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Open letter to the Mayor


The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter.


Dear Mayor Gilmore,

Why do you as mayor, who is supposed to be representing the people of Alameda, allow the city manager to be so abusive to the residents of Alameda? It’s our city and we have the perfect right to express our opinions on what is happening within the boundaries of the city.

It is my personal opinion that you, as mayor, with a jurisprudence degree, should be responsible and strong enough to interrupt and mediate when City Manager John Russo becomes aggressive and abusive. If he cannot control this arrogant and abusive behavior, then he should be reprimanded and put on leave to enroll in an anger-management program until he can control his behavior. Russo believes that, because of his position of authority, he can over-rule and disrespect the residents of Alameda.

I, as well as my fellow Alamedans, want the arrogant, abusive and aggressive behavior ended. It is time to step in and get this city manager under control. If you do not get him under control, your aspirations for mayor in the next election are surely a "pipe dream." I am firmly against the renewal of Russo’s contract with the city.

One who represents the residents of Alameda should be patient, courteous and open to listen to all opinions, whether pro or con. I am a native Alamedan, from a business family who settled here in 1911. I have seen many changes in the city, but never have I ever witnessed such horrible, unprofessional behavior in government.

Frederic "Fredi" Kapp


If Walgreen’s truly moves their corporate offices overseas to avoid paying higher U.S. taxes, will their new giant store on Park even help Alameda? How is this allowable when vital programs on all levels are so underfunded with the current recession?

This tactic of keeping all U.S. operations here while re-establishing one’s corporate headquarters outside the U.S. is called "Inversion." Walgreen’s planned move was just lampooned again on The Colbert Report and most late night shows where citizens vented on them and were labelled "enraged Americans" by the various hosts.

Time Magazine called it "positively unAmerican behavior, with Walgreen’s behaving like ‘takers’ keeping their earnings overseas while still enjoying all the benefits here America has to offer." Walgreen’s CEO was quoted as saying "we’ll still be paying taxes, just not here."

Not calling for a boycott, but do we really need yet another Walgreen’s within walking distance from the one at South Shore? If you feel strongly, maybe discuss it with their manager or do less shopping there.

What Walgreen’s is doing might be legal, but it’s far from ethical. And if they’ll eventually be paying little to no U.S. taxes, will they be benefitting Alameda in any way? A shame this prime space on Park Street isn’t going to something as wonderful as our existing Marketplace.

Michael Lano


I share letter-writer Ken Hensley’s befuddlement over why we "need" yet another Walgreen’s on the Island ("Do some research," July 31), especially when you stand across the street from the new two-plus story building at Park Street and Lincoln Avenue and see how it completely blocks any view of the Oakland hills. Walgreens’ new location also leaves the locally owned Marketplace struggling in its corporate shadow.

But the cynic in me suspects "Walgreed’s" did indeed do its research. The corporation saw a City Council eager for revenue.

Did the council know that Walgreed’s is now in the spotlight for an expected move of their headquarters from Dixon, Ill., to Switzerland to take advantage of tax-inversion loopholes. Walgreed’s will avoid some $4 billion in taxes over the next five years (as reported in USA Today, July 29). Any loss of income from angry customers of "the pharmacy that America trusts" (Walgreen’s tag-line, not mine) will be offset by savings for stockholders.

How can you protest such "progress?" Stop shopping there and write a letter to the corporation stating why. Post your letter at www.walgreens.com/topic/

Keep it local Alamedans!

Jerome Szymczak