Rodriquez’s resolution


The Hayward City Council is dipping its toe into the teachers vs. HUSD fray with news that City Councilwoman Doris Rodriquez is proposing a resolution “of support” for the teachers.

The teachers union, Hayward Education Association, issued a press release today saying the council “tonight will vote on a resolution of support for striking Hayward Unified School District teachers.” That’s not correct — at least, not the voting part.

Because it’s not on the agenda and the public has not been officially notified, the council would very likely be breaking state open meetings law if it voted on the resolution tonight.

Rodriquez and co-sponsor Councilman Bill Quirk confirmed that they don’t intend to vote tonight and that the HEA release is wrong. Rodriquez, who is the mother of HEA vice president Mercedes Faraj, said she plans to present the resolution tonight and ask the council to vote on it April 17 with proper public notification.

But you can still expect plenty of teachers to be weighing in on the issue during tonight’s public comments section of the City Council meeting. The meeting begins at 8 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers, 777 B St.

Armchair warriors can watch the live Webcast on the city’s Web site.

TUESDAY NIGHT UPDATE, 9:25 P.M.: At tonight’s 8 p.m. meeting, Rodriquez did indeed announce the resolution and the council did decide to wait until April 17 to vote on it, despite several audience members who wanted them to take action ASAP. Citing the Brown Act, the city attorney said he didn’t think the proceedings qualified as an emergency, which is the only legal justification for the council voting on something that was not listed on the agenda. A couple council members nevertheless said they would deliver the message individually beforehand, and Mayor Mike Sweeney said he would write a letter to the school district. Rodriquez’s proposed resolution is as follows:

WHEREAS, the Hayward City Council has historically supported efforts at providing quality education for young people; and

WHEREAS, disharmony between labor and management impairs the ability to provide such education; and

WHEREAS, the City Council strongly encourages and supports harmonious relations between management and teachers; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Hayward City Council hereby urges the representatives of the Hayward Education Association and the Hayward Unified School District to take all steps necessary to reach a fair and equitable settlement to avoid any further disruption in services to the students of the District.

  • The next time I see the phrase “conflict of interest” I will imagine Hayward Councilmember Doris Rodriguez. I believe Ms. Rodriguez is improperly using her appointed, not elected, public office to inject herself into an on-going negotiation issue between another independent Hayward agency, the Hayward Unified School District, and its Hayward Education Association union employees.
    Please understand that Ms. Rodriguez can support her daughter (the union vice-president and chief contract negotiator) and the Hayward Education Association’s union as a private citizen. Ms. Rodriguez “crossed the line” into impropriety when she proposed a so-called “neutral” resolution that all sides, including this newspaper, correctly identified as support for the union (and her daughter).
    Doris Rodriguez is blythely taking up valuable Hayward City Council time at a cost to Hayward’s taxpayers proposing what she self-identifies as: “We’re doing a fluff resolution. It is quite fluffy.” Why should the taxpayers of Hayward be forced to pay for and allow such self-indulgence?
    I refuse to “drink the Kool-Aid” offered by Ms. Rodriquez that her resolution “takes no sides in the strike.” The Daily Review in the same news article even quotes Ms. Rodriguez as saying “I’m very pro-union and I think they deserve a raise, but I’m not going to say that in the resolution.” It is an unbelievable flight of fancy to me that Ms. Rodriguez can say she is not taking sides in this issue through this proposed resolution.
    “Conflict of interest” becomes the real issue here. It doesn’t really matter to me what side of this dispute Ms. Rodriguez is on. What matters is that Doris Rodriguez is apparently opening herself up to the charge of improperly using her public office to benefit family members. Our public officials must be above reproach when using their public positions. Her actions in this matter have now called into question the entire process. I am personally surprised that she was even allowed by the City Attorney to initiate the resolution because of her known personal involvement in the matter. It calls into question the legality of the entire official proceeding. I do not want to wonder whether Ms. Rodriguez undertook this matter through a lack of wisdom, a misunderstanding of the legal system, or possibly sheer arrogance. The fact is she should not have introduced the resolution, she should not participate in discussions, and certainly she should not vote on the “fluff” resolution.
    Sadly, the inappropriate actions of Ms. Rodriguez may only serve to exasperate and irritate an already volatile labor dispute. If that happens then we all lose.

  • another angry parent

    Mr. Bruno,
    I really must disagree with you. The fact that the City Council is taking up this cause is so that the schools will get back in session and the city will again get back to normal, not so that her daughetr will gain anything from it. She does not in fact take sides. The resolution simply states that and I quote: “The City Council urges the representatives of the Hayward Education Association and the Hayward Unified School District to take all steps necessary to reach a fair and equitable settlement to avoid any further disruption in services to the students of the District.”

    I think that you need to read the resolution again and take a look at your own personal biases.

  • Kary Loredo-Welch

    Were you out and about last week? Did you see where the students were? They are on the streets!! This IS disrupting the community, the City Council saw the effect that this could have and addressed it in a NUETRAL statement.

    With that said, the next day when I read about it in the paper… I was a bit surprised by the information of the ‘family’ connection, however, after the meeting I had an opportunity to speka to Mr. Quirk and he is as on board with this as Ms. Rodriguez and although the new information was interesting it did not change my mind about their need to step to the plate and request both sides to get back to the table and get this matter worked out.

    MANY of the school board members spoke about the support to get this to END, they, as city representatives wanted to know what they could do to help get things back to ‘normal’ so that the disruption in the city ends.


  • R. Walters

    After reading Mr. Bruno’s post, one can only wonder what personal misfortunes he knew to first ignore the castrophic events that have rendered a school district virtually empty of students attending their schools and the effect that a mismanaged and out of control school district has upon the rest of a community and its businesses. Why do so many parents go through extraordinary legnths for their children to attend schools in other districts? Does not the impression of ‘low performing schools’ color the value of homes and businesses? Why shouldn’t the council addres or attempt to convey the city’s need to have a school systen that is a benefit and not a source of public embarassment? Perhaps if more people in Hayward made an effort to vote the school board out of office, if there were more people in Hayward who cared about the school system -and would run for a seat on the school board, the entire city would see the positive results. One can only surmise Mr. Bruno is a personal friend of Dale Vigil, or perhaps his anger stems from the discomfort he felt when he crossed the picket line as a SCAB!