September 13, 2012

San Leandro City Council Appoints Tom Dlugosh to Replace Starosciak

At a sparsely-attended special meeting of the San Leandro City Council on Thursday, September 13, 2012, Planning Commissioner Tom Dlugosh was appointed as the new District 4 Councilmember to fill out the remainder of Joyce Starosciak's term.

The meeting began with San Leandro City Clerk drawing names to determine the order in which the four applicants would be interviewed. The order was Charles 'Chuck' Kane, Dana Chohlis, Tom Dlugosh, and John Faria.

The City Council was evenly divided on whether the applicants should be able to remain in the audience and listen to other applicants being interviewed or be sequestered out of earshot of the interviews. Mayor Stephen Cassidy decided to change his position and the applicants who were not being interviewed were moved to the Sister Cities Gallery.

The questions, decided at a previous City Council meeting were:

  1. Why are you interested in serving on the City Council?
  2. In your opinion, what are the two most pressing issues facing the City of San Leandro and how best should the City Council address these issues?
  3. How have you remained current and informed on city issues?
  4. Please summarize your experiences in community activities or issues affecting the City of San Leandro and could you give specific examples of your personal involvement?
  5. Have you even been part of a successful team and if so, what did you contribute to make it successful?
  6. Is there anything else you wish to share with the council that has not been covered in your interview this evening?

When asked about the two most pressing issues facing San Leandro, most of the applicants talked about the budget and business development. The topic of business development is high on the list for city officials with the recent resignation of Community Development Director Luke Sims, who has left to work in Dublin. Public safety was also mentioned by former San Leandro Police officer Kane and Chohlis.

Kane and Dlugosh gave brief answers that closely mirrored the brief answers on their applications. While Chohlis gave longer answers, it was Faria who demonstrated his knowledge by expounding on a number of issues. Faria served for 10 years on the Board of Zoning Adjustments before completing two terms on the City Council and a brief appointment as Mayor after Dave Karp died in office.

Dlugosh has been on the Planning Commission for 18 years and was previously President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce for a number of years.

During public comments, Chris Crow and David Erlich, who were eliminated from consideration for the appointment at a previous meeting, spoke in general terms about the issues facing the city in the next few months. Gerry Mellen, who served with Kane on the Board of SOS/Meals on Wheels, spoke in favor of appointing Kane to the position. Mellen previously served as the Treasurer for former Mayor Shelia Young, who sat in the front row during the meeting.

After thanking the applicants, the City Council proceeded to the first round vote:

Dana Chohlis
Tom DlugoshXXX
John FariaX
Charles KaneXX

With no applicant receiving four votes, Prola offered to change his vote from Faria to Dlugosh. However, Cassidy said that the Council should go with the process that had already been agreed upon and go to a second round of voting. For the second round, Chohlis was eliminated because she didn't receive any votes in the first round. The results of the second round of voting:

Tom DlugoshXXXX
John Faria
Charles KaneXX

With four votes to Kane's two votes, a motion was made to appoint Dlugosh to the San Leandro District 4 City Council seat. The motion passed unanimously and Dlugosh was immediately sworn in by San Leandro City Clerk Marian Handa.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at September 13, 2012 10:38 PM | TrackBack

Thanks for the updates. The politics of SL city is slowly changing. While we are making positive moves in the old thinking, we still have council members that don't represent their district's homeowners. While we understand, appreciate,and the value of commerce, tax increments values to the city's budget, District 6 continues to be the most over burdened with heavy traffic, polluting companies, and no mitigations to protect our families. We have not had one meeting with our representative in the last six years. We want to know as how and who is speaking on environmental concerns for San Leandro, as all Citizens are impacted-the wind moves easterly, and that means all of us.

Posted by: Wafaa Aborashed at September 18, 2012 7:56 PM
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