‘Only in Alameda’


On Jan. 17, 1957, I left Underwater Demolition Team 12, in Coronado, Calif., and two days later arrived in Alameda. I have heard and learned, through experience, the meaning of the phrase, “Only in Alameda.”

How else would it be possible to put into perspectuive the doings at City Hall? We hire a City Manager to run our municipality and when she does her job and uncovers somewhat “shady” dealings between City Councilmembers and the firefighter’s union, she gets fired. Then, just to make sure she doesn’t bring anything out into the open, they pay her $900,000 in “hush money.” 

If she did something wrong, why pay her to leave? What she did do was expose some “shady” dealings between Councilmembers and the  firefighter’s union. To top it off, the City Council closes ranks and has two closed-door meetings to figure out what to do. They then decided to “kill the messenger.” We can’t have someone as our City Manager doing her job and exposing some malfeasances so let’s pay her off and get her out of here.

What the average resident of Alameda does not realize, is that if someone running for City Council does not get the endorsement of the  firefighter’s union, they won’t get elected. The union puts a lot of money into the campaign treasuries to those they want to see elected. The money is not traceable however, because it is given indirectly by paying for campaign literature, signs for front lawns and other indirect ways of seeing that someone favorable to them gets elected.

To better understand how things work, read Gaby Dolphin’s piece on the Alameda County District Attorney’s race (“Response on District Attorney Race,” May 24). What stinks in politics is merely sprayed over with the mist of misinformation and lies. Alameda is where the mist is heaviest. 

P.S. Thank you, Morgan, for your letter. (“Open Letter to Jill Keimach,” May 24.)