Letters to the Editor
I strongly support Frank Matarrese for Mayor of Alameda because of his honesty, transparency and ability. I was very impressed by his performance at the debates, where he answered every question with the kind of directness and intelligence that our city deserves. I urge Alameda residents to help elect Frank. His leadership and commitment can make a major difference in our community.
Thank you for your editorial regarding your decision not to take sides in politics (“The Courage to Remain Neutral,” Oct. 18). I admire, respect and agree with that decision. The job of a newspaper is to report the news — period. That’s the reason it’s called a “newspaper.”
Your courageous stand is being derided and attacked in today’s world where insults and slanderous comments are being traded by citizens and especially among politicians. These comments are being met with cheers by some segments of our society. I personally have a great deal of faith in the people of America and feel this period will eventually run its course. The havoc and the hatred might prevail for a while, but Americans will get sick of it and will want their country back.
Meanwhile, we hope many other newspapers are following the same path and are not giving in to the demands of the screaming mobs and the people in power who stir up the mobs.
Our City Manager blows the whistle on misbehavior by our City Councilmembers and what happens? The City Manager gets fired, taxpayers foot the $1 million bill to make the whistleblower go away, and the one Councilmember, Jim Oddie, who was clearly cited as being in violation of the City Charter, has the audacity to ask for the taxpayers to pay his legal fees from his acting against the city’s best interests.
What should have happened? There were three Councilmembers originally implicated in interfering with the City Manager’s ability to perform her job in accordance with the City Charter without Council interference. One of the Councilmembers was initially excused.
The other two, Malia Vella and Jim Oddie, should have been suspended from acting on Council matters until an independent investigator, the District Attorney or a Grand Jury confirmed or denied their malfeasance in office. Instead, the City Council, including all of the accused Councilmembers, met in closed session to choose who would investigate the allegations of wrongdoing against them. At the very least, Oddie and Vella should have recused themselves from the vote because of their blatant conflicts of interest.
Can you imagine what would have happened if President Trump picked his own investigator to look into the Russian election meddling allegations? The investigation would have been over in a week and there would be protesters standing shoulder to shoulder on every street corner in Alameda.
What’s the reaction when our City Councilmembers act in gross disregard of the public interest? Ho Hum.
We shouldn’t be surprised by these reactions. Several years ago allegations of abusing the public trust were levied against Councilmember Lena Tam. An independent investigator found she was guilty of multiple violations. What did the City Council do in that case? They fired the Interim City Manager who brought the accusations and paid the legal fees of the offending Councilmember. (“Alameda: city attorney, interim city manager ousted,” San Jose Mercury News Dec. 2010.)
The one lesson to come out of this is that there aren’t any whistleblower protections in Alameda. Unbelievable!