Politics

Image courtesy of the City of Alameda.

The City Council will get its first look at proposed budgets for the next two years at a budget hearing on Thursday night.

The city has prepared an $80.5 million general fund budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year that contains no cuts, a projected $1.4 million surplus and a fund balance of more than $30 million. But salaries and benefits are expected to push the city’s spending to increase to $83.1 million in 2016-17, which could mean some depletion of the balance or cuts are in the offing.

The city has inked a tentative deal with its public safety unions to establish a trust fund to help cover its unfunded retiree health liability.

Union members are to vote next week on amended contracts that include a new trust fund for retiree health benefits for Alameda's current police and fire employees.

The City Council will consider the new contracts at an April 29 budget hearing.

City Manager John Russo announced the tentative contract deal at Tuesday night's council meeting. Additional details are due out next week.

The tentative deal would amend and extend police and fire contracts to 2021. Existing contracts are in effect through 2017.

On Tuesday night, city leaders announced tentative deals with Alameda's public safety unions that include formation of a new trust fund to cover retiree medical costs. That and more, in our tweet by tweet of Tuesday's seven-hour City Council meeting.

Image courtesy of the City of Alameda.

Ferry boats carrying passengers across San Francisco Bay will be coming to Alameda for fuel and maintenance someday soon, the City Council decided Tuesday night.

Council members approved a lease for the long-planned facility and an agreement charging the Water Emergency Transportation Authority with building a new resting area for harbor seals who in habit a portion of the bay they seek to use despite two no votes by Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer, who said the public did not have a chance to comment on the plan since it was presented to the city more than four years ago.

On Tuesday night, the City Council talked about an Alameda Point lease for the Water Emergency Transportation Authority, rents commission rules and more. Here's the tweet by tweet.

City Council members have asked Assistant City Manager Liz Warmerdam to serve as Alameda’s interim city manager when the city’s current manager, John Russo, leaves on May 1.

The City Council voted unanimously last week to offer Warmerdam, who started her municipal career in Alameda and came back as assistant city manager in 2013, the interim city manager’s job. The council will vote on a contract for Warmerdam at a date to be announced.

“I’m looking forward to working with Liz Warmerdam in this capacity. I really think it’s an opportunity for us to get to know her and to see her strengths,” Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer said.

City Council members voted Tuesday to abandon a proposed moratorium on development applications that seek a break on Measure A and other development standards to help facilitate construction of affordable housing.

Instead, city staffers will work to clarify the city’s rules for granting the waivers – and will also begin looking at ways to make sure developers don’t build more homes than the land set aside to accommodate housing development can realistically handle.

The City Council is set to consider leasing a waterfront site that could be home to the first construction project at Alameda Point – a maintenance and operations center for the Bay Area’s public ferry service.

Tonight, the council will consider offering initial approval of a 60-year lease granting the Water Emergency Transportation Authority a spot on West Hornet Avenue to build its planned four-story Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Center. If the council okays the lease, construction of the $45 million to $50 million project could begin in January and the facility could be ready to open by May 2017.

City Council members offered a vote of support Tuesday for the expansion of Crab Cove onto a 3.899-acre federal property across the street that was once slated for housing.

This past Tuesday the City Council talked about plans for Site A, support for a Crab Cove expansion and more. That's all in our tweet by tweet.