February 21, 2007

City Council Approves New Ordinances for Commercial and Over-sized Vehicles

Despite concerns voiced by members of the public and Councilmembers Diana Souza and Joyce Starosciak, the City Council unanimously approved two new ordinances regulating the parking of commercial and over-sized vehicles on the street and private property at its February 20, 2007, meeting.

Souza initially said that she "thinks we need to spend more time looking at these ordinances" and called for approval of the ordinances to be considered at a future meeting to give the public more time to learn about and comment on them. Starosciak expressed concern that the impact of the ordinances may be wider than originally expected. Mayor Tony Santos stressed that the ordinances were the results of years of complaints by residents and were not a recent development. Councilmember Bill Stephens agreed and when Vice Mayor Surlene Grant suggested that the implementation of the ordinances be delayed, Stephens objected. Grant also noted that it was the first she had heard of privacy concerns when a person speaking during the public comment period expressed those concerns.

In the end, the City Council unanimously approved the new ordinances, although newly appointed Councilmember Jim Prola found himself outside with a group of residents concerned about the new ordinances after the meeting ended.

The City Council approved a monument to the police and fire personnel who serve the City of San Leandro that will be placed on the wall of the Police Department facing the street. After sending a Request for Qualifications to 200 artists and firms, the vendor selected was Monument Arts, Inc. of Sandy, Utah. The cost of the monument is $83,500. Monument Arts agreed to sub-contract with Suzanne Jacobs-Pershing, Chair of the San Leandro Arts Council, Bay Signs, Inc. of San Leandro for the installation and electrical work, and Guerrero Mortuary for engraving. Grant asked if the monument would be protected by plexiglass and Community Relations Representative Kathy Ornelas said that it would be protected by an anti-graffiti covering. Here is the proposed monument as presented at the meeting:

Proposaed monument to San Leandro's Public Safety organizations

At the beginning of the meeting, the City Council approved new nominations to city commissions and boards and new appointees were sworn in by City Clerk Marian Handa.

During public comments, three of the applicants for the District 6 City Council seat, Esther Collier, Adan Alonzo, and Wafaa Aborashed, congratulated Jim Prola on his appointment. Doug Percival from the Bay-O-Vista neighborhood complained about a six-foot-high fence built by his neighbor that ruined the view of the San Francisco Bay from his home on Harbor View Drive. He noted that there was no law regarding fences and blocked views and asked the City Council to impose a moratorium on fences until this issue had been addressed. Lou Filipovich read portions of letters from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters and the California Attorney General regarding San Leandro's status as a Charter City and complained that San Leandro "can do what you want." Aborashed complained about the appointment process for the District 6 City Council seat and was disappointed with the questions that were asked. She also expressed concern that the "commissioners seem to be recycled" and asked that more be done to have the commissioners represent the diversity of the city.

During City Council comments, Gregory pointed out an article that appeared in the February 17, 2007, edition of the Daily Review about Matt Jessee, a former San Leandro High School student that now owns a painting company in Oakland. The article focused on a volunteer painting project that Jessee's company completed for Claremont School in Oakland. Gregory called up Jessee about doing something for our schools locally and Jessee said that the schools should submit an application to his company.

Prola thanked his supporters and his wife Diana and said that he had a lot to learn. He also expressed a desire to listen to the concerns of District 6 residents.

Santos noted that he completed an interview for City Limits with Police Chief Dale Attarian and Fire Chief Sheldon Gilbert that will air soon. The meeting was adjourned in memory of Tim Holcomb and Robert Taylor.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at February 21, 2007 12:19 AM | TrackBack
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