Plans for, and notes about, Big Mike

bigmikeOk, so the main reason for this post is to show off our HayWord host Big Mike’s profile shot. But we did have a story about how consultants and city officials hope to use the privately-owned fiberglass statue as the centerpiece for a future park on Mission Boulevard, as part of the Mission Boulevard Specific Plan that is in the works.

But there’s a host of information about Big Mike and his Muffler Man brethren at this website. Take a look at the various incarnations seen around the country — it’s a hoot. I like Spaceman Mike and creepy raised-eyebrow Big Ben.


Centennial Hall update, and Hayward’s letter to Arizona governor

There’s some significant items of interest on the agenda for tonight’s City Council meeting. It looks like the Mika group has lost interest in turning Centennial Hall and Tower into a office tower/convention center/hotel/ housing development. The city is poised to break out of the exclusive negotiating agreement and start the process to demolish the current convention center. The tower, well, that’s another story. It’s estimated that it would cost about $1,870,000 to tear it down, and it’s owned by Mika.

Another item on the consent calendar has created a buzz. It’s a resolution to send a letter to the Arizona governor regarding the recent immigration law passed by that state. Had some e-mails in the inbox this morning about it — here’s an excerpt from one addressed to the mayor and council: Continue Reading


HUSD meeting, 6/23

Here’s the story from last night’s meeting.

One thing that’s been kinda bugging me is Jim Drake’s relentless, and often misnomered, accusations about the fingerprinting program. He says that HUSD’s is flawed — it leaves open a loophole that could potentially let molesters into classrooms. District policy has a single exception to the fingerprinting rule: Parents who have a child in a class can volunteer their services in that class and only when the teacher is present. HUSD is adamant that they are stringent with fingerprinting policy, with only that exception.

But I suppose on the other hand that any such loophole is scary. Why that exception? I don’t know. I’ll ask and let you know.


What’s HUSD’s former superintendent up to?

As mentioned in the comment string, Dale Vigil is in the running for a job as superintendent of the San Diego school district. From the story:

If San Diego Unified is turbulent, Hayward Unified is even more so.

Dale Vigil led the midsized district south of Oakland when it weathered a bitter teachers strike over the size of teacher raises. It lasted more than a week, and Vigil was lambasted by teachers for taking a vacation in the middle of it.

Vigil talks about “distributive leadership,” the idea that everyone should share in decisions. He was quick to distinguish it from mere delegating. But to Hayward Unified employees like Jeff Bellaire, who leads a union of school office employees, Vigil delegated too much and wasn’t involved in the district.

Test scores bobbled under Vigil’s watch. Budget problems have persisted after he left, spurring talk of a state takeover. Hayward residents are split on whether or not Vigil was to blame.

“God could come down and wasn’t going to get improvement,” said Brian Schott, interim president and CEO of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce. “It was an unfair challenge to work with.”

Vigil agreed to leave Hayward schools last December under a buyout agreement with the school board — the second in his career after the Santa Rosa schools did the same a decade ago. He said simply that school boards change and often want “their own superintendent.”

As an educator, he is strongly focused on English learners and passionate about engaging parents in schools. He put that same emphasis on parent and community involvement in Hayward.

“You want their fingers on your chest … demanding the best education for their children,” Vigil said at a Thursday forum. “When you invite them in, give them a meaningful role, they will participate.”

Ed Mullins, a Hayward business operator who met him in a group that brings together community leaders with educators, said Vigil was open and easy to reach. He was widely credited with nudging voters to approve new money for school buildings, a rarity for Hayward.

Vigil is also familiar with San Diego, where he worked as an area superintendent a dozen years ago, and calls it un paraiso — a paradise. He earned praise here for being a collaborative leader.

Monroe Clark Middle School Principal Tom Liberto was a vice principal under his supervision and called him “a role model for me, the kind of leader I wanted to be.” Continue Reading


HayWord posting lull-abye

UPDATE: Spoke to Greg Jones and Anna May about their plans for a school board run. Story to come.

Just a quick note to let everyone know there probably won’t be many HayWord posts in the next week. I’m taking a bit of a vacation.

Try not to be too venomous.

BTW, an outgoing a lameduck city councilwoman is indeed engaged to a former city manager. Both said they left their posts to run for the school board in the coming election.

EXPLANATION FOR EDIT: Anna May said she doesn’t fit the definition of a lame duck because she wasn’t defeated in an election. Valid point.

I don’t think there’s any problem with that… except for the fact that with state receivership as a real possibility, a run for school board … well, it just seems like a run for a position of no power at all.

Ask them about it. She’s at 886-ANNA. He’s at 886-GREG. They’re not answering my calls.


Peixoto has big lead for Hayward council

peixoto2Looks like it’s  Marvin Peixoto in these returns, which have stood still for the past hour. Check for updates at the AC Registrar’s site.

Members, City Council – Hayward
Vote for no more than Two (2)
Total Precincts:    64  Precincts Reported:    18  Percent Reported:    28.12
Contest  # of Votes  % of Total
Marvin Peixoto  2822 votes  31.10  percent
Mark Salinas  2067 votes  22.78  percent
Sara Lamnin  1831  votes 20.18  percent
Ralph R. Farias Jr.  893  votes 9.84  percent
Lawrence M. Fitzpatrick  716  votes 7.89  percent
Steve Oiwa  706 votes 7.78  percent
Write-in  38 votes 0.42 percent

UPDATE, more numbers in:

Members, City Council – Hayward
Vote for no more than Two (2)
Total Precincts:    64  Precincts Reported:    30  Percent Reported:    46.88
Contest  # of Votes  % of Total
Marvin Peixoto  3270 votes 30.50  percent
Mark Salinas  2587 votes 24.13  percent
Sara Lamnin  2138 votes 19.94  percent
Ralph R. Farias Jr.  1051 votes 9.80  percent
Steve Oiwa  828  votes 7.72  percent
Lawrence M. Fitzpatrick  806  votes 7.52  percent
Write-in  42 votes 0.39 percent

UPDATE: Almost done counting, looks like it’s Marvin and Mark:

Members, City Council – Hayward
Vote for no more than Two (2)
Total Precincts:    64  Precincts Reported:    51  Percent Reported:    79.69
Contest  # of Votes  % of Total
Marvin Peixoto  4034 votes 29.78  percent
Mark Salinas  3404 votes 25.13  percent
Sara Lamnin  2681 votes 19.79  percent
Ralph R. Farias Jr.  1347 votes 9.94  percent
Steve Oiwa  1036 votes 7.65  percent
Lawrence M. Fitzpatrick  988 votes 7.29  percent
Write-in  57 votes 0.42 percent


Members, City Council – Hayward
Vote for no more than Two (2)
Total Precincts:    64 Precincts Reported:    64 Percent Reported:    100.00
Contest # of Votes % of Total
Marvin Peixoto 4375 29.84
Mark Salinas 3717 25.35
Sara Lamnin 2901 19.79
Ralph R. Farias Jr. 1441 9.83
Steve Oiwa 1106 7.54
Lawrence M. Fitzpatrick 1060 7.23

Hayward election information, one-stop shop

We had a recap story run over the weekend on tomorrow’s election. In the interest of making the information we’ve put out easily accessible and all in one place, here are links to our profiles — which include links to the candidates’ websites — and other election information:

Ralph Farias Jr.

Lawrence M. Fitzpatrick

Mark Salinas

Sara Lamnin

Marvin Peixoto

Steve Oiwa

Here’s our story on the write-in candidate for mayor.

And here’s a blog entry with all the candidate statements.

And here’s the city’s election information webpage, which now includes second pre-election campaign finance statements.


Meeting recap, and HUSD declares impasse with union

Last night’s community meeting was well attended, I estimated the crowd at a little less than 200. You can get the presentation material here. The Q and A was a mixed bag — some people were there to vent, one to campaign, some asking how they can help, and many with good questions.

One thing that came up a number of times dealt with the feeling that the district is unresponsive to the concerns of parents, or doesn’t adequately let them know what’s going on. Audie Bock was there with a bilingual “Down with Duran” sign, and Jim Drake was there to talk about the lack of fingerprinting of volunteers, as he has done repeatedly at board meetings. According to district staff, his points are misleading — all volunteers are fingerprinted except for when it’s a parent who volunteers in their own child’s classroom, and only when the teacher is present.

District presentation outlined priorities of academic achievement, fiscal solvency and campus safety — it was an abbreviated version of Superintendent Janis Duran’s action plan brought before the board earlier this year. She also said they will be taking a close look at the district’s real estate and its money making potential. And down the line, a parcel tax will be inevitable.

Here’s the superintendent’s recap, with some very important information toward the end. The district has declared an impasse in contract negotiations with the teacher’s union. Union officials say they were given about 15 minutes to look over the proposed contract before the district said they’re at an impasse.

What that means is now the Public Employment Relations Board mediators get involved, first to determine whether they’re truly at an impasse or if they should go back to the table for more talks. If the impasse is valid, they go to the “fact finding” process where they look at what’s going on and make recommendations on a mutual agreement. After that report comes out, the district could impose a contract on the union, as was done in Oakland last April, which in turn led to a teacher strike.

Keep in mind that the district has said they are counting on working with the employee groups to reach a balanced budget and avoid a state takeover.

Duran’s recap: Continue Reading