March 7, 2008
Marcene Nardine Removed from Planning Commission
At the March 3, 2008, meeting of the San Leandro City Council, Marcene Nardine was removed from the Planning Commission. Nardine was appointed as the At-Large member of the Planning Commission on March 5, 2007, and replaced Susan Kleebauer.
Nardine will be replaced by Anna Brannan, who has served on the Personnel Relations Board since March 2007. Brannan is the wife of Robert Brannan, former President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and member of the Recreation and Parks Commission since May 2005.
In June 2006, Nardine campaigned for Mayor and came in third behind Tony Santos and OB Badger. Nardine endorsed Santos' Mayoral campaign shortly after losing the election. Nardine is the daughter of former San Leandro City Councilmember and School Board Trustee Glenda Nardine.
Although no reason was given in the agenda for removing Nardine, it may have something to do with missing five of the 12 Planning Commission meetings since she became a member of the Planning Commission.
Update: Coverage by the Daily Review confirms that Nardine was removed for missing too many meetings. In her defense, Nardine said, "If I would have known about the attendance policy, trust me, I would have been there."
The City Council Handbook section on Boards and Commissions reads:
1. The City Council requires that members of boards and commissions abide by the following policy:
2. Members of boards or commissions shall be required to attend not less than 75% of all regular meetings held;
3. Failure by a member to attend three consecutive regular meetings of a board or commission will be cause for Council declaring the member’s position vacant;
4. Attendance records will be reviewed by the City Council in June of each year based on the previous 12-month period (June 1 through May 31), except for appointments effective July 1st or thereafter.
Of the five out of 12 Planning Commission meetings that Nardine missed since she was appointed, three were consecutive meetings: June 28, July 12, and July 26, 2007. However, the Council did not declare her position vacant, as called for in the policy.
Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at March 7, 2008 4:03 PM
Nardine was removed on the 3rd of March 2008, not 2007.
In regards to my removal from the Planning Commission - only one side is being told and heard. Here is my letter to the Editor of The San Leandro Time -- in case it's not printed ...
March 21, 2008
In regards to your article regarding my removal from the Planning Commission – I am using this avenue to give you my side of your story that was completely and totally slanted and inaccurate.
First clarification – I did, in fact, return Amy’s phone calls and left a message on YOUR answering machine. Apparently, no one listens to them.
Secondly, I am single working parent and am not always available to speak with people that want “interviews at the last minute.” (5 phone calls in a 2 day period to my home before the hour of 3 pm – when I do not arrive home until after 6 pm)
As for clarifying the attendance issue – it is a shame that the reporter disregards the “attendance access” to the public required by the City’s Charter to have 2 meetings per month. But due to the work overload on City Staff it has been approved by the City Manager to hold 1 meeting per month under the premise “there are no agenda items at this time.” Thus, denying the community their right to speak before the Planning Commission…If memory serves me correctly the Public is entitled to speak at the beginning of every meeting..IF there are no meetings – the public is being denied their right.
It seems to me that Mr. Santos has more of an issue with Single Parent / Single Moms serving in a volunteer position than the statement “we have some very important issues coming up.” If Mr. Santos felt that “those important issues were a priority – he would be making sure that City staff held to the charter of 2 meetings per month in order for the community to address their concerns on those “very important issues.” For the record, the 3 most important issues that did occur during my time on the Planning Commission (Downtown TOD Strategy, Faith Gospel Church, and Woodside Haas Apts) – I was in attendance for and voted on – records confirm.
I believe that I had on more than one occasion stated to Mr. Santos that my son was ill and would be having surgery – not to mention I did have a death in the family. However, in a letter from Mr. Santos it was stated that “the time and effort it takes to raise a small young child” was impacting my attendance and therefore would require my removal from the Planning Commission. And Yet Mr. Santos offered to moving me to the Human Relations Commission as a way for me to be able to attend more meetings – yet this commission meets at 5:30 pm – and I work until 6 pm. Logic behind this – I haven’t yet figured out – but I am sure that Mr. Santos could explain it.
Maybe I should stay home barefoot and pregnant too – as getting involved in my City doesn’t work for Mr. Santos if you are of the younger generation, single, working and with children. I do remember in one of Mr. Santos’s campaign interviews him stating that he would like to see more “boutiques downtown for women to shop at” – Mr. Santos has a warped sense of what women in this day and age can do and are made of if he feels that what we are most capable of is shopping and “raising small young children.”
Mr. Santos should be spending his time on what is truly important to our City and community right now – the Economy and how we as a community are facing it (isn’t the City facing a $4 million dollar deficit this year?), Increased Crime Levels, and a deficit in the Police Department staffing wise. These are all strong concerns of our community that Mr. Santos isn’t hearing or isn’t listening too – instead he is more worried about attendance on the Planning Commission and reseating Commissioners, Apartment building conversions with no regard for the residents that would be impacted or forced out, and how he can “increase boutiques in the downtown area.”
I would think that Mr. Santos should be grateful that the younger generation wants to get involved in the City and its development and growth. As we are the future of San Leandro – as is our children. I would think that Mr. Santos would be more understanding of our responsibilities as individuals, parents, caretakers, and let alone – single working parents.