Hayward councilman snubs former colleague

HAYWARD — The City Council weighed in this week on their top candidates to fill a vacancy on the council, and one councilman did not endorse allowing a former colleague to advance to the interview stage in the process.

Eighteen people applied to fill the vacancy created when Councilwoman Barbara Halliday was elected mayor in June. Each council member was allowed to select up to five candidates for the post.

Among those applying was former councilman Mark Salinas, who did not seek re-election to the council, instead running against Halliday and Councilman Francisco Zermeno. Salinas was chosen to be among candidates interviewed for the vacant seat by all council members — except Zermeno.

Zermeno only used four of his five votes, endorsing Rocky Fernandez and Planning Commission members Elisa Marquez, Rodney Loche and Vishal Trivedi.

Zermeno previously snubbed another colleague, not endorsing Councilman Marvin Peixoto, who won re-election in the June election. Zermeno instead endorsed Fernandez and Sara Lamnin, who was elected to the council. Both Fernandez and Lamnin received large financial contributions from SEIU Local 1021, which has been in a protracted contract dispute with the city.

Peixoto did not endorse any candidate for mayor in June’s election, saying he could work with any of his colleagues who were seeking the office.

Halliday, unlike Zermeno, did vote to consider Salinas’ application, even though they also were competitors in the mayoral race. Salinas lost by 735 votes, according to the county registrar. Zermeno came in third, trailing Salinas by 1,220 votes.

Five candidates will be interviewed for the vacancy at Tuesday’s council meeting: Marquez, Loche, Trivedi, Salinas, and businessman and community leader Brian Schott.

The council is scheduled to fill the vacancy Tuesday. The meeting should be interesting for those who follow Hayward politics. It starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers, second floor at City Hall, 777 B St.