Day after Salwan’s appointment to Fremont City Council

In my story on the Salwan appointment in Wednesday’s print edition of The Argus:

Raj Salwan’s appointment to the Fremont City Council gives the five-member panel an Asian majority for the first time in the city’s nearly 57-year history.

Secondly, Vice Mayor Anu Natarajan — who cast the lone dissenting vote in the 3-1 margin that sent Salwan onto the council — said she was caught off-guard Monday because the system the council used to rank candidates was slightly different from that of past appointments. In previous meetings, Natarajan said, council members ranked each of the competing candidates, from top to bottom. On Monday, Harrison proposed that they rank only their top three choices, leaving the others unranked.

“I was surprised that the ranking system got changed at the last minute,” Natarajan said. “The outcome may not have been different, but I was a little disappointed it was handled that way.”

Harrison defended his ranking system, saying he thought “long and hard about” it and didn’t intend to surprise his fellow council members. He added that he received no pushback during the meeting about it.

“Yes, this system was a little different,” he said. “At the end of the day, it still takes a motion, a second and a vote to get the appointment.”

For more of the article, click here.

Chris DeBenedetti


  1. The Salwan appointment is more about NOT appointing Dutra the *evil developer* to the city council than what is in the best interest of Fremont. Folks,once again we have been swiftboated by the little man his true belivers again! This unsavory move has Vinnies bloody fingerprints all over it! Anu should not be surprised of what a man with a chip on his shoulder will do .Brace yourselfs folk,s and get ready for more class warfare wraped in Bacon.

  2. Why was it necessary to re-invent, what SHOULD be, a simple AND (much more importantly) REPEATABLE process of ranking and selecting a candidate? We’ve done this a dozen times before. . . . what special need could Bill have sought to satisfy with this last minute change?

    Bill says he thought “long and hard” about a change to the process – as if that were a rationale. Presumably he hoped to pre-consider the possible impact that such a change might have (or not) on the voting.

    WHile Bill felt a need to think long and hard, he denied his co-horts the benefit of that forethought. They had no reasons to anticipate a change to past practices.

    Was the prospect of speculation about the motives for a last minute change by constituency one of the considerations Bill thought long and hard about? Or, did he simply figure his constistuency wouldn’t notice or care?

    Transparency in governement is an important quality.

  3. Bll Harrison wanted someone who supports his right leaning agenda. He manipulated the selection process to get his man.
    Future Fremont City Council voting.. 3 to 2
    Harrison, Chan, Salwan Vs Natarajan , Bacon.

    Is our Mayor ethically challenged?

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