Newark Unified School District seeking an interim high school principal

Big thanks to a caller who pointed out that the Newark Unified School District has posted a job listing for an Interim principal position at Newark Memorial High School. The district had been seeking a principal since June when then-principal Connie Spinnato left her post after just one year. The district held a special board meeting last week — to presumably present a candidate for the position — but nothing of significance took place. The next day, the aforementioned job listing was posted.

Both Superintendent Kevin Harrigan and Human Resources Director Tim Erwin are on vacation this week, so we’ll have to wait until Monday at the earliest to find out why the district is now searching for an interim principal. Officials have said in the past that starting a job search in June for such an important position is not ideal. In other words, they would have preferred to solicit applications earlier in the school year because most people have their plans for the next year pretty well mapped out by June.


No new cops for Fremont

The feds announced today that Union City and Hayward are among the California cities to receive money for more police officers.

Fremont had asked for $1.2 million a year for three years — enough to pay for eight new officers. It was rejected.

The feds based the grants primarily on violent crime rates, and Fremont didn’t have enough violence to qualify, Chief Craig Steckler said. Only 14 percent of requests were granted, he added.

Fremont this year is budgeted for 185 sworn officers, but actually has 179 in uniform, Steckler said.

In 1992, the city was budgeted for 180 officers.

By Stecker’s math, he’s got five more officers patrolling a city with 40,000 more residents.

Of course, in 1992 a rookie cop made about $44,000 before overtime. Now the officer makes at least $80,000 with the city chipping in at least another $24,000 to cover the pension costs.


New Paseo Padre railroad underpass now scheduled for August

The Paseo Padre underpass, which had been scheduled to open this month, is now slated for Aug. 11 or 12.

The city has built a new stretch of Paseo Padre underneath at-grade rail tracks, so people don’t have to sit in their cars and wait for trains to pass. Everything is a go for the new Paseo Padre except the pedestrian safety rail.

Since the new sidewalk is raised above the new street, the rail is needed to keep people from plunging into the roadway. In should be ready in a couple of weeks.

For more info about the project, click here.


Piraino to retire from Water Board

Just to prove that I don’t post items  to generate comments here’s some news from the Alameda County Water Board. Paul Piraino is retiring as General Manager in December. He will be replaced by Walt Wadlow, who, like Paul, has an excellent phone manner.

We’ll do a short story this week about the transition, the candidates to replace Piraino and Piraino’s pension, which will be mighty. We’ll do another story in December when the guard is changed.


Late Notice

Washington Hospital mailed out a notice yesterday informing us that the quarterly meeting of its Development Corporation would be held today. Unfortunately the meeting was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. and the notice didn’t come in the mail until this afternoon.

I’d feel a little better about it if the hospital had posted the correct meeting information on its web site. But that didn’t happen either.


Newark officially seeking utility tax

Looks like voters will have more to decide this November than just its city’s leaders. The Newark City Council approved a resolution Thursday to place a Utility Tax on the ballot, a 3.9 percent tax that is projected to raise $2.6 million annually. The tax, which would be applied to electricity, gas, cable, etc., would be implemented for 20 years, but the council can remove it at any time, City Manager John Becker said. I’ll have more on this later in a full-length story, including some points opponents of the tax brought up during the meeting.