Letters to the Editor

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Editor:

As soon as you accept the endorsement of any group (or individual), you are beholden to support its agenda.

Mayor Marie Gilmore and the members of the City Council should support the residents of Alameda. Unfortunately, they support City Manager John Russo instead.

Adding more people to our small island will bring more dollars to our city. But by doing so we will erode the quality of life we now enjoy. A 30-minute commute from Oakland to Alameda will become a common occurrence.

I write this letter because I believe Trish Spencer supports my belief that more is not necessarily better. She has been a lone voice on the school board speaking out against the extravagance of the departed superintendent. She has an eye to the future of our city, not the short term financial gain.

It costs us a little more to live in Alameda. It is worth it and I hope it stays that way. Vote for Trish Spencer for mayor.

Ashley Jones

ditor:

I am writing today to recommend a vote for Trish Spencer for mayor. I am part of a group of Alameda parents who worked to bring after-school care for special needs children to Alameda. Happily we have a fledgling program here now and it would not have happened without support from a singularly caring person: Trish Spencer.

She listened to us speak at two different board meetings. At the first one she pushed to make sure we became part of the next agenda. After the second meeting she contacted us to see how she could help, and met with us multiple times to brainstorm and increase our connections with people in the community who would support our cause. While much of the reception we got at those board meetings was lukewarm at best, it was evident immediately that Trish was there for the good of the community.

Trish Spencer is not out to win any popularity contests — she is there to do what is best for our town. She is not afraid to stand out alone from the rest if it means she succeeds in being a voice for what is good for Alameda. I have never met anyone who puts as much research and dedication into weighing each decision that comes in front of the school board.  Where many others seem to operate as rubber stamps, she fights the hard fight and puts our community first-always. Please vote for Trish Spencer if you believe that Alameda deserves the very best!

Jackie Jackson-Daley

Editor:

I’m responding to Paul Foreman’s letter ("Obstructionist or Courageous?" Sept. 19). My original letter was a critical response to an op-ed that urged voters to vote against incumbents without apparent regard to qualifications of the alternatives, though it did tout the supposed accomplishments of Trish Spencer.

Foreman counters with a list of Spencer no votes he touts as the product of critical thinking skills. I maintain Spencer’s record on the school board is a trail of haphazard contrarianism. There are counter points to each of Foreman’s six examples, but what might be better a more insightful overview is Spencer’s unprecedented action (for any board or commission) of pulling over 20 items from the consent calendar just so she could vote "no", but not before grand standing in the process.

A convenient oversight among these examples is that Spencer was not the lone no vote on former Superintendent Kirsten Vital’s raise. Further, the tight deadline for the bond precluded a detailed spending plan, especially with Spencer dragging her feet every inch of the way in an attempt to derail the effort. She has muddled reasoning for every no vote but seldom offers a clear alternative.

Her support of the last parcel tax was mere lip service, pandering to parents without doing any real work for its passage. Foreman takes liberties when he characterizes the rest of the board’s description of the district’s Tidal Trust land as "worthless." Tidal Trust law is complex and convoluted at best. In short, since such land cannot be developed it is apples and oranges with regard to assessment and comps to other property.

Merely being critical is does not qualify as deductive critical thought. The lack of consensus on the school board is not a product of Spencer’s standing on clear principles. Foreman’s claim to that effect is distorted and gives short shrift to other members, particularly the often dissenting voice of school board member Barbara Kahn.

We are discussing the office of mayor. I saddens me to be so strident in opposition to any candidate for public service, but the stakes are too high. If you question my perspective, I urge to review tapes of past school board meetings and decide for yourself.

Mark Irons

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