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An Evening With Alameda Son and Pro-Development Oakland Mayoral Candidate Don Perata

The East Bay Express is reporting on an event tonight at the Fox Theater in Oakland, hosted by the Oakland Builders Alliance and feting Alameda native, former Alameda school teacher and candidate for Mayor of Oakland, Don Perata.

Perata has endorsed many pro-development and pro-redevelopment City Council candidates in Alameda such as Mayor Beverly Johnson. Mayor Johnson has presided over the long-term decline of the City of Alameda’s finances from her election in 1998 to present, including the demise of Alameda Power & Telecom’s ‘telecom’ division, whereupon presently the City faces layoffs of 10% of its employees, and the General Fund has roughly 90 days worth of net real cash.

Mr. Perata, then the California State Senate President, is listed first in line on Councilmember Lena Tam’s list of endorsements. At an April 21 City Council meeting discussion of the City’s dire financial circumstance, Councilmember Tam was notably quiet.

In 2006, The “Don” Perata endorsed Councilmember Frank Matarrese, who is a big booster of the redevelopment-funded Alameda Civic Center Parking Garage and theater cineplex, which has yet to prove its financial viability, and suffers from ongoing union troubles and recently cost Alameda taxpayers another half-million dollars.

At the April 21 Alameda City Council meeting, Councilmember Matarrese harangued incoming interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant over the City’s deepening fiscal crisis. But Matarrese has been on Alameda City Council since 2002, so we presume there was no excuse for his repeated questions of “How did we get here?!” posed to Ms. Gallant. Surely the Honorable Frank Matarrese was actually paying attention to staff reports these past seven years? Alas, Mr. Matarrese was probably just show-boating as part of his pre-campaign for his presumed 2010 City of Alameda Mayoral-campaign – the person to pose those questions to is the former City Manager, Debra Kurita, who was packed off with a nice severance package as appreciation for financially scuttling the good ship Alameda. Incidentally, Don Perata endorsed Frank Matarrese for Alameda City Council successful campaign in 2002 as well.

Last year, Perata endorsed Alameda Councilmember Marie Gilmore, who came in second behind now-Vice Mayor Doug deHaan. Perata’s political currency seems to be declining, hence his need to achieve public office again in Oakland.

In 2007, the East Bay Express reported how Don Perata played his Senate-seat cards to the detriment of Alameda residents, and the benefit of his long-time friend and Bay Farm Island developer Ron Cowan, by re-jiggering the regional ferry transit system to steal Alameda’s and Vallejo’s ferry systems and put them into a new transit authority.

So, if you should go to the Fox Theater in Oakland tonight to toast, and pledge fealty to, The Don, we encourage you to eat, drink, and be ferry!

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