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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: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, July 26th, 2010
Under: Business, Development, Environment, Hayward, Politics | 1 Comment »

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?

Posted on Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
Under: Hayward, Politics | 7 Comments »

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.

Posted on Monday, July 12th, 2010
Under: Alameda County, Hayward, Politics, San Leandro, San Lorenzo | 8 Comments »

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: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Under: Development, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Politics | 22 Comments »

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

UPDATE: FINAL

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
Write-in

Posted on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
Under: Hayward, Politics | 2 Comments »

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: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, June 4th, 2010
Under: Hayward, Politics, Schools | 96 Comments »

Hayward City Council candidate: Steve Oiwa

oiwa01STEVE OIWA
  • Age: 62
  • Job: Retired businessman
  • Education: Attended College of San Mateo
  • Prior elected offices: None
  • In Hayward: 14 years
  • Family: Wife, five kids
  • Favorite Hayward spot: Akaihana Japanese Restaurant
  • Website: None
  • This is the last of six profiles of the candidates in the Hayward City Council race. Two seats are up for election on the June 8 ballot.

    HAYWARD — It’s been hard to glean what City Council candidate Steve Oiwa is all about.

    He hasn’t spoken at the forums, doesn’t have a website and didn’t submit a candidate statement. It’s as if he doesn’t want to do any of the usual politicking at all.

    That’s because he doesn’t.

    “I don’t want to tell anyone any lies,” he said. “I don’t want to answer and say what I think people want to hear, tell them what I think they want me to do when I don’t know if I can do it.”

    He said he attended one candidate forum as an observer and thought his opponents were doing just that.

    “I was listening, but they were just making sounds,” he said. ” ‘Oh, you better vote for me. I’ll do this, or I’ll do that.’ I say, ‘Yeah, sure. Boo!’ ”

    Oiwa said those claims are moot without the knowledge and wherewithal that comes with an elected position. Before a person is seated, he really has no idea how the city works, what’s going on and what can be done to effect change, he said.

    “No, I don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “That’s why I’m running. To know, you have to be in it. I want to be in it but not be a bad politician.”

    He said he would represent the “average citizen.”

    “People tell me, ‘Steve, you are no politician,’ ” he said. “They say, ‘That’s not for you.’ That’s right. I see things like normal people. With a different angle, like you see it. You know what I mean?”

    Oiwa often repeats that last question, emphasizing “you.”

    He is proud to be an Everyman, lacking a title or a political history and the connections that come with such things.

    “That’s why I don’t have any endorsements,” he said. “No donations. There’s always a little string attached, even the small stuff, don’t you think so? No matter where you go, they’ve scratched your back, and sooner or later you will have to scratch theirs.”

    Oiwa said he would like to see more people involved in the decision-making process, possibly delegating duties performed by the City Council to subcommittees, or otherwise giving them more teeth.

    “Are weeds too high, or is there a fence that needs to be torn down? Maybe (the Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force) could give out tickets,” he said. “Give them more power — spread it out more. Open it up more. A lot of people, they want power. I am not talking about power for myself. I am talking about giving power to more people.”

    Oiwa called Hayward “a challenging place” that has gone downhill in the years since he’s moved here.

    He said while his path may be as yet uncharted, his desired destination is known: a cleaner, safer Hayward where people want to live, work and visit.

    Oiwa said he finds inspiration in the 1939 film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” in which a naive man played by James Stewart refuses to be corrupted by the Washington, D.C., political machine.

    While Stewart’s character was thrust into his lawmaker role, Oiwa said he is seeking out a council spot because not getting involved would amount to unacceptable apathy.

    “It’s better to try than not try and complain about it,” he said. “If something is not working, you got to try to do something. You can’t do nothing.”

    Eric Kurhi covers Hayward. Contact him at 510-293-2473. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi. All six candidate profiles — and a forum in which to discuss them — will be available as they appear at www.ibabuzz.com/hayword.

    Posted on Friday, May 28th, 2010
    Under: Hayward, Politics | No Comments »

    The Tweets are now a three-man cacophony

    twitter_logoIt’s been nearly a year to the day since intrepid reporter Kris Noceda announced he joined the world of Twitter.

    That was a good call. After waiting and watching to see if Twitter wasn’t some kind of online flash-in-the-pan, the other Review reporters have joined him. Follow Eric Kurhi at www.twitter.com/erickurhi and Jason Sweeney at www.twitter.com/Jason_Sweeney .

    Twitter serves a different function than either stories or this blog. It’s an instant-information mechanism, good for short bursts. For example, when someone’s out in the field chasing down fire or crime information, or as-it-happens reports from school board or City Council meetings. Expect information to be in very short form and more informal than you’d see in a story or even on a blog.

    You can also find links to other Tweeters, such as the City of Hayward or the Hayward Public Library.

    You don’t have to be on Twitter to read the entries — just visit the sites to see what’s been posted.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
    Under: Alameda County, Crime, Entertainment, General, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Politics, San Leandro, Schools | No Comments »

    Hayward City Council candidate: Marvin Peixoto

    peixoto01MARVIN PEIXOTO
  • Age: 64
  • Job: Retired budget analyst for Alameda County
  • Education: Bachelors and masters degrees from Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay)
  • Prior elected offices: None
  • In Hayward: 38 years
  • Family: Wife
  • Favorite Hayward spots: Buon Appetito, Buffalo Bill’s Brewery
  • Website: www.marvinpeixoto.com/
  • This is the fifth of six profiles of the candidates in the Hayward City Council race. Two seats are up for election on the June 8 ballot.

    HAYWARD — Marvin Peixoto said he has something for voters that his opponents can’t offer: a proven track record.

    With six years on the Planning Commission, Peixoto said people can see what he’s done and judge for themselves if they want him on the City Council.

    “I spoke out against the (downtown) loop, ” he said. “I voted against the crematorium on Mission Boulevard. I voted against the Funky Monkey (downtown bar) expansion, against the hip-hop nightclub. “Ah, that makes it sound like I vote against everything.”

    That’s not true, Peixoto said, but he wouldn’t support the plan for a downtown loop of one-way streets because it contradicts the city’s vision for the area.

    “You want to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown?” he asked. “How is that possible when you have a six-lane highway smack in the middle of it?”

    And while the issue of the loop may be moot — it was narrowly approved by the City Council in 2007 — Peixoto said his votes against the nightclub and bar permit underscore his top priority of public safety.
    “I’m not opposed to a nightclub downtown, ” he said. “But that was something that would bring in 245 people. What I’m afraid of is you’ll get people coming in from all over the East Bay, and I don’t think we have the police capacity to handle that.”

    He said the city is “trying to throw a Hail Mary pass to turn downtown around, ” something that could backfire badly.
    “You know, it’s sad that they are willing to take that much risk, ” he said. “What we need to deal with first are the fundamental issues, and that’s crime. You have to do the grunt work first.”

    Peixoto said that’s going to be a huge issue as the city develops the Mission Boulevard corridor.

    “These are very high-density, transit-oriented developments, ” he said. “You need to plan for the police and fire needs that come with that kind of development, and we’re still staffing at an old, suburban model.

    “It’s not just about getting the tax dollars that come with those developments. You also have to accept the responsibility that comes with it.”

    Peixoto, 64, is a fourth-generation Hayward resident and retired Alameda County budget analyst who narrowly lost a City Council run in 2008, his 6,175 votes falling about a half percentage point short of Francisco Zermeno’s 6,411.

    He said the city still has the same issues, although “things might be a little more difficult because of the budget situation.”

    “We’ve done all we can do at the city level, ” said Peixoto, who was involved in last year’s campaign to pass a utility tax for police and fire services. “The city was prepared, we had a reserve, and there were major concessions from employees and a two-week furlough. The question is how to address the big picture issue — the inability of the state to govern its own spending.”

    He said the council will have to do more than issue statements opposing state grabs.

    “We need to become really active, and when discussions are going on about a particular budget problem, we’re going to have to go up there,” he said. “We need to make those trips to Sacramento.”

    Eric Kurhi covers Hayward. Contact him at 510-293-2473. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi. All six candidate profiles — and a forum in which to discuss them — will be available as they appear at www.ibabuzz.com/hayword.

    Posted on Monday, May 24th, 2010
    Under: Hayward, Politics | No Comments »

    Commission curious?

    It’s commissioner-finding time in Hayward, and there are a lot of openings. For the first time, the city is going to hold an event for people curious about serving on a board or commission.

    The Monday open house is a chance to find out what you’d be doing from someone who’s doing it.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010
    Under: Hayward, Odds & Ends, Politics | No Comments »