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Submitted by on 1, February 9, 2010 – 10:09 am2 Comments

City Councilwoman Lena Tam is set to run for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors seat being vacated by current board president Alice Lai-Bitker.

“I think right now, the best fit for my skills and interests is going to be at the regional level,” Tam said when The Island contacted her Tuesday to confirm she planned to make a bid for the seat.

The East Bay Citizen reported Saturday that Lai-Bitker was endorsing Tam over her predecessor and former boss, Wilma Chan, for the seat because she felt Tam would be the best candidate to continue her work on social services and development projects in South County. (Lai-Bitker also endorsed Tam for her council seat.)

Mayor Beverly Johnson has said she’s interested in running for the seat, and she told the Citizen she’ll make a decision in the coming weeks. The online newspaper reported that Assemblyman Sandré Swanson is also considering a run.

An official announcement is due out Wednesday. The primary for candidates for the seat will be in June.

During her time on the council, Tam has been active on state and regional issues. She was ultimately the council’s lone supporter of Measure B, SunCal’s ballot initiative to redevelop Alameda Point and has championed Alameda’s firefighters in their quest to maintain staffing and also a more transparent city government.

Tam’s council term expires in December, though she would be eligible to run for a second one. She had also mulled a run for the mayor’s seat, which Johnson will term out of in December.

Prior to joining the council, she served on the Alameda County Health Care District board and the Alameda County Planning Commission. She also served as president of the Alameda League of Women Voters. Tam works for the East Bay Municipal Utility District as their water resources planning manager.

Lai-Bitker stunned colleagues and staffers when she announced in January she didn’t plan to seek another term on the board in November, after serving for a decade.


  • Alan2009 says:

    The fact that Lena Tam, an engineer, did not have the intellectual ability to understand the legal issues relating to the SunCal inititative, which would be economically detrimental to the City of Alameda, shows voters that Lena Tam is intellectually unfit to serve on the Board of Supervisors.

    Tam's problem is one which is common with engineers. They live in their own little world, with their own build it/make it perspective, and are completely clueless about how the real world works.

    If Lena Tam is elected to the Board of Supervisors, the Peter Principle will once again be confirmed…people being constantly promoted and promoted until they reach a level of responsibility where they are incompetent.

    In fact, Lena Tam has already reached her Peter Principle top stop, as a member of Alameda's City Council.

  • Joe V says:

    Although I voted no on Measure B, I think Lena Tam is an outstanding public servant and a person of high integrity. She has the most reasoned voice on the City Council and represents my interest well in Alameda. I have worked with her at EBMUD, and she is highly competent and very well liked by her entire staff in water resources planning. Since the City of Alameda has been served by Alice Lai-Bitker, an Alameda resident, I hope Lena gets elected!

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