Letters to the Editor
City Manager John Russo and the City Council have bypassed the citizen vote needed to change the City Charter at least two times if not more.
The first obvious time was when the City Charter got changed to allow the defunct Alameda Power and Telecom Company to use electricity funds to help pay for the failing cable business. Why the powers to be were allowed to do this and not end up in jail is beyond my comprehension.
Closing City Hall on Fridays. This was tried during another city manager’s tenure and overturned because it violated the City Charter. John Russo tried to bypass the voters by using a resolution instead. He and the City Council should have known better.
Now they want to find a way to bypass the citizen vote when it comes to Measure A. How much more are we going to take from them? In my opinion, the council and some of the city management including the city manager are receiving payment to allow all the “hurry up and cram as many houses in as possible” situation in what used to be a really great city to live.
On June 3, I was deeply puzzled by what I heard from the City Council members regarding the Neptune Point residential development. It seems to me that the City Council had opened a can of worms when they covertly and negligently rezoned the parcel to residential on July 3, 2012. Three lawsuits have resulted from this rezoning.
The City Council is elected by the residents. The council should act in the best interest of these residents, not just the interest of developers. I strongly urge the City Council to do what is right and what is indicated by more than 6,000 signatures: adopt the rezoning to open space without further ado.
Furthermore, our City Manager John Russo painted our city as a racist fortress in his comments to Chip Johnson in a San Francisco Chronicle story. Alameda, an island with limited ingress and egress, is indeed a fortress geographically.
Building more houses will not change the fact that we are a fortress. It will only cause more gridlock and safety issues in the event of a disaster. Additional bridges and tunnels need to be built to make us more easily accessible.
Last week my son Dylan noticed that a letter from Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Superintendent Kristen Vital was in your newspaper (“District Is Fiscally Responsible,” June 5). He was wondering if you would publish a letter that he sent to her. It follows mine.
Dylan came home from school one day last week quite upset. He had heard that day that his wonderful music teacher, Ms. Tousey, was going to be transferred to Amelia Earhart Elementary School next year. Using the skills he learned this year in Ms. Zippen’s second grade class, he decided to write a letter to the school district.
One thing that is important to note about Dylan is that he has a medical condition similar to cerebral palsy, which means he has hand tremors, fatigue and motor control issues. So I’ve transcribed his letter below. His condition also means that he has a speech impediment, which he has worked on since year one. Ms. Tousey understood that — and understands how much he loves music and singing — and has made so many small accommodations in her classes for him that he is not even aware of his differences in contributing to the overall song.
In the past three years, Dylan has had three different speech teachers (he’s now on his fourth, as the last one is out on leave,) three different paraprofessional assistants and three different resource teachers. Ms. Tousey has been one of the few constants in Dylan’s school life.
While any school would be fortunate to have “Big Mama” Ms. Tousey, we are hoping the school district will consider leaving her in a school where her consistency and inter-cultural fluency is most needed and one of the schools where almost half of the children come from low-income families, with a higher-than-district-average of underserved ethnic populations, a school with only .7 resources for the library (where Earhart has 1.1), .4 resources for psychologists (where Earhart has .6), and school with .4 resources for speech/language (where Earhart has 1.0).
The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to the Alameda Unified School District.
My name is Dylan. I am in Paden and I am sad because Lin Tousey is moving to Airhart.
Can we get her back at Paden because she has been at Paden for 15 years and she has taught me two years. I and Paden love her.
— Sincerely, Dylan