I could not believe the front-page article in which the Alameda Fire Department (AFD) is asking for donations to build a public memorial for the department (“Help Fund New AFD Memorial,” Aug. 2). The amount of money being requested from the Alameda community could certainly be used in a better way. Could the memorial be funded by the firefighters themselves? That would be noteworthy indeed.
Where is the monument to Raymond Zack? Remember the man who died at Alameda Beach, standing in frigid water for longer than an hour, while the people who pledge to keep us safe and protect us, and get paid well to do the job they chose, let him drown? Where is the monument to the Alameda resident who unselfishly and heroically brought Zack out of the water? A lawsuit against the city was dismissed by a judge, saying the public safety officials had no legal duty to save Zack. Wikipedia this one, to remind yourself who is serving who in Alameda. So tell me again why we should build a memorial to AFD?
AFD was just involved in the scandal that cost our city more than $1 million in payoff to former City Manager Jill Keimach who then left the city. Certainly that money could have been put to use in a better way, for Alameda residents. City leaders continue to feel emboldened to act extremely audacious and sanctimonious in their positions.
When will the residents of Alameda stand up against these activities, and demand answers and accountability? If any of you acted in such a manner, you would be fired from your job, not commended or memorialized. Are you blind or just afraid?
This reminds me of the Dixon, Ill., city employee fraud case. Everyone asks: “How did it happen?” Now you know.