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Alameda City Council Approves Firefighters Contract

Last night, in a 4-1 vote, Alameda City Council approved a three-year contract between the City and the International Association of Firefighters Local 689. The contract begins retroactively effective January 3, 2010 and runs until June 29, 2013.

Several speakers during the public comment period for the item asked Council to delay the vote to give the public more time to review the contract, or noted that the vote comes just three weeks after the death of Raymond Zack at Crown Beach on Memorial Day.

Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore, Vice-Mayor Rob Bonta, and Councilmembers Beverly Johnson and Lena Tam voted to approve the contract; Councilmember Doug deHaan voted against, citing the public speakers’ requests for more time to review the agreement.

20 comments to Alameda City Council Approves Firefighters Contract

  • Barb

    What did anyone expect? The Council was bought and paid for and they delivered. Now Russo can sit back for the next 5 years and blame the Council for tying his hands.

  • smart voter

    I agree Barb, it was a foregone conclusion, we all knew it was coming. They bought them self a very expensive mouthpiece in Russo and now we have four people making decisions that will affect all of us. I wonder how long the citizen of Alameda are going to tolerate this . Last night showed the disrespect these people have for the people of Alameda. I was very surprised about Johnson though, I was sure she would side with DeHaan, is this not the reason she ran again , to give some support to DeHaan, I voted for her because of this and now I am sorry I did. I respect DeHaan for what he did last night, he is a man of integrity and I wish he and people like him would be in charge of running our City.
    Thank you also to the two Kevin’s , who so eloquently laid out the state of our City and the mess we are in . We, the people of this City need to get involved and start demanding reform and accountability from our public servants. We elected them and we have the power to throw them out as well.

  • notmayberry

    Gosh, Smart Voter. I could have written your post! Ditto to everything U said!

  • hobnob

    BTW, I’ve been hearing from people that the police are AGGRESSIVELY ticketing people all over Alameda. I guess it’s not just Alameda, most cities are doing it b/c they need to fill their coiffers.

    I know, our speed limitis 25 MPH, but of the complaints I heard, people are getting tickets for going 31 or 32 mph, and it’s like a 400 dollar speeding ticket.

    I think the city needs to focus on more ways to bring in business and revenue and not start charging the citizens of Alameda more money to live here.

  • a94501er

    @hobnob … on the contrary, APD appears to be AWOL. Cars are speeding all over town and just this morning, I was passed by a car doing atleast 40mph (and here’s the kicker): an APD car was headed in the opposite direction but did NOTHING!

  • a94501er

    40mph on Lincoln.

  • Barb

    THEY HAVE TO RAISE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR TAM’S LEGAL FEES SOMEWHERE DON’T THEY???? $47k that’s almost 1/2 a firefighter!

    Cities and the CHP are ticketing whenever possible. If everyone who got a ticket, fought it, (ask for a speedy trial within 45 days of paying fine/arraignment in person) the courts would be overwhelmed and could not handle it. 50% of time officers do not show up for trial. If it is a radar ticket, on a local road – not a highway- it used to be required to have a valid speed survey, with the speed limit set 80% of the median as determined by the survey. Or the officer’s testimony was inadmissible. Lincoln Avenue going west was an illegal trap and radar could not be used. (Unless they have updated the survey.) The legislature determined that they did not want cops sitting around and just issuing tickets (to them no doubt) and prefer the cops drive around.

  • ralph

    Hotnob :
    the law past this year with the push from among other AAA and the insurance industry make it impossible for City to bank on speeding ticket and moving violation , only a small % goes back to Cities , for the Insurances however it’s pay dirt because now they can raise your rate as high as it is legally feasable .
    part 2 : I am a chronic speeder 160 to 190 Mph on an empty highway 5 with low cloud condition {CHP plane can’t fly} little drizzle render radar and lazer technology useless , I do precise Empty freeway at my own risk, at that speed someone will collect my life insurance.
    Part 3 : I happen to like the Alasmeda Cops they are keeping our town clean and clear , as far as the numbers of speeding citation , most likely a couples of their tickets book would be accurate , I deserve everyone of them , for many reason , not everyone has the same reflex , not everyone is cleam {alcohol and drug} not everyone know how to handle their vehicle {I used to road race}the last citation , I simply told the Officer , :it’s okay Sit it’s for the dozen of time you missed me , the reply see you in court then .
    Speeder at large in Alameda have no clue how to stop their vehicle , send it in a controled spin to stop it , gather a few bucks and go to sonom,a learn how to drive fast .
    Speeder alsop destroy the pavement , make more noise and dust , Every Citation is well deserved , it has also come to my attention Via The Sun , those traffic stop have resiulted in major criminal being arrested . I hate traffic tickets, love my safety. Alameda PD provide it and I pay for it.
    Just remember the Insurance industry pushed and had that law passed , they “GEICO” also provide some law enforcement agency with traffic radar they don’t tell you that in their commercial.{not in Alameda to my knowledge} Don’t like the Cops , Don’t like Tickets ,don’t casre about safety move one bridge away Oakland is the perfect place they don’t even enforce red light runner .

  • ralph

    Barb,
    With my klong experience I strongly recommend you not to try this in Alameda Police Officer show up 100% of the time , it fall in their schedule and they know it weeks in advance , unless they are sick , they will be there and you will make a foul of yourself with a traffic commissioner that side 100 of the time with them , they also like for myseklf will remember you , next time around they wonm’t cut you any slack. on the overhall I take an Alameda Cop any time over a CHP or any Sheriff.

  • Bob

    Back to the firefighters contract. Gilmore, Bonta, Tam, and Johnson just told the citizens of Alameda they do not care about us. They care about a few men wearing blue uniforms who stand around doing nothing when they have been called to work. Witness the scene at the beach May 30.
    One and only one speaker last night said “Yeah, give the firemen what they want.” Then G,B,T, and Johnson did just that.

    Let us wake up our neighbors and tell them what is going on in Alameda!

  • Barb

    It’s what I do for a living. Tried it, won. Cop went on for 10- 15 minutes about everything I did wrong in my lovely 1991 SR5 Toyota PU truck. I moved to strike his entire testimony. Judge (Note Judge – not commissioner. You have a right to a trial by judge) left the bench, read the case I provided, probably Shepardized it, reviewed the traffic surveys given to him by the Commissioner from his bench, and then came back and dismissed the case. I didn’t have to say a word. Don’t recommend this to the fainthearted.
    PS this tip about the median speed/radar was not learned in law school. It was provided to me by an Alameda Police Officer. The only thing not current is the status of Alameda’s Traffic Engineering surveys. Instead of 5 years they have an extension for 10 years. But with budget cuts who knows?

    There is also an issue on red light cameras that the Alameda Superior Court Appeals department is taking quite seriously. OAkland is busy installing them, Fremont is amuck in them.

    Red Light Photo Enforcement Cases

    Last year Alameda’s appellate division reversed red-light traffic convictions that were obtained by the aid of “red light photo” equipment installed at the intersection where the alleged violation occurred. People v. Blankenship.

    The judgment of the trial court is reversed 3-0. See, Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts (2009) 129 S.Ct. 2527. Here, as in that case, there was no live testimony by any person actually involved in the preparation or production of the crucial evidence. Like the affidavits in Melendez-Diaz, the Redflex Traffic Systems Court Evidence Package (the “Redflex Packet”) consists of after-the-fact documentation of an alleged infraction: e.g., the Redflex co-custodian’s declaration that the Redflex Packet was prepared in the normal course of business and according to certain protocols. In this case, as in Melendez-Diaz, the co-custodian was not present in court or otherwise available for cross examination. Moreover, the sole testifying witness here, Ms. Sylvester, admitted that she did not know any of the following: “ how many technicians at Redflex were assigned to process Emeryville cases”, “who the technicians were who created the system for Emeryville, nor who installed it”, or who the technicians at Redflex were who reviewed this particular violation.” (See Settled Statement, CT 15 p.3) Because the defense was not able to freely and adequately cross-examine the testifying witness on any of these issues, and because of the absence of a witness who could have testified as to the facts underlying the Redflex Packet, Appellant’s Sixth Amendment rights were violated, and the judgment below must be reversed.

    The above is not intended as legal advice.

    A friend of mine got a ticket for speeding in Texas on her rental car. The fine was $12. She gladly paid.

  • 93gobears

    Does anyone have anything bad to say about DeHann? Ie is he economically or politically associated with SunCal, the APD, the AFD, the Alameda Hospital, or any other City function which requires a contract and payment of money?

    DeHann seems to be the only honest player. Am I wrong in this respect?

  • 93gobears

    I got here in 1972 at the age of two, went to AHS, UC Berkeley, GGU SoLaw and have never held a residence more than 15 miles from my home town of Alameda.

    I used to feel confident that Alameda would remain a bedroom community with easy access to SF and OAK, all the while maintaining it’s small town ethos from top to bottom.

    Unfortunately that does not apear to be the case.

    Carpetbaggers beware.

  • hobnob

    Ralph:

    – I’ve never got a speeding ticket in Alameda, b/c I try to go the speed limit of 25mph, especially in residential areas.
    – I’m not trying to insult the APD, just saying that a few people I know have heard people getting speeding tickets for going 31-32mph

    Anyway, Alameda is having a bigger uptick of crime… just 2 nights ago, a bus friend’s son got robbed on the corner of Willow and Franciscan at 6:30pm at night (but broad daylight).
    He was robbed of his wallet and ipod. 2 teenagers punched him and held him on the ground. 2 or 3 others stood on lookout.
    – don’t call this bullying and teenage romping, it’s stealing and I hope they find those buggers (which they never will) and throw the book at them.

  • Marie

    I’ve lived in Alameda a long time, and am a voter and homeowner, but have only recently begun to pay attention to what is going on hereabouts. I’m astonished what our elected representatives and Russo appear to be. Except for DeHaan, they totally disgust me.
    I’ve never seen a more self-serving craven bunch. Give them a few more years and they will even physically resemble their counterparts in Bell. Sorry!!! I’m still reeling.

  • Barb

    93gobears:
    Born here, EHS, UCB, Hastings, Vice-Mayor 87-89- Council 90-91.
    DeHaan is the only honest player. Bev means well, but cannot hold her own. Gilmore is an attorney who claims not to be, Bonta is an attorney who could not prove it by his performance, and Tam is subject to prosecution for her salesmanship (Selling us out to the firefighters)
    Unfortunately the fundamental flaw is that the council is a volunteer organization. It takes 30 hours a week to do an honest basic job.
    We are a charter City and when the Charter was adopted the CM got paid 3000 a year, and the Mayor received a like amount. The Mayor still gets the same amount tho, Russo gets 215 plus 50% in benefits. SO baasically City Government- paid staff runs the place. And they are wined and dined by developers who pay their salaries through development fees and firefighters who campaign for them and pay for the services they expect to and do receive after election.

    Give me a 187 defendant anyday. They at least have some concept that the world does not exist for their benefit. And usually a reasonable explanation. Unlike our council which sells us out over and aover again in exchange for temporal approval by those with money. They sell us out cheaply and for what? A “We Love you” (while you are in office) by the firefighters, SUNCAL and Rown Cowan?

    Hard for Dehaan to talk to deaf and ignorant ears forever. It is disheartening and they count on it. People who are not retired or independently wealthy don’t have a chance to do a good job. Let alone run.

  • 94502

    Back to 16:32 on the tape above, saying they had “run through all our batteries on the auto pulse,” meaning the batteries were dead.

    How difficult is it to keep batteries alive and well on rescue equipment?

    Whose responsibility is it to check their batteries regularly?

    Certainly they have time when they’re whiling away their time in the fire stations.

    So very many people were so very asleep at the wheel on May 30 and before that.

  • 93gobears

    Thank you Barb.

    Message Read and Delivered.

    The carpetbagger politician issue, simply because of the changing demographics in Alameda, will continue to be a problem for years to come.

    I’d hate to see SF style politics become the norm in this city.

  • Betty

    I believe Doug is a good guy and has only Alameda’s interest in his deeds. I don’t trust the other four. I believe they are out for themselves not the city. I think Russo was hired as CM before the election. I also believe this city is run by the Fireman’s Union.
    I was dishearten with the union after they published and mailed out all those lies about Doug before the election and now with the drowning of this poor man. No matter what happens nothing can undo these 2 travesties. Doug can be proud and look at himself in the mirror but Mr. Zack is dead. They can talk about transparency all they want…nothing will bring Mr Zack back.
    Alameda could be so wonderful…but I don’t have high hopes for the future. Oh and by the way…I will no longer attend any functions sponsered by the Firemans’ Union.

  • 94502

    The May 30 death at the beach changes everything in Alameda.

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