Letters to the Editor
Now that the hue and cry of the elections have passed, and as we near the end of our local administration and its replacement by another, let us consider the monuments to the vision of the last several administrations erected in our fair city.
Beverly Johnson and her administration: What monument did it leave to us? A parking structure (to which I was at first opposed) that is not at all intrusive on the downtown scene, but which has led to a logarithmic improvement in the business climate, and therefore the quality of life, in the Park Street area and indeed in the entire city. Congratulations, Madame ex-Mayor. Well done.
Marie Gilmore and her administration: What monument did it leave to us? An imposing Safeway gasoline edifice that will be first thing seen welcoming travelers to Alameda when they exit the Webster Tube. Congratulations, Madame ex-Mayor.
As for John Russo, I understand that there may be an opening for City Manager in Oakland. One can hope, although I don’t blame him for fleeing the Quan administration. Oakland’s new mayor Libby Schaaf may be a shaft of light for that beleaguered city. I believe the City Manager serves at the pleasure (or displeasure?) of the mayor and City Council. Now there’s an idea.
In the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 5, I was standing in a slow moving line at Safeway, a tired octogenarian, waiting to check out and get home before the rains came. Suddenly, a total stranger in the line next to me gave me a $10 coupon which he said he could not use.
What a wonderful surprise! I was so startled that all I could say was "Thank you" many times.
What a great way to start the holiday season! Thank you, Safeway Stranger. I want to tell you that I plan to pay it forward by giving a donation to our Alameda Food Bank.
Let’s all remember our Food Bank and the groups that collect toys for children.
Holly Jolly to all of us in Alameda!
I supported Marie Gilmore for mayor four years ago and so it was nice to read a letter to the editor commending her for her service ("Thank you, Mayor Gilmore," Dec. 4). Unfortunately, that letter bashed us a little, claiming that we are a "just say no" community. And ironically, Gilmore was, to a small extent at the Dec. 2 Council meeting, "the mayor of no."
Others have already remarked about how dismissive she was of Councilman Tony Daysog. She also announced an extremely restrictive policy about speakers that night. She would not allow them go over their three minutes at all. There was also an armed, on-duty police officer in the chambers, presumably for security.
Near the very end of the speakers, all of whom had respected the new timing rule, former Vice Mayor Doug deHaan tried to talk for an extra 10 seconds to finish his point, but Gilmore talked over him and shouted him down.
At the same time, the officer stood up and seemed to be making his way towards the podium. Luckily, it did not come to the officer strong-arming a speaker over a few extra seconds. It was rude and unnecessary; this is how I will have to remember Mayor Gilmore.
If 10 percent of the speakers had gone over their time by an average of 10 percent, it would have added just 80 seconds to an eight- hour meeting! Somehow, it became more important to control residents than to listen to them.