A service to the community

 

Editor:
Dennis Evanosky’s editorial (“Council Must Investigate City Manager’s Accusations,” Oct. 19) was a service to Alameda by pointing out the illegal activity by two of our City Councilmembers. Their violation of Alameda’s charter by trying to influence the City Manager’s hiring of a new fire chief should be investigated. 

If a councilmember has an opinion as to who the City Manager should hire that should be expressed openly either to the press or at a City Council meeting and not in a private conversation with the City Manager in an attempt to inappropriately and secretly influence the outcome. 

Evanosky also pointed out that our City Charter says that such activity “shall subject the Councilmember to removal from office for malfeasance.” Our City Charter does not say “may” subject the Councilmember for removal for malfeasance but “shall.” 

That means that, according to the charter, the Councilmembers must be removed. Unfortunately, two vital pieces of information are missing. First, Evanosky failed to name the Councilmembers who engaged in such malfeasance. Second, our City Charter fails to provide an appropriate mechanism to remove a Councilmember for malfeasance other than the currently cumbersome, expensive and nearly-impossible process of mounting a recall campaign. 

Since the drafters of our City Charter have so miserably failed the residents of our city by not providing an efficient way of removing councilmembers who violate our charter the very least Evanosky can do is to identify who the culprits are.

 

Leland Traiman

 

Editor’s note: The members in question, Jim Oddie and Vice Mayor Malia Vella were identified in last week’s front page story, “City to Look into Fire Union,” Nov. 2.

 

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