When Police Chief Paul Rolleri was hired as an officer for the Alameda Police Department, in 1992, he competed with nearly 500 other test takers for the same job.

“It was almost like winning the lottery if you got in,” Rolleri said.

Today, though, he might only see 100 to 125 applications come across his desk – and not all of those are from qualified people, he said.

The department has advertised open police officer positions for months, and Rolleri said the department hasn't been fully staffed for five years.

Alameda's administrative services director is heading to Tracy.

Stephanie Garrabrant-Sierra is leaving the Island for an assistant city manager's post in Tracy. She starts work in that city on September 1.

The city brought Garrabrant-Sierra on as an assistant city attorney in June 2012. In November 2013 it elevated her to the position of administrative services director, putting her in charge of contracting, purchasing, human resources and information technology. She has also advised the city on collective bargaining issues with its labor unions.

The job was created by former City Manager John Russo as part of a restructuring effort at City Hall.

Residents at the Atlantic Apartments were among the celebrants of National Night Out. Photo by Cassie Paton.

Residents who gathered at 20 locations throughout the City of Alameda on Tuesday were among the nearly 38 million people celebrating National Night Out.

Now in its 31st year, National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that takes place across the country, in U.S. territories, some Canadian cities, and military bases around the world. Its purpose is to unite communities and promote stronger relationships between residents and police.

Harbor seals who now chill out on a crumbling dock off Alameda Point got some good news at the City Council's regular meeting Tuesday night: A project to build a new resting spot for the marine mammals is moving ahead.

The seals now use a derelict dock anchored in San Francisco Bay off Alameda Point as a “haul out” or platform to rest in between foraging for fish and other aquatic prey. But their current site is in the path of a planned maintenance and fueling site for public ferries operated by Water Emergency Transportation Agency. Up to 12 boats serving commuters on various bay routes could be accommodated at the facility.

The Alameda Food Bank has a new executive director. Cindy Houts will take the helm after the food bank's current director, Troy Gilbert, leaves on July 4.

From left to right: Interim City Manager Liz Warmerdam, Vice Mayor Frank Matarrese, City Councilman Jim Oddie, Councilwoman Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer, Councilman Tony Daysog and Fire Chief Doug Long. Photo courtesy of the City of Alameda.

With rents rising and vacancies rare here in Alameda and across the Bay Area, it’s perhaps no surprise that rent control has become one of the hottest topics on the Island. It’s also one of the most emotional, pitting renters and housing advocates who say housing is a basic human right against property owners who feel controls would take their own rights away.

If Alameda’s political leaders were to implement rent controls – and the council is showing few signs that it intends to do that – what if any relief would those controls provide to renters? What impact would rent control have on property investment in Alameda? And what other factors affect housing costs and supply?

Alameda’s City Council will get a report Thursday on homelessness on the Island and on next steps that should be taken to combat it.

The report follows a homeless count conducted last September that was spearheaded by the city’s Social Service Human Relations Board. The board decided to conduct the count after a resident voiced concern that the number of homeless people frequenting Alameda’s West End appeared to be on the rise.

A perceived increase in the number of eviction notices being handed out by property owners in Alameda has prompted some tenants to ask city leaders to consider a new tool to protect renters: just cause eviction rules that restrict landlords’ ability to make tenants move.

The “just cause” rules restrict landlords’ ability to evict tenants to a list laid out in a local ordinance, and they require landlords to tell tenants why they’re being asked to leave.

Tuesday night's six-hour gabfest included approval of an $8 million construction contract for a replacement fire station and emergency operations center, a proposal to raise sewer rates and an update on Site A. Here's your tweet by tweet.