We are a small unaffiliated group of Alameda residents (myself, Karin Lucas [attorney and former Alameda City Council Member], Horst Breuer [former Economic Development Commission Chair], Adam Gillitt [2010 city council candidate], Greg de Haan, Denise Lai, Mark Linde, Rosemary McNally) who authored, signed, and sent a request for an investigation to California State Attorney General (AG) Kamala Harris. We are unrelated by campaigns or any politics but are united in a single purpose: we have a right to expect fire services to rescue and protect us and we have a right to expect our city management to ensure this.
It seems simple, yet our city has been failing us in this regard for years—we have been subjected to a series of extreme city-wide exposures to highly toxic and regulated substances (asbestos and crude oil), and now these failings have culminated in the death of Raymond Zack.
Why? Moreover, what or whom is next?!
Our fire services have politicized the issue, and rather than take our complaints seriously, our mayor exacerbated the situation: without a recruitment process, she placed a retired captain unqualified to lead at the helm of a fire services agency that serves a city of 74,000 residents. This contradicts everything we know about how fire and public management skills, rank, ICS (Incident Command System), and recent experience matter when it comes to public safety services. We brought our concerns to fire and city management and leadership. When those proved unresponsive, we felt it was necessary for the safety of this community to escalate it and bring these issues to the attention of AG Harris.
I’d also like to thank the fire department for it’s recent unannounced surveillance of my property and the police department for their sudden increased presence on Mariner Square Drive. I’m sure the increased scrutiny my property is under has nothing to do with our complaint to the attorney general.
– Liz Williams, Alameda