Hayward board and commission interviews this week

UPDATE #2: The official appointment and swearing-in ceremony for selected members will take place at the Sept. 14 City Council meeting.

UPDATE: Selections for the Planning Commission are Mariellen Faria, Sara Lamnin, Diane McDermott. For Personnel/Aff Action it’s Satinder Pal Singh and Gurjit Kaur. For Library, Kari McAllister. Keep Hayward Clean and Green, Monica Ruiz, Frances Sagapolu, Seleacia Taylor, Carol Baks Pecil and Werner Heisserer. Human Services, Diana Fagalde. Council Economic Development Committee, Terry Swartz, Chris Lam, Waseem Khan, Kanti Patel. DT Biz Improvement Area Advisory Board, Katherine Kelley, Beneba Thomas, Elie Goldstein, Benjamin Schweng. Citizen’s Advisory Committee: Rowena Gilmore, Ray Bonilla Jr., Flo Samuels, Allison McManus, Robert Leppert, Jim Todd and Julius Willis, Jr.

Hayward-City-Hall-2Hayward has a total of 44 applicants for posts on various boards and commissions. There are three vacancies on the Planning Commission, seven on the Citizen’s Advisory Commission, three on the Economic Development Committee, four on the Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board, seven on the Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force and one each on the Human Services Commission, Library Commission and Personnel And Affirmative Action Commission. Applicants for the Planning Commission: Continue Reading


HUSD 7/21: 2 year contract for Duran, AlCo wields power

Superintendent Janis Duran was given a two-year contract at the Hayward Unified meeting this week. It’s for less money than her predescessor was making, includes no benefits and has a 30-day termination clause, which means either Duran or HUSD can end the deal with a month’s notice. No buyouts.

Those are valuable provisions, especially given the fiscal uncertainty the district is facing, and the contract was called  “unprecedented” by Trustee Maribel Heredia. However, Trustee Luis Reynoso objected to the road taken to arrive at the contract, which led to some of the same contention previously seen at board meetings, and a two-minute timeout. More on that matter is in the link.

Alameda County Superintendent Sheila Jordan was there, along with fiscal advisers. The reason? The board was poised to approve a 186-day school year calendar, which included the 180 instructional days plus three days for teacher development and three teacher work days.

Jordan’s camp said that such a calendar could hinder cost-cutting efforts.

“It seems like a small thing, but it restricts the district and the union in the ability to be flexible in dealing with cuts,” she said.

Union President Mercedes Faraj said they feel “tricked” because they bargained for the 186-day calendar, just to have it summarily taken away. She said the district should have contacted them as soon as the possibility of a change arose.

Board voted to approve the 186-day deal, with the provision that if it is rescinded they accept the 180-day calendar. It was immediately rescinded.

“This is the ninth time I’ve assigned fiscal advisers to a district, and the first time I’ve had to use the power of stay and rescind,” Jordan said.


Big city lights near the bridge?


CORRECTION: Whoops! I was given incorrect information regarding what happened at last night’s meeting. The item that was postponed was NOT the Clear Channel billboard — it dealt with a cell phone tower at the Stonebrae Country Club.

Planners APPROVED the billboard 5-to-1 with Rodney Loche dissenting. The decision may be appealed to City Council.

The Planning Commission approved postponed making a decision on a billboard that would brighten up the approach to the Hayward-San Mateo bridge.

Clear Channel wants to put in one of those LED billboards, the ones with the changing ads. Like the Xtronx ones you see at Southland Mall or in San Leandro near Marina Boulevard. Sizewise, the Southland billboard is 14-by-26 feet. The Marina one is 20-by-30. The new one would be more of an elongated rectangle, the same size as a billboard currently there: 14-by-48 feet.

The city report is pretty extensive, and goes into possible side effects on drivers (deemed not distracting enough to be a safety hazard) and wildlife (overall light output won’t be much more than current billboard, and trained away from marshes).

Two planners recused themselves from Thursday night’s vote, and it was decided that with the current deficit of two commissioners, they will wait until September to make a decision, after the new members are seated.

It would make entrance and egress more exciting, but a lot of people don’t like those adboards and say they belong in, say, Times Square. This one would have some added benefit to the city because 12 percent of the adspace would be dedicated to city and community events, at no cost.

Here’s an interesting article on cities that have digital billboard bans.

Any thoughts on such a billboard?


New Hayward City Council members seated tonight

UPDATE: Here’s the story about outgoing council members Anna May and Kevin Dowling.

There’s supposed to be a police color guard ceremony, Mt. Eden choir rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and more fun at tonight’s special City Council meeting to swear-in the new members.

Here’s our story with comments from incoming members Marvin Peixoto and Mark Salinas.

Any thoughts on what you hope to see and hear from your new representatives?


Nov. 2 election filing period opened today

Here’s where to go to see who has turned in papers.

So far all is quiet on the HUSD front, and there isn’t much activity in most of the other races either. Hayward Area Recreation District board President Paul Hodges is re-upping for another term, and former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young tossed her hat into the ring for a spot on the Oro Loma Sanitary District board.

Aug. 6 is the close of the nomination period.


Mural, mural, on the wall


Artist and teacher Andrew Kong Knight — the guy who did the detailed nature-scene “Gateway Mural” on Foothill Boulevard at City Center — has been commissioned by the city to do some more pieces around the downtown movie theater.

These are Knight’s renderings of what will be going up. The above mural will be on Foothill Boulevard, facing the hills. This one will be on C Street, and the last one will be in the alley off of C.

It’s part of the city’s Mural Program, as are the other new murals that have popped up around town as well as the decorated utility boxes. Such artworks are apparently a good deterrent to vandalism, and they just kind of make the area look a little livelier, to boot. 

The latest murals are expected to be finished by November, weather permitting. There will be a mural tour on July 10 for anyone who wants to learn more and meet the artists. Sign up here.