The Grand Jury report is out

If you have not read the report, stop here.

Read it first.   I’ll wait.

Do not even think of drafting a comment before you have read it.  Don’t just form your opinion based on the East Bay Citizen piece (which I had intended to write about for today while waiting for the report to release).  Read it.

Then read it again.

My secondary thoughts after a much more thorough reading is: it’s politically problematic for the councilmembers referenced, but there is some interesting framing around the facts established that makes the overall conclusion slightly problematic upon deeper review.

One of my main nitpicks with the report is tying both CM1 and CM2 together.  We all know who CM1 and CM2 is right?  If not CM1 = Jim Oddie, CM2 = Malia Vella.  I’ll just use CM1 and CM2 since it will be easier for my typing.

The premise used by the Grand Jury to say that both CM1 and CM2 violated the charter by interfering with the duties of the City Manager based on a “pattern of conduct.”  There is most definitely a pattern of conduct established for CM1 but for CM2 it’s much less clearly stated.  A lot of the pattern for CM2 is established by simply connecting CM1 to CM2 and in the conclusion the Grand Jury definitively states:

Here, in the Grand Jury’s opinion, CM1 committed more significant violations of the charter.

And while they point to a lot of actions of CM1, distinct from CM2, to establish the pattern the reverse is not true.  All of the problematic actions of CM2 are tied to the actions of CM1.  Even at the end when the Grand Jury opts to not recommend removal the rationale given is that an election already occurred with the public knowing the large majority of what happened, but CM1 still earned a seat with his third place finish and subsequent appointment.   But the report fails to come to a meaningful rationale as to why they opted to not recommend removal for CM2 because — as mentioned — the “pattern” is only established via a connection with CM1.

Anyway, a deeper dive in a future post since we probably won’t see this come up on the City Council’s agenda at their next meeting.

from Blogging Bayport Alameda