« Post on Peceimer | Main | Post on Bandrapalli »

September 26, 2013

Comments

Alexander Kent

Mr. Joe Baylock,

From the moment I met you, you stated, "Surely you know me from the biggest blog in Burlingame." Then, right afterwards you repeated, "Surely you should know me from Gartner Group." Wow.

Joe, we all understand that you are married to Cathy Baylock, and that your wife endorsed Russ Cohen.

We all understand that your Burlingame Voice blog (co-run by Russ Cohen) and also the Daily Post (Russ and Dave Price the Daily Post publisher are buddies from Palo Alto) are both highly-biased.

I tried to post this rebuttal on Thursday morning, but mysteriously (you said you never received it on your voicemail to me today).

Today at the Pet Parade, I talked to Russ about my concerns with his publication’s negative posts against 3 candidates that he’s running against (which is against the ethical code that most of us signed when we filed papers), and also about The Daily Post’s biased relationship with Russ.

I said, “Russ, Dave Price is obviously your boy from Palo Alto.” Russ replied, “That’s RIGHT…”

I actually like Russ, and I congratulated him on his great discussion during the "Candidates Night". I'd recommend that Russ reign in 'his boys'.

Joe, I primarily work with public and private schools and faith-based groups on real estate strategy, financial analysis and contract negotiations (real estate brokerage), and I have the #1 Bay Area market share in this niche. I've turned down corporate job offers, because I enjoy altruistically helping these community groups, while building a small business in Burlingame.

Lastly, The Daily Post completely misrepresented what I said, and what I stand for - but I expected that with Russ’s tight relationships with Palo Alto businesses (advertisers).

Joe, I'm well aware that there are 9 unions that work with Burlingame. My point is that (as I stated to the union leaders at their group interview) if union leaders want even stronger support from Burlingame residents, that I would recommend more opportunity for the residents to get to know the union leaders and members in a casual and positive environment. I am supportive of Unions and consider them a very important part of our country and of our town.

Joe, past Burlingame City Council's granted city employees "Life Time" health care for each city employee and their spouse -> after only 5 years of service. Who came up with this unsustainable policy?

This is one of the "sweetheart deals" from Burlingame's past governance - and it created big financial problems for our town and it’s 29,450 residents.

For example, the residents of Burlingame now face Unfunded Pension Liabilities of $76M (as of Jan 2011) that resulted from that past City Council sweetheart deal, and the City Council and our town would greatly benefit from a person with graduate-level education in finance, not just another P.R. person.

Joe, what qualifications do I have to potentially negotiate with Unions, developers and other groups if elected to Burlingame City Council?

While a Sr. Financial Analyst / Corporate Business Development at MCI, I successfully negotiated $435M in complex corporate contracts. More recently, I consulted on a $43M Class A Office / Data Center for my client, The Carlyle Group. In 2013, I led Symphonic/Cornish brokerage team for a $25.55M Class A Office / School purchase in San Jose. I majored in Communications Studies (negotiations) at Northwestern, and then earned an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Kellogg School of Management (3.6/4.0).

Joe, why didn't The Daily Post / Dave Price mention my discussion of the conflicts of interest that are going on with the Burlingame City Council and the Burlingame Planning Commission? I explain this more fully on my website, www.alexkent.org

Joe, why didn't The Daily Post / Dave Price mention that I'm running to represent the renters of Burlingame (50% of our town)? Dave acted very worried about this fact during our interview.

If I rally the 50% of Burlingame that has 0% representation on City Council, will that cause Dave's favorite to lose?

Dave was even trying to "bait me" by yelling at me during the interview (out of the blue) - this was very unprofessional of him and his newspaper.

And, yes Joe, contrary to your previous negative post, my daughter and I briefly stopped by the Off The Grid food truck event yesterday as well. I was just talking with some merchants on Broadway Ave this morning who seemed very concerned about these out of town business taking away business from our town. Sure, it's fun, but it has unintended consequences.

Residents of Burlingame, it's time to restore balance & ethics to Burlingame City Council!

Please vote for me on November 5, 2013. You can vote for each of your top 3 candidates!

I stand for:

1) Fiscal & Ethical Responsibility on Burlingame City Council
-Let’s stop the conflicts of interest on the existing City Council and Planning Commission, which I explain on my website. www.alexkent.org

2) Smart Growth & Economic Vibrancy in Burlingame
- balanced with better feedback from residents and businesses, and better attention to environmental and traffic issues.

3) Strong Burlingame Schools
-fiscal & ethical responsibility and also smart growth and economic vibrancy all help to drive strong Burlingame Schools, because contrary to Joe’s past arrogant and erroneous statements, 17% of the property tax that we get back goes to help fund Burlingame Elementary School District and 21% goes to help fund San Mateo Union High School District.

Thank you,

Alexander Kent

www.alexkent.org

Residents to Elect Alexander England Kent for Burlingame City Council 2013

Joe

Thank you, Alex. I much prefer you to respond in public than complaining in private as I heard about today. That is the essence of the Voice and the reason I called you directly to suggest that. When I have something to say, I say it directly.

Whatever beef you have with the Daily Post, is your business. And whatever you see posted here under my name is mine alone, so be very careful with your claims of "unethical" behavior against someone else other than me. You are actually violating the code you invoke.

I think we have similar views on the unfunded liabilities which you can read about in numerous past posts here, to the point where some regular readers tell me it gets boring. But I press on. What I want to hear from all candidates is what they would do about it.

Now to the real issue: your claims of Conflicts of Interest. Here is a direct excerpt from your website:

Terminate the Legal and Wide-spread, but Conflicted Practice by some current City Council and Planning Commissioners to accept Lobbying Fees to help Developers and Home Owners get approval from the same fiduciary committee (the City Council member currently just can't participate in the final vote, regarding their client's proposal).

However, the City Council member just not participating in the final vote ("recusing themselves") - isn't enough!

If you want to be a City Council member, then you should have the duty to participate in every vote - Yes, No, or suggest amendments. (end excerpt)

Who exactly are you accusing of taking "Lobbying Fees" and what proof do you have?

And then you appear to turn around and suggest some planning commissioner or council member who has done paid work on a project should also vote on it? You do not appear to understand what a conflict of interest even is. But feel free to explain more than the three sentences on your website offer. These are serious charges against unnamed individuals. Are you prepared to back them up?

jennifer

Dear Mr. Kent,

For what it is worth, my husband quite enjoyed listening to you, and some of your comments in the debate and I actually did, too.

I am not completely understanding the conflict of interest issues you have because the Planning Commissioners are not paid, the fees go to the Planning Dept. and sometimes to a design reviewer when something really needs help. But I think the fees barely cover the cost of processing (staff time).

You seem pretty smart, and maybe this is over and above my abilities but if you could explain this issue in layman's terms maybe it would make the concern of yours more understandable.

Go Bears

Chicago Alex just told a rival to reign in "his boys" What's next violin cases?

jennifer

...Brain kicking in, mea culpa, maybe Planning Commissioners have received a stipend for the last few years (can't remember if that got added) but it would be so minimal that I really don't think that's what you are talking about..

Anne

Are up opposed to Off the Grid? I need to know now what I could expect if you get elected. Let's hear what you would really do if elected.

Joe

Alex, I was going to ignore your opening jibe about me introducing myself via my day job with Gartner, but it got me thinking about the old days when I had a lot of interaction with MCI. You had positioned yourself as a pretty senior person first in MCI Finance, then in Sales. So the idea that you might have seen me speak at an MCI event was not all that strange.

Tripping down memory lane, I recall leaving the grand opening of the Burlingame Public Library event to catch a redeye to Orlando to present at an MCI event for their top 150 corporate accounts. It was one of several such events I did for them over 5+ years and I met dozens of senior MCI salespeople along the way.

Tripping even further along memory lane, that Orlando event was were I met John Perry Barlow. He spoke right after I did. Deadheads will recall him as one of the band's lyricists, but he was talking to MCI customers based on his work with the Electronic Frontier Foundation--one of the first organizations to advocate for free speech on the Internet. Readers can check him out at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Perry_Barlow. I guess I still resonate with his message today.

So thanks for taking me down memory lane. Apologies if that particular calling card seemed odd to you at the time.

Alexander Kent

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm happy to answer any questions about how the existing City Council or Planning Commission works - in person. You can either email me at [email protected] or call me at 650-793-0541.

My website clearly explains my concerns with the conflicts of interest on both the existing Burlingame City Council and Planning Commission. These conflicts are technically legal, but still conflicts of interest for us.

The purpose of the City Council is to represent the best long-term interest of the 29,450 residents of Burlingame (both property renters and property owners, 50/50 of our town), while considering the other stakeholders that we rely upon such the 9 unions that work with the City of Burlingame, the environment, and other outside stakeholders.

However, no outside group should be allowed to pay a City Council member to represent only that outside group's best interest, along with a simple "recusal" of that council member to vote on that issue (they just can't participate in the final vote).

It happens currently in Burlingame and in many other Bay Area cities. Sometimes, City Council members lobby to support a real estate developer or other outside party, but doesn't even "recuse" their vote or acknowledge it and they get free equity in some other development far, far away from our view (as what just happened in Sunnyvale's City Council, see the many news articles).

It's a wonder that no newspaper, or existing City Council member, or existing planning commissioner, or any of my fellow city council candidates call out this conflict of interest in Burlingame - for the residents of Burlingame.

I even explained this conflict of interest to Dave Price the co-publisher of The Daily Post last week, and he chose to brush it under the rug.

Why?

So, on November 5, 2013, please cast one of your three (3) votes for Alexander Kent for Burlingame City Council.

Please just email me or call me if you have any questions, and let's talk.

Hey, Joe Baylock and Russ Cohen (co-publishers of the Burlingame Voice blog), can you please give me a different Icon than a red, discordant one? You have a nice green, agreeable one.

Thank you,

Alexander Kent

www.alexkent.org

Residents to Elect Alexander England Kent for Burlingame City Council 2013

Russ

It can be tough out there. Papers will misquote you or perhaps not quote you on the subjects you want to be quoted on or worse, rumors will swirl, and whisper campaigns will make their rounds. I don't like it either Alex. The only way to control them is to attempt to correct the facts when you can. That's what I am doing right now.

Dave Price is not a buddy of mine as you contend. He published a Palo Alto based newspaper and I run a downtown BUsiness Association. He has published both negative and positive stories about downtown Palo Alto. Simply put, that is the extent of our relationship.

Further, the extent of my control over this blog is primarily to keep spam from invading the site and to post a comment on occasion.

I am proud of the growth of the Burlingame Voice over the years and the fact that both Joe and I share a similar philosophy regarding the openness of the site, (often at my expense.) I am a big believer in free speech. I encourage you and other to continue to share your opinions here, but please try to be accurate. It helps the conversation.

Thanks.

Alexander Kent

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I tried to answer some of your questions on this thread on September 29th (6 days ago), but Joe Baylock and Russ Cohen didn't let my statements get posted, as they moderate any comments.

Please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call me at 650-793-0541, if you have any questions.

You can also check out my website at www.alexkent.org

I'm happy to chat with you or meet you in-person for coffee or a beer.

Cheers,

Alexander E. Kent

Residents to Elect Alexander England Kent for Burlingame City Council 2013.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.