May 4, 2016
13 comments

While Richmond City Council was hearing budget presentations dealing with the city’s $11 million deficit on Tuesday, Councilmember Jovanka Beckles was busy playing scrabble on her computer, according to  Mayor Tom Butt.

The mayor released the photo above Wednesday morning in his e-forum newsletter, where he chided three council colleagues who voted against his wishes on Measures N and O, including Beckles.

“Talk about fiddling while Rome burns, below is a photo of Jovanka Beckles playing scrabble during budget presentations,” Butt wrote in his post. “This is the kind of leadership we are getting on the City Council.”

Mayor Butt’s full post from this morning follows:

“Richmond City Council meetings may lack the drama of the past, but there is still plenty to drive a sane person over the edge.

Take the resolution to oppose Measures N and O. For the City Council this should be a no-brainer. Measure N removes the public review process from a bad development proposal and locks the City into a one-sided, self-serving development agreement written by the developer. It is already opposed by TRAC, the Greenbelt Alliance, Senator Loni Hancock, three former and current Richmond mayors, the Richmond Progressive Alliance and many more. Vinay Pimple, Gayle McLaughlin and I voted for it. Bates, Beckles, Myrick and Martinez opposed it or abstained. Myrick said that if the City Council supported it, people would vote against it. Beckles wondered if the City Council had ever taken a position on an initiative before. I thought the City Council was about leadership, not wimpsmanship. Guess not. I don’t know whether Poe got to them, or they are just weenies. Very disappointing.

Measure O would lock the City into a formula for city Manager compensation that is five times the median household income in Richmond. Of 101 cities in the nine-County Bay Area, Richmond has the lowest median family income except for one, San Pablo. This would lock Richmond in to a compensation formula that would render us unable to recruit a future city manager with a competitive salary.  It is ironic that based on the Measure N formula, Richmond would not be able to compensate its city manager as much as San Pablo is paying its city manager right now. Once again, Bates, Beckles, Myrick and Martinez abdicated their responsibility to provide leadership on this issue. Let the people decide, they said.

Even the RPA has come out against Measure N and O ( Media Coverage of Measures N and O, May 2, 2016), but two of the three RPA members on the City Council went another direction.

I hope the people are smarter than most of our City Council when they vote on June 7.

Talk about fiddling while Rome burns, below is a photo of Jovanka Beckles playing scrabble during budget presentations. This is the kind of leadership we are getting on the City Council.”

Comments

  1. I don’t know which is worse–playing Scrabble or falling asleep like she used to do on a regular basis.

    Don Gosney | May 4th, 2016
  2. Way to go comrade Jovanka !!!!!!

    mike rose | May 4th, 2016
  3. What should Richmond voters do with Scrabble playing Jovanka Beckles?
    Seven letters “c p h m a i e” rearranged.

    W. Berger | May 4th, 2016
  4. The Richmond Standard again demonstrates that it is little more than a neo-conservative tabloid rag.

    Zak Wear | May 5th, 2016
  5. Looks like comrade Beckles has a committed defender- ultra leftist comrade Zak Wear

    mike rose | May 6th, 2016
  6. Zak, this is not tabloid news.
    Had the Standard i.e. posted the faked paparazzi photos of Beckles with Castro on Havana beach, discussing how to redistribute wealth in the US or abuse property owners in Richmond then this might qualify as a tabloid type of journalism.
    Here we have Beckles, playing scrabble with clear and brazen dereliction of her duties as a City Council member and you consider this news unworthy?
    It is indefensible and the Richmond voters who got swindled by RPA at the last election must know about it.
    Unfortunately you and most of your political colleagues are out of touch with reality, common case with communist ideologists.

    martha friedman | May 6th, 2016
  7. Get rid of her and the other RPA Communists!!!! But Richmond Voters…it’s your fault since only 11% of you decided to vote last election! 11% gets you a scrabble playing moron!!

    John Spartan | May 8th, 2016
  8. John, you are correct. Voter apathy in Richmond, as well as voter gullibility, keeps us right where we’re at. The quality of candidates for City Council is very low, evidenced by campaigns promising “free stuff” or selling Blue Sky. There are, and have been, very competent people involved with Richmond City government, but most schools have a school board composed of inexperienced parents that collectively outshine the City Council. It seems to me that we are not getting our money’s worth, and perhaps a reduction of duties and salary for the City Council is in order. This is in no way a full time job requiring full time compensation. A two term limit would be a step toward improvement.

    bill | May 9th, 2016
  9. Unbelievable. She has previously said that there is no budget problem. She’s been saying that for months and months. So why should she be concerned? I can’t wait to vote her out of office. Get rid of the whole RPA.

    Sandra Davenport | May 13th, 2016
  10. […] member of the Richmond City Council was caught playing Scrabble on their tablet during an important budget […]

    pingback Game Blotter | Purple Pawn | May 16th, 2016
  11. I will vote no on N and O.

    Although the photo appears to show inappropriate behavior…there is reasonable doubt.

    I support RPA and condemn Nat Bates and other Chevron suck ups.

    Chevron needs to leave, clean up the poisonous mess it created, and sell the land to the city.

    They murder people all over the earth and deal in death and destruction wherever they are.

    They are greedy pigs like most of the petro-complex billionaire class.
    Jack Brodnax

    JACK BRODNAX | May 31st, 2016
  12. I will vote no on N and O.

    Although the photo appears to show inappropriate behavior…there is reasonable doubt.

    I support RPA and condemn Nat Bates and other Chevron suck ups.

    Chevron needs to leave, clean up the poisonous mess it created, and sell the land to the city.

    They murder people all over the earth and deal in death and destruction wherever they are.

    They are greedy pigs like most of the petro-complex billionaire class.

    The planet is being destroyed by the greedy at the expense of the rest of us.

    Jack Brodnax
    Jack Brodnax

    Jack Brodnax | May 31st, 2016
  13. I will vote no on N and O.

    Although the photo appears to show inappropriate behavior…there is reasonable doubt.

    I support RPA and condemn Nat Bates and other Chevron suck ups.

    Chevron needs to leave, clean up the poisonous mess it created, and sell the land to the city.

    They murder people all over the earth and deal in death and destruction wherever they are.

    They are greedy pigs like most of the petro-complex billionaire class.

    The planet is being destroyed by the greedy at the expense of the rest of us.

    No to the greedy.

    Jack Brodnax

    Jack Brodnax | May 31st, 2016

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.