The Hayward Area Planning Association surveyed city council candidates on matters including development surrounding the South Hayward BART station, transit vs. car access to Cal State East Bay, and Bayview Village. Six of those surveyed responded, and you can find the results here.
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:
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.
Former City Manager, City ofHayward
City of Hayward Resident
Got an email from a reader saying that although the city’s ban on polystyrene foam products at restaurants and other businesses serving food went into effect in July, he’s seen some of the nonbiodegradable culprits being used out there. I’m going to go take a look at the locations he specified, but has anyone else noticed noncompliance?
The ordinance was approved by council in October of last year.
From city’s website: Effective July 1, 2011, restaurants and all other vendors selling food at retail must use only paper, cardboard, aluminum or recyclable plastic cups, plates, bowls or trays.
This requirement applies to:
•Foods eaten at a business, packaged leftovers, or ordered “to go”
•Foods offered by a Hayward business that can be eaten without further preparation (e.g. cooked chicken, sandwiches or sushi)
There’s also a bill going through legislature that would take such a ban to the statewide level by 2016.
Volunteers, city officials and the Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force hit the streets last week to do some door-to-door tutoring on ways residents can save money and help the environment by using some energy-saving tips. It was organized by Engage 360, a group with a goal of spreading the word about energy conservation in various communities throughout the state, including Hayward, a city that prides itself on promoting sustainable practices. Here’s a flier for a contest the city is holding that could win homeowners free energy efficiency improvements.
Here’s the press release on the event, as well as some tips, from Engage 360: Continue Reading
The walkability index is a guide that rates cities and neighborhoods based on proximity to nearby amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, schools, parks, and public transit.
Here is Hayward’s data and a pretty cool map in which green is good and red is bad in terms of legging it around town. Notice that while the overall number isn’t very impressive, some areas of town are indeed very walkable according to their methodology. In particular, North Hayward is up there at 77, which isn’t bad considering the 85 rank enjoyed by the country’s two most walkable cities of New York and San Francisco. San Lorenzo also got a 58 overall score, while San Leandro was somewhat higher at 65. Castro Valley faired poor for walkers, with a score of 45.
Fun feature: Enter an address and find a walk score particular for where you are. I’ll have you know that the Daily Review’s address is a “Walker’s Paradise” with a score of 98. The Castro Valley neighborhood where I grew up rated a dismal, “Car-Dependent” score of 28, but I could have told you that it wasn’t much fun getting around pre-car without the rating.
Here’s the press release from Walk Score.
According to the website, “The 372 largest cities in California have an average Walk Score of 50. The most walkable cities in California are West Hollywood, Albany and San Francisco. The least walkable cities are Mead Valley, Prunedale and Adelanto.”
Matt Rodriquez was selected by Gov. Jerry Brown to run the California Environmental Protection Agency, and his mom called the Review to point out that he’s a son of Hayward.
You might know his mom, too, from her years of service on the City Council.
“I just wanted to drum the fact that Hayward is a really nice town,” said Doris Rodriquez, who was on the council from 1991 to 2004, and also served as an appointed member from 2006 to 2008. She still can often be heard speaking at city meetings.
“It’s been a while since Matt went to Hayward schools, but he did,” she said. Matt went to Southgate, Calaroga (now MLK) and Mt. Eden.
”Chabot College, too,” she said. ”It was what I could afford, and he spent two years there before going to UC Berkeley and Hastings. It says something about Chabot.”
She said her other two children also started out at Chabot. One is now the head of the Hayward Education Association, and the other is also an attorney.
“It can make for sort of dull dinner conversation sometimes, but other than that it’s a good deal,” Rodriquez said.
Spoke with Hayward Public Works Director Bob Bauman, he said they knew a hike was coming down the pike. It was expected to be significant — at least 20 percent — but not 47 percent.
Bauman said that because of agreements that are in place and the manner water is tranferred through the system, opting to switch to, say, EBMUD water is not an option. He added that even if it were, EBMUD couldn’t handle the extra demand and besides, Hetch Hetchy water is superior.
“We have a great deal,” he said. “One of the things that brings some businesses to Hayward is the fact that we have very good water. It’s always a big point for Hayward.”
There will be a presentation on the matter at a May 3 City Council work session, Bauman said.
Had a story over the weekend about Chabot-Las Positas Community College District being the sole party still fighting the approved 600-megawatt Calpine powerplant at the Hayward shoreline, about a mile and a half away from the campus.
I just received a letter of support from the Chabot-Las Positas Faculty Association, which was sent to the district’s trustees. Find the full text after the jump, and here’s the district’s web page dedicated to the subject. Continue Reading
Had a story on the 1MW solar installation at the shoreline. Unfortunately, the photos didn’t make it in the paper because of a lack of space, so here’s one of them. It’s a pretty impressive-looking deal, and if you want to learn more about it, find the REC Solar press release after the jump.
While Sustainability Committee members all like the idea of people greening up their homes, making them more energy efficient through added insulation, air leak studies and the like, they didn’t want to impose a Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance on homeowners at this time.
The matter will go before the City Council in May with a recommendation to make it a voluntary thing, coupling it to an education campaign to let people know what options and incentives are out there to help them retrofit their homes.
Note that the decision was not without a warning, from Commissioner Mendall and Mayor Sweeney, that residents should take advantage of those incentives and take it upon themselves to improve their homes before they are told they have to do it.
Sweeney said he “missed where if ducts are leaking, how if people are paying double their energy bill, how that’s good for a homeowner. I missed the explanation of how a green home hurts property values, and I heard a little bit of that philosophy out there in the room tonight.”
Meeting is available on video, which is unusual for Sustainability Committee meetings.