Greg Jones: Keep gang injunctions as priority

Former City Manager Greg Jones checked in with a letter to the editor, related to the City Council setting priorities for the coming year. Jones is concerned about diluting the core goals with the addition of “Green,” which was done last year, and a lack of interest in pursuing gang injunctions,  a hot topic at the Council priority-setting meeting in January. Here’s his letter:

To The Editor:

The Hayward City Council has been reviewing their priorities for 2012. I applaud their continuing efforts to ensure the focus remains on the right things, a process I began back in late 2007 when I arrived at the City. We built a strong, clear framework for how the resources of the City are allocated to service delivery.

Unfortunately, two things (among others) have occurred to weaken that clarity first established almost five years ago:

1. The two overriding priorities of Public Safety and Cleaning Up Hayward have been diluted by the addition of a third overriding priority of “greening” Hayward. This has distracted the organization from the core services that first have to be delivered above all others. Conservation efforts have always been emphasized at the City through a number of actions and policies, but serve as a support of the other two priorities. Each of us has a personal responsibility to assist in meeting environmental challenges to be sure, and local policies enhancing that ability should be carefully considered. I want my elected Council to stay focused on the most concerning and immediate of issues: Safety and Cleanliness!

2. The Gang Injunction Program, a priority articulated when I arrived that has languished for the past four years, has lost Council support. Interestingly, it is members of Council running for reelection that shrank from their commitment to continue to strengthen our public safety efforts. Olden Henson is the lone supporter of the Gang Injunction Program running for reelection. Mayor Sweeney and Council member Marvin Peixoto also support forging ahead with the effort. The others have gone eerily silent in supporting this important policy decision. A number of very effective initiatives have been implemented, but the Gang Injunction Program is a crucial element of a comprehensive strategy for curbing crime.

The community supported Measure A, the Utility User’s Tax, to maintain public safety and to clean up Hayward. We need a Council that will stay true to that commitment. We certainly have NOT reached our goal of a “safer” Hayward nor have we “cleaned up” Hayward to the point we can move on to other issues that could be considered as important.

Let your City Council know you want them to stay the course. Let’s getHayward safe and clean before we start distracting ourselves with other less specific and measurable endeavors.

Greg Jones

Former City Manager, City ofHayward

City of Hayward Resident

Eric Kurhi

  • Lissa Taylor

    Gangs are the least of Hayward’s problems. Fight the abuse in the schools!!! Within months of me leaving Brenkwitz a student was molested in the back office of the main office by a newly hired campus supervisor. He was quietly terminated and charges were not filed. Chien Wu-Fernandez and Kathryn Benson made the mother think it was the child’s fault. Yes I know the mother very well and I know the student, I will not provide her name for her own safety. The student thinks it was her fault. Did that make it to the Board of Education. No.

    Wake up Hayward Community!!!!! Your city is being robbed!!! Your children and students are being abused!! How do they get away with it? Because the people who are supposed to protect your children are abusing them. Outspoken children get expelled for telling. My blog was originally blocked until I contacted the San Jose Mercury News, my blog was released the next day.

  • Eric Kurhi

    Hey Lissa — All first-time commenters are blocked until the initial post is reviewed. Your post sat in the unapproved bin for a while because I was not logging into the HayWord very often. There was no deliberate attempt to stifle your comment.

  • Lissa Taylor

    Thank you for clarifying that for me Eric, the person Amber also AP Polk use to follow you on twitter, she is now blocked is there a reason for this or is she mistaken?

  • Lissa Taylor

    Parents need to know that schools will hold on to your kids wanted or not until the first Wednesday in October, (CBEDS) the census date, once they get credit for your child occupying a seat they kick them out. A student may be 20 credits short for graduation, if they are not a trouble maker the high school will keep them knowing they won’t graduate. Instead the schools, send students they don’t want or have 5 or 10 credits to the continuation high school to take up the spaces so a student who could have graduated is sitting at home without a diploma because of 10 credits. Who takes the hit for dropouts? Not the referring school. Check the data don’t take my word for it.
    I sat in a meeting face to face with George Bullis, Principal at Hayward High. He said, “Lets send all the kids with low test scores to one school so all the schools don’t look bad and our test scores will go up.” Chien was sitting in this meeting and did nothing, when I left the district, Chien did just what George wanted. Parent don’t know that a principal does not have the power to kick a student out,or tell the parent to keep the student at home. Principals only have the power to “recommend” expulsion and even then the school has to prove their case. Parents what you don’t know is hurting your child. Start demanding that the Board of Education ask more questions of Chien like they did in the last Board meeting.

  • Sherry Blair

    First of all, welcome back Eric! The Hayword has suffered during your absence.

    I have been thinking lately about this being an election year and time for our community to wake up and make some intelligent choices about who we want to lead our city. We have to truly occupy the ballot box if we are going to preserve our democracy.

    I had a conversation only a few days ago about who might run for office and Greg Jones’s name came up. I don’t know him, but I have heard some really good things about him and his tenure as our city manager.

    Now that I read his letter I find myself disagreeing with him on the issue of city priorities!

    He says that we shouldn’t water down saftey and cleanliness with “greening.” My own view is that what I would call the “greening” of Hayward not just one issue to be put into competition on an equal footing with safety and cleanliness. It is descriptive of the natural evolutionary change that is occuring on a global scale in the world today. Hayward cannot and must not escape it. On the contrary, we need to become more conscious and cooperative if we are going to create a sustainable future. This is the overriding issue of our day.

    Once this is seen, everything else fits into that larger vision in right relationship.

    We cannot go back to 2007 priorities. Too much has happened since then (2009 for instance.) I too voted for the utility tax, but it wasn’t about old priorites, it was an emergency. We have to think 2012 now.

  • Michael Moore

    We cannot continue to request services which we cannot afford to pay for. Schools, Police, Fire and Local Government are not now affordable and are not getting any cheaper. We need to hold incumbents accountable for the failures of their action and to demand more than just average performance from those who serve the public.

    Gangs will disappear as soon as the neighborhood refutes them and drives them out. That will not happen until the infrastructure of government rewards good citizenship and stewardship and relocates those that are not here to be a contributing part of the local community.

  • Lissa Taylor

    Amen Michael Moore!,,,,,

  • Eric Kurhi

    Can’t block someone on Twitter. Tell her to take the matter up with me and we’ll get to the bottom of it, here or on email or Twitter or facebook or by phone. I am not hard to reach. Tell her to come by the office and talk to me!

  • Lissa Taylor

    Message delivered and by the by I just blocked someone on my Twitter account. Amber will contact you.

  • Teresa Conti

    Okay folks, we are on the second body this week in the Hayward area. Keep your people close and safe.

    Good heavens.

  • Qodrn

    Expensive car took out phone pole on Mission near Harder. If your power is out, now you know why.
    Hope the people in the car are okay. A prayer would not be amiss here.

  • Michael Moore

    I have been wondering why Greg Jones is back in public and well I will be slapped, I forgot that he was a realtor and is trying to drum up his business. Go get them Greg. I am not sure where realtors rank on the public trust index. They are likely closely trusted as much as bankers, lawyers and politicians.

  • Qodrn

    Its always bad when donut shops close. I would like to recommend World of Donuts and the Donut Factory as great alternatives. In the same area, the donuts at Lucky’s are not too bad either; after 3:00 pm, you can get a dozen at a great price.