2018 Alameda City Council Election
This election year presents our city with tough choices. Tough choices that will potentially have long-term effects on the fiscal health and viability of our city.
The recent budget update from City Staff states our condition very clearly: "Although the economic outlook for Alameda continues to improve, the City faces fiscal challenges and opportunities in the years ahead."
Maintaining City assets is critical to the long term health of the City, but that work has been chronically under-funded over the past two decades. According to City Staff, there is a $300 million backlog of work that needs to be done to keep our storm drains from polluting the bay, keep our water, parks and buildings safe, and maintain our streets and sidewalks.
Additionally, retiree medical benefits for City employees are underfunded by over $100 million and continue to grow at a rate faster than the City revenues the come in.
And pension plans for City employees are underfunded by over $200 million, resulting in pension payments consuming millions of dollars more of the City's revenue every year for the next decade and beyond.
All of these issues continue to sap money from fulfilling the City's stated mission: "...to support the maintenance of a community where people can live, work, and play in a sustainable urban environment that is safe, vibrant, and aesthetically pleasing."
This is not sound fiscal management. The structural problems in the budget must be addressed. Not facing these issues head on just kicks the can down the road, and asking for citizens to pay more for basic services or pass tax measures is merely a band-aid, not a substantial long-term fix.
We have served as your elected Treasurer and Auditor for a combined 45 years, and during our terms we have highlighted these issues, quantified them, served on and chaired various task forces examining them, and discussed them thoroughly with our elected leaders and the public in public forums and in one-on-one meetings. Over the past few years the City has begun, with our input, to include these concerns in the budget discussions, and some headway has been made. But clearly much remains to be done.
We know you're concerned too: both in our conversations with you, and at City meetings and workshops, we hear you voicing these concerns. You should expect better, and demand that elected leaders operate in a fiduciary capacity to protect our interests and do all they can to fulfill their responsibility as fiduciaries.
We believe it’s time to elect those types of individuals to our Council. In all of our years of service we've never publicly endorsed a candidate for office. But given the economic realities the City faces we feel compelled to do so now.
With such, it is our firm belief that Tony Daysog and Robert Matz will most responsibly address these financial issues. Please join us this November in electing them to the City Council.
As has been true of our entire tenures as Treasurer and Auditor, we will continue to do everything we can to develop and to help find the solutions that ensure Alameda is fiscally strong and able to meet the needs of its citizens; for now, and for the future.
Kevin Kearney Kevin Kennedy
Alameda City Auditor Alameda City Treasurer