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Alameda Politics in Media Focus

The East Bay Express has a feature on the Island’s political scene this week, “An Alameda Power Play?”

It sums up much of the mess that’s occurred on the Island over the past year or so, but doesn’t offer too much new, unfortunately. And it takes a very narrow look at Alameda’s wide array of issues.

What’s worth reading, though, is the comments section online.

Readers ask if the Express piece isn’t way too supportive of ex-City Manager Anne Marie Gallant.

They point out that while it can be argued that there is a Marie Gilmore-Lena Tam-Rob Bonta voting block, the same could also be true of the previous council trio of Beverly Johnson-Frank Materesse-Doug DeHaan.

One commentator writes that Bonta, an attorney, was probably smart to vote on putting Gallant on unpaid leave rather than firing her, since she may be needed as a witness in the city’s legal dispute with SunCal.

Finally, while some island residents may be concerned about the way three council members are voting/behaving (which the story implies), there may be even more Alamedas who are very troubled by the overall lack of focus on filling important city positions and the city’s need for managerial, fiscal, civic and educational soundness.

It’s also worth pointing out that the story quotes former Vice Mayor A.J. “Lil” Arnerich, current councilmembers, one Alameda businessman and an Island journalist.

Too bad more Alamedans didn’t get to share their thoughts on the city government with the Express writer and with East Bay residents. Guess they can do so now online.

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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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This Week’s Alamedan: Dave McCarver

David McCarver Name: Dave McCarver
Age: 44
Lived in Alameda: Since first grade
Occupation: Owner, with Dennis Jameson, Alameda Advertising and Recognition, Inc. Launched out of a garage in 1991, AA&R sell plaques, trophies and gear. “We’re about 50-50 awards and promotional stuff (anything you can put your logo on).”
Children: April, 7, and Christopher, 9
Activities: Alameda Boys and Girls Club Advisory Board, youth baseball, basketball and softball coach.

Like best about Alameda?

There’s a really strong sense of community here. It’s nice to go into Doumitt Shoes and see Tony, who I went to high school with and go to McGee’s and see Johnny who I’ve known for 25 years. The community supports itself: most of the teams and leagues and schools in Alameda use us–and we sponsor teams.

Would like to change about Alameda?
I don’t like the fact that people drive too fast though the streets, even side streets. Kids can’t play outside because cars speed by too fast.

Word to the wise
I think that they should allow as much as triplexes out at the base. I’d like to see our police and fire and teachers be able to live here. Not everyone can afford to buy an $800,000 house and we all lose because we’re not able to walk around town and see our teachers and our firemen–maybe have them coach our kids or see them at an event or get to know their kids because they live here. I wouldn’t change Measure A for the island, but I would allow some flexibility out on the base.

More to the wise
We need to get the Boys and Girls Club built, because everything else is pay to play. They’ve got some really good grants and there’s been a lot of community support, but they still need to raise more before they can begin construction. Growing up we’d go there all afternoon and do any number of things–wood shop, ping-pong, crafts, basketball. Kids need a place to go now more than ever.