Alameda city manager, in memo, alleges councilmembers illegally interfered in selection of fire chief

Alameda City Hall is again in upheaval after its city
manager alleged some councilmembers violated its
City Charter.

Alameda City Manager Jill Keimach, in a memo sent to the City Council earlier this month, alleged that some elected city officials illegally pressured her to hire a union-backed candidate for the open fire chief position. Interference by councilmembers in the duties of the city manager is prohibited in the City Charter.

In a letter sent by Keimach to the council dated Oct. 2, the day before she tabbed Ed Rodriguez as fire chief, but sent on the day of the announcement, does not specifically name which city officials allegedly pressured Keimach to select Domenick Weaver, a former president of the Alameda International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 689. It does, however, make a number of serious allegations.

“The selection of our new Fire Chief should not be driven by unseemly political pressure,” wrote Keimach. “The pressure is explicitly prohibited by Alameda’s Charter Section 7-3, as pointed out by the city attorney. Our focus should be on the qualifications, interview and test results, and abilities of the candidate to do the best job for the City of Alameda.”

Keimach makes a series of allegations in the rougly three-page letter. She claims city elected officials communicated to her that there is three member of the council willing to terminate her employment, alleged other candidates for the fire chief position were threatened in effort for them to withdraw their applications.

In addition, Keimach references a “two-councilmember meeting” she attended where it was suggested the hiring of Weaver “would be in the best interest of labor peace.”

In an interview earlier this month, Keimach would not answer whether the allegations of interference were directed at specific councilmembers or even the City Council. Instead she simply referenced the City Charter code related to interference.

Keimach also claims the council purposefully delayed her annual review scheduled for last March in an effort to tie her selection of a fire chief to her evaluation, while also creating parameters for her duties that were untenable. Keimach was hired in March 2016 after a stint as Moraga town manager.

On Tuesday, the City Council is scheduled to meet again in closed session to discuss Keimach’s evaluation, and that of the city attorney and city clerk.

8 thoughts on “Alameda city manager, in memo, alleges councilmembers illegally interfered in selection of fire chief

  1. By MW:

    According to the fourth paragraph of this article, it seems that Keimach alleged that it was communicated to her that three members of the City Council were considering terminating her, and evidently if she did not select the person they so desired to be the Fire Chief.

    However I thought that is the way it is supposed to work, in other words first they get everything secretly arranged in an illegal backroom fix, and then they go through the window dressing of pretending to do an “investigation” of the merits of each person's or proposal's pluses and minuses so as to supposedly come up with a selection or “conclusion,” and even though actually the conclusion was already made before they even went through their scripted, choreographed, and prearranged charade of looking at the merits of each person or proposal.

    For instance, that is how the California Public Utilities Commission normally conducts it hearings so as to determine how much it will grant in utility rate increases. That is how Alameda County's DA's office, County Counsel's office, and Public Works Agency normally conduct their “investigations.”

    So boys and girls, if you want anything from government, do not forget to provide the big boys with large election campaign contributions and under the table bribes, and so that way their “studies” and “investigations” will “prove” that your bid, idea, proposal, or candidate is the “best” one.


  2. You said it 11:51 !! Finally, someone standing up for the oppressed, downtrodden and marginalized around here. As the Memphis, Tenn. garbage workers had to remind an indifferent nation in 1968, “I AM A MAN”.


  3. Union whores of the world must be whipped and beaten down into subservience. They MUST learn their place! We won't stand for their thinking that they have any say. They are workers who must obey their employers els'n they will be fired en mass. We have no patience in these sluts thinking they are equals to their employers. They are not!


  4. By MW:

    The post of 4:44 is an extremely interesting assertion.

    Related to the opinion it is making, I have seen plenty of instances in which someone had been continually acting more and more outrageously, and always getting away with it, and which therefore caused the person to become convinced that there was absolutely no limits to what he could pull and get away with. And as a result, he kept on engaging in the very most, or even more, outrageous activity, and for so long, that finally one day people said ENOUGH, and then he got publicly outed, taken down, and destroyed. Ask Harvey Weinstein for details.

    And also as far as the fire unions, when they ask for still more money in salaries and for fire protection, and which they certainly will, and especially as a result of the huge and many fires up north, and such as in Calistoga, Napa, Santa Rosa, Solano, and Sonoma, etc, just emphasize that rather than us paying alcoholics salaries of often 200K and up, and also paying them even more outrageously high pensions, we should pay them no more than 60K per year, and also much smaller pensions.

    That way we could not only double the amount of firefighters, but also considerably reduce the amount of money we are presently paying for fire protection.


  5. Alameda has been pretty easy pickins for the fire union up to now. They forget that while they can milk the cow, they shouldn’t beat it, especially when they’re standing behind it. That cow is waking up and its rarin’ to kick.


  6. By MW:

    A few months ago I was at a public meeting involving the activities of one of the East Bay's towns, and one of the more involved members of the community told the members of the Board of Directors of that town that it did not look good when they had public disputes among each other.

    She was extremely vehement that they should present a united front to the general public, and that any disputes and/or disagreements among themselves should be worked out quietly and in private.

    So my advice to Jill Keimach is she should have kept quiet and taken one for the team, and that way all of us little people would be less likely to suspect that the higher ranks of government are heavily infested with sleazeballs and scumbags.


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