Letters to the Editor

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I just finished reading the commentary "Fool the Incumbents before They Fool Us," in your Sept. 18 edition. I’m not even sure what the author means to infer. I am wary of the

recommendation in the piece to vote for Trish Spencer as mayor, partially based on her "no" vote to put Measure I on the ballot.

I am undecided on how to vote on this school bond but it is incontrovertible that the schools need repairs, which come with real costs. It is imperative to have a public debate and vote on the bond option, and less than democratic for a five-member school board to preclude that vote.

Spencer’s tenure on the school board is hardly marked by her ability as a consensus builder, a preferred quality for any elected official. People often refer to how great it is that she voted "no" on this or that, but I can hardly recall any vote on which Spencer was a "yes", including retention of an Alameda Unified School District veteran administrator as interim superintendent.

I’m afraid this letter is another "no" vote: a caution to voters not to fool themselves by voting for Spencer for mayor. If she succeeds, the silver lining would be the absence of the obstructionist element she brings to school board.

It does not thrill me to publicly criticize an individual who has committed so many hours to a public service such as grueling service on the school board, but Spencer’s consistent contribution has been to make a daunting public process even more so by voting "no" while lacking clear visions for alternatives. The opinion piece concludes with the mantra "Anybody but the incumbents." Really?

Has "Anybody but Perata" been a resounding success for Oakland?



Mark Irons


Gov. Jerry Brown’s re-election team seems very complacent in light of the still-emerging accounts of the questionable Public Utilities Committee (PUC) interaction with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Some of us remember that Richard Nixon barely returned with a huge majority when he got entangled in Watergate.

Brown’s 21-point lead and favorable finances indicate support from big money, but many concerned voters who are deeply offended by the actions of his PUC appointees and even potential judges may see things differently.

Brown may well have "won" the recent so-called debate, but he isn’t over the finish line yet. Getting rid of the PUC chairman could still help his cause but he should have done that at the outset.

Red Wetherill


I read your article on the decorated transformers ("City Debuts Power Box Art Tomorrow," Sept. 11), and I was stunned.

I think that it is great that our town has such a creative view on the arts and is not afraid to show it. With every passing day, Alameda becomes a better place to live.

I hope that the city can keep up with its glowing reputation for being a strong supporter of the arts and modern culture. I have personally seen some of the painted power boxes and I made a point to see the one pictured on the front page.

I must tell you that they are amazing and we are so lucky to have these beautiful works of art taking the place of what were once eyesores to the entire city.

I thank you for publishing an amazing story about this.

Brendan Mills