The summer (and early fall) have not been kind to Alameda.
The Island has garnered attention from across the Bay Area for the issues engulfing both the Alameda City Council, city administrators and the Alameda Fire Department.
It’s certainly time to regroup, and we should start with some clear guidelines on – for instance – electronic communications, disclosure, benefits, spending on special projects (legal and otherwise). This is quite a list.
One anonymous commentator wrote on the Island of Alameda website: “Alameda is the laughing stock of the Bay Area right now. I know that is tough for some people to hear, but it’s true. In order to get some pride back, staff and any councilmembers involved in this witch hunt need to be accountable now, and not in November.”
It doesn’t seem possible at this time, given present levels of animosity, to resolve the many issues connected with the investigation of City Councilmember Lena Tam before the elections.
However, it is possible to ask serious questions of the candidates running for mayor and city council: How would you work to ensure that we don’t get caught up in lawsuits, public investigations and other matters that distract city leaders from the longer-term issues affecting Alameda?
Perhaps we should start with: What are your definitions of integrity, honesty and civility?
And there’s also the matter of how city leaders and staff members will act in a crisis and resolve controversial matters, such as negotiating with SunCal. We can’t fully anticipate candidates’ actions; they are human, after all.
But, we can certainly probe the candidates and seek to elect those that have (or, at least, appear to have) the ability to reach compromises and act decisively in ways that further Alameda’s interests, rather than their own.
Finally, for these who want to follow the candidates’ campaign documents and contributions as of June 30, 2010, there are disclosure statements available online. Review the folder that’s labeled “2010-07 Semi Annual Filings.”