March 31, 2008

City Council Candidate Forum on Friday, April 4, 2008

On June 3, 2008, San Leandro will elect City Councilmembers for District 2, District 4, and District 6. The San Leandro Community Action Network (SLCAN) will hold a candidate forum on April 4, 2008, featuring all 10 candidates vying for the three City Council seats. The forum is being held with the support of the Hayward Democratic Club.

Questions from audience members for the candidates will be asked by a moderator. There will be note cards on which audience members can submit questions or they can be emailed in advance to

Surlene Grant, the current District 2 City Councilmember is being termed out after serving two consecutive terms. Current District 4 City Councilmember Joyce Starosciak is running for re-election, as is District 6 City Councilmember Jim Prola, who was appointed to replace Tony Santos in February 2007.
All of the candidates, except for Wafaa Aborashed, have answered a list of 29 questions prepared by SLCAN and the answers are posted on the SLCAN web site:

District 2
Charles Gilcrest
Linda Perry
Ursula Reed

District 4
Lou Filipovich
Joyce Starosciak

District 6
Wafaa Aborashed
Hermy Almonte
Estelle Clemons
Jim Prola
Mark Tichy

The forum will be held in the multi-purpose room of McKinley Elementary School from 6:30 to 9:30pm on April 4, 2008. McKinley Elementary is located at 2150 E. 14th Street in San Leandro.

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March 28, 2008

Bonaire Civic League Disbands

At a meeting held on Wednesday, March 26, 2008, the Bonaire Civic League disbanded. The last president, Virginia Boepple, moved away from San Leandro recently and the organization had been inactive for some time.

The Bonaire Civic League was formed in 1953 as the Bonaire Homeowners Association and covers two square miles in the southern-most area of San Leandro. Beckett & Federighi built 699 houses in an area that had been used for cabbage and sugar beet farming to create the Bonaire community.

Former City Councilmember and San Leandro School Board Member Nathan Kleinstein was from Bonaire and served as the Bonaire Civic League President from 1965 to 1967. Former San Leandro City Councilmember and California State Assemblyman Johan Klehs received a scholarship from the Bonaire Civic League in 1970 as a graduating senior.

Continuing that tradition of supporting local schools, the Bonaire Civic League decided to distribute its remaining bank balance by giving $4,000 to scholarships for San Leandro High School students who are residents of Bonaire, $3,500 to the library at Madison Elementary, and the remainder to a local church.

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March 27, 2008

San Leandro Schools Receive $8 Million in State Grants

According to a press release issued March 27, 2008, by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, San Leandro High School projects funded under Measure B will receive an additional $8 million in funding from state grants under Proposition 1D. Proposition 1D was passed by California voters in November 2006 at the same time that Measure B was passed by San Leandro voters.

The grants are for new construction or modernization of career technical education facilities. The San Leandro Unified School District (SLUSD) submitted five career and technical education grant applications to the California Department of Education through the Career Technical Education Facilities Program (CTEFP). The $8 million in grants represents the total amount for which SLUSD submitted applications.

The grants are summarized below.

Total Cost of Project 
State's Share 
Final CTE Allocation (which impact Proposition 1D bonds)
Building Trades & Construction
Manufacturing & Product Development
Marketing, Sales, & Service
Arts, Media, & Entertainment
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Nardine Not the Only Appointee With Problematic Attendance

As detailed previously, Marcene Nardine was removed from the San Leandro Planning Commission on March 3, 2008. According to City Spokeswoman Jane McCrea in the Daily Review, Nardine was removed because she had missed five of the 12 Planning Commission meetings since she was appointed by Mayor Tony Santos in March 2007.

According to the section on Boards and Commissions in the City Council Handbook, commissioners are required to attend not less than 75% of all regular meetings. Nardine's attendance record was 58%.

In her defense, Nardine stated that she knew that other commissioners have missed meetings as well. But during the same time period, no other Planning Commissioner missed more than three meetings, which is equivalent to an attendance rate of 75%.

On the Board of Zoning Adjustments, Melody Marr, who represents District 2, has missed nine out of 21 meetings held since January 2007, or an attendance rate of 52%, well below the 75% attendance rate required of commissioners and board members. However, attendance records are reviewed annually by the City Council in June for the previous 12 months from June 1 to May 31, and during this time from 2006 to 2007, Marr's attendance rate was 81%. When asked about Marr's subsequent attendance rate, District 2 Councilmember Surlene Grant said that she did make a previous attempt to replace Marr, but the applicant for the position withdrew, so Grant reappointed Marr, and no one else has applied for the position.

Fellow BZA member Amanda Goldt, who represents District 6, missed three meetings in a row from March to May 2007. The City Council Handbook states, "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." However that wasn't done, likely in part to Councilmember Jim Prola having just been appointed to the City Council in February 2007. When asked about Goldt's attendance, Prola said that he wasn't familiar with the attendance policy at the time, but noted that Goldt has had a good attendance record since then.

Each Councilmember and the Mayor can appoint one person each to the Board of Zoning Adjustments and the Planning Commission. These commissioners and board members serve at the pleasure of the Councilmembers and Mayor and can be removed, in theory, at any time. Whether or not a commissioner or board member is removed depends on a number of factors, including whether the Councilmember or Mayor is vigilant and whether there are applicants that could replace the commissioner or board member.

Councilmembers frequently complain about the lack of applicants for these appointments, which is partly why some commissioners have served for more than 20 years. If you are interested in serving the City of San Leandro, descriptions of these boards and commissions and an application to be appointed to them are available here.

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Cherry Festival Returns on May 31, 2008

The Cherry Festival will be held this year in downtown San Leandro, on Saturday, May 31, 2008.

In 2007, the Cherry Festival returned after a three-year hiatus caused by budget cuts. Like last year, the Cherry Festival will be one-day instead of two and will take place downtown. Admission is free. More details as they become available.

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March 25, 2008

Community Air Quality Input Meeting Thursday March 27, 2008

Bay Area Air Quality Management DistrictThe Bay Area Air Quality Management District will hold a workshop describing its Community Air Risk Evaluation (CARE) Program on Thursday, March 27, 2008, in the Dave Karp toom at the San Leandro Public Library from 6pm to 8pm. The workshop will also describe funding opportunities to reduce air pollution emissions and solicit community concerns and ideas on possible mitigation measures

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (Air District) Community Air Risk Evaluation (CARE) Program estimates health risks associated with exposure to outdoor toxic air contaminants (TACs) in the Bay Area. The CARE Program:

  • Has examined TAC emissions from point sources, area sources and on-road and off-road mobile sources with an emphasis on diesel exhaust

  • Will guide the development of additional measures to reduce toxic air pollution in areas with the highest health risk

  • Will develop and implement mitigation measures to reduce TAC emissions in areas with the highest health risk

Funding Opportunities

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

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City Council Incumbents Have Campaign Cash Lead for 2008 Election

The first of two semi-annual campaign finance disclosures for candidates running in the June 3, 2008, election for San Leandro City Council were due on March 24, 2008. District 6 incumbent Jim Prola was the top fundraiser with $7,849 and the top spender at $5,698.37 for the filing period, which covers from January 1, 2008, to March 17, 2008. Incumbents Prola and Joyce Starosciak had the largest campaign accounts with $12,214.25 and $10,876, respectively, at the end of the filing period.

Inexperience reveals itself in some of the campaign filings, with District 6 candidate Hermy Almonte failing to include his identification number (1305198) on any of his paperwork. Almonte and District 2 candidate Ursula Reed also listed the name, address, and employment information for people who contributed less than $100, despite no requirement to do so. Contributors to political campaigns frequently give less than $100 in order to avoid disclosure of their name and political preferences.

District 2

During the filing period, Charles Gilcrest spent $2,569, including expenditures of $1,200 for his ballot statement, $924 for an advertisement in the San Leandro Times, and $162 to AT&T for campaign phones. Gilcrest raised $7,274, including contributions of $1,000 from Eden Realty and $500 from Galvan & Associates. Gilcrest loaned his campaign $5,000 and James Christopher Gray, the Chief of Staff for Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, loaned Gilcrest's campaign $250. As of March 17, 2008, Gilcrest had $4,705 in his campaign account.

Gilcrest's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Linda Perry spent $1,200 during the filing period for her ballot statement. Perry raised $1,350, including a loan of $1,200 from herself to her campaign and a contribution of $100 from San Leandro School Board Trustee Ray Davis. As of March 17, 2008, Perry had $150 in her campaign account.

Perry's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Ursula Reed reported no expenditures during the filing period, despite the $1,200 required for her ballot statement. Candidates are permitted to use their personal funds to pay for a ballot statement. Reed raised a total of $5,230, including a loan of $3,000 from her fiance Terrell Santiago and contributions of $500 each from Rodney Reed and Vernell Reed, and $200 from David Lozada. Former San Leandro Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Business Leon Glaster (now at Oakland Unified) and District 6 candidate Estelle Clemons also contributed to Reed's campaign. As of March 17, 2008, Reed had $5,230 in her campaign account.

Reed's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

District 4

Incumbent Joyce Starosciak spent $1,625 during the filing period, including $1,200 for her ballot statement, $200 to CITIPAC, a political action committee of the League of California Cities, $150 to UnityPAC for a fundraising event, $100 to the Lighthouse Community Center for a fundraising event, and a $100 civic donation to the Bancroft PTA. Starosciak raised a total of $300, including $250 from Eden Realty. As of March 17, 2008, Starosciak had $10,876 in her campaign account.

Starosciak's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Starosciak's sole opponent, Lou Filipovich does not plan to spend or raise any money for his campaign. Filipovich is also running as the sole Republican for the State Assembly.

Paul Gonzales notified the San Leandro City Clerk on March 24, 2008, of his desire to withdraw from the race, but it's unclear whether he will be able to remove his name from the ballot.

District 6

Wafaa Aborashed didn't spend or raise any money during the filing period. Aborashed had $2,043.56 in her campaign account as of March 17, 2008.

Aborashed's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Hermy Almonte spent $1,200 during the filing period for his ballot statement. Almonte raised a total of $1,455, including a loan of $1,300 from Paraluman Almonte and contributions from Annette Herce and Ireneo Sy Su. As of March 17, 2008, Almonte had $255 in his campaign account.

Almonte's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Estelle Clemons spent $1,200 during the filing period for her ballot statement. Clemons raised a total of $4,750, including a loan of $4,000 from herself to her campaign and contributions of $500 from Jessica Bartholow and $250 from Gilda Gonzales. As of March 17, 2008, Clemons had $3,550 in her campaign account.

Clemons' Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Incumbent Jim Prola spent a total $5,698.37 during the filing period, including $1,750 to Alliance Campaign Strategies for campaign consulting, $1,644 to Golden Gate Litho for campaign literature, $1,200 for a ballot statement, $671.62 to Wedges for a campaign fundraiser, and $282.75 to In & Out Printing for campaign literature. Prola raised $7,849, including contributions of $1,000 each from AC Transit AFSCME Local 3916 and the Teamsters, $500 each from the Amalgamated Transit Union, Electrical Workers Local 595 PAC, and former San Leandro City Councilmember Laython "Judge" Landis, $350 from Local 342 PAC, and $250 each from Peter Hendley, East Bay Automotive Machinists Local 1546, Tom Silva of Eden Realty, John Manuel, and Harry Walters III. As of March 17, 2008, Prola had $12,214.25 in his campaign account.

Prola's Campaign Statement for January 1 to March 17, 2008.

Mark Tichy has requested a waiver of the estimated $1,200 cost for the ballot statement and he is not expected to raise or spend or any money for his campaign.

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March 24, 2008

Paul Gonzales Withdraws from Race for District 4 City Council Seat

Paul Gonzales, a candidate for the District 4 City Council seat, formally withdrew from the race on Monday, March 24, 2008. Gonzales expressed disappointment about withdrawing from the race, citing possible issues with the Hatch Act, which regulates the political activities of government employees. Gonzales is a Human Resources Staffing Director at the General Services Adminstration, a federal agency.

With Gonzales out, that leaves incumbent Joyce Starosciak to face perennial candidate Lou Filipovich in the June 3, 2008, election. In 2004, Starosciak prevailed against Filipovich and challenger Mike Mahoney, with Filipovich earning 12.3 percent of the vote.

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City Web Site Down

The City of San Leandro web site has been down since at least Saturday, March 22, 2008, and was still down as of Monday. The web site is hosted by Peer 1 and appears to be in Atlanta. Although the web site is down, you can still reach city personnel by email or by phone.

Update: The city web site was back up by 3pm on Monday, March 24, 2008.

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March 23, 2008

Marina Park Easter Egg Hunt

San Leandro's Annual Easter Egg Hunt was held at Marina Park on Saturday, March 22, 2008. The San Leandro Muncipal Band entertained the crowd while the Easter Bunny (Teresa Glaze) posed for pictures and handed out lollipops.

Easter bunny at Marina Park

The egg hunt was divided into five separate areas by age (1-2 year olds, 3-4 year olds, etc.) and children waited with their parents for the whistle to blow, signaling it was time to start.

Crowds waiting for the Easter egg hunt at Marina Park

Despite signs instructing parents not to help their children pick up candy and the admonitions of staff, once the whistle blew, some parents scooped up candy by the handful to fill baskets for their children. Some of these parents carried on, even when asked to stop or leave the area by staff.

Adult spoiling Easter egg hunt

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March 21, 2008

San Leandro City Council Candidate Web Sites for June 2008

Seven of the candidates for San Leandro City Council in 2008 have registered domain names for their campaign web sites. However, only Jim Prola, Joyce Starosciak, and Estelle Clemons have any content so far, so if you want more information about most of the candidates, you'll have to wait.

District 2:

District 4:

District 6:

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March 19, 2008

Ballot Statements for District 6 Candidates June 2008

San Leandro City Council candidates for District 6 Wafaa Aborashed, Hermy Almonte, Estelle Clemons, Jim Prola, and Mark Tichy submitted statements that will appear in printed material for the June 3, 2008, election. The cost of publishing the candidate statement is estimated at $1,200, which each candidate pays. Tichy requested a waiver of the $1,200 based on his income as a caregiver. San Leandro Bytes scanned in copies obtained from the San Leandro City Clerk. Any typographical errors in the statements are likely from optical character recognition used to convert the statements to text.

See below for the complete statements for each candidate.

Wafaa Aborashed

Graduate of California East Bay University in Sociology. A grassroots environmental advocate, plus President of the Davis West Neighborhood of San Leandro for the past 11 years and also I am working to protect the environment and reduce negative health impacts for San Leandro citizens.
I am a member of the San Leandro Chamber Leadership Program
and a Steering Committee member of the following environmental, political and social organizations:
Bay Area Health Collaborative,
Ditching Dirty Diesel,
Environmental Justice Air Quality Coalition,
Ambassadors for Peace,
Chairperson of Women's Interfaith Circle of Services,
Vice Chair of Peacemakers,
Board member of the United Nations East Bay.
I participate and encourage participation in bringing people together to explore and resolve everyday community concerns. www.wafaa4sanleandro

Hermy B. Almonte

My education and qualifications are: I am a graduate of Alameda County Leadership Academy and was appointed to serve in the Consumer Affairs Commission. I inherited the passion of public service from my grandfather, who was a former Councilman. The growing populations of Filipino and Asian communities have '"dreams", of equal representation of ALL in the City Council. Some areas in need of immediate attention are: community safety, wheel-chair accessibility, bus stops without waiting sheds, crosswalks for children and wheelchair-bound individuals, missing traffic and pedestrian signs, housing for seniors, teachers, working families, and people with medical challenges, and a sports complex and leagues.

My past and current community services prove my active involvement in the school district and community. Past Member, Disaster Action Team - San Francisco, American Red Cross Bay Area, Commissioner - Consumer Affairs Commission of Alameda County, President- English Learner Advisory Committee of San Leandro High School, Finance Chairman- Soccer and Scouting, Boy Scouts of America of San Leandro, Leo Advisor- Leo Club of San Leandro High School and California Notary Public- 2nd term. ALL residents of the City of San Leandro, I am willing to serve everyone and focus on all areas needing attention!

Vote Hermy B. Almonte on June 03, 2008!

Estelle E. Clemons

Educations and Qualifications:
San Leandro is a beautiful and diverse city with a landscape that spans from our golden waterfront to our rolling hills. In moving the City of San Leandro forward, we need effective leaders who can advance the priorities of the community and get the job done - I am that public servant.

I hold a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, a Masters Degree in Behavioral Science, and have over 10 years of practical work experience in local government. I've worked to bring millions of dollars in additional funding from local, state and federal resources to help local government meet the needs of the community by securing funding for infrastructure, parks and recreation, public safety, transit oriented development, waterfront dredging, and services for seniors and working families.

Serving as a San Leandro City councilmember takes leadership, vision and experience. I am that leader that will help move the City of San Leandro forward. With the support of the community, I am committed to 1) increasing public safety; 2) advocating for and ensuring quality education for all children; and 3) supporting smart growth in the area of community and economic development.

For leadership and experience that counts, on June 3, 2008 cast your vote for Estelle E. Clemons, San Leandro City Council.

Jim Prola

As your Council member, it has been a pleasure to serve you these past 15 months. San Leandro has been my home for more than 30 years, and my wife and I raised three children here. I have volunteered as a youth sports coach and as a leader on many community issues including cleaning up our shoreline and helping establish the city's first shelter for women and children. We've done a lot on the Council to move San Leandro forward, but there's more to be done, and that's why I'm running to retain my District 6 Council seat. I want to secure our future by creating more programs for children and young families, work with the school district to improve education, increase public safety to better protect our neighborhoods, continue to advocate for seniors, balance our budget in a tight economy, work with local businesses to ensure they thrive in our city, and preserve San Leandro's small-town atmosphere. I ask you to join with Mayor Tony Santos, County Supervisor Alice Lai-Bitker, and many other residents, and vote for me, Jim Prola, to elect a leader with vision and experience. For more information, please visit Thank you.

Mark Tichy

My education and qualifications are:

I've been a resident in San Leandro for 16 years now, and in that time I've noticed our City is taking a turn for the worst. Just recently, my wife and I opened Chicago Blues Cafe located on East 14th St.

Since opening we've been overwhelmed by all of the regulation that San Leandro imposes on the small business person. San Leandro is not small business friendly. Change is needed to address the concerns of the small business person. Our community will never change unless we can attract new business. Only then will our City thrive. Over the years many businesses have avoided San Leandro due to overregulation. The current Mayor and City Council members are more interested in filling in our Marina for development, rather then addressing the real issues our City faces. Make a difference and vote for a candidate that understands how to support and attract business back to San Leandro.

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Ballot Statements for District 4 Candidates June 2008

San Leandro City Council candidates for District 4 Paul Gonzales and Joyce Starosciak submitted statements that will appear in printed material for the June 3, 2008, election. Lou Filipovich did not submit a candidate statement. San Leandro Bytes scanned in copies obtained from the San Leandro City Clerk. Any typographical errors in the statements are likely from optical character recognition used to convert the statements to text.

See below for the complete statements for each candidate.

Paul Gonzales

My education and qualifications are: I received my Army Commission in 1981 and served on Active Duty until 2005, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. I returned to San Leandro in 2000 and noticed many changes, some good, some bad. My neighbors are concerned about the declining education of our School Districts and the rising crime. Citizens want to keep out the influx of juvenile delinquents in our community. Let's insist that developing parts of San Leandro follow through with demolitions to eliminate urban blight and make a decision on dredging the Marina, then make it happen. Our senior citizens want and deserve a safe and friendly environment and our young families deserve great schools and recreational activities that keep them here in San Leandro. I was on the Board of Directors for the First San Leandro Charter School and am on the Board of Directors for A.C.T. for Mental Health, San Jose. I have a BA in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration. I will get results, bring fiscal responsibility and common sense decision making to the City Council. I am married and have 3 grown children and 1 Grandson. I would appreciate your vote and support on Election Day. Thank You.


Joyce Starosciak

My education and qualifications are: Graduation from San Leandro High School at the top of my class. I hold a BS in engineering with Honors from Harvey Mudd College and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. I've done my homework and am honored to serve you as the City of San Leandro District 4 Councilmember. In my time on the Council, the City has fully recovered from a $3M budget deficit, returning 8 police officer positions, Sunday Library hours, the Cherry Festival, and a fully funded reserve account.

In District 4, the City saw the opening of the Manor Branch Library and the San Leandro Family Aquatics Center at Washington Manor Park. Through my personal efforts, the Manor Branch Library received over $12,000 in private donations to fill the shelves with new books.

Over my term I have worked to improve communication in District 4 with an email news update, an annual Security Summit, and the revitalization of the Washington Manor Homeowners Association.

My vision for San Leandro includes a revitalized Marina Shoreline, improving public safety, attracting more business, and creating safe destinations for youth, seniors, residents and guests. Please cast your vote for Joyce Rutledge Starosciak, District 4 City Councilmember.

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Ballot Statements for District 2 Candidates June 2008

San Leandro City Council candidates for District 2 Charles Gilcrest, Linda Perry, and Ursula Reed all submitted statements that will appear in printed material for the June 3, 2008, election. San Leandro Bytes scanned in copies obtained from the San Leandro City Clerk. Any typographical errors in the statements are likely from errors in optical character recognition used to convert the statements to text.

See below for the complete statements for each candidate.

Charles Gilcrest

I am seeking the opportunity to work for you to help create a better future for San Leandro. I was born and raised here, and deeply care about our city. We need to fix our roads. Too often neighborhood streets are ignored, while pavements continue to deteriorate. Together we can create a safer community. More Neighborhood Watch, but also better and interactive crime updates, more community policing, enhanced real-time communication with neighboring forces, and comparable staffing ratios. Downtown BART parking should be increased, not decreased, as we build the Transit Oriented Development. We need to complete the Senior Center and Aquatics Center, and expand Transit to reduce traffic. We need to attract and support new and local business, create a stable and self-sustaining Shoreline and Marina, and Partner with the Schools, improving both Education and Recreational Opportunities. My service on the Halcyon-Foothill Neighborhood Association Board, San Leandro's Board of Zoning Adjustments and Redevelopment Advisory Committee, SLUSD Bond Oversight Committee, Chamber Board, Davis Street Volunteer, and formerly Human Services Commissioner prepared me to serve as your Councilmember, so I can help make our City a better home for us all. Please vote Charles Gilcrest for City Council District 2. Thank You.

Linda Perry

My education and qualifications are: involvement, experience, leadership and vision. I know the job. I was Councilmember and Vice-Mayor from 1988-1996, representing San Leandro on numerous local and regional committees. I have been involved in improving San Leandro for 39 years, appointed to the first San Leandro Youth Advisory Committee at age 16.

As a graduate of San Leandro High and California State University, Hayward, I value education. First elected in 1996, I currently serve on the San Leandro Unified School Board and Alameda County School Boards Association. I see first-hand the diverse needs of our young families and children not being addressed by the City.

As Halcyon-Foothill Neighborhood Association President, I am a vocal advocate for my neighborhood. I served on the South Area Corridor and Downtown Plan Committees. Upcoming District issues include Bayfair Center expansion; BART Transit-Oriented Development; Senior Center; San Leandro Hospital's future; 9th Grade Campus; 580 soundwalls. I will demand neighborhood input.

My priorities are economic development and jobs; working closely with schools; expanding public safety; affordable housing; neighborhood vitality; quality of life: childcare, available healthcare, senior needs, green space, recreation opportunities; transportation; fixing infrastructure; and government responsiveness. Visit

Together we can make a better San Leandro. I ask for your support.

Ursula Reed

My education and qualifications are:

I will bring a fresh voice to the San Leandro City Council. I respectfully ask for your vote because I believe in the future of our city and I've worked hard to achieve the qualifications, knowledge and abilities to make San Leandro better.

As an educator and former school principal, I know how to work with people to accomplish mutual goals. I listen. I bring diverse points of view together to achieve consensus and solve problems. I know how to bring out the best in people.

I do not have a hidden or political agenda. I am running for the City Council because I want to make our city a better place to live for my young son, my family and our neighbors.

I plan to focus on helping our police department prevent and fight crime, keeping fees and taxes low, working for community-oriented economic development, providing increased services for youth and seniors, and helping improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Your vote for me will add a fresh and new voice to our civic deliberations.

I pledge to serve with honesty, integrity and a commitment to quality public service.

I would be honored to have your support.

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March 16, 2008

San Leandro Company Receives $20 Million in Funding

According to a regulatory filing, ePAC, a San Leandro-based provider of printing and logistics solutions for the high-tech industry, has received $20 million of venture capital in Series C-1 funding from HarbourVest Partners. Menlo Ventures, Investor Growth Capital and Thorner Ventures are investors that have funded ePAC in previous rounds of financing. ePAC received $30.5 million in funding in May 2006. A second round of funding totaled $12.8 million in September 2003.

ePAC is located at 2561 Grant Avenue in San Leandro, but according to its web site, "ePAC is headquartered in Silicon Valley."

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March 11, 2008

Financial Disclosure for 2008 City Council Candidates

At the end of the filing period on March 7, 2008, there were 11 candidates for three City Council seats: Three each in Districts 2 and 4, and five in District 6. Each of these candidates submitted a Statement of Economic Interests, which lists their personal economic interests. This form is required so that elected officials can disqualify themselves from making decisions that may affect their own economic interests.

Here are the Statement of Economic Interests for each of the 2008 City Council candidates:

The only item of note seems to be Tichy's failure to list his business, the Chicago Blues Cafe, as a business entity or trust on Schedule A-2, as Starosciak did for her business, Starotech.

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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.

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March 4, 2008

Labor Endorses Starosciak and Prola for San Leandro City Council

On March 4, 2008, the Alameda Labor Council announced that it endorses Joyce Starosciak and Jim Prola for San Leandro City Council in the June 3, 2008, election. Starosciak is the incumbent running in District 4 and Prola is the incumbent running in District 6. No endorsement was made for District 2, where Charles Gilcrest, Linda Perry and Ursula Reed are competing for the City Council seat held by Surlene Grant, who will be termed out this year.

Starosciak was the first to officially qualify as a candidate on February 28, 2008. As of March 4, 2008, District 6 candidate Hermy Almonte was the only other candidate to qualify as a candidate. The deadline for filing nomination papers is March 7, 2008.

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