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Letters: Emails deleted not my own action

Original post made on Sep 12, 2008

Dear Editor,

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 12, 2008, 12:00 AM

Comments (39)

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 8:23 am

OK... I thought it appropriate for Brozosky to respond to Richard Robert's claim that Brozosky was lying about this issue. But Brozosky loses my interest when he goes on to ask PW to not be an "accessory". It is like trying to shoot the messenger. The PW has published such public opinions in the past on other issues and what they've accomplished in facilitating is community discussion.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 8:29 am

Forgot... I wanted to add that personally, I have a hard time believing. Most email clients default to keeping messages on the server and I believe Brozosky to be knowledgeable enough about computer systems to understand how email clients are configured, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I guess what it would take for me is an admission by the person who set up the City email account on Brozosky's computer that this person messed up. Why does it seem like only Brozosky's account was affected? I'm also mildly interested in exactly how the City is now doing archiving because email is not an easy thing to archive properly.


Posted by Mark, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 12, 2008 at 9:20 am

HA!!! I wonder if Brozosky will hire Dan Carl "Rove" to manage his campaign this time around. Maybe Brozosky can, once again, avoid the real issues and make the election about email accounts and Hosterman's bird. I think Brozosky would be a great fit for some backwards, redneck town in the Central Valley, but not Pleasanton.


Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 12, 2008 at 9:57 am

Stacey: Believe what you will, but I can attest first hand that what is believed to be done by "most" email clients is not often true, or poorly configured. Example:

My employer had details of a personnel matter attached to meeting notices between HR contacts. The contacts "thought" their calendars were blocked from general access as that was what was communicated to them from Corporate Desktop, but guess what? They weren't.

Not only was the information slanderous to the employee involved as it had never been fully investigated, but other information was freely available as well. Information pertaining to a pending termination and who was in-line and in what order for promotion was capable of being downloaded, burnt to CD, and printed by any employee smart enough to view one of three HR resources calendars.

So while it may be hard to believe the City's e-mail was set up inappropriately, it does happen. Whoda thunk a major telecom provider's IT group, let alone their HR resources, could screw up so badly?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 10:28 am

Yep, I'll believe what I will. It isn't hard to believe the email may have been set up incorrectly. I did say I'll give Brozosky the benefit of the doubt. What I find hard to believe is that someone like Brozosky, who owns a software company (CRM software too!), would be ignorant of email configuration.


Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 12, 2008 at 11:46 am

Stacey: Keep in mind while you're giving Brozosky "the benefit of the doubt" that his letter specifically states:

"when I viewed an email from my home computer, the email server at the city deleted its copy of it. The email was deleted through no action of mine except for the act of reading the email."

I would expect the User to understand their own e-mail configuration, but not necessarily how the City's server side is set up. Or in this case, not.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm

I did keep that in mind. It describes the POP protocol. In POP the email client tells the server to delete any message it downloaded. The way Brozosky wrote that is misleading. The server deletes the message upon request from the email client. It isn't necessary for him to have hit "delete" on the email message. It is enough that the client is configured in a specific way.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 12:04 pm

The other protocol for reading email is called IMAP. In IMAP, the server doesn't delete the message unless the user specifically clicks "delete".


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 12:06 pm

What I wrote above about POP I think isn't clear. In POP, the email client can be configured to delete messages it downloads or keep them on the server. Brozosky's email client had to be configured to use POP and delete messages from the server based upon what he wrote. He couldn't have been using IMAP.


Posted by Another Gatetree Resident, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Sep 12, 2008 at 1:18 pm

A government based server allowing a local desktop e-mail client call the shots about it's content and what it backs up? I'm not buying that one.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Exactly why Pleasanton had to fix the problem on their end after the issue came to light.

You don't have to believe me about it. Read about POP yourself.

Web Link

"Although most clients have an option to leave mail on server, e-mail clients using POP3 generally connect, retrieve all messages, store them on the user's PC as new messages, delete them from the server, and then disconnect. In contrast, the newer, more capable Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) supports both connected (online) and disconnected (offline) modes of operation. E-mail clients using IMAP generally leave messages on the server until the user explicitly deletes them."


Posted by Wayne, a resident of Mission Park
on Sep 12, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Sounds right out of Karl Roves how to BS people and get away with it hand book. Did you get that bundled with the conservative talking points for ditto head dummies?

Stacy is right on, "your computer" was configured to delete emails from the server, IT support 101. Blame it on the unnamed person who set up the email, and no responsibility of yours; yeah that's accountability!

BTW you might tell your friends that email doesn't just vanish because you configure it to... Email works like this there is a source client "sent items" folder also sometimes a local archive, source server backups, your mail server which you say has been deleted depends on mail server, and your local mail client; perhaps it has an archive.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Just want to add, the only complete way for the City's mail server to archive all email is by making two copies of each mail sent through the system and diverting one copy to an archive. Nightly backups of the mail server does not guarantee a complete archive. This is because mail can be received and deleted between backup windows.

(If you're wondering, I used to work in IT and then in the email hosting business.)


Posted by Fred, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Stacey,
While you are all but calling Steve a liar, you seem to have missed that he did turn over the emails when asked.
"When this problem was observed, I was asked if I could release city emails that resided on my personal computer. I released the emails on my personal computer although the newspaper that asked for this information never reported that I had done so. "

I was at a City Council meeting where the issue was being discussed and Michael Roush, the city attorney, stated clearly that what Steve said was correct. Before libeling Steve further you should call Roush and ask him yourself ("Yadda yadda yadda, I did not call him a liar, blaa blaa blaa").










Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 3:11 pm

"Yadda yadda yadda, I did not call him a liar, blaa blaa blaa."

Exactly. I'm publishing my opinion on the matter, not making false statements of fact, and I never presented my opinion as such (note qualification of opinion by use of the word "believe" in numerous locations). I suggest you read carefully before you suggest that my writing is libel.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 3:17 pm

If you also want to know my opinion regarding Hosterman on the email issue (or as Fred would have it, my libelous post), she left herself open to getting caught doing a dumb thing. My opinion is that it is due to her being ignorant of such technical issues.

Who would you expect to know about email clients? Soccer mom or computer software business founder? (No offense intended to all those soccer moms out there who are skilled with computers.)


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 3:33 pm

PS: Which council meeting was it? What did Steve say there? The same exact thing in his letter today? Roush is the city attorney, not the city's IT department techie.


Posted by Fred, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2008 at 4:31 pm


Hosterman a soccer mom??? She has taken the Bar exam 5 times! She has gone to law school and has worked in her husbands law office for many years.

Hosterman is not guilty of a tech issue, the issue is a violation of law, about abuse of the Mayors office and misuse of public resources. All of which she knew better but felt she could get away with.



Posted by Janet, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Stacey,
Regarding your first post, if the PW published something incorrectly (not opinion, but a fact), they should correct it. They don't seem to understand that concept.
Another thing, how can you refer to Hosterman as a "soccer mom"? She is a mayor with children over 20 (or around that) years old. I thought "soccer mom" was used as a reference to a stay at home mom who was involved in their children's activities (soccer or the like). It's like saying Sarah Palin is a "hockey mom" when in fact she is a governor and hasn't had kids (according to the internet) in sports activities (like hockey) for quite some time. But the media used that term for her because it sounded good. People shouldn't label incorrectly.


Posted by Fred, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2008 at 4:41 pm

The meeting was two years ago...call Roush if you want confirmation of what Steve said in his letter, that is what was discussed at the meeting.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Issues anyone?????


Posted by MainStreetDiva, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 12, 2008 at 6:25 pm

For what it's worth (maybe not much)...I worked on 2 different email clients and back end servers, for Lotus. Specifically I worked on Notes and cc:Mail. (I only mention this to illustrate that I have a small amount of experience with how these systems work behind the scenes.) A LOT depends on how the admin sets up the system during initial installation and configuration.


Posted by Uh-oh, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Uh-oh...someone that might know more than she-that-knows-more-than-anyone Stacey.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Uh-oh,

It is easy. It is called "reading" or "paying attention". Equally important is the ability to ask questions. Hey! I learned all this in PUSD! I guess Pleasanton's schools are successful!


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 12, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Yes, not worth much. cc:Mail and Lotus was popular exactly 13 years ago!!! I think MainStreetDiva does not have a clue what POP3 and IMAP are.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 12, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Lotus is still used. It supports POP and IMAP for remote client access.


Posted by Ima Voten, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 12, 2008 at 10:14 pm

I was at that meeting two years ago as well. Nope, can't remember the exact date.
I believe both Nelson Fialho (city manager) and Michael Rousch (city attorney) admitted on camera that Steve was not responsible for the email failure. They both confirmed the failure was in the city's IT department. (Was there any reason for them to collude and lie for Steve?)
People seemed to accept Jennifer's personal "I'm tired in the morning so I can't always be expected to remember what computer I'm using"-to send out political campaign materials-excuse. Why wasn't Steve's city-confirmed explanation enough to settle this matter?

Fred makes a good point in saying that Stacey's "soccer mom" "dumb thing" excuse is pretty lame considering Jennifer did indeed attend, and graduate from law school and should therefore, presumably, have the mental capacity to discern the difference between the computers she's using (not to mention the fact that all city employees and elected officials are required to attend ethics training-where they point out these very important details!).

How is it possibly fair that Steve is supposed to be responsible for the lapses on the city server because he runs his own software business, when a law school graduate gets a free pass for her sleepy misunderstandings and rather inexcusable ethical lapses?

It was very much my impression at the time that the Weekly made more of a big deal with Steve's supposed culpability than Jennifer's. I could be wrong but I also don't remember as much reporting on Nelson and Michaels's exoneration of Steve versus all the coverage of the results of Jennifer's investigation by the district attorney. But again the Weekly did endorse her.
In the end, shouldn't the important question here be, is biased and sketchy reporting fair to the Weekly readers (no pun intended!)? Shouldn't this mystical Community of Character we always talk about mean that a newspaper serves the people best when they report the truth, not a version of it,despite the consequences?


Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 13, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Where is it written that The Weekly can't be biased?

Where is it written that The Weekly can be biased?

Bill of Rights, Amendment One


Posted by Nancy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2008 at 10:31 am

Jack,

Gina Channell-Allen, the president of the Pleasanton Weekly says she thinks media should be unbiased. She should then hear when readers don't think the PW is.
I don't think the PW is intentionally biased but I believe the staff is too easily influenced, which is unprofessional.

Opinion - Friday, September 12, 2008

At least twice a month I end up in a conversation about the "media's liberal bent" with friends and family, and I staunchly defend my brethren in both print and broadcast.

Most media organizations, and all that I have been part of, don't allow their newsroom staff to back one candidate. This goes as far as not allowing signs in front yards of personal homes and memos reminding journalists that political bumper stickers are not allowed.

Repeatedly I point out these policies. Repeatedly I explain the editorial endorsement process of candidates and how measures are taken to keep personal bias out of the stance of the newspaper's endorsement. Repeatedly I defend and defend...Web Link



Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 14, 2008 at 9:39 pm

In 1791 James Madison didn't care much what Gina Channell-Allen would think. He though, clearly protected her rights to be unprofessional and preside over an easily influenced staff.

All that aside, how can The Weekly play things "down the middle?" What would "fair" and "unbiased" look like? Should they advocate for Oak Grove at 25 homes? Or should they back a plan to extend Stoneridge a little further, but not all the way through?

This is one very divided community. To believe that The Weekly has the ability or the obligation to represent all sides is not only naive, it's un-American.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 15, 2008 at 8:42 am



This is an excerpt from a message Brozosky sent to supporters more than a month ago. I don't think he would mind if I share it.

_______________________________

Monday, August 11, 2008 9:48 PM

Hello Friends and Weekly blog lurkers,

Now that the campaign season has started with the filing of papers, I wanted to let you know I will not be viewing the weekly blog at all. Since I know some of you do monitor the blogs, I have a few requests:

If there are negative posts about me, you do not need to notify me. Ignorance is bliss.

If you see posts that you know to be factually incorrect, feel free to correct the record.

If there is a factual item you need more information from me on before you post a reply, feel free to send me an email asking for information.

Try to keep to the facts.

Thanks,

Steve

___________________________

I have renewed respect for Steve for making a commitment to his supporters to run a grassroots, issues based campaign.

Will Hosterman step-up and do the same?

I am not Brozosky, Carl, Stacey, or Cholo.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 15, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Mike,

If you want to stick to facts, then please don't insinuate that I work for Hosterman or am a part of her campaign without some factual evidence. I am an independent citizen making my own conclusions based upon third-party sources that are publicly available (as opposed to yourself who apparently receives email directly from Brozosky). Historians in the future will only be able to do the same since they won't have the luxury to call Brozosky, Hosterman, or Roush on this matter.

Let's look at facts:

1) POP and IMAP are protocols used for the retrival of email from a remote server.
2) In POP, the email client can be configured either to delete downloaded mail from a mail server or not to delete it.
3) Contrast with IMAP where email is deleted from a server only when a user hits the delete button.

And then let's look at what was reported on this issue:

4) From Web Link, "Allen Hammond, manager of the citys Information Services Department, said that while the city manages and administers the councils accounts on a technical level, each council member sets his or her own e-mail preferences. He said there is no record of Brozosky receiving e-mails in his city account. Every night, the city backs up the tape that records e- mail activity. There is also a main server log that keeps record of e-mail activity."
5) From Web Link, "Brozosky, a computer expert who runs a company that sells software to cities to create Web sites for communications with residents, said he did not set up any system to forward his city e-mail to his personal e-mail account."
6) From same weblink as #5, "It was later determined that the software on Brozosky's computer was inadvertently erasing the e-mails from the city's server."
8) From same weblink as #4, "Whether Brozosky reviews city-related e-mail on his personal or city account, he is still required to turn over the e-mails related to city business under the California Public Records Act, said Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition."
9) From same weblink as #7, "And Brozosky has not complied with a request for copies of city-related e-mail on his personal account. " - This was before he turned them over.

Conclusions we can draw from above:

10) Brozosky's email client was retrieving email via the POP protocol.
11) His email client was set to delete downloaded mail from the server.
12) He wasn't using any forwarding feature on his city email account.
13) Brozosky was required by law to turn over the email.

The question in my mind on this always has been, "How did the email client get configured incorrectly?" To say that someone investigating the records about what happened to try to answer such questions is spewing misinformation or lies is highly disingenuous.

Mike, you state in the other thread: "This became tiresome long ago. This accusation is an absence of breaking a law, publicly stated by the city staff it was an error on the city's part, Brozosky did turn over email from his personal computer when asked. Contrast with Hosterman caught red-handed of multiple legal violations and repeated disturbing disregard and disrespect toward citizens in her public communications."

First you rail against an unfounded accusation of lawbreaking by Brozosky. Then you mention the lawbreaking by Hosterman (and spin in "disrespect" which is irrelevant to the subject of lawbreaking). Why did you leave out that Hosterman was also cleared of wrongdoing on the email issue? The Alameda County DA disagrees with you regarding Hosterman's supposed "multiple legal violations". If this subject is getting tiresome, then stop propagating it yourself.

PS. Janet, I can refer to Hosterman as a soccer mom because one of her daughters was on the same soccer team as my younger sister. Who cares about Palin?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 15, 2008 at 12:09 pm

Here's #7 item. PW apparently doesn't allow more than 2 Weblinks to be posted.

7) From Web Link, "City officials have said the problem was traced to software on Brozosky's home computer. "


Posted by Mike, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 15, 2008 at 1:13 pm

Deep breath Stacey….

"don't insinuate that I work for Hosterman or am a part of her campaign without some factual evidence."

My bad, I was not insinuating any connection to Hosterman, I was joking because I was sure I would be accused of being Steve, and I know you and Cholo have had that experience.

There was a direct accusation of lawbreaking, but it was on another thread, which I assume the same readers are seeing.

Hosterman was not cleared of wrong doing, as is so often the case the DA makes a decision that it is either not worth their time or not in their favor politically to pursue.

"DA has decided not to prosecute. Key to that decision, there is no evidence the city suffered financial loss because of Jennifer Hosterman's use of her city e-mail account,"

I know from reading some of the email Hosterman is guilty of violating Government Code 8314, "It is unlawful for any elected officer to use public resources for a campaign activity." What I found of greater concern was the disrespectful was she addressed citizens in many of the correspondences.

Again, City staff later made it clear the problem was not from Brozosky's side, but the paper did not write that story.

I was trying to ask that we move on in my last post, but I can't leave misinformation or misunderstandings go without responding either.

Breath…breath…breath…..



Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 15, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Mike wrote: "Again, City staff later made it clear the problem was not from Brozosky's side, but the paper did not write that story."

About that, I've been searching Council meeting minutes and haven't been able to find the public record that supports what the other two posters above said about comments made by Fialho and Roush. I looked at minutes for Oct - Dec 2006. Did that not make it into the meeting minutes? Can someone remember when this was?


Posted by Fred, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Sep 17, 2008 at 11:34 pm

Mr. Brozosky is just trying to cover his tracks. He is a dishonest man.


Posted by Ann, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Steve Brozosky is an honest, intelligent, respectful person. Steve has demonstrated that he is a positive asset to Pleasanton.
The poster using the name Fred is making malicious unsubstantiated statements.
I have to wonder who would benefit from such irresponsible malicious statements.



Posted by Soccer Mom, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2008 at 1:25 am

I am college educated, work outside the home, and actually play soccer as well as take my kids to and from lots of soccer? Aren't I a soccer mom?


Posted by For Brozosky, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 20, 2008 at 7:49 am

Steve has shown leadership and concern for the community. He has my vote in the upcoming election.

Keep making malicious unsubstantiated statements, Fred. Some of us know first hand the level of support we've received from Brozosky versus Hosterman. That alone enables us to make up our minds.


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