This is the fifth of six profiles of the candidates in the Hayward City Council race. Two seats are up for election on the June 8 ballot.
HAYWARD — Marvin Peixoto said he has something for voters that his opponents can’t offer: a proven track record.
With six years on the Planning Commission, Peixoto said people can see what he’s done and judge for themselves if they want him on the City Council.
“I spoke out against the (downtown) loop, ” he said. “I voted against the crematorium on Mission Boulevard. I voted against the Funky Monkey (downtown bar) expansion, against the hip-hop nightclub. “Ah, that makes it sound like I vote against everything.”
That’s not true, Peixoto said, but he wouldn’t support the plan for a downtown loop of one-way streets because it contradicts the city’s vision for the area.
“You want to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown?” he asked. “How is that possible when you have a six-lane highway smack in the middle of it?”
And while the issue of the loop may be moot — it was narrowly approved by the City Council in 2007 — Peixoto said his votes against the nightclub and bar permit underscore his top priority of public safety.
“I’m not opposed to a nightclub downtown, ” he said. “But that was something that would bring in 245 people. What I’m afraid of is you’ll get people coming in from all over the East Bay, and I don’t think we have the police capacity to handle that.”
He said the city is “trying to throw a Hail Mary pass to turn downtown around, ” something that could backfire badly.
“You know, it’s sad that they are willing to take that much risk, ” he said. “What we need to deal with first are the fundamental issues, and that’s crime. You have to do the grunt work first.”
Peixoto said that’s going to be a huge issue as the city develops the Mission Boulevard corridor.
“These are very high-density, transit-oriented developments, ” he said. “You need to plan for the police and fire needs that come with that kind of development, and we’re still staffing at an old, suburban model.
“It’s not just about getting the tax dollars that come with those developments. You also have to accept the responsibility that comes with it.”
Peixoto, 64, is a fourth-generation Hayward resident and retired Alameda County budget analyst who narrowly lost a City Council run in 2008, his 6,175 votes falling about a half percentage point short of Francisco Zermeno’s 6,411.
He said the city still has the same issues, although “things might be a little more difficult because of the budget situation.”
“We’ve done all we can do at the city level, ” said Peixoto, who was involved in last year’s campaign to pass a utility tax for police and fire services. “The city was prepared, we had a reserve, and there were major concessions from employees and a two-week furlough. The question is how to address the big picture issue — the inability of the state to govern its own spending.”
He said the council will have to do more than issue statements opposing state grabs.
“We need to become really active, and when discussions are going on about a particular budget problem, we’re going to have to go up there,” he said. “We need to make those trips to Sacramento.”
Eric Kurhi covers Hayward. Contact him at 510-293-2473. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi. All six candidate profiles — and a forum in which to discuss them — will be available as they appear at www.ibabuzz.com/hayword.