City Hall Insider: agenda notes from around the East Bay, Dec. 1-4

ALAMEDA/Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
Council to close moratorium loophole; ALPR audit

RENT MORATORIUM DO-OVER Nearly a month ago, the Alameda City Council passed an urgency 65-day moratorium on rents and evictions. Just a few days later, a South Bay equity firm located a loophole in the ordinance involving an exception for evictions when large capital improvements are slated for the building. The purpose of the moratorium, remarked some councilmembers, was to allow for a “cooling off period” for type of fears rekindled by Sridhar Equities’ mass eviction at 470 Central Avenue. On Tuesday, the City Council will attempted to remove the offending provision in the ordinance. In addition, some councilmembers may seek an avenue to force the equity firm to rescind its 60-day notices. However, the legality of such a move is not known.

NEW CITY MANAGER ANNOUNCEMENT? Alameda has been without a permanent city manager since John Russo left the island for Riverside last May. The City Council has scheduled a closed session meeting for Friday, Dec. 4, to possibly hire a new city manager. That would be the earliest such an announcement could be made. Current Interim City Manager Liz Warmerdam showed early interest in the keeping the job, but it appears an outside candidate is more likely. Regardless, the next city manager will not likely be on the job until well into next January.

LACK OF TRANSPARENCY WITH ALPRS An Alameda Police Department audit of the first six months of  its Automated License Plate Readers yielded more than 995,000 scans. The four police car-mounted cameras returned 824 tentative hits, said the report, that led to the recovery of 28 stolen automobiles. Percentage of tentative hits, though, was just 0.08 percent. Furthermore, 621 of the hits came from a single case of stolen license plate numbers. More problematic is the appearance the Alameda PD had difficulty setting up the system or correctly utilizing it in the early going. It found the ALPR database was accessed by police 68 times, but 30 “unconfirmed queries appear to have had a legitimate law enforcement purpose; however, they did not have sufficient information in the logs or any other known police document to immediately confirm the legitimacy of their search,” said the report. The problem was linked to officers incorrectly setting up their user accounts and was later corrected, the audit found. Most of the unverified logins came from 10 users who would later asked to provide reasons for their previous inquiries. Although, Alameda PD asserts the unverified searches were “confirmed to have legitimate law enforcement purposes, the report added, The remaining 10 unverified queries were either not recalled by the three ALPR users that ran them or still lacked sufficient information to confirm the legitimacy of their search.” READ ENTIRE AGENDA HERE

Dec. 1, starts at 9:30 a.m.
Full slate of committee features grant for public safety

COPS GRANT FOR NEW OFFICERS Several public safety-related grant approvals are featured during Tuesday evening’s Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee. A federal grant from the Department of Justice worth $1.8 million to cover entry-level salaries and benefits for 15 police officers is set for early city approval. A $1.1 million Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2015 grant from the Urban Area Security Initiative for the Oakland Fire Department to perform all types of disaster and terrorism-related functions is on the agenda. In addition, $200,000 in Homeland Security funding through the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is available. The funds will be used to purchase SCUBA gear.

HAYWARD/Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
State of Hayward’s economy; ordinance for recycled water

ECONOMIC STRATEGY UPDATE Hayward’s industrial sector is doing well, says a city report on economic development, but it lacks room for expanding. With 36 million square feet of industrial space, just 4.3 percent of it is vacant. In addition, six industrial businesses types were identified by the report. They include: advanced materials; biomedical and biotech, business and financial services; food and beverage; I.T.; and transportation and logistics. But, the most significant finding, said the report, is Hayward’s potential leg up on various “advanced industries” that represent burgeoning business sectors. Similarly, Hayward’s retail sector lacks room for expansion, but the existing stock is showing less promise. Large portions of Hayward’s downtown remain empty and a majority of the city’s retail space are commercial strip malls that have fallen out of favor with modern city planners.

RECYCLED WATER ORDINANCE Hayward is dependent on outside source for its water. With the drought likely an impetus, the City Council will discuss an ordinance to designate and encourage recycled water can be used instead of potable water. READ ENTIRE AGENDA HERE

Dec. 1, 10:45 a.m.