February 27, 2007

Mayor's State of the City Address

At a February 26, 2007, special meeting of the City Council, Mayor Tony Santos gave his first State of the City address, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation. Santos tied San Leandro's past to its future using information from the books A Garden Grows in Eden by Harry Shaffer and San Leandro, a history, by Reginald Stuart. Santos said that these books are worth a trip to the library and also recommended Not a Genuine Black Man, by Brian Copeland.

Santos then launched into a history of San Leandro that even longtime resident Councilmember Joyce Starosciak said that she learned new things about San Leandro. The Mayor pointed out that the Pelton Center was the first shopping center in San Leandro and the second shopping center in Northern California. In the 1930s and 1940s, the Works Progress Administration built 40 miles of gutters, curbs and sidewalks in San Leandro. Santos pointed out that former Mayor Jack Maltester still lived in the house where he was born.

As he progressed through San Leandro's history, Santos listed well-known businesses such as TriNet, Otis Spunkmeyer, Betts Spring Company, Peterson Tractor, North Face, and OSIsoft, that were located in San Leandro. Santos stated that San Leandro needs big box stores and pointed out that while there were 2100 businesses generating sales tax revenue in the city, the 100 largest businesses generate 71% of the sales tax revenue.

Santos gave kudos to Madison Marquette for revitalizing Bayfair Center with a $91 million investment in renovations and to Macy's, the oldest Bayfair tenant, about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. As part of the City's effort to revitalize downtown, the City is contracting with Main Street Property Services to create and implement a downtown retail strategy.

The Mayor noted that he is reading a book on eco-cities and encouraged people to get out of their cars and take public transportation, carpool, bicycle or walk at least one day a week.

While mentioning the redevelopment project areas throughout the city, Santos thanked the Estudillo Estates Homeowner Association for its support of the MacArthur Boulevard redevelopment and noted that the group was paying to place a neighborhood monument on MacArthur Boulevard.

Calling the Marina “one of our biggest challenges,” Santos noted that the first boat launch was built in 1959 for $1.5 million and now the Marina needs $8 million to repair the existing infrastructure and $5.9 million to dredge the channel and harbor. Santos said that only 256 of the 455 berths are currently being used.

The Mayor said that he and other members of the City Council will include the Marina when they travel to Washington DC to lobby on behalf of the city, but that the main goal would be to obtain the $12 million was needed to build the Senior Center on E.14th Street near San Leandro Hospital.

Santos concluded his address with his top three goals:

1.Increase police officer staffing to 100
2.Work with the San Leandro Unified School District to implement Measure B
3.Work with the City Council to restore recreation opportunities

During Councilmember comments, Councilmembers congratulated the Mayor on his presentation and expressed support for his goals.

Daily Review also covered the speech.

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February 25, 2007

Mayor to Present "State of the City" Address on Monday, February 26, 2007

At a special City Council meeting scheduled for 7pm on Monday, February 26, 2007, Mayor Tony Santos will give the annual "State of the City" address at City Hall in the City Council Chambers.

Mayor Santos will also be the featured speaker at the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce's "State of the City" luncheon on Thursday, March 1, 2007. The luncheon will be held from 11:15am to 1:15pm in the Karp Room of the San Leandro Library, located at 300 Estudillo Avenue.

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February 22, 2007

Local money and politics - the Political Action Committee for Excellence (PACE)

Money fuels politics at the local level as much or more as it does at the state and national level. A City Council race can cost next to nothing for those who run unopposed (as Bill Stephens did in the most recent election) or almost $80,000 (the amount spent by Joyce Starosciak to win her seat on the City Council in 2004). The most recent mayoral campaign between Tony Santos and OB Badger saw Badger spend nearly $100,000 while Santos, who won the election, spent nearly $60,000.

In San Leandro, there are no limits on how much a person or organization can contribute to a campaign. In the 2006 mayoral election, OB Badger received two contributions of $5,000 from two individuals. Santos received $6,500 from one contributor. This is one of a series of articles about groups that fund campaigns in San Leandro.

While there are numerous political action committees at the state and national level, there are just a few similar groups at the local level.

One of these groups is the Political Action Committee for Excellence (P.A.C.E.). PACE's first incarnation officially ended in December 1990 (ID #841585). It is known as a recipient committee, which means that it makes financial contributions to political candidates (and their recipient committees) and is regulated by the California Fair Practices Political Commission.

PACE (ID #982793) was restarted in 1998 or 1999 by Faith Frazier, who served on the San Leandro City Council from 1974 to 1982. PACE is unique in that its bylaws mandate that only females may be members and it only contributes to females candidates for local office. The bylaws, however, do permit the group to endorse male candidates. The purpose of the group is to get more women elected and involved in civic activities.

Members of PACE pay dues of $15 per month ($180 per year), which is used for contributions to political candidates.

Recent contributions by PACE include $500 to Joyce Starosciak for her City Council Runoff in January 2005, $1,000 to Esther Holcomb for County Board of Education in May 2006, $750 to Ellen Corbett for State Senate in May 2006, $1,000 to Shelia Young for County Supervisor in May 2006, $750 to Mary Hayashi for State Assembly in May 2006, and $750 to Sandra K. Bean for Superior Court Judge in May 2006. Later contributions of $500 to Isabel Polvorosa for San Lorenzo School Board, $200 to Alexandra Matteuci for Eden Township Healthcare District Director, and another $1,000 to Sandra K. Bean were made in September 2006.

Members of PACE include many local politicians, officials, and well-known local residents:

  • Shelia Young, former San Leandro Mayor
  • Surlene Grant, San Leandro City Councilmember
  • Joyce Starosciak, San Leandro City Councilmember
  • Glenda Nardine, former San Leandro City Councilmember
  • Isobel Dvorsky, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Trustee
  • Virginia Boepple, former and future member of San Leandro Human Services Commission and President of Bonaire Civic League
  • Denise Bownds Kaplan, San Leandro Library Historical Commissioner
  • Faith Frazier, Former City Councilmember
  • Janet Plankenhorn, Former School Board Trustee
  • Esther Collier, San Leandro Planning Commissioner and former San Leandro School Board Trustee
  • Susan Kleebauer, San Leandro Planning Commissioner
  • Pat Raposo, owner of Broadmoor Electric
  • Rose Johnson, Executive Director of the Davis Street Family Resource Center
  • Sheryl Algee, a Division Chief at the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Catharine Ralph, a field work consultant and lecturer at UC Berkeley
  • Jacquelyn Diaz, Asst. to City Manager, City of Pleasanton
  • Katherine Frates, Director of Clinical Services at San Leandro Surgery Center
  • Harriet Engberg, retired
  • Heidi Finberg, former CEO of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and Recreation and Parks Commissioner
  • Deborah Cox, President of Estudillo Estates Homeowner Assocation, future Human Services Commissioner, and Co-Chair of Citizens for San Leandro Schools

Heidi Finberg and Pat Raposo are also members of The Sentinels, another local group that gives money to local candidates.

As of December 31, 2006, PACE had more than $3,000 on hand after spending $6,610 in 2006.

PACE Financial Disclosure Statement for January 1 to June 30, 2006
PACE Financial Disclosure Statement for July 1 to December 31, 2006

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SLCAN Announces Film Series Starting with The Suburban Wall

The San Leandro Community Action Network has announced a free film series that offers a chance to "connect with community, participate in stimulating discussion, and learn more about important social and political issues.

The films will be shown on the first Thursday of each month beginning with The Suburban Wall & The Invisible Wall on March 1, 2007, at 7pm. Due to the subject nature of the films and discussion, this is not a child appropriate event.

The Suburban Wall & The Invisible Wall

Two nationally-aired TV documentaries on housing discrimination in San Leandro in the 1960s and 1970s. We extend a special invitation this evening to San Leandro residents who lived here at the time. Following the film we will have a facilitated discussion about San Leandro then and now.

The Ground Truth
April 5

A film about the ordinary men and women who heeded the call for military service in Iraq, as they experience recruitment and training, combat, homecoming, and the struggle to reintegrate with families and communities.

Motherhood Manifesto
May 3

Celebrate Mother’s Day early and see what happens to working mothers and families in America and what we can do to make paid family leave, fl exible working hours, part-time parity, universal healthcare, excellent childcare, after-school programs and
realistic living wages a reality for American families.

All About Darfur
June 7

Ordinary Sudanese talk about how deeply rooted prejudices suddenly burst into a wild fire of ethnic violence. Avoiding gory footage, the fi lm offers Sudanese men and women the opportunity to present their own analysis and suggestions on the war in their country.

Making Whiteness Visible
July 5

The film features the experience of white women and men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge racism and white supremacy in the United States.

Both My Moms Are Named Judy
August 2

This short film presents diverse children with lesbian and gay parents in candid interviews about how it feels to be teased about their parents, how classroom silence about homosexuality affects them, and what they would like to see change.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
September 6

This documentary uncovers the retail giant’s assault on families and American values. The film dives into the deeply personal stories and everyday lives of families and communities struggling to fight a goliath.

To learn more about the film series or SLCAN, visit www.slcan.org.

Coffee generously donated by Zocalo Coffeehouse.

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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.

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February 20, 2007

City Council Begins Process of Appointing New Commission Members

Commission appointments are one way that the City Councilmembers can extend their influence and repay campaign donors and supporters. Newly elected Mayor Tony Santos and District 1 Councilmember Michael Gregory are the first to make their appointments, and District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza and newly appointed District 6 Councilmember Jim Prola can be expected to make their appointments in the next few weeks.

With the exception of the Personnel Relations Board and Rent Review Board, each Councilmember can submit the name of the person that they want to appoint to the City Clerk. The City Clerk circulates the name to the City Council and if there are no objections, that person's nomination goes on the City Council agenda for a vote. This is done to avoid a situation in which the City Council might vote against a person's nomination and cause embarrassment for that person. After the City Council approves a nomination, the appointment is placed on a subsequent agenda for City Council approval. Once a nomination makes it on to the City Council agenda, it will likely be approved.

Commission and board members often serve far longer than those who appointed them. Alice Sarafian has served on the Human Services Commission since 1984, Library-Historical Commissioner Donna Reed and BZA member Frank Sidari have served since 1986, and Planning Commissioner Dale Reed has served since 1987. Term limits were briefly implemented in the 1970s when term limits were also enacted for the Mayor and Councilmembers but were subsequently eliminated.

The Board of Zoning Adjustments and the Planning Commission are the most powerful of the boards and commissions and these are generally seen as "plum" appointments. We have included relevant campaign contributions when available.

Board of Zoning Adjustments:

Philip Daly was nominated to replace Gil Raposo as District 1 member. Raposo has served since Oct. 15, 2001, and is the husband of Pat Raposo, owner of Broadmoor Electric. Daly works in the Alameda County District Attorney's office and ran Johan Klehs' first campaign in the 1970s.

Charles Gilcrest was nominated to replace Cynthia Eliason as the At Large Member. Eliason has served since May 1, 1995. Gilcrest served as campaign manager for Tony Santos and served on the Human Services Commission from 2002 to 2006.

Planning Commission:

Dale Reed was renominated as the District 1 Member. Reed has served since May 18, 1987, and is President of The Sentinels, which contributed $2,000 to Santos' campaign and $1,500 to Gregory's campaign.

Marcene Nardine was nominated to replace Susan Kleebauer as At Large Member. Kleebauer has served since March 17, 2003, and previously served on the Library-Historical Commission. Nardine ran for Mayor and lost in the June 2006 election. After the loss, she endorsed Santos. Nardine also contributed $100 to Santos' campaign.

Human Services Commission:

Alice Sarafian's nomination to the Human Services Commission was approved on February 5, 2007, but as one of the At Large positions. Sarafian has served since April 30, 1984, as the District 1 member.

Virginia Boepple is set to replace Joseph Flynn as At Large Member. Flynn had served since November 19, 2001. Boepple is president of the Bonaire Civic League and previously served on the Human Services Commission.

Deborah Cox has been nominated to replace Alice Sarafian as the District 1 member. Cox was co-chair of the Measure A and Measure B committees and is President of the Estudillo Estates Homeowner's Association.

Library-Historical Commission:

Donna Reed has been renominated as District 1 Member. Reed has served since May 5, 1986, and is the wife of Dale Reed (on the Planning Commission).

Frederick A. Reicker's nomination to be re-appointed as the At Large member of the Library-Historical Commission was approved on February 5, 2007. Reicker has served since March 17, 2003.

Personnel Relations Board:

The nominations of William F. Jardin, Michael Munoz and Kent W. Myers were approved on February 5, 2007. Jardin has served since April 17, 2006, Munoz has served since March 1, 1993, and Myers has served since February 20, 2001. Myers contributed $950 to Tony Santos' campaign.

Recreation and Parks Commission:

Ed Shapiro was renominated as the District 1 Member. Shapiro has served since June 3, 1996.

Benny Lee was nominated to replace Elmer Costa as the At Large Member. Costa has served since October 28, 1985.

Senior Commission:

The nominations of George Tucker and Keith Peterson as At Large Members to the Senior Commission were approved on February 5, 2007.

Sandi Forese was renominated as the District 1 Member. Forese has served since March 17, 2003. Forese is the Vice Presient of the Bay-O-Vista Improvement Association.

Barbara Hamrick was renominated as an At Large Member. Hamrick has served since February 19, 2002, and founded Nightingale Nursing in 1987.

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February 16, 2007

Former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett Takes Oath of Office Locally

Former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett was ceremonially sworn into her new position as California State Senator Thursday night February 15, 2007, by friend and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen. The room at the San Leandro Library was packed with family, friends, and supporters, including Alameda County Supervisors Alice Lai-Bitker and Gail Steele, former California State Assemblymember Johan Klehs, and most of the San Leandro City Council and San Leandro School Board. Members of the Hayward City Council, Newark City Council and San Lorenzo School Board were also present.

Former San Leandro Police Chief Bob Maginnis served as host while California State Treasurer and former San Leandro School Board member Bill Lockyer and Fremont City Councilmember Anu Natarajan were among the speakers honoring and congratulating Corbett on her election and appointment as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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February 15, 2007

Financial disclosures from City Commissioners

Certain public officials are required to complete a Statement of Economic Interests (Fair Political Practices Commission Form 700), to disclose financial interests that could lead to a conflict-of-interest. Mayors, City Councilmembers, city attorneys, city managers, and planning commissioners are among the people who must file these disclosures on an annual basis.

These disclosures are public documents and any member of the public can inspect and obtain copies of these disclosures. However, obtaining these documents usually involves making a trip to City Hall.

Below are these disclosures for the current members of the San Leandro Planning Commission and San Leandro Board of Zoning Adjustments:

Board of Zoning Adjustments

Planning Commission

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February 13, 2007

City Council Appoints Jim Prola to District 6 Council Seat

Jim ProlaAt a special meeting held on Tuesday, February 13, 2007, the San Leandro City Council voted to appoint Jim Prola to the District 6 City Council seat vacated when Tony Santos was elected Mayor in November 2006.

With Councilmember Bill Stephens absent, Mayor Santos started the meeting by noting that the questions to be asked of the candidates were developed by Vice Mayor Surlene Grant and Santos and the City Council were seeing them for the first time. Each candidates would be given 30 minutes to answer the eight questions. Public comments were limited to 30 minutes total and each speaker was limited to about a minute of speaking on behalf of a candidate.

Six people spoke on behalf of Jim Prola, including Andy Kopp of the San Leandro Community Action Network, Robin Torello of the Alameda County Democratic Party, and Obray Van Buren of the Central Labor Council of Alameda County. Recreation and Parks Commissioner Barbara Sidari, Joe Collier, and former Councilmember Howard Kerr spoke on behalf of Esther Collier. James McGee spoke on behalf of Adan Alonzo. Human Services Commissioner Amada Robles and Paul Elizondo spoke on behalf of Carmen Fewless, who also serves as a Human Resources Commissioner. Dr. Paul Dancy, chairman of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce's African-American Business Council, spoke on behalf of Estelle Clemons. John Manuel and Tom Silva also spoke, but not on behalf of individual candidates.

Most of the candidates moved through the eight questions quickly and well within the 30-minute time limit. Candidates largely agreed that the main issues facing District 6 are related to the airport, traffic, and the Marina. Observers noted that Clemons appeared to perform better than the other candidates during the interviews.

After the interviews, the first vote was taken and the results are shown in the following table:


Based on the results, Collier was eliminated from further consideration for the Council seat.

A second vote had the following results:


Based on the results, Alonzo was eliminated from further consideration for the Council seat.

After arguments were made by Councilmembers in support of those they had voted for, Mayor Santos expressed dissatisfaction with all of the candidates' answers to the top issues facing District 6. At first, he said that nobody mentioned the transfer station, but other Councilmembers and the audience noted that Clemons had brought up the transfer station in her answer. Santos went on to note some issues facing District 6, including what is to be done to Doolittle Drive and the pollution that has resulted in elevated asthma rates. Santos expressed concern about appointing a former city employee, a reference to Ray Davis, who previously served in the City of San Leandro Transportation Department. Noting that Alonzo may not have adequately expressed the magnitude of his accomplishments while answering the interview questions, Santos stated that Alonza knocked on 4,000 doors in his effort to mobilize residents against a plan to construct a bridge in the Sobrante Park/Brookside area.

Councilmember Souza asked Santos to explain why he had concerns about a former employee being appointed, but Santos said that it was a personal matter.

After Santos asked if the Council was ready to vote, the consensus was no and Vice Mayor Grant said that more discussion was needed. Grant noted that "on the average, everyone [the candidates] were good." Grant said that she stood for inclusion and she didn't want to go back to the past. She said that some people with SLCAN had said that they wanted someone of color on the City Council but backed Prola instead. When Grant said that she would give up her vote for Clemons, some in the audience shouted "No!"

Then former Republican candidate for State Senator Lou Filipovich asked if he could raise a point of order and Mayor Santos politely but steadfastly declined.

Starosciak said that she was in a "difficult position" and that "any one [of the candidates] would be good." Souza supported Grant and said that people lobbying for diversity supported Prola instead. Souza also wondered aloud which of the candidates would win in an election. Santos noted that he supported Larry Taft, one of the first black candidates for office in San Leandro.

The results of the third vote by the City Council:


Based on the results, Davis and Clemons were eliminated from further consideration for the Council seat.

After a ten-minute break, a fourth vote was taken:


After the fourth vote, Mayor Santos said that he would switch his vote to Prola and on a motion by Mayor Santos and seconded by Starosciak, the City Council unanimously appointed Jim Prola to the District 6 City Council seat. Prola was sworn in by City Clerk Marian Handa and the meeting was adjourned.

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February 12, 2007

Free Screening of An Inconvenient Truth at the Library Feb. 22, 2007

The Eden Area League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women are putting on a free screening of the Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" at 6:00pm on Thursday, February 22, 2007, at the San Leandro Library.

The film will be followed by a town-hall-type discussion, facilitated by Dr. Martha Booz, a biologist, environmental activist and member of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Informational handouts will be provided on what you can do to decrease global warming.

According to the Daily Review, "Other speakers will include Sherm Lewis, chairman of the Hayward Area Planning Committee, on the environmentally positive aspects of the Hayward Hills' Quarry Village development, as well as San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos on what the city is doing to decrease greenhouse gases."

Refreshments will be provided. The showing also is supported by the Sierra Club, Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church and the San Lorenzo Lions Club.

The San Leandro Library is located at 300 Estudillo Avenue in San Leandro.

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February 9, 2007

Pete Stark wants your opinions

Congressman Pete Stark has posted a survey on his website to ask for your opinions of what his positions should be on some of the most important issues that our nation is facing. You can find the survey at:


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February 7, 2007

Alameda County Democratic Party Endorses Jim Prola

In a meeting held on Wednesday, February 7, 2007, the Alameda County Democratic Party endorsed Jim Prola for the District 6 City Council seat vacated by Tony Santos when he was elected Mayor in November 2006.

The unanimous Alameda County Democratic Party endorsement noted that Prola was a "community activist, senior advocate, labor leader, and environmentalist...." Prior to the vote, Chair Robin Torello noted that two of the candidates were not Democrats and could not be endorsed.

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Voting Records of the District 6 City Council Candidates

A review of voting records for the six elections preceding the November 2006 election show that four of the six candidates for the District 6 City Council seat have voted in all of those elections. The results of the review are shown in the table below:


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February 6, 2007

Council Narrows Down Candidates for District 6

At the February 5, 2007, meeting of the San Leandro City Council, the field of candidates was narrowed from twelve down to six candidates: Adan Alonzo, Estelle Clemons, Esther Collier, Ray Davis, Carmen Fewless, and Jim Prola.

One of the candidates, Luster Knight, was disqualified because he had failed to obtain 20 valid nominating signatures,

Nine people spoke in favor of Prola, including Margaret Hanlon-Gradie, the Political Director for the Alameda County Labor Council and Barry Luboviski with the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County.

Mark Tichy stated that he deserved the appointment since he was second in the last election for the District 6 City Council seat and had been running for City Council for ten years. Tichy said he was "here to claim this seat as is my right."

Dr. Paul Dancy, chairman of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce's African-American Business Council, said that while he didn't have any candidate to present to the council, he intended to interview all five final candidates and make a recommendation to the City Council.

Mayor Tony Santos noted that he had received a petition signed by 25 members of the Asian American community requesting that either Hermy Almonte or Bo Panoringan be appointed to the vacant District 6 seat.

The City Council voted as follows:


Originally, the City Council had decided to narrow the field down to five candidates. However, since there was a tie between Alonzo and Davis, the City Council decided to interview six candidates instead of five.

During public comments, Tom Saunders , Shirley Rocha, Merv Rocha, and a group of residents from Mulford Gardens complained about people parking on sidewalks and property nuisances such as people living in garages and vehicle storage. Randall Pierce asked why the Police Department isn't permitted to tell people whether they live in a high-crime area. Harold Perez complained about the paving on Marina Boulevard, asked for left turn land onto Eden from Davis Street, and thanked Starosciak for her review of the Fire Department contract.

The City Council voted unanimously to strengthen prohibitions on parking of commercial vehicles such as trailers and large trucks on public streets and on private property. The amendments to the San Leandro Municipal Code were in response to complaints from residents about properties with large vehicles such as school buses and ambulances and large tractors being parked on the street or in driveways.

In another unanimous vote, the City Council voted to establish a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below what they were in 2005.

Finally, before Mayor Santos, Vice Mayor Grant and Councilmembers Starosciak and Gregory travel to Washington DC, the City Council voted unanimously to focus their lobbying on obtaining funding for the senior center, improvements on E. 14th Street, and a re-design of the Davis Street-Interstate 880 interchange. Other items under consideration were dredging at the Marina, a competitive swimming pool, and improvements to the Bay Trail.

In closing City Council comments, Stephens asked for the Rules Committee to consider some election changes, noting that it was likely that the date of the California primary would likely be changed, San Leandro's recent history of long elections, and the need to look at the long-term stability of officials, citing another city where there were no term limits. Stephens made the following suggestions:

1. move City Council elections to November
2. implement instant run-off or change elections so that a simple majority is enough to win an election
3. eliminate term limits (Stephens noted that he used to be in favor of term limits but has changed his mind)
4. any member that declares their intent to run for another office should resign their current office so that their replacement can be elected by the voters and avoid having the City Council appoint a replacement.

Stephens' suggestions were referred to the Rules Committee by consent of the Council.

Stephens also said that he would be unable attend the February 13, 2007, meeting when the District 6 City Council candidates would be interviewed. He said he would listen to the interviews in order to be prepared to vote on February 20. However, Mayor Santos informed him that the voting would take place at the February 13th meeting after the interviews were completed since there would still be a quorum. However, four votes would still be required to appoint the new District 6 Councilmember and if there was a deadlock, voting would take place again at the February 20 meeting.

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February 5, 2007

SLUSD Board of Education Announces Measure B Citizens Oversight Committee Appointments

From a February 2, 2007, press release from SLUSD:

[San Leandro, CA] The San Leandro Unified School Board of Education, at a Special Board Meeting on February 1, 2007, appointed 10 seats on the Measure B Citizens Oversight Committee. The purpose of the Citizens Oversight Committee is to “actively review and report on the proper expenditure of taxpayers’ money for school construction” on the Measure B Bond projects. Measure B is the $109 million school facilities bond approved by voters in the November 7, 2006, election.

“We had very strong candidates apply,” said the SLUSD Superintendent Christine Lim, “and the District and Board feel very fortunate to have so many talented and qualified individuals apply.”

By law, a citizens oversight committee must have no less than seven members, five required to hold very specific roles:

  • 1 person who is a student who is involved in student government;
  • 1 person who is active in a business organization;
  • 1 person who is active in a foundation which supports the District
  • 1 person who is active in a senior citizens organization; and
  • 1 person who is active in a bona fide taxpayers organization.

The Board of Education increased the size of the committee in order to provide greater accountability to the community. Applications were paper screened by District staff and then given to the Board of Education Facilities Committee to review, who then interviewed potential candidates over a two day period before making its recommendations to the Board. Interest in the student position was so high, that the Board agreed that the position would be co-shared by San Leandro High School students Abir Salamy and Briana Toney. Both are juniors and active in student leadership at the high school.

The other newly appointed committee members are:

Mary Beth Barloga—History Museum and Art Gallery Education Director, City of San Leandro; member, California Retired Teachers’ Association.

Robert Brannan—General Manager, Lloyd A. Wise/Marina MediaVision; board member, Boys & Girls Club of San Leandro; Recreation and Parks Commissioner, City of San Leandro; President, San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.

Deborah Cox—President, Estudillo Homeowners’ Association; member, PACE; Board Vice President, California Conservatory Theater; Steering Committee, San Leandro Leadership; Roosevelt School Site Council; served as the co-chair on the Measure B Campaign.

Charles Gilcrest—Consultant, Gilcrest Management; Board member, Halcyon-Foothill Homeowners Association; Executive Board, Business Association of South San Leandro; Board member, San Leandro Chamber of Commerce; and chair, Joint Project Area Redevelopment Advisory Committee.

Juan Gonzalez III—Principal, KPMG, LLP’s Investigative Practice; member, Bancroft Middle School PTA.

Tom Guarino—Government Relations Manager, Pacific Gas & Electric; serving on behalf of the Alameda County Taxpayers Association.

Gerald Shovlin—Teacher, Bishop O’Dowd High School, Oakland; serves on Bancroft Middle school Site Council, GATE Advisory Committee, and the Superintencent’s Parent Leaders Council.

James Moher—Attorney, Bullivant Houser Bailey PC; member of the Broadmoor Homeowners Association; active support of Building Futures with Women & Children.

Andrew Kopp—Attorney; active in Big Brother; has served as a voting precinct inspector; acted as a Judge Pro Tem for the Alameda County Superior Court.

In addition to having such talent on the new Oversight Committee, the District recently received news of a continuing A+ Standard and Poor’s rating, which further demonstrates how committed the District is to its fiscal health.

“An A+ Standards & Poor’s rating is the equivalent of a high 700’s credit rating score for an individual,” said Superintendent Chris Lim. “This means lower interest rates and lower taxes for the citizens of San Leandro.”

“The school district is working diligently to ensure all Measure B funds are spent wisely,” said Rick Richards, Board President.

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February 4, 2007

San Leandro's Official Centennial Song

Here are the lyrics to San Leandro's Official Centennial Song:

San Leandro Is Where My Heart Is
And I'd love to return again
Where peaceful days went by in sunshine, And
flowers bloomed to blend with the soft bay winds and
clear blue skies when we began to know, San Leandro
the hills are calling, with the
sounds of the days gone by.
Friends started, to last a liftime as we
follow our path leading home again;
Mem'ries' path leads us home again.
San Le-gain

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February 2, 2007

Final 2006 Campaign Disclosures for San Leandro Mayor and City Council Races

The final campaign finance disclosures have been filed and Mayoral candidates Tony Santos and OB Badger together spent more than $176,000 during their 2006 campaign. The campaign finance disclosures cover the period from October 22 to December 31, 2006.

Badger's campaign spent $1,740 during the reporting period, bringing his total expenditures for the year to $97,240. Expenditures included $5,142 to Handled With Care, $1,620 to Suzanne Pershing, and $4,526 to Linda Kitlitz & Associates for campaign literature and mailings. Sizable campaign contributions included forgiveness of a $5,000 loan from Jeanne Souchak, $2,004 in loan forgiveness from Joseph Flynn, $500 from former San Leandro Mayor Jack Maltester, $500 from Charles Bray, and $500 from Creekside Associates.

Click here for a copy of Badger's disclosure form.

Santos' campaign spent $21,131 during the reporting period, bringing his total expenditures for the year to $79,157. Expenditures included $7,000 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting, $1,486 to Handled With Care for postage, $960 for an ad in the San Leandro Times, $735 for the Voter Information Guide slate mailers, $650 to the Eden Area United Democratic Campaign for a slate mailer, and $600 to Political Calling for "robocalls." Sizable campaign contributions included $1,000 from Laborers Local 304, $500 from the DRIVE Committee (Teamsters).

Click here for a copy of Santos' disclosure form.

PG&E and Pete Stark's Reelection Committee hedged their bets and gave $200 to both Santos and Badger.

In the race for the District 3 City Council seat, Julian Polvorosa's campaign spent $9,796 during the reporting period and $36,255 for the year. Expenses included $5,000 to Shawn Wilson for campaign consulting, $1,757 to Autumn Press for campaign literature, and $1,486 to Handled With Care for campaign literature and mailings. Sizable campaign contributions included $500 from Firefighters Local 55, $500 from Ellen Corbett, and $250 from Madison Marquette.

Click here for a copy of Polvorosa's disclosure form.

Newly-elected District 3 Councilmember Diana Souza spent $3,639 during the reporting period and $17,188 for the year. Expenditures included $1,421 to Handled With Care for campaign literature and mailings and $700 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting. Sizable campaign contributions included $500 from Ronald Ivaldi and $500 from the DRIVE Committee (Teamsters).

Click here for a copy of Souza's disclosure form.

Michael Gregory's opponent moved out of District 1 just before the election, handing Gregory an easy victory for the District 1 City Council seat. Gregory's campaign spent a total of $2,200 during the reporting period and a total of $8,607 for the year, including $2,000 to Charles Gilcrest for campaign consulting and a $200 contribution to Tony Santos' mayoral campaign. The only contribution listed in the most recent reporting period was $1,500 from The Sentinels.

Click here for a copy of Gregory's disclosure form.

Although he ran unopposed, District 5 Councilmember Bill Stephens spent $2,264 during the reporting period and $7,326 for the year, including $741 to A.G. Ferrari Foods for office expenses and $291 to Charles Gilcrest for office expenses.

Click here for a copy of Stephens' disclosure form.

Other candidates with campaign accounts still open include Larry Norry, who has $1815 in his account, Councilmember Joyce Starosciak with $823, and former Mayor Shelia Young with $12,449.

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