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Alameda Elections 2010: Preliminary Results Coming In

The Alameda County Registrar’s count of mail-in ballots and about half of the Island’s precincts shows Marie Gilmore well ahead of Frank Matarrase, Doug DeHaan and other candidates in the mayoral race.

The City Council, however, is a much tighter race with Rob Bonta in the lead. Lena Tam and Beverly Johnson are (somewhat ironically) neck in neck for the second slot, and Jean Sweeney not too far behind.

The school board slots are tilting toward incumbent Mike Mcmahon and Margie Sherratt.

It’s still early, of course, and the county registrar’s website is being overloaded at times — so we’ll have to be patient.

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Alamedans Votes on Election Day – At Last!

AJ ELECT

It’s been quite an election season — and it’s not over yet.

Polls close at 8 p.m. today, Tuesday, November 2.

We encourage everyone to get out and vote. Results will be begin being posted this evening at the Alameda County Registrar of Voters’ website, and some races may not be definitively decided tonight — if absentee ballots need to be counted.

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A few last minute thoughts and developments: Some residents are getting calls, including this blogger, explaining that James Pruitt is not running on a two-man-campaign team with Clay Pollard; some signs around town are carrying both their names.

Also, keep in mind that every vote really counts with so many candidates running, especially for mayor. Plus, with developments and controversies, involving the Lena Tam investigation, Interim City Manager Gallant and SunCal, there could certainly be some upsets.

Finally, it seems quite possible that candidates most “tainted” by these controversies and the associated divisiveness may have trouble at the polls.

If this turns out to be true, the city could have an easier time than it’s had lately in resolving the most important issues at hand — namely tackling city and school district budget issues and finding new ways to raise revenue, including development at Alameda Point. If this prediction is wrong, the divisiveness could continue.

Either way, Island residents and their new city leaders will need to find ways to heal — and move on.

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Alameda Schools: Candidates Forum Set for 10/19

Alameda’s PTAs and the Alameda Education Foundation are co-hosting a forum of candidates running for the Alameda Unified School Board at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 19, in the Alameda High School Cafeteria (not in the Little Theater).

Four candidates have confirmed their participation — Mike McMahon, James Pruitt, Margie Sherrat and Rand Wrobel. (Sheri Palmer withdrew from the election on October 12.) There are two open seats on the board to be filled.

According to the AEF, the format for the event will be as follows:

6:30 p.m.: Opening remarks from Christine Strena, president, PTA Council (PTAC); and introduction by Bill Sonneman, president, Alameda Education Foundation (AEF).

6:35 p.m.: Opening statements from the candidates (one minute each).

6:40 – 8:15 p.m.: Candidates respond to five questions from the public; these have already been submitted and reviewed by the AEF and PTAC.

8:20 p.m.: Closing statements of 2 minutes each.

For those who cannot attend the discussion, PTAC says the candidates forum will be video-taped and then posted on the AEF website.

Also, while some candidates for the Alameda City Council and mayor’s office are pledging to support the schools (always a good thing), it is the school board that has the greatest impact on the Island’s educational system.

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Another Alameda Robo-Call & School-Board Forums

The Washington, D.C.-based calls (from the 202 area code) came to this blogger on Wednesday and Thursday night.

One question was, “If the elections were held today, who would you vote for as Alameda’s next mayor: Marie Gilmore, Doug DeHaan, Frank Matarrese, Tony Daysog or another candidate?

Another question: “If the elections were held today, who would be your first choice for City Council? Beverly Johnson, Lena Tam, Rob Bonta, Jean Sweeney or another candidate?

And “who would be your second choice for council?….”

(The pronounciation of Matarrese was a bit awkward, so I don’t think he’s paying for the calls.)

The survey also probed how certain my political decisions were — very certain? somewhat certain?

Can voters still be swayed? There’s still a month to go before November 2!

The Alameda political scene has become very frustrating, to say the least. Politicians who promise to (and have shown an ability to) focus more on the fundamentals of city leadership and management should carry more votes than their opponents.

Those who have gotten dragged into the infighting — or appear to be siding more with political interests than with constituents — are not likely to prevail.

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There’s also a lot of talk around the Island, of course, about the schools. And the Alameda School Board will have a big impact on how the fiscal constraints will be addressed — and how possible school closures and new parcel tax proposals will be handled.

Two slots will be filled, and the candidates are Mike McMahon, Sheri Palmer, Clay Pollard, James Pruitt, Marjorie “Margie” Sherratt and Rand Wroble.

Forums to meet the school board candidates are taking place on October 5 at Earhart Elementary School (hosted by the Bay Farm, Earhart & Lincoln PTAs) and on October 6 at Washington Elementary School (hosted by the Franklin & Washington PTAs).

The League of Women Voters is also doing a school-board candidate’s forum on at 7:30 p.m. on October 11 at Temple Israel on Bay Farm Island.

Another event is set for 6:30 p.m. on October 19 at the Alameda High School Little Theater on Central Avenue. It has been organized by the Alameda PTA Council and Alameda Education Foundation.

To view information on the candidates go to the website run by the League of Women Voters, which also includes other useful election information.

For those who want to submit questions for the candidates to answer at the October 19 event, go to the website of the Alameda Education Foundation, or AEF.

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The Latest Robo-Calls to Alamedans (Part II) & More Election Developments

Frank Matarrese says he doesn’t know who’s behind the robo-calls targeting his mayoral candidacy. But, he reports, he got one of the calls himself recently.

“I got the call myself on Friday evening and listened through the entire message. There were no mentions of who sponsored it or who it was asking the questions – big money and anonymous,” he said. “We’ve unfortunately seen these kind of hit pieces before, it’s not what Alameda’s about and I think people will see it for what it is.”

Matarrese also said, “The ‘questions’ were misleading and inaccurate.”

In other election news, Alameda City Council candidate Rob Bonta has received endorsements from the Alameda County Democratic Party, the East Bay Young Democrats, the City of Alameda Democratic Club, the Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus, the Sierra Club, Alameda Firefighters (IAFF Local 689), Kaya -Filipino Americans for Progress, and the Central Labor Council of Alameda County.

And city council candidate Jeff Mitchell is calling on city leaders to investigate a review of time cards by city staff after a report of September 17 that an Alameda Police Department technician stands accused of embezzling more than $16,000 from the department.

“It’s great that Acting Chief Noonan has announced that he will do an internal review of this incident, but that doesn’t go anywhere near far enough,” Mitchell said in a statement.

Mitchell also questioned why the department technician in this most recent case hasn’t been taken into custody yet.