registration forms, answer questions and receive completed forms right up until the midnight registration deadline.

There’s no excuses, really. And I haven’t heard much of what I used to hear, back there in the 1990s, “The candidates are all the same.” I think people are seeing the differences now.

Posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Under: California, City Council, Island Life, Off-Island Life | 2 Comments »

Alameda shopping: On- or off- Island?

This week’s Life on the Island, the column I write for the Alameda Journal, is about last week’s Alameda City Council decision to let the plans for an Orchard Supply Hardware at Towne Centre continue. I know there’s not universal support for the store because many who opposed it went before City Council to make their case, but many Alamedans I’ve talked to over the years are eager for more local shopping options, even if they’re not locally owned. What’s most interesting to me in the instance of the OSH, is that we’re not talking about new development. We’re talking about a filling an existing building in an existing shopping center.

Posted on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
Under: City Council, Development, Print columns | 8 Comments »

Alameda Point Development, what now?

If you’re like me, you have a hard time getting your mind around development at the the former Naval weapons station. How many years has it been since the Navy left? And how is it that price tag for the property went from $1 to over a $100 million dollars? Confusing. Michele Ellson, writing in today’s Alameda Journal, has a good article about the development plan just submitted to the city by SunCal Companies, the current chosen developer. For more info on the plan, Lauren Do has this post, and this one, too. For all Lauren’s Point-related posts, go here.

Posted on Friday, September 26th, 2008
Under: City Council, Development | 4 Comments »