May 29, 2009

San Leandro Family Bike Ride on Sunday

A group of parents has organized a family bike ride through parts of San Leandro in order to increase bicycle awareness in San Leandro. May is National Bike Month and featured "Bike to School" and "Bike to Work" days to encourage more people to ride bicycles to improve their health and reduce pollution.

According to a study at the University of New South Wales in September 2008, when more people ride bicycles in cities, the number of accidents actually decreases. The study looked at data from "Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, 14 European countries and 68 Californian cities."

Bicycle riders will meet at the Zocalo Coffeehouse parking lot at 9:45am, where the 5.6-mile ride will start and finish. For more information and a map of the route, see

Posted by mike at 11:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Parking at San Leandro BART Stations to Cost $1

BART_logo.png The BART Board of Directors voted on May 28, 2009, to start charging $1 per day to park at a number of BART stations, including San Leandro and Bay Fair. The new parking fee begins in July along with a $.25 increase in the minimum BART fare, a 6.1% overall increase in BART fares, and a $2.50 increase for tickets to the San Francisco airport.

The actions were taken to help reduce an expected $54 million deficit.

Posted by mike at 11:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

San Leandro Student Wins Entrepreneur Competition

San Leandro High School student Alejandra Bonilla took first place in the Merrill Lynch/NFTE Bay Area Regional Youth Business Plan competition held May 28, 2009, at the University of San Francisco. As the winner of the competition, Bonilla will represent Northern California in the NFTE National Competition this fall in New York City.

Students from San Leandro High School took first place in the regional competition in 2008 and second place in 2007.

According to a press release, "The Merrill Lynch/NFTE business plan competition was created to inspire entrepreneurship and business ownership from an early age. It offers young entrepreneurs an opportunity to distinguish themselves as future business leaders, rewards their hard work, and exposes them to business professionals and government officials. NFTE awards the cash prizes to the winners to support the most innovative ideas among Bay Area teens and in invest in their long-term success."

Video of Bonilla's presentation:

Posted by mike at 11:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2009

The San Leandro City Manager's Contract

In last week's San Leandro Times, San Leandro City Manager Stephen Hollister refuted a claim that the City of San Leandro is paying a consulting fee to former City Manager John Jermanis. San Leandro Bytes recently confirmed that there is no contract with Jermanis by filing a California Public Records Act request with the City of San Leandro.

Hollister became Interim City Manager when Jermanis retired in September 2008. In December 2008, Hollister was named City Manager, but the employment agreement is dated January 20, 2009. The agreement states that "City agrees to pay Employee a salary 15% above step five of the salary range of the highest paid City management employee..." According to the "City of San Leandro SLMO Salary Schedule," that is $14,688 per month for the Assistant City Manager and Police Chief. Fifteen percent above that is $16,891 per month, or $202,694 per year. [Editor's Note: On May 20, 2009, the Daily Review reported Hollister's salary as $200,738.98.] The City Manager's salary does not include other benefits, such as an automobile allowance, insurance and retirement benefits.

An electronic copy of the City Manager Employment Agreement can be found online. The entire text of the agreement and the City Manager's goals are included below.


THIS AGREEMENT is between the CITY OF SAN LEANDRO ("City") and STEPHEN L. HOLLISTER and is dated for convenience this 20TH day of January 2009.


City desires to employ Stephen L. Hollister as City Manager of the City of San Leandro.

Stephen L. Hollister desires to serve as City Manager of the City of San Leandro.

The City Council as the appointing authority and Stephen L. Hollister desire to agree in writing to the terms and conditions of Stephen L. Hollister's employment as City Manager.


(a) City agrees to employ Stephen L Hollister Employee as City Manager of the City of San Leandro to perform the functions and duties specified in the charter, ordinances, and resolutions of City. Employee shall also perform other legally permissible and proper duties and functions as the City Council may from time to time assign.

(b) Employee shall perform his duties to the best of his ability in accordance with the highest possible and ethical standards of the profession and shall comply with all general rules and regulations established by the City.

(c) Employee shall not engage in any activity that is or may become a conflict of interest, prohibited contract, or which may create an incompatibility of office as defined under California law. Prior to performing any services under this Agreement and annually thereafter, the Employee must complete disclosure forms required by law.


(a) The term of this Agreement shall commence on December 15, 2008 and terminate on June 30, 2010. This agreement may be terminated in accordance with the provisions set forth in Paragraph 3 or terminated by the event of the death or permanent disability of Employee.

(b) Employee agrees to remain in the exclusive employ of the City during the term of the Agreement.

(c) City agrees to give the Employee at least 180 days notice if it does not intend to renew or extend this agreement upon its expiration.


(a) Employee may resign at any time with or without cause and agrees to give City at least ninety (90) days advance written notice of the effective date of his resignation. Upon notice of resignation, or sooner, Employee, in consultation with the City Council will develop a "transition plan" and Employee will, if requested, assist the City Council in the recruitment and hiring process for the position of City Manager on a permanent or interim basis.

(b) Subject to the provisions of the Charter, City may at any time terminate Employee upon thirty (30) days advance written notice.

(c) The parties recognize and affirm that: 1) Employee is an at will employee whose employment may be terminated by the City without cause, and 2) there is no express or implied promise made to Employee for any form of continued employment. This Agreement is the sole and exclusive basis for an employment relationship between Employee and City.


If Employee is terminated by the City Council while still willing and able to perform the duties of City Manager, City agrees to pay Employee a cash payment equal to six (6) months salary and benefits. At the option of the Employee, the cash payment may be paid in (1) a lump sum upon date of termination; or (2) a lump sum on January 1 of the calendar year following termination. Such payment will release City from any further obligations under this Agreement. Provided however, if Employee is terminated for cause, including but not limited to conviction of any criminal offense then City shall have no obligation to continue the employment of Employee in any capacity.


For the term of this Agreement City agrees to pay Employee a salary 15% above step five of the salary range of the highest paid City management employee as shown in the City Council adopted Pay Plan (hereafter referred to as the "Baseline Salary"). Employee's compensation shall be adjusted whenever the Baseline Salary is adjusted so that Employee's salary shall not be less than 15% above the Baseline Salary at any time during the term of the Agreement.


Employee's duties require that he shall have the use of an automobile at all times during his employment with City. At the option of Employee, City shall either provide Employee with an automobile or reimburse Employee $475.00 per month for the expense of owning maintaining and insuring a personal automobile.


The City shall provide the Employee the same benefits as provided to management employees and as they may be amended from time to time. All actions taken by the City relating to benefits for management employees shall be considered actions granting the same benefits to Employee. As used herein and without limitation of the foregoing benefits for Employee include but are not limited to twenty-five (25) days of annual vacation leave, twelve (12) days of annual sick leave, management incentive pay of 120 hours per calendar year paid equally at each pay period, holidays, retirement benefits and payments, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance and management development allowance.


The City Council shall evaluate Employee's performance at least annually. In addition, every year, the City Council and Employee will set goals and objectives for the ensuing year (Exhibit A hereof).


The City Council by resolution shall fix any other terms and conditions of employment as it may determine from time to time relating to the performance of Employee, provided such terms and conditions are not inconsistent with provisions of this Agreement or law.


Any notices required by this Agreement shall be in writing and either given in person or by first-class mail with postage prepaid and addressed as follows:

TO CITY: City Council
c/o Mayor Anthony B Santos
City of San Leandro
835 East 14th Street
San Leandro CA 94577

TO EMPLOYEE: Stephen L Hollister
City Manager
City of San Leandro
835 East 14th Street
San Leandro CA 94577


Any controversy or claim arising out of or pertaining to this Agreement or breach thereof, shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association, and judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be enforced as provided by California law.


This Agreement is the final expression of the complete agreement of the parties with respect to the matters specified herein and supersedes all prior oral or written understandings. Except as prescribed herein, this Agreement cannot be modified except by written mutual agreement signed by the parties.


This Agreement is not assignable by either City or Employee.


In the event that any provision of this Agreement is finally held or determined to be illegal or void by a court having jurisdiction over the parties, the remainder of the Agreement shall remain in full force and effect unless the parts found to be void are wholly inseparable from the remaining portion of the Agreement.


This Agreement shall be executed simultaneously in three counterparts, which shall be identified by number, and each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, The City has caused this Agreement to be signed and executed on its behalf by its Mayor and duly attested by the City Clerk. It has also been executed by the Employee.

Stephen L. Hollister, Employee

Anthony B. Santos, Mayor
City of San Leandro

City Clerk, Marian Handa

City Attorney, Jayne W. Williams


The following City Manager goals reflect City Council's Fiscal Year 2008-09 goals as modified by changing circumstances including the fiscal crisis and personnel changes and a review of the Interim City Manager's goals and objectives These goals will be updated and modified for Fiscal Year 2009-10.

- Adoption of a balanced budget plan and FY2009-2010 budget
- Advocacy of City projects for Federal stimulus funding
- Approval of Kaiser/ICI Development Agreement and approval of San Leandro Crossings TOD Project
- Work with Stakeholders on revenue enhancement measures
- Council review and prioritization of CIP process, including criteria for use of park development funds (i.e. WW, TOD, park fees)
- Recruitment of permanent Police Chief and Assistant City Manager
- Approval of SLUSD Ninth Grade Academy/Gymnasium Agreement and analyze with the District(s) City School growth impacts
- Continue Downtown development and beautification
- Succession planning
- Continued development of Shoreline Master Plan

Posted by mike at 11:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 26, 2009

More Meetings on San Leandro Hospital

Concerned community members will have more opportunities to speak out about the likely closure of San Leandro Hospital when the Eden Township Healthcare District Board, which owns the hospital, holds three meetings in the first half of June.

The lease between Sutter Health and the Eden Township Healthcare District Board expires on July 1, 2010.

In town hall meetings held at San Leandro City Hall on April 29 and May 8, community members expressed frustration at the lack of leadership from local elected officials, concern about San Leandro being without 24-hour emergency room service, and closed-door talks between Alameda County officials and Sutter Health. In meetings on May 11 and May 12, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors discussed San Leandro Hospital, with Supervisors Nate Miley and Scott Haggerty expressing frustration with San Leandro City Councilmembers Michael Gregory and Joyce Starosciak, who were lobbying to keep the hospital open. Opponents of closing San Leandro Hospital have attempted to link an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Castro Valley's Eden Medical Center to the closure of San Leandro Hospital. Supervisors decided to delay a decision on the EIR until their June 9 meeting.

The meetings will be held on June 8, 2009, at 6pm, June 11, 2009, at 1pm, and June 15, 2009, at 6pm. All meetings will be held in the Dave Karp room of the San Leandro Library at 300 Estudillo Avenue.

Posted by mike at 10:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2009

Local 4-H Kids Receive President's Environmental Youth Award

Clay Ferguson and Chance Boreczky with their parents and their award - photo from U.S. EPA

San Leandro members of the East Hills 4-H Club were awarded the 2008 President's Environmental Youth Award for EPA Region 9 for a video they made entitled "A Plastic Predicament."

San Leandro students Clay Ferguson and Chance Boreczky made the video after they learned about the great Pacific garbage patch, a huge whirlpool of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean.

Ferguson was honored in 2007 as a finalist in the American Humane Association's Be Kind to Animals Kid Contest for fostering kittens. Ferguson also recently spoke before the San Leandro City Council in favor of changing rules that prohibit keeping chickens as pets.

The video was shown to the San Leandro City Council on May 19, 2008, and then to a meeting of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority in September 2008.

Region 9 of the U.S. EPA includes California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii.

Posted by mike at 10:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 7, 2009

California Supreme Court Hears San Leandro Mailbox Case

On May 5, 2009, the California Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that pits the San Leandro Teachers Association (SLTA) against the San Leandro Unified School District.

At issue is the use of School District mailboxes by the SLTA to distribute union newsletters that included endorsements of School Board candidates Stephen Cassidy and John Franke for the November 2004 election. The School District objected to distribution of the newsletters containing the political endorsements, citing section 7054 of the California Education Code, which states, "No school district funds, services, supplies, or equipment shall be used for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate."

The SLTA filed suit and won in Superior Court. The School District appealed and prevailed in the First District Court of Appeals.

A decision is due by August 3, 2009.

The listing on the California Supreme Court calendar reads:

San Leandro Teachers Assn. et al. v. Governing Board of the San Leandro School
District et al., S156961

#07-446 San Leandro Teachers Assn. et al. v. Governing Board of the San Leandro
School District et al., S156961. (A114679; 154 Cal.App.4th 866; Superior Court of Alameda County; RG05235795.) Petition for review after the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment in an action for writ of administrative mandate. This case presents the following issues: (1) Does Education Code section 7054 permit a school district to prohibit the teachers union from using the school‟s mailboxes to distribute a union newsletter to its members, if the newsletter includes endorsements for school board candidates? (2) Does the guarantee of liberty of speech in California Constitution, article I, section 2, assure that an employee organization may distribute its message to its members concerning electoral politics via school mailboxes?

Posted by mike at 10:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Suessical the Musical Opens Tonight at Bancroft Middle School

Suessical the Musical Bancroft Musical Theatre's production of Suessical the Musical opens tonight at 7:30pm. Past productions have included Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast.

Tonight's show starts at 7:30pm. Shows on May 8 and May 9 also start at 7:30pm. A 2pm matinee will be held on May 10. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. There is no reserved seating.

Shows are held at Bancroft Middle School, located at 1150 Bancroft Ave. in San Leandro.

Posted by mike at 12:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 5, 2009

Downtown Farmers Market Returns Wednesday

The San Leandro Downtown Farmers Market returns Wednesday, May 6, 2009, after taking the winter off.

The Downtown Farmers Market was started a year ago and is held from 4pm to 8pm each Wednesday night. The opening will be marked by a raffle, children's coloring contest, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30pm.

Each Wednesday features a different theme: First Wednesdays are cooking demonstrations, second Wednesdays feature "green" themes, third Wednesdays have family entertainment, and fourth Wednesdays feature wine tastings.

The farmers market is held on Parrott Street, between East 14 Street and Washington Avenue. For more information, click here or call (510) 577-3311.

Posted by mike at 3:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 4, 2009

Starosciak Selected as New Vice-Mayor

Councilmember Joyce Starosicak San Leandro Councilmember Joyce Starosciak was unanimously selected as Vice Mayor by the San Leandro City Council at is meeting on Monday, May 4, 2009. Starosciak replaces Councilmember Bill Stephens, who was selected last year over Starosciak in a 4-3 vote. In the past ten years, the position of Vice Mayor has been held by the same person for at least two years.

The position of Vice Mayor is largely ceremonial. The Vice Mayor represents the City and chairs City Council meetings when the Mayor is absent. 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."

In other actions, the City Council passed an ordinance requiring Bay-friendly landscaping for City projects valued at more than $100,000 or larger than 2,500 square feet. The ordinance would result in landscaping that generates less waste, uses less energy and water, and costs less to maintain.

The City Council also approved a "golden handshake" package that would give some employees an addition two years of service credit as an incentive to retire early. Such incentives are frequently used to encourage employees with higher salaries to retire so that can be replaced with less expensive employees or as a way to avoid laying off other employees. Six of the Councilmembers voted yes for the package and Stephens abstained.

For a listing of recent Vice Mayors, see below.

Vice Mayors of the Recent Past:

  • 1998 - Gordon Galvan (District 1)

  • 1999 - Gordon Galvan (District 1)

  • 2000 - Bob Glaze (District 4)

  • 2001- Bob Glaze (District 4)

  • 2002 - Bob Glaze (District 4)

  • 2003- Bob Glaze (District 4)

  • 2004 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)

  • 2005 - Orval "OB" Badger (District 1)

  • 2006 - Surlene Grant (District 2)

  • 2007 - Surlene Grant (District 2)

  • 2008 - Bill Stephens (District 5)
Posted by mike at 10:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 3, 2009

Former San Leandro Mayor Jack Maltester Dies

Former San Leandro Mayor Jack Maltester died Friday, May 1, 2009, at the home in San Leandro where he was born in 1913. Maltester was 95 years old.

Jack Maltester was first appointed to the San Leandro City Council in 1948 to replace Helen Lawrence, who served as his mentor. He served for just a few months and lost when he campaigned for City Council in the April 1948 election. He was subsequently elected to the City Council in 1956 and became Mayor in 1958. In 1962, Maltester became the first Mayor elected directly by the residents of San Leandro instead of the City Council. Maltester was re-elected in 1966, 1970, and 1974, but was forced to leave office after term limits were enacted and he had served as Mayor for 20 years.

On May 6, 1967, Maltester testified at a hearing of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which was investigating housing discrimination.

While he was Mayor, Maltester served as President of the US Conference of Mayors from 1969 to 1970 and introduced a resolution at the 1971 annual conference calling for the US to withdraw from Vietnam. In the resolution, of which he was quite proud, he stated, "I might ask you: Have we left anything up until now to the military experts or have we been running a political war in Vietnam? My city, a small city in California with less than 70,000 people, proposed this resolution and it is supported by the citizens of the community. It is not a resolution of condemnation. It is not offered in rancor. It is a positive statement of principle. To support this position, I believe, is an obligation none of us can ignore in the name of humanity. I ask your vote for an end to this war."

In 1973, Maltester ran for the California State Assembly against San Leandro School Board member Bill Lockyer after Robert Crown was killed while jogging in Alameda. Lockyer, who served as one of Crowns' aides and was helped by Willie Brown in his campaign, prevailed over Maltester.

Maltester remained active in San Leandro affairs, founding The Sentinels, a group of local businessman that provide campaign contributions to local candidates and ballot measures. He also served as President of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and President of the California League of Cities.

San Leandro residents who knew him remarked that Maltester always worked to bring resources and development to San Leandro and described his passing as a great loss to the City and community.

Former San Leandro City Manager John Jermanis said that "all of us that had opportunity to meet and know him benefited greatly." Jermanis also described Maltester as a "great political leader" who had a "major influence on development of the City," especially the Marina.

Former Councilman Kent Myers, who has known Maltester for 30 years, noted that Maltester's "mind was still active to the very end. The City is going to miss him."

San Leandro resident Brian Copeland, who has had a successful solo performance and book based on his experience growing up in what was an essentially segregated San Leandro said of meeting Maltester at his most recent birthday, "Although he was in a wheelchair and past 90, he was as sharp as a tack and regaled us with stories about how he loved (and knew) JFK yet hated Bobby Kennedy. We talked some about the research I had done. I found him to be gracious, charming and funny."

Copeland continued, "I got word a few weeks back that his daughter had called Jake at Vila Cereja and said that Jack was happy and excited to have met me and wanted to have me to his home for lunch and to talk more about the era I've written about. We were supposed to pick a date soon. Sorry I won't get the chance.

"The one thing you can say about Mayor Maltester, whether you agreed with policies enacted and maintained during his 20 year tenure or not, is that he truly loved this city and gave it his all. I am truly sorry to hear of his passing and my sincere condolences go out to his family."

San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos learned of Maltester's on Friday afternoon and stated that Maltester "was obviously San Leandro's icon. He and his colleagues on the City Council in the 1970s set the industrial base for San Leandro and was instrumental in developing the Marina."

Maltester continued to be involved in politics until the end as Santos confirmed that Maltester endorsed him for Mayor in 2010. Maltester had endorsed Orval "OB" Badger for Mayor in 2006 and previously endorsed Santos for City Council when Santos was unopposed.

City flags will be flown at half-staff until services are held for Maltester.

Posted by mike at 12:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack