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City of Alameda Alleges Misconduct by Alameda City Councilmember Lena Tam

Updated, 10:40pm, July 6th, 2010 – Additional details added.

Late tonight, the City of Alameda issued a press release that Councilmember Lena Tam has released attorney-client privileged City of Alameda information to various bodies, including SunCal, local blogger Lauren Do and John Knox White, the Vice Chair of Alameda’s Sunshine Task Force. The matter has been referred to the Alameda County District Attorney’s office. More details as they arrive.

At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the City released two thick hard copy binders that document the allegations against Councilmember Tam and include supporting materials. Among the allegations are that Councilmember Lena Tam wrongly provided confidential personnel information about the Interim City Manager to a bond salesman at Stinson Securities LLC, of San Francisco, vying for City business, that she leaked City attorney-client confidential information to SunCal, to the local firefighters union, to Kate Quick of the local League of Women Voters, to Do and Knox White, and to Michele Ellson of The Island news website.

The documents also allege that Ms. Tam, in a response to a public records request from this publication pertaining to SunCal, responded to the request with information fed to her by SunCal, and blind-carbon-copied SunCal COO Frank Faye on her e-mail response.

Below is the City’s press release in its entirety.

Alameda Council Member Lena Tam Press Release

37 comments to City of Alameda Alleges Misconduct by Alameda City Councilmember Lena Tam

  • So John is a leader of APLUS and the Vice Chair of the Sunshine Task Force, which, ironically is the committee responsible for more transparency in Alameda city government. And he and Lauren form 2/3 of the blogging cadre at the SF Gate, and they, along with SunCal were the champions of the Yes on E campaign?

    And Anne-Marie Gallant is the whistle-blower here? Who exactly is minding the chicken coop these days?

  • Bob

    Good work getting this big news out so fast. Also. It was Lena Tam who appointed John Knox White to the Sunshine Task Force. What a sick joke this is turning into.

  • Barb

    I have nothing but respect for Ann Marie Gallant. She is a courageous and intelligent worker who strives to do the best for our City in spite of our elected officials who are generally a bunch of self-serving people looking for the next and bigger score. And the opposite for TAM. She should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. The League of Women Voters is also a joke. As is and has been TAM. They have pefected the art of “objectivity” and “honesty” in government to “business as usual”. Tammany Hall revisited.

  • Kate Quick of the LWV is listed in the hard copy documentation provided by the City as someone that Tam allegedly leaked information to.

  • As icky as Lena Tam may be, ICM Gallant is no dream date with her handing out of thousands of dollars of contracts without any oversight or review to her cronies. Haven’t you been following the whole branding of the city fiasco with the “We value the homogeneity of Alameda” poll that Ms Gallant’s hand-picked firm produced? Or any of the other contracts she awarded without review?

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  • Incredulous

    I read the press release, and I think that it is incredibly gutsy of the 4 City Council members to take the actions outlined.

    In the last week we’ve been exposed to stories about Russian “sleeper agents” in New York.

    Of course, what most people fail to realize is that the building industry has been financing political campaigns in California since the 1980’s and placing “sleeper agents” and “leakers” on public bodies all over the state. This is not just a problem isolated in Alameda, or a problem limited to City Council members. For example, planning departments all over the state have employees who are “moles” or “sleeper agents” for major developers.

    The sad fact is that the California Legislature has not wanted to tackle this problem in a blunt, head on way, because most of the members are former local officials themselves, who may have leaked a thing or two to their campaign supporters and friends.

    Political corruption in California is widespread, and it is not in the nature of dumb elected officials or public employees taking bribes or stealing things. They get their compensation in very sophisticated ways, often through third parties.

    Good luck to the City Council and its private attorney.

    However, I believe this endemic problem will not be solved unless the public approves a statewide ballot measure, akin to Proposition 13 in its significance, spelling out a laundry list of forbidden conduct by elected officials and employees of public agencies. While leaking attorney client privileged information may be #1 on the problem list, the problem list is far longer.

  • Incredulous

    Barb: Remember when you laughed at the question “Stupid or crooked”?

    You said both.

    Using a City email server to disseminate attorney-client privileged information?

    Arrogant and stupid.

  • Barb

    Yes I remember. And to Gillico I say that Gallant is the one who is singlehandedly or at least leading the charge of undoing all the damage done by the past two City Mangers FLINT and KURITA hired mostly by the current Council. It took them years to find out how dishonest (Flint) and incompetent (Kurita) were. They are the reason the City did not know how financially bad off it had become.

    Gallant and Highsmith have spent thousands of hours dealing with the debacle of SUNCAL. I forgive any indiscretion if Gallant awarded contracts to proven performers with whom she had a working history. She made no money, leaked no information and committed no crime. I believe the City needs her to focus on more important issues if Alameda is to be saved. If the citizens want more open bidding, then the Council can implement that. I think this is just an attempt by TAM to deflect the focus of what she was doing to someone else. Who were the main complainers?

    Exposing these breaches of confidentiality by TAM to KNOX WHITE, DO, ELLSON and QUICK is very enlightening. It shows TAM’s observed biases and prejudices even if these persons were unaware of being used by TAM. And that TAM thought – rightfully – that these persons would not notice the violations of TAM’s responsibilities to her constituents or turn her in for them. Notice that Action Alameda is significantly absent from allegations.

    TAM has become poison to anyone she favored. Wonder if WILMA CHAN and ALICE LAI-BITKER will stil be present at TAM’s re-election kickoff? I hope the DA does what the DA normally does to obtain results: Tells TAM that if she resigns and removes herself from politics forever, that the DA will not seek jail time.

  • Note that the “outrage” over Gallant’s branding initiative was initiated, fueled and covered by local bloggers and reporters named in the City’s allegations as people who have been the alleged recipients of Tam’s leaked information.

  • They weren’t the only ones outraged, AA.

    You went after the school board for doing the exact same thing, but you didn’t say a word about it with the city. Why not? Do you not think that local businesses deserve at least a chance to compete for bids?

  • True, Jack B. I am not a blogger on the local scene. But I am a local businessman who should have been contacted about available city contracts for a chance to compete and bid. I don’t have the right to win the contracts outright.

    For Ms Gallant to award contracts to out-of-City firms, who are less qualified and knowledgable than in-City firms, especially when there was no review or bid process, and for the firms only to get the job because they worked with Ms Gallant in other cities, is not ethical or proper behavior, no matter who uncovered it.

    Much the same with what appears to be going on with Ms Tam. Whomever the whistleblower is, there is still something wrong going on that needs to be fixed. Now.

  • We didn’t pursue it because it was so obviously and blatantly a smear campaign against the Interim City Manager orchestrated by Lena Tam’s crew. And we didn’t have Lena Tam leaking information to us about it. Further, our complaint with the school board was not so much that they went to an outside firm (that was something YOU brought up) but rather that the AUSD Supe spent $14,000 or so on a website re-design at the same time they hired the daughter of a school board trustee (McMahon) as “webmaster” with a job description that suggests she should have been able to handle the redesign herself. The problem with the AUSD website effort is not so much that it went to an out-of-alameda firm, but that it went to an outside firm at all, when they just hired a “webmaster” for some $50K per year.

    And, as you know from our discussion about the District’s website Jack, we are sympathetic to the local businesses who aren’t given a chance to participate in the bids. Certainly yourself, and other local business, should be given a shot to compete on equal terms for unnecessary website redesigns by both the City of Alameda and Alameda Unified School District.

  • It is not a smear campaign, actually. I am not involved with anyone else or coordinating my complaints with anyone. I am someone who has operated a business for many years in this city, registered it faithfully with the City, and never been notified of any relevant contracts to bid on.

    When the ICM hands out contracts without any review or oversight and comes up with results as egregious as a survey lauding the homogeneity of Alameda, there is clearly something broken with the process.

    I am a professional with decades of experience in design, marketing and branding, and intimately familiar with Alameda. I’m not saying my firm deserved the contract over the company Ms Gallant picked without any review, but I certainly deserved the chance to bid and present my qualifications. And, if the process had run correctly, my firm might just have been picked, the money might just have stayed in Alameda, and the embarrassing survey would never have been created.

    I am not in any way related to Mr. McMahon or anyone at the AUSD, so I am not really following this part of the discussion. My issue is that ICM Gallant is not performing her job to the benefit of the City nor is she exercising the proper review and oversight before awarding contracts.

    What ICM Gallant is doing has all the appearance of cronyism and favoritism, and from my chair, looks to be every bit as distasteful and possibly as illegal as what Ms Tam has engaged in, and deserves the same review and scrutiny.

  • Gillico, it sounds like you have a legitimate complaint. However, it looked as if the ‘rebranding’ issue was blown-up by Lauren Do and friends as part of their endeavor to tarnish and ultimately oust the Interim City Manager. There is a lot of anecodotal information circulating about how SunCal is trying to use the local bloggers, Lena Tam, etc. to get rid of Ann Marie Gallant because SunCal doesn’t like how she’s dealing with the Alameda Point issue. SunCal would surely prefer a more compliant City Manager than AMG.

    There is some pretty clear evidence now that Lena Tam was indeed working hand-in-hand with SunCal, Lauren Do, John Knox White etc. behind the scenes re: Alameda Point, and other issues – something that has been widely understood/suspected for some time, but for which no hard evidence has been produced until now. Marie Gilmore was also copied on a number of Lena’s back-channel e-mails about SunCal and the bond issue, and Marie is one who spoke to the press about the outside-contract issue. You may well ask yourself if you feel used at all – you have a fair complaint that was possibly leveraged by Tam and friends for their political gain.

    As for the rebranding – the question may not be why the deal went outside the City, but if/why it was even necessary at all. It’s hard to argue that taxpayer money which should never have been spent should have been spent in Alameda.

    Addendum: If either yourself and Jack B. want to contribute a quote for a follow-up story on the rebranding issue I’ll happily run a story. Send an e-mail to ‘newstips@action-alameda-news.com’ with your position/perspective.

    Similarly, we’ve been ignoring the “Civic Center Vision” story, because it’s not clear that there’s a pressing civic need for it.

  • I don’t feel used, no. I am disappointed at the loss of opportunity for both my firm and Alameda to get a good branding job to promote this wonderful city

  • send in your story… we’ll do an update….

  • Barb

    I agree with Gillico that he should have had an opportunity to be considered for contracts that were put out to bid in which he had registered an interest. That is why that process exists. I believe it is illegal however to give Alameda residents or businesses any additional consideration when awarding contracts by bid.

    The issue seems to be that this contract went without competitive bidding. Contracts of a significant amount should always be determined by the policy making body to be needed in the first place. And over a certain amount, if needed, awarded competitively. After concerns were registered, I don’t think this will happen again.

    Our Council is paid $50 a meeting for a grand total of $100 per month. (The Mayor gets and additional amount maybe $250). Regardless of whether or not one agrees with what or how they do what they do, it is a major commitment. Many well minded and qualified persons simply won’t consider even running for office because of that commitment. So to ask the Council to anticipate every problem before it happens, is just impossible. Much of the policy making is done by reaction. Not in anticipation or by planning ahead.

    When I was on the Council, I easily spent 30 hours a week doing City business. The City Manager, and any competent City Manager spends 16 hour days 6 days a week working on City business. I have seen Gallant and she works exceptionally hard and long hours. And is doing a fantastic job on the major issues. I believe that this simply was not high enough on her screen to be noticed among items she felt were more important. The real judge of her ability is whether this same thing happens again.

    Jack B and Gillico, you both seem like persons who are deeply concerned about the well being of our community. After judging why this attack was launched against Gallant, if you feel that the Council is not acting properly or that this situation was not handled well, then run for office. If elected, you can implement the changes you think are necessary to eliminate these problems.

    But as I said before, Gallant is doing a great job in some of the most important areas, such as figuring out how financially screwed up the entire city was after Kurita and Flint. She is the only reason we are not in bankrutpcy. And if she can undo the damage that was done by entering into the ENA with SUNCAL, I am prepared to cut her slack on lesser items. If that is not good enough for others, then they need to step up to the plate and run for office.

  • Barb makes a good point.

    The City of Alameda truly was on the verge of bankruptcy in late 2008. Net reserves in the General fund were less than $5 million. City Council finally woke up. They called a budget meeting in February where they finally “got it” – “it” being just how bad the City’s finances were, and shortly thereafter, then-City Manager Debra Kurita was ousted, and AMG become the Interim City Manager. A recent all-day Saturday budget meeting showed a turnaround in the City’s finances, judging by the budget documents we received. As best as we can tell, AMG is doing the right thing on the City’s finances and SunCal’s bid for Alameda Point, so far as we can tell, if not on contract bidding.

  • Barb said “That is why that process exists.”

    What process? The ICM has sidestepped this process entirely in her awarding of City contracts lately, and that is a major concern. As a taxpayer, I’d like some oversight into how ICM Gallant is spending the City’s money, especially when so much of it seems to be going to people she already has personal and business ties to.

    Again, this is not to take away from any issues with Lena Tam, but to underline that there are more problems going on at City Hall that need attention.

  • Come to think of it Jack – we spoke with you about the AUSD website issue, and you didn’t want to give a quote for attribution. You had a chance then to express your outrage about the District not giving local web designers a shot – you were the one that caught that and brought it up – and you didn’t speak up.

    http://www.action-alameda-news.com/2010/02/27/ausd-superintendent-kirsten-vital-weaves-a-tangled-web/

  • Barb

    OK Gillico you win. It really is quite important that the process was sidestepped. So let’s try look at this in perspective.

    1. What is the total budget for the City of Alameda?
    2. How many contracts are entered into each year by the City?
    3. What is the threshold amount that triggers a competitive bid for contracts? Or brings them to Council?
    4. Are there any other criteria which trigger a contract being placed out to competitive bid? Alternatively are there criteria which would remove an ordinarily competitively bid contract to be exempted from that process? Such as needing a legal opinion fast?
    5. What was the written policy guidance given the City Staff by the Council prior to the sidestepping of this process?
    6. What is stated on the current conflict of interest policy/disclosure that the City Manager must file and keep updated?
    7. Were the companies (or their principals) that received these contracts listed on Anne Marie Gallant’s form?
    8. Were they required to be listed on the form under Gov. Code Sec. 1090 and other applicable statutes?
    9. If they were required to be listed on the form and were not, is that a criminal violation of any kind?
    10. If the answer to 9. supra is YES, then what is the punishment or remedy?
    11. If the answer to 9. supra is NO, did the members of the City Council take appropriate action to see that this situation does not re-occur?
    12. Has the situation re-occured since such action was taken?
    13. Was the work sufficiently detailed in the contract as entered into, that it could be reviewed by someone charged with oversight? Could ordinary voters review it and see whether or not all ther terms and conditions of the contract had actually been fulfilled?
    14. Did the City get a detailed bill or some other form of details that could convey a sense of the amount of work that was necessary to achieve the goals of the contract?
    15. Did the contract seem fair?
    16. Were the terms of the contract fulfilled adequately?
    17. Were there penalties in the contract for late performance, non-performance etc?
    18. Is the contract completed by all parties?
    19. Were there objective terms in the contract by which the results could be judged?
    20. Did the taxpayers get their money’s worth? If not was there any negotiation concerning payment of the full amount? Or any criteria in the contract by which non-satisfactory performance could be mitigated?

    If you want more oversight than that currently being given, I believe there the City of Alameda is about to have an opening for Councilmember. If after working at your day job, you have plenty of energy to delve into these issues fairly, and all those other issues your constituents want you to look at as well, you may just be the person for the job. And you may be able to convince enough voters you are. And if elected and you get 2 other votes, you can make any changes you believe are in the best interests of the rest of the community. I wish you the best of luck. It sounds like you may have the motivation to do more than is currently be done.

  • Wow, my first political debate under my belt is a victory!

    Seriously though, Barb, it’s not so much the lack of oversight, it’s that the contracts which weren’t overseen went to people with whom she already had a relationship, either personally or professionally. That smacks of nepotism, cronyism, or whatever -ism applies to this situation.

    Even if contracts fall below the City’s review, the crumbs shouldn’t fall onto ICM Gallant’s friends’ and family’s plates.

  • Sorry, Gillico, not so fast. I was concerned about the re-branding matter, and looked into it. My own advertising/marketing/design business, Lazzari & Green, has been based in Alameda since 1988, and we’ve done some work with the City, the County, AMP and many local developers. Also done a lot of pro bono. Word on my street was this: Alameda City Managers in the past had run up a reputation for the very cronyism you charge the ICM with, awarding many contracts to local businesses that were unqualified but connected. I was told that Gallant was warned about this past history, and also told that showing favoritism to Island firms is illegal. She quite logically fell back on firms she had worked with before, that she believed to be qualified, with no connections in City government. My problem with AUSD and the website work is that the results are so mediocre that no one hired or contracted to do the work could possibly have met any ordinary qualifications. I taught advertising in Mass Com at Hayward State, so know enough to judge that AUSD website, with its spelling errors and vapid design, to make this judgment. Outside/Inside is not the point. Qualified is. I believe Gallant was attempting to avoid accusations of on-island cronyism common with her predecessors, and if those survey results suggest she was wrong, fine, but that’s not the wicked conspiracy that people have claimed. Have you ever asked the ICM about this issue? I find that the best way to find relief for my concerns is to ask the person in charge.

    Dennis Green

  • And by the way, AA, the Alameda Sun also got into the “Horrible Conspiracy!” act, with reporter Sam Felsing going so far as to invite readers who felt they could have qualified for those re-branding contracts to write him with details. (Sam has a very poor understanding of the journalistic practices of front-page news…) I wrote him, telling him about my business, and people I know who specialize in website design. I also told him to check out the AUSD website for an example of work obviously rewarded to unqualified people. That was before I started asking around about the allegations, and learned the past history of ON-ISLAND cronyism, which I was aware of before, but not just how bad it was, especially under “Emperor” Norton!

  • I don’t think my firm deserved preferential treatment, but if there are city contracts out for bid, there should be some sort of actual mechanism to let city firms, as well as other firms, know about it. That the contract went to a firm with whom the ICM has previous business ties makes it even ickier. If she wanted to maintain the appearance of impropriety, she should have chosen a firm with whom she had never done business. But for this firm to come back and tell me and my neighbors that one of the qualities we value about this city is “Homogeneity” doesn’t need a degree to raise an eyebrow or three.

  • I don’t quite understand your reasoning. Gallant should never contract with a firm she’s done work with before, because..? I’m sure glad my long-term clients don’t do business that way. If she had positive experience with this firm before, all the more reason to turn to them again. You think an on-island firm would have been more objective? I seriously doubt it. As for the assumption that no one on the island values “homogeneity,” you and others who laugh it off may just be reflecting your own partisan and bitter feelings toward what little diversity there is. I’ve always perceived Alameda as a “tight little island” where at most two parties within a pretty homogenous culture prevails. No medical marijuana outlets, a government and school board dominated by white faces, no outspoken radical viewpoints, etc.

  • Gillico – re-read the “East Bay Open Gov’t” story – where does it say that the outside attorney was a former employer of Gallant? I think you’re confusing that with the accusations by Tam that Gallant handed the bond deal to a former employer.

    Tam had a back-channel dialog with Lonnie Odom of Stinson Securities LLC, who wanted the bond deal business, and pitched a structure to Gallant. Odom wanted the bond business and didn’t get it. Tam alleged that Gallant had a relationship with the company that did get the business – Gallant denied it, and that exchange from the June 15th city council meeting minutes is reported below. Gallant said that she did consulting work for 10 to 12 months for a different subsidiary back in 1993/1994.

    In the hard copy packet of information about Tam’s alleged mis-deeds, released by the City, Gallant says that the bond deal went to competitive bid, and Stinson Securities/Lonnie Odom did not bid.

    Many of us closely watching City Hall for a long time now have, based on Tam’s behavior, presumed that she has been doing SunCal’s bidding. This includes trying to discredit the City Manager and force her removal, so that the City would replace her with someone more pliable and responsive to what SunCal wants. Someone like the previous City Manager, Debra Kurita, perhaps.

    What’s not clear is why Tam was pushing to let Stinson Securities into the bond placement deal.

    http://www.ci.alameda.ca.us/archive/2010/attachments/cc_sub_3477.pdf

    Council member Tam stated that she is very uneasy regarding the partnership; one of
    the partners mentioned that the Interim City Manager worked for Mr. Holmstedt.
    The Interim City Manager stated that she worked for Westhoff Martin Financial Services
    Group which is not Westhoff Martin Banking Group.

    Councilmember Tam stated that she is focusing more on the comment that there was a
    business partnership with Mr. Holmstedt and the Interim City Manager.

    The Interim City Manager stated the companies are separate; that she did consulting
    work for approximately ten to twelve months; she did not do banking work.

    Councilmember Tam stated the City is dealing with appearances; clearly, one member
    of the team secured the position because of a relationship with the Interim City
    Manager.

    The Interim City Manager stated that there was no relationship because she worked for
    a subsidiary in 1993 and 1994 which was fifteen years ago; she knew Mr. Holmstedt
    before when he was working for other firms; some firms will suggest debt issues that
    are risky and she does not believe WCH would.

    Council member Tam inquired whether the partnership between the Interim City
    Manager and Mr. Holmstedt still exists.

    The Interim City Manager responded in the negative; stated that she is not a partner
    and does not know if the firm exists anymore; she does not receive any annuities; stock
    options , and is not making any money on the transaction.

  • Again, My concern is that people in this city are fracturing along partisan lines. Those who support Lena Tam are in one camp, those who support Anne-Marie Gallant are in another. Much like any other recent political issue, like, Measure B or E….

    The problem is, life isn’t that black and white. I don’t think anyone can line up and say that Tam is 100% evil and Gallant is 100% clean, or vice versa, whomever you support. We’re not supporting sports teams competing against each other here, we’re supposed to be supporting our local community and making it better.

    I think both women have committed acts that are worthy of oversight by the the people who hired them, that’s all. I’m really completely over not being notified about the city branding contract and how badly it turned out; I have other clients. I am more interested in seeing this City run properly, ethically and incorruptly.

  • Actually, it’s the other way around – the citizens of Alameda are already divided into two camps, and those camps are falling in behind either Tam or Gallant, according to their world view.

    One group generally prefers Alameda as it is – slow population growth, low crime-rate, minimal traffic, high quality of life etc.

    The second group is generally pro-big development.

    The former group sees what Gallant doing vis-a-vis SunCal as preserving what they like in Alameda – a defense against Big Development – and Tam’s behavior (getting close to SunCal) as a threat.

    The latter group sees Tam fostering the pro big development agenda, and Gallant standing in the way.

    Change the players – Tam, Gallant, Gillico for Mayor, whomever – and those two camps will exist and find someone in a position of authority to support or oppose in accordance with their worldview.

    As for reviewing Gallant, I think the ball is in the court of her detractors to provide further, more detailed, evidence of her alleged mis-deeds than they have so far. To date, it’s only been allegations in City Council meetings in front of Council – her boss – and Gallant has responded. They don’t necessarily need a report as detailed as the one on Tam, but something closer to that than anything they have presented to date.

  • That’s frustrating. Because there is a bigger issue of both women, not one OR the other.

  • So now you’re okay with the money spent on telling Alamedans that we value Homogeneity by the firm Ms Gallant selected and previously work with, AA? Even when Dennis, Jack B or I were never even notified the project existed?

    Why do we register our businesses with the city as designers, then? What is this process Barb mentioned? How exactly does Ms Gallant get to select who she spends the City’s money on?

    I think you’re falling into the same trap you just described of being in a particular camp and sticking to it according to your worldview.

  • I’ve never said that I was ok or not ok with the rebranding contract. I did say that I was initially dismissive of the issue as it looked more like an problem contrived by Gallant’s opponents than a matter with real substance. I interviewed you for your comments on the issue, and I’m still waiting for Gallant to get back to me with questions I sent her. However, I suspect she won’t respond.

    I believe the reason you register with the City is so that they can make you pay business related tax on your revenues, and NOT so that they can send you notifications of upcoming contracts to bid on. The reason you provide the type of your business to the City (designer, landlord, auto mechanic) is because they tax differently based on the type of business. (I think this is in the municipal code, and/or documented on the City’s website under the “how to do business in alameda” section.)

    My understanding is that the City Manager has authority to enter into contracts with 3rd parties for amounts up to a certain limit (I forget the number) without taking it to Council for approval, and I understand that’s what she did in this case. The reason for this is to provide a trade-off between the risk of money being ill-spent, and allowing the City to function on a day-to-day basis between City Council meetings. Imagine how much more wretched City Council meetings would be if Council had to review and approve every expenditure, no matter how small!

    As a citizen/resident/taxpayer, you are free to make a request to City Hall to ask for a copy of the documented process that the City Manager uses for awarding such contracts. Go to the City’s website, then go to “Alameda Access” and make a public records request to the City Clerk. They should respond immediately, or they have 10 days to evaluate the request and explain why they are denying it. If you do so, feel free to forward the response from the City on to us here at ‘newstips@action-alameda-news.com’

  • Gillico, I’ve stated elsewhere why I think it’s unfair, unjust and illogical to lump Tam and Gallant into the same stewpot, (and Gallant is the most honest CM I’ve seen in Alameda since 1988!), but the other reason is that one is elected/political and the other is hired/apolitical. Politicians at the local level are notoriously corrupt, or at least conflicted, but in a CIty Manager dominated town the size of Alameda, our smallness works in favor of honest and effective management.

    If only the balance of professional/political were more in evidence at AUSD. We’ll never know why all those contracts and hiring decisions at school headquarters were made in favor of firms and individuals that appear to have no obvious qualifications for the job. Supe Vital pays Erwin & Muir $300/hour for the kind of advice that lost the Measure E election, even with as much as $500K spent to get it approved. And then there’s the whole convoluted matter of the AUSD web site, its “re-design” and its “Webmaster,” tons of money producing a site rife with spelling errors and vapid design. If you were as upset about all that, I’d take you more seriously. But that’s why it seems you’re just part of the vendetta against Gallant, which is more about her resistance to SunCal, NOT your friend, than anything else. I agree with the others here. Run for office! Council or even School Board. Then you can prove you have a mind of your own that is tight on its own hinges!

  • To say that Ms Gallant is apolitical is amusing. So is the concept that she is providing honest and effective management.

    But you are right, there are problems with the AUSD too, and in other areas of City Government. As I said elsewhere, I have my blinders off, there are problems everywhere, not just with your “cause celèbre”, Lena Tam.

  • Barb

    We can’t blame Gallant for following the rules set by the Council (TAM included)as far as the amount and type of contract that is not required to go to bid. We can blame TAM for forwarding insider information to PAT KELIHER while the City is in negotiations with SUNCAL.
    Gillico, in your business, if someone was feeding information to a competitor about your contracting process, would you allow that person to be included in your next private meeting? Or would you fire that person? This was not just a simple contract, but the entire future of Alameda Point. And TAM supporters such as SUNCAL, QUICK, KNOX WHITE, KELIHER, and others who were privy to blind copies by TAM will do or say whatever they can to defend TAM and by so doing defend themselves.
    Until we have the results of a complete investigation, the extent of what she did will not be known. TAM and SUNCAL are practising that old wartime maxim, that the Best Defense is a Good Offense. SUNCAL will do anything to get the ENA extended. Including the potential claim that the DA’s investigation of TAM by necessity triggers an extension. What a mess TAM got the City and taxpayers into when she climbed in bed with SUNCAL.

  • Gee, Gillico, “amusing” sounds so condescending. More like a soundbite though, than a rational argument. Dismissive. You just pile on one accusation after another on Gallant, but have yet to cite any evidence of her wrongdoing, or her political favoritism. She’s being tough with SunCal. So what? Isn’t that her job, to look after the interests of the city and its citizen taxpayers? How do you explain Tam’s dedication to SunCal? Or do you find such questions “amusing”?

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  • August Survey Shows Rents Declining Year-Over-Year https://t.co/fLFBPYjYU3 ,
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  • August Survey Shows Rents Declining Year-Over-Year https://t.co/fLFBPYjYU3 ,

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