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Measure A Forum Cost $41,500

At the April 28, 2008 City of Alameda planning board meeting, the board reviewed a summary of the Measure A forum that was held on February 23rd. The forum cost $41,500 to hold.

Board member Marilyn Ashcraft elicited laughter from the board and the audience – and displayed her naivete – when she asked if the $41,500 also included the costs to update the City of Alameda Housing Element. One board member can be heard on the city hall video chuckling “…more like four-hundred thousand…”

The Measure A forum was justified on the basis of using the input from the community and the speakers to drive an update to the City of Alameda General Plan Housing Element. Ms. Ashcraft is right to ask about the Housing Element when discussing the forum, but she clearly has no idea how government works if she thinks forty-two thousand dollars buys a day-long forum with eight to ten speakers AND an update to the housing element.

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