Letters to the Editor
Two clean-cut and polite young men dropped a flyer on our porch asking us to vote for Malia Vella and Jim Oddie. My wife and I, as residents of Alameda for decades, have strong opinions about these two councilmembers.
In our opinion, Vella and Oddie are at the root of $900,000 in cost for Alameda as payout to former City Manager Jill Keimach. Then they wanted city-paid personal legal fees and police defunding. We also think that they pressured the departure of Alameda Police Department (APD) Chief Paul Rolleri.
I asked these two men why they support Vella and Oddie. The answer was, “Well we really don’t know them.”
I then asked, “Are you Alameda residents?”
One replied, “No.”
Next, I asked, “So why are you out in this heat and foul air walking door-to-door for them?”
“Well, it’s sort of an obligation”.
Turns out they are Alameda firemen.
While we strongly support APD and the Alameda Fire Department (AFD) this concerns us on a few levels. What obligation? The corporation I work for wouldn’t force me to support a political agenda!
Why does AFD support Vella and Oddie who, I think, openly disrespects the other side of our local first responders, APD, who stands nearby AFD on distress calls, mental health and at-risk situations? The kind Vella and Oddie think an unarmed “social worker” can handle for these physically buff firemen! But I’d suspect AFD might disagree since their personal safety is at risk.
Frankly these two firemen were very polite to my passionate discussion. Something I appreciated greatly. But I can’t help but figure it was less difficult to listen to my dirty laundry list on Vella and Oddie since they don’t live here and really don’t have any personal knowledge or support for the two councilmembers!
Mindful of the city budget and acknowledging that we must now purchase new signage at Jackson Park, why not a name suitable for many? Let’s add an S to the old sign and call it Jacksons Park. Just think of all the Jacksons we might honor—or even weigh the reputations of, mindful of the good along with the bad.
N Cinephiles have Samuel L. as well as Peter.
N Baseball fans have Reggie, Shoeless Joe, and Bo, multiple options.
N Those who respect substantive civil rights leaders over divisive nomenclature issues have Jesse. Horror readers have Shirley.
N Sportscasters have Keith, hockey has Busher, and those who like trippy hoops coaches have Phil.
N For English actresses turned politicians there’s Glenda. Mixed martial artists have Quinton.
N Music fans have a whole host of Jacksons to honor! Janet, Michael, Joe, Alan, Randy, Jermaine, Mahalia, Joseph, Millie, Tito, Trevor, Marlon, Jackie, Wanda, and Cheyenne.
N You should see all the football players named Jackson! I tell you, there’s something for everyone in this plan.
We could have polls where, for a small donation to cast the ballot, we could annually elect our top five, with name plates to be hung on the park’s main sign and call it Jackson Five Park. Only we must make it clear that this park is not named for Stonewall. He fought on the wrong side of history.
Here is something worth remembering in today’s climate of tearing down no-longer-honorific statues.
On August 21, 1770, the British government erected a 4,000-pound gilded lead equestrian statue of King George III in Bowling Green; the King was dressed in Roman garb in the style of the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius.
On July 9, 1776, after the Declaration of Independence was read to George Washington’s troops at the current site of City Hall, local Sons of Liberty rushed down Broadway to Bowling Green to topple this very same statue King George.