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City Manager Charley Plummer?

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In the same morning that news of the pending departure of Hayward City Manager Jesus Armas (pictured above) hit residents’ doorsteps, former mayoral candidate Brian Schott formally issued this bombshell of a suggestion:

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Why not ask recently retired Sheriff Charles Plummer, a Hayward resident, to be the interim replacement when Armas steps down in June?

Mayor Mike Sweeney and the City Council, according to a letter Schott wrote to The Daily Review, “know how effective and respected (Plummer) is. Though only one of them attended his recent retirement dinner at Centennial Hall, more than 850 people from all over the world came to honor Charley’s tremendous achievements.”

Plummer, reached Friday morning, laughed at the request.

“Well, I never thought about it. June’s a long way off, but I am unemployed,” said the 76-year-old sheriff emeritus. “Good old Brian Schott, he’s a piece of work.”

For those who remember Hayward’s political turmoil years of 2003 and 2004, Schott’s request might have some comic resonance. Plummer, who was a Hayward police chief back in the 1970s and early 1980s, engaged in a public feud with Armas and demanded that he be fired for, as critics saw it, covering up Police Chief Craig Calhoun’s absenteeism problem and allowing the troubled chief to be swept out quietly on medical leave.

Plummer, not one to praise for the sake of politeness, nevertheless took Schott’s admiring request Friday as an opportunity to heal old wounds, saying he appreciates much of the work Armas has done over the past 14 years.

“Well, except for the Craig Calhoun fiasco, which I suggested he be fired for, I think he’s done a pretty good job,” Plummer said. “Charley Plummer wishes him well.”