Chamber Speaks Out at City Manager Hearing

(This message regarding the disposition of Alameda City Manager, Jill Keimach, was delivered to the Alameda City Council at its special meeting on April 16, 2018 by Alameda Chamber President, Michael McDonough. After hearing over 30 speakers, the majority of which were in favor reinstating Jill, the City Council voted unanimously to release an independent investigative report on May 2nd and refer the Keimach case to the Alameda County District Attorney. Keimach remains on administrative leave.)


Michael McDonough

We understand that internal employee actions have certain expectations of privacy and that we don’t have all the facts in this case, having not seen the outside investigators report. This lack of information has cultivated a breeding ground for rumors, innuendo and the appearance of potential conflicts of interest relating to the decision that you are about to deliberate.

Because opinions that inform decisions are always based on perspective, of which there can be many sides, and the truth is often subjective, we hope your decision today will be made from  the perspective of the people of Alameda, whom you represent.

If the people of Alameda had all the facts in this case, would they perceive that there were mistakes made by parties on both sides of the issue, and if so, should disciplinary action fall solely upon one side and inflicted by the other.

The Alameda Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Business Association, which I represent here today, are concerned that this issue has spiraled into a catastrophe that may have long-term negative consequences for the City of Alameda effecting its business environment, its relationship with its existing employees, as well as, the ability to attract qualified applicants for future high-level job openings.

Our position is that both parties to this action should step back and consider the following:

  • Ultimately Edmond Rodriguez has been accepted by all concerned parties as a capable Fire Chief
  • To date, the employee in question has not filed litigation against the City but a disciplinary action is likely to result in such a filing
  • Jill has the backing, and a rare full vote of confidence, from all city department heads who are the people she works with and manages
  • After the City has had 6 City managers in 10 years, including interim positions, consider whether the people of Alameda may be better served by negotiating our City Manager’s return to duty rather than embarking on a path to litigation that will cost the City Hundreds of thousands and a protracted search for a City manager, the potential loss of other high profile city employees, that could leave the City rudderless for over a year and impeding the progress we are currently building upon

In closing, as representative of the employers and employees of the City of Alameda, we urge you to make a decision that ensures stable leadership, consistency in objectives that support economic development, prudent risk management and consideration of the wider implications that your decision will have on the members of this community.

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