At the May 5, 2008, meeting of the San Leandro City Council, Bill Stephens was elected Vice Mayor. Current Vice Mayor Surlene Grant nominated Stephens and Councilmember Michael Gregory seconded the nomination. Gregory noted that Stephens had been considered for the position previously and withdrew because of his work commitments. Councilmember Diana Souza then offered a substitute motion nominating Councilmember Joyce Starosciak that was seconded by Jim Prola.
Starosciak advocated to be elected Vice Mayor, noting that the title would add credibility to San Leandro's presence on the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, to which she is assigned. She also noted that she would have the energy and time to devote to the position.
Mayor Tony Santos noted that Districts 5 and 6 had not had a Vice Mayor in many years and he believes that the position should rotate among the City Council districts. A review of recent vice mayors shows that Councilmembers from Districts 3, 5, and 6 have not been Vice Mayor for more than 10 years. During that time, District 4 Councilmember Bob Glaze served as Vice Mayor for four straight years and District 1 Councilmembers Gordon Galvan and Orval "OB" Badger served for two years each.
In a 1992 staff report from former San Leandro City Clerk to former San Leandro City Manager Mike Oliver, Calvert wrote, "As you will recall, in 1989, the City Council discussed the matter of the designation of the vice mayor and concurred that the position of vice mayor should not be just one of rotation, but was a privilege given to the vice mayor, and that the new policy would be that the vice mayor will be elected by the City Council."
Councilmember Jim Prola expressed his support for Starosciak, noting that she has the time and that the Vice Mayor should be female because we have a male Mayor.
Grant noted that this is an election year and Starosciak may have an advantage if she was elected Vice Mayor. She also stated that the position of Vice Mayor has been held by members of the same sex previously and discounted the need to have it filled by a member of the opposite sex of the Mayor.
Councilmember Stephens joked that he was "not going to get a sex change operation," but noted that he did have a demanding schedule. Stephens said that he would be "honored to perform the duties of Vice Mayor."
The City Council vote on electing Starosciak as Vice Mayor was defeated with Souza, Starosciak, and Prola voting for Starosciak and the other four members voting no. The subsequent vote on electing Stephens as Vice Mayor was unanimous, making Stephens San Leandro's new Vice Mayor.
According to Section 310 of the City Charter, "In the absence of the Mayor, the Vice Mayor shall possess and perform the powers and duties of the Mayor."
For a listing of recent Vice Mayors, see below.
Vice Mayors of the Recent Past: