Setting a bad precedent
The leadership of the City of Alameda Democratic Club set a terrible precedent at its Aug. 22 City Council candidates’ debate; one plainly designed to shield former club president and incumbent City Council candidate Jim Oddie from scrutiny.
An extensive final investigative report released to the public in May concluded that Oddie violated the City Charter by exerting political influence on the appointment process for Fire Department Chief. The saga did not end there, but went on to include an enormous legal settlement of nearly $1 million in taxpayer funds that could have been used to benefit all Alamedans.
Nevertheless, the Democratic Club leadership declared that topic off-limits at its debate, stating that the matter is “still under investigation.” It sounded like none other than President Donald Trump’s excuse for not releasing his tax returns (“I’m under an audit”), something that foreshadowed the past two difficult years.
When officials avoid accounting to the public for their conduct (other than through self-serving press releases and Tweets), and we fail to openly debate an issue like this, we as a city are doomed to suffer a similar fate in the future.
Alameda Democrats, and all voters, deserve openness and sunshine.
They do not want or need a process that is “rigged” with flimsy justifications.