Around 1 a.m. at the Feb. 16 City Council meeting, Mayor Trish Spencer revealed that fixed-term leases can be used by landlords to avoid paying relocation costs.
Once word spreads about this loophole, fixed-term leases will proliferate, and stable, community-minded tenants will be replaced by transient, nomadic individuals with little or no interest in building a community.
Residents, businesses, city staff and bicyclists will have their last say with the City Council on Feb. 24 for the future of Central Avenue’s design. Proponents claim it will make the street safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists. They fail to mention that the Central Avenue project favors bicyclists’ needs over the existing business needs. It takes away parking spaces near some businesses. It removes an existing truck loading zone area for businesses on the north side of Central Avenue between Webster and Sixth streets.
The City Council is scheduled to consider the Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protection Ordinance at its Feb. 16 meeting. If passed, the ordinance would require landlords to offer one-time, one-year leases to prospective or in-place tenants. The new ordinance would not allow landlords to increase rents more than once in a 12-month period.
The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to Mayor Trish Spencer, Vice-Mayor Frank Matarrese and Councilman Tony Daysog.
Dear Mayor Spencer, Vice-Mayor Matarrese and Councilman Daysog:
I normally don’t “get involved” with local politics; I’m busy enough as it is with my work and family. But I am so very frustrated with everything that is not happening for Alameda ferry riders that I’m appealing to you for help, either from the city directly or thru the city’s affiliation with the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA).
The Alameda city staff released its principles of agreement detailing precise guidelines for the proposed Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protection Ordinance. The ordinance will be presented to the City Council at its Feb. 16 meeting.
Regarding rent increases, the agreement states that housing providers shall not increase rents more than once every 12 months. However, there will be no cap on an increase if it is allowed during the hearing process. Landlords will, however, have to go through a rent review process.
While the marathon City Council meeting focused largely on the rental crisis in town (see story on this page), the 10-and-one-half hour session that began with a closed session at 5:30 p.m. and recessed at 3:59 a.m. covered other topics. These included two that touched on Alameda Point.
Councilmembers first met in closed session to hear updates on negotiations with various employee organizations, including those that represent non-sworn employees of the police department, electrical workers and managers.
What will $11,800 buy you? This amount may have influenced new contracts with the city of Alameda. In this last general election only one elected official collected contributions from a Public Safety Employee Union. That individual was Councilman Jim Oddie.
According to the City Clerk’s office he accepted $11,799.57 from the Alameda Firefighters Association (local firefighters union) for mailers and phone banking. Not surprisingly, he fully supported and pushed for the new public safety (fire and police) contracts that were approved on April 29.