January 21, 2011

San Leandro Improves to a "C" For Efforts to Discourage Smoking

In its 2010 State of Tobacco Control report, the American Lung Association of California gave the City of San Leandro a "C" for its efforts to discourage smoking. The report grades California cities in areas such as smokefree housing, reducing sales of tobacco products, and regulating outdoor smoking.

San Leandro's grade is an improvement from the "F" it received in 2009, and results from action that the San Leandro City Council took in December 2009 to tighten restrictions on smoking in public places, work places, recreational areas and athletic facilities in the city.

Neighboring cities did not improve from two years ago: Alameda received an "F," Hayward received a "C" and Oakland received a "B." Union City and Albany received the highest scores in Alameda County.

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January 17, 2011

City Moves to Protect Redevelopment Funds from State

The San Leandro City Council voted 4-0 on Monday, January 17, 2011, to try to maintain control of nearly $9 million in redevelopment agency funds. Many of California's 425 redevelopment agencies are taking similar actions to retain control of millions in redevelopment agency funds before the California Legislative Analyst's recommendation to prohibit redevelopment agencies from entering into new contracts can be acted upon. The elimination of redevelopment agencies as proposed by Governor Jerry Brown, would help the state of California balance its budget and force cities and counties to re-evaluate their spending priorities.

Councilmembers Michael Gregory, Pauline Cutter, and Vice Mayor Ursula Reed were not at the meeting.

The text of a proposed letter for Mayor Stephen Cassidy to send to state legislators highlights three projects as "examples of economic development spurred by redevelopment:" the Creekside Plaza Office Complex, the downtown garage, and the Marina Auto Mall.

The City of San Leandro has three redevelopment areas:

1. Plaza Project Area

Includes much of downtown San Leandro as well as Davis Street, from around E. 14th Street to roughly Douglas Street, and the Costco area west of Highway 880. The new downtown garage, San Leandro Crossing, Creekside Plaza are three of the projects in this area. $2 million will go to street and sidewalk improvements on Hays Street between Davis Street and E. 14th.

2. Joint Project Area

Includes E. 14th Street (other than the section in downtown San Leandro); Marina Boulevard plus the area to the south of Marina Boulevard that includes Teagarden Street and Aladdin Avenue; Washington Avenue, from San Leandro Boulevard to Halcyon; and the Lewelling/Hesperian area. The Marina Boulevard Auto Mall, Bayfair BART, and the gymnasium at the Fred T. Korematsu campus are three of the projects in this area.

3. West San Leandro/MacArthur Project Area

Covers most of the industrial area of the city west of Highway 880 (including Westgate) as well as the section of MacArthur Boulevard between the Oakland border and Estudillo Avenue. The MacArthur Boulevard streetscape upgrade and LINKS shuttle are two of the projects in this area. Paving of Eden Road accounts for $1.5 million of the redevelopment funds, $4.19 million will go to street and sidewalk improvements, and $1.27 million will go to street and sidewalk improvements on MacArthur Boulevard between Lewis and Dutton.

redevelopment_map_small.jpg

A map at http://www.sanleandro.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=3790 shows the redevelopment areas, which cover a great deal of the city, including all along E. 14th St. and the downtown area.

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January 12, 2011

Oakland Car Chase Ends in San Leandro Crash

Car_chase_crash3_12Jan2011.jpg

Car_chase_crash4_12Jan2011.jpg
Photos by Tim Holmes

A car chase that began in Oakland ended at about 8:10am this morning in the parking lot of 1st United Services Credit Union at 600 Bancroft Ave. (at Dutton). San Leandro Police assisted Oakland Police in searching for suspects that ran from the vehicle after it crashed. Although the chase ended at the time students were on their way to school, there were no reported injuries to bystanders.

Washington Elementary, Roosevelt Elementary, and Broadmoor Preschool were placed on lockdown for 40 to 50 minutes while police searched for the suspects.

According to one resident, the one of the suspects jumped the wall behind Sweet Maria's and then calmly walked across Bancroft Avenue toward Safeway. Preliminary reports from police indicate that there were two suspects and one was arrested near the corner of Dutton and Kenilworth.

If you are looking for press releases from the San Leandro Police, you can find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Leandro-Police-Department/111943215483731?v=wall (no registration required). An RSS feed is also available at https://www.facebook.com/feeds/notes.php?id=111943215483731&viewer=100001022488700&key=8764a2c01a&format=rss20

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January 11, 2011

San Leandro's First Female Police Chief Sworn In

Spagnoli.jpg Sandra Spagnoli was sworn in as San Leandro's 10th Police Chief at City Hall on Monday, January 10, 2011. City Hall was filled to capacity with Spagnoli's family, San Leandro police officers, Benicia police officers, and police chiefs from Livermore, El Cerrito, Pleasanton, and other cities on hand to witness the ceremony, which included her husband and child pinning on her badge. Spagnoli's husband and sister are also police officers.

After she was sworn in, Spagnoli said:

Today is not only one of the highlights of my career as a police officer, but signifies a highlight for the San Leandro Police Department as we move forward in enhancing our organization and really, the great work that the other chiefs before me have doneā€¦.I look forward to meeting the law enforcement family in San Leandro. They've been very welcoming to me today. Also, the city staff and the community. I'm really proud and honored to serve and be appointed as the 10th police chief here and lead this departmentā€¦.So as your police chief, I am committed to focusing on public safety strategies to reduce crime and deter crime, continuing to provide excellent service levels that the city prides itself on, with not only integrity, but excellence, collaborate with employees, city departments, and the community, and also support prevention and intervention programs, particularly to those that support our most valuable asset, or one of our most valuable assets in the community, which is our youth. I do look forward to learning about the history of San Leandro and the police department and building a path that meets the future demands of the City of San Leandro and the law enforcement profession. So, in closing, I believe that as a department and as your chief, we will build on existing traditions of excellence within this city and create a great legacy together, enhancing levels of service, safety, and security for all in this great city.

A press release announcing the selection of Spagnoli as Police Chief was issued on November 29, 2010, nearly four months after Ian Willis announced that he would retire at the end of the year. Willis will join the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

Spagnoli will start with a salary of $176,256, which is which is the highest step of the salary schedule for a police chief.

According to the Human Resources Department for the City of Benicia, Spagnoli had a salary of $163,728, plus benefits, while she was Benicia's police chief. Those benefits included a city vehicle and the City of Benicia paying the contributions towards her retirement.

Below is the video of Spagnoli's swearing in and her speech afterwards:

Spagnoli was hired after a search by Avery Associates, the same firm that conducted the search for San Leandro's Finance Director, and now former Police Chief Willis.

According to the flyer, San Leandro's next police chief will have a base salary "up to $176,256" and:

  • A 9% City-paid contribution for CalPERS (3.0% @ 50 Plan) except in the initial first three years of employment. Credit is given for prior CalPERS service;
  • A minimum of 15 days of vacation for the first five years of employment, increasing to a maximum of 25 days per year, sick leave accrues at a rate of 12 days per year;
  • Twelve fixed and three floating holidays in 2010;
  • One-hundred and twenty hours of administrative leave paid per year on a pro-rata basis;
  • Maximum City contribution of $1460 per month in 2010 for family coverage in a cafeteria benefits plan which provides a choice of CalPERS medical options, MetLife Dental PPO with buy-up options, and voluntary medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts;
  • Life/AD&D and long-term disability insurance with an option to purchase increased coverage;
  • Voluntary deferred compensation (457 Plan), vision care, and short-term disability insurance are also available;

Here is a list of the nine previous San Leandro police chiefs:

  • Joseph F. Peralta
  • Artel J. Lamoureaux
  • Thomas J. Rogers
  • Kenneth Swanson
  • Donald F. Becker
  • Robert J.P. Maginnis
  • Joseph Kitchen
  • Dale Attarian
  • Ian Willis

Peralta, a direct descendant of Don Luis Peralta, was the longest serving top police official, serving as town marshall from 1912 until 1928 and police chief from 1928 to 1945.

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January 10, 2011

Mayor Stephen Cassidy's First "Coffee with the Mayor"

On January 7, 2011, San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy held his first "Coffee with the Mayor" at San Leandro City Hall. Cassidy answered questions ranging from the recycling center at the Safeway store on Bancroft, outsourcing of police services, BART parking, the opening of the senior center, and the city manager's salary.

A summary of the meeting is available from San Leandro Patch. The complete video is available below:

Cassidy plans to hold future "Coffee with the Mayor" meetings in the evening and on weekends to allow a variety of residents to attend. Questions can also be asked and answered online at San Leandro Assist.

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January 2, 2011

City Council Committee Assignments on San Leandro City Council's First 2011 Agenda

Mayor Stephen Cassidy will preside at his first San Leandro City Council meeting on January 3, 2010. The agenda is light and starts with Police Chief Commendations to Malcolm Mason and Dino Rinetti, who helped detain a man suspected of assaulting an 8-year-old girl at Walmart on December 10, 2010.

The City's 53rd mayor and its seventh directly elected mayor also decides which City Councilmembers are assigned to each of the 11 committees. For 2011, Cassidy assigned Council members to four or five committees each. Cassidy has six committees, but of those six committees, the Joint Oakland/San Leandro City Council Committee hasn't met since at least 2007 and the Disaster Council has met just once since 2007.

Finance is considered the most important of the committees and Cassidy, District 1 City Councilmember Michael Gregory and District 3 City Councilmember Diana Souza are assigned to that committee. When asked about his committee assignments, Cassidy said that the Mayor is required to be on the Disaster Council. By tradition, the Mayor has always been on the San Leandro and San Lorenzo School District Liaison Committees and the Joint Oakland/San Leandro City Council Committee. The table below summarizes the City Council committee assignments:

CassidyCutterGregoryProlaReedSouzaStarosciak
Airport CommitteeXXX
Business and Housing Development CommitteeXXX
City and San Leandro Unified School District Liaison CommitteeXXX
City and San Lorenzo Unified School District Liaison CommitteeXXX
Civic and Cultural CommitteeXXX
Disaster CouncilXXX
Facilities and Transportation CommitteeXXX
Finance CommitteeXXX
Joint Oakland/San Leandro City Council CommitteeXXX
Rules and Communications CommitteeXXX
Shoreline-Marina CommitteeXXX

Coming up soon will be the appointments to commissions and boards. Newly-elected District 5 Councilmember Pauline Cutter, Gregory, Souza and Mayor Cassidy will have the opportunity to appoint members to the City's eight boards and commissions. These are:

  • Board of Zoning Adjustments
  • Human Services Commission
  • Library-Historical Commission
  • Personnel Relations Board
  • Planning Commission
  • Recreation and Parks Commission
  • Rent Review Board
  • Senior Commission

Typically, each member of the City Council nominates one person for each commission or board, which then requires approval of entire City Council. However, the Mayor appoints three members each to the Human Services and Senior Commissions and all five members of the Personnel Relations Board. Appointments are for four-year terms, except for the Rent Review Board, which has two-year terms. For more information about the boards and commissions and an application, go to http://www.sanleandro.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=3759

The City Council meets at 7pm in the City Council Chambers at 835 E. 14th Street on Monday, January 13, 2010. The complete agenda is available at http://www.sanleandro.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=7608

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