Letters to the Editor
I have recently read letters on the Alameda Sun’s opinion page about the July 15 City Council meeting and City Manager John Russo’s responses to various speakers ("Open letter to Marie Gilmore," Jul 24; "Rein Russo in," July 24; "Addressing July 15 Council Meeting," July 31; "Open letter to mayor," Aug. 7).
I attended that meeting in person, and would like to offer my opinion and observation of the discussions. First of all, I did not find Russo’s responses to be abusive or belittling in any way. He was simply challenging the comments by the speakers and pushing back on some of their observations about how the city has been managing various projects. In my mind, accusations were being made by speakers that required Russo and Mayor Marie Gilmore to respond. It appeared to me to be a healthy interaction.
Two of the speakers, Karin Lucas and Irene Dieter, were excellent at communicating their positions regarding the Crab Cove property. I felt they defended their positions well. I was impressed with both of them. But, to think that Russo was what letter writers called "horrible and unprofessional" is, in my opinion, way off the mark.
Though everyone is free to express their opinions, I could not allow these letters go by without responding. I observed a city manager who understands that arguing points and defending staff when needed is part of city government. We are all in this together and no matter who is managing the city, open interaction is critical to our success.
Based on what I viewed on July 15, we are doing well. I would like to see more interaction between speakers and the Council and City Manager and more involvement by residents like Lucas and Dieter. They made me feel proud about being an Alamedan.
The Midway Shelter for abused women and their children would like to thank the many generous individuals and groups who donated to the shelter in the month of July. A number of the listed donors contributed several times during this period. One donor wished to remain anonymous.
The shelter would like to thank Patti Heimburger; Carolyn Queener and John Platt; Fran Borst and John Porter and Joanne Robinson. Midway couldn’t survive without generous people like Virginia Krutilek, Suzanne Bryant, Barbara Anderson and Srinvasan Suresh.
Tina and Bob Kreitz donated to the shelter in July, as did Najee and Adilah Bilal; Betty Sanderson; John A. Johnson and Barbara Janowski.
Margaret, Emily and Joseph Shea joined Nancy and Leo Stoeber Jr. in donating to the shelter in memory of Leslye Mae Robey. Anna Humphres and Joan Adam also gave in memory of Leslye Marie Robey,
Sandra and Lance Russum gave in memory of Virginia Cary. Al Contier gave in July as did John Castle, Sherman Lee, Sr., Jim Russi, Ken Robie, Patrick McCarthy and Fred Dunn.
The shelter would like to thank Charlene Andrews; Isle City Institute #51 YLI; Janke Schuitema,
The shelter also received a donation from the July 4 Ralph Appezzato Charity Event (R.A.C.E.) as well as a donation from First Congregational Church (UCC).
Beverly Virginia Crinnion gave in honor of Mary Ann Quitman’s birthday. Ann Casper and Mark Irons also gave in July. They joined Maxine Paula Patillo-Dupree, Sotherea Sang, Jane U. Brown, Regina Panzarino-Dimig and Julia Kennedy Moore.
The shelter enjoyed the generosity of Scott Benson and Elana Swartzman; Joanne and George McKray; Diane and Mel Nutter; Lois Pryor; Christine Buck and Sarah Cruz.
If you’d like to add your name to these generous donors make a check payable to Alameda Homeless Network and mail it to the network at P.O. Box 951 Alameda CA 94501. For further information call 523-2377 or visit www.midwayshelter.org.
Silly season is upon us. The names of the candidates have been finalized, and now it’s time to hear from people who don’t live in Alameda.
Some will call me from out of town with twisted questions. Others will be stopping me as I shop on Park Street or Webster Street and ask me for my vote. They’ll be knocking on my door and asking me to vote for "their candidate."
The problem I have with some of the people that stop me or knock on my door is that they don’t live here. They work here, yes, but they don’t live here.
They’ve already endorsed their slate of candidates — the people they expect me to vote for. However, I want to decide for myself who will get my vote.
I don’t need non-resident members of any union approaching me with flyers that they printed out of town with information gathered by people who live out of town.
If I am approached this silly season by anyone asking for my vote, I’ll have a question for them: "Do you live in Alameda?
If they say "yes." I’ll ask for their address. If they won’t answer me I will not vote for the candidates they are pushing.
I hope that Mayor Marie Gilmore, Councilman Stewart Chen and candidate James Oddie are listening. And Oddie’s Facebook boast that a union has endorsed him means he has already lost my vote.
Let the unions know it’s time to stay out of our politics.