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Local business owner to make City Council run

Submitted by on 1, July 16, 2010 – 4:45 am11 Comments

Adam Gillitt. Photo by Don Villapando.

Alameda’s got a new face in its City Council race in the form of one Adam Gillitt, a business owner who has lived on the Island since 2002.

Gillitt, 40, said in an e-mail interview that he wishes to provide strong, independent and open representation to local residents that he says is lacking at City Hall. If elected, he hopes to hire a permanent city manager; bring “sensible planning and light industry” to Alameda Point; and bring more opportunities for the arts, green technologies and modern communications to the Island, according to the platform posted to his website. He told The Island he would also work to provide better oversight of how the city’s money is spent and eliminate alleged corruption at City Hall.

“Most importantly, I will return a voice that has been missing from City Council: a regular, sensible, everyday citizen, who loves this City and wants to stand up and serve in the the best interest of my neighbors and include your input to the decision making process in this City,” he wrote on his site.

He said he was motivated to run by allegations of improprieties against City Councilwoman Lena Tam and Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant, both of whom he has criticized in comments on The Island and local blogs. Tam is accused of leaking confidential information to SunCal, the local firefighters union and others, while Gallant has been accused of favoritism in handing out city contracts.

He is also seeking to continue his family’s tradition of public service, his website says. He said his parents served on local boards in commissions where they live and his uncle was a town manager in Maine.

Gillitt was on Park Street on Monday greeting potential voters and seeking the signatures he needs to complete his nominating papers for the office.

The Baltimore native, who has a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from Brown University, owns Gillico Worldwide, which provides graphic design, social networking and creative services, his website says.

Gillitt is one of three people who have so far declared their candidacy for two open council seats, though no one had filed the necessary paperwork for their candidacy as of Thursday evening. Tam is running for re-election to her seat, and Health Care District Board Trustee Rob Bonta is also running for a seat.

As of Thursday, Board of Education Trustee Mike McMahon was the only candidate to file papers to run for a school board seat, two of which are available. Jim Oddie, an attorney who serves as co-president of the Alameda Democratic Club, filed papers to run for the Health Care District board, which has three open seats.

The deadline to file nominating papers is August 6 in races where an incumbent chooses to run for his or her seat again, and August 11 for races in which incumbents don’t run.


  • David says:

    For somebody to indulge in sock puppetry and claim to run on an ethics platform is dubious, at best. He has already lost my vote.

  • Dennis Green says:

    Hey, cut the guy some slack! I have contended with his views on some of those “blogs” and news websites, and find him at least partially credible. His obsession with ICM Gallant not inviting him to bid on the “City of Alameda Re-branding” efforts, however, doesn’t quite pass muster with me. But I think we could do a lot worse, and have. We get the usual self-recycling suspects in our elections. Tam might be the worst, but I’m not so sure any of the others are any more qualified for re-election or a voters’ promotion to higher office. They all endorsed Measure E, the most unfair parcel tax to come before the voters in long-term memory, and none of them have apologized for being O SO WRONG!

    Tell me how these hacks are qualified for even more “public service,” when the City of Alameda is facing “deferred infrastructure” works, a huge unfunded pension debt to police and firefighters, a huge deficit facing the mismanagers of the public schools, and God only knows what else that can put our beloved island city into the trash can???

    Just VOTE NO on all of them!


  • Incredulous says:

    Good luck to Adam. Having graduated from Brown, Adam is capable of learning the City Charter, the Brown Act, the Public Records Act and all of the other fundamentals necessary to being an honorable elected official.

    I’ll take a regular smart person any day of the week over egotistical engineers and attorneys with aspirations for higher political office.

  • Page Barnes says:

    As a Brown alumna myself, I can say with complete certainty that a Brown diploma does not necessarily qualify a person to hold public office.

    I will not vote for Mr. Gillitt. His opposition to Measure E alone would be reason enough for me not to vote for him. More importantly, his propensity for personally attacking and attempting to smear political opponents just because he disagrees with their political position is a quality we do not need on the Alameda City Council right now. (See, e.g. http://laurendo.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/we-can-work-it-out/#comments and http://www.theislandofalameda.com/2010/07/breaking-tam-accused-of-brown-act-violations-icm-investigation-handed-off-to-da/#comments)

    I’ve had enough of the attack dog mentality among our public officials. Let’s find some people who are willing to work constructively and positively to meet the considerable challenges that our city faces. Adam Gillitt is not that person.

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    Speaking of attack dog mentality, Ms Barnes was employed by the AUSD, which I would assume to be the basis of her knee-jerk dislike of my opposition to Measure E. I’m guessing she immediately thinks my opposition to Measure E means I am against Alameda’s students, instead of actually asking my what my position is on education or what my experience with the subject is.

    Actually I thought Measure E was unfairly worded, poorly constructed, rightfully voted down and a desperate plea by a school system that should be funded properly by our state.

    As City Councilmember, I am willing to work constructively and to include all kinds of viewpoints that come from people with open minds.

  • Page Barnes says:

    I rest my case.

  • Rob Siltanen says:

    Being proud of a family tradition of public service from Maine (or anywhere else) to serve in Alameda is a fine thing. But Mr. Gillitt himself appears to have close to zero experience in local government or public affairs or the public sector or even in any substantial volunteer work to benefit the community here in Alameda.

    I’m not ready to gamble the future of Alameda on someone with so little relevant experience, especially when the small amount of public activity he has engaged in so far appears to consist just of the negative and destructive smearing that Ms. Barnes outlines above and that is shown in his blog postings under various pseudonyms.

    Despite My. Gillitt’s complaints about Measure E, Measure E did receive 14,415 yes votes. That is almost definitely more votes — probably far more votes — than anyone running for City Council will get in November.

  • Yes, Mr. Gillit’s propensity to hide behind multiple screen names and launch nasty, personal attacks at people he disagrees with make one wonder how he can write that he’s “willing to work constructively to include all kinds of viewpoints that come from people with open minds.”

    Getting yourself banned from SFGate for bad behavior is not easy (just read the comments sections), yet Mr. Gillit managed to do it for his personal attacks on writers there. (and while I do write there, I have no power to ban anyone, that rests with SFGate’s paid staff.)

  • Adam Gillitt says:

    I post publicly under this screen name, and previously professionally as Gillico, and personally as “eselqueso.”

    As for John Knox White, I seriously doubt he will be on the SF Gate’s paid staff for much longer, (when was the last time he wrote there, anyway?) along with his impending removal removal from the Sunshine Commission for his “bad behavior.”

    Also, John, please show me the respect of spelling my name correctly.

  • BC says:

    Adam: I don’t think you answered the question about whether you posted on Lauren Do’s site under different names. I think the allegation was you posted under Open7Days or similar as well as Gillco. Did you do so?

    I think having new people enter city service is good. Your answer will help me understand the type of contribution you might make.

  • Page Barnes says:

    Whatever Mr. Knox White did or did not do in connection with Tamgate is irrelevant to whether Mr. Gillett is qualified to serve on the City Council, so I am deeply disturbed by Mr. Gillitt’s personal attack on Mr. Knox White based on issues that are unrelated to the criticism levied. If Mr. Gillett is elected to the City Council, he will inevitably face criticism from someone on some issue. Based on his comments above and on the comments in the links that I posted, Mr. Gillitt has demonstrated that criticism against him will be answered with unrelated personal attacks. We do not need someone who has demonstrated those tendencies to serve in a position of authority in our City.

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