January 24, 2012

Total Compensation for San Leandro's New City Manager About $303K

This week, the City of San Leandro released the total compensation for newly-appointed City Manager Chris Zapata: $302,522. That total does not include a one-time payment of $16,500 for moving expenses. Former San Leandro City Manager Stephen Hollister's total compensation was listed as $286,976 in 2010, but would have been closer to $295,000 without furlough days.

Salary$223,000
Tech Allowance$750
Management Incentive Pay$12,865
Health Benefits$7,350
PERS (employer rate)$48,503
Social Security$6,820
Medicare$3,234
Total$302,522

Based on 2010 data from other cities, Zapata receives more total compensation than Hayward ($255,935), Pleasanton ($284,989), and Walnut Creek ($294,856), but less than Emeryville ($316,952), Fremont ($333,734) and Livermore ($350,999).

On a per capita basis, Zapata gets $3.56 per resident compared to $1.56 in Fremont, $1.78 in Hayward, $4.05 in Pleasanton, $4.34 in Livermore, $4.59 in Walnut Creek, and $31.44 in Emeryville.

Note that the comparisons are for 2012 compensation for Zapata and 2010 compensation for other City Managers, which have likely increased.

Zapata starts work as San Leandro City Manager on January 30, 2012, and his first City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, February 6, 2012.

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January 22, 2012

San Leandro Democrats Support Hancock for Senate and Bonta for Assembly

At a pre-endorsement meeting held on Saturday, January 21, 2012, local Democrats turned out for State Senator Loni Hancock and Alameda Councilmember Rob Bonta to represent San Leandro in the ninth Senate District and 18th Assembly District, respectively. The results of this meeting determine who will make it onto the agenda at the California Democrats State Convention and receive the Democratic Party endorsement for the June 2012 primary.

Each candidate was given two minutes to make their case for support of the Democrats in attendance, but by that time, most of the ballots had already been submitted.

For the 18th Assembly District seat, Bonta received votes from San Leandro School Board member Hermy Almonte, San Leandro Councilmember Pauline Cutter, Doug Jones, Margarita Lacabe, and Eden Township Healthcare District Board Member Carole Rogers. Joel Young, one of four candidates for the seat and a current AC Transit Board member, received votes from Linda Perry, Diana Prola, and Jim Prola. Andrew Kopp voted for Kathy Neal. Former San Leandro Mayor Shelia Young chose not to vote for any of the candidates while former San Leandro Mayor Ellen Corbett, Alameda County Democratic Party Chair Robin Torello, and Sue Kleebauer did not submit ballots.

Young picked up support from former Alameda Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Sharon Cornu, but failed to secure the endorsement of early supporter Assemblymember Sandré Swanson, who chose not to vote for any of the candidates. Current Alameda Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Josie Camacho and Alameda County Building Trades Secretary-Treasurer Andreas Cluver

Bonta received the most votes of any candidate, 18, with Young receiving 16, Abel Guillen 9, and Kathy Neal 8. However, no candidate met the 70% threshold for having an endorsement move on to the agenda for approval.

Swanson is termed out this year and is running against Hanock, who is seeking re-election. For Senate District 9, which includes most of San Leandro, Hancock picked up support from Almonte, Corbett, Cutter, Kleebauer, Kopp, Lacabe, Perry, Diana and Jim Prola, and Rogers. The only San Leandro support came from Doug Jones. Swanson picked up labor's support, including Camacho, Cluver, and Cornu and was also supported by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

Hancock received 136 votes while Swanson received 21 and will be on the agenda for the Democratic Party's endorsement.

The California Democrats State Convention, where the endorsements will be voted on, takes place February 10-12 in San Diego.

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January 17, 2012

New City Manager Contract Differs Slightly from Previous Contract

At tonight's meeting of the San Leandro City Council, the contract for newly appointed City Manager Chris Zapata will be considered and voted upon. The selection of Zapata was approved 6-0 on January 5, 2012.

Zapata's contract is very similar to former City Manager Stephen Hollister's contract, with a few important exceptions.

The contract is in effect until January 2015 (three years), while Hollister's last contract was for one year.

Hollister's salary was listed in his contract as "15% above step five of the salary range of the highest paid City management employee." This meant that he had a salary of $202,694 in 2010, which was reduced to $194,507 by furlough days. Zapata gets a bump in base salary to $223,000.

Zapata will also receive a one-time payment of $16,500 to cover moving expenses, but will to have to reimburse it on a pro-rated basis if he leaves before January 2015.

However, the new contract does not include a $475 monthly automobile allowance that totaled $5,700 annually for Hollister.

A provision of the contract that calls for Zapata to pay his own contribution to the CalPERS pension plan likely sets the stage for negotiations with the City's bargaining groups, whose current agreements expire at the end of the year. The City currently pays the entire employee portion of the CalPERS contribution for all employees. For Hollister, that meant an additional $17,782 in compensation and the number for Zapata would have been closer to $20,000.

The amount of notice required for the City Manager to terminate the agreement has been reduced from 90 days to 45 days.

Details that remain unchanged are the amount of severance pay, which remains at six months of compensation if the City terminates the contract without cause and no compensation if the contract is terminated for cause. Also unchanged are 25 vacation days, 12 sick days, "management incentive pay of 120 hours per calendar year," and City-paid membership in the International City Management Association, League of California Cities, and local civic groups.

Based on the numbers above and estimates for things such as health insurance and the employer contribution to CalPERS, Zapata's total compensation will likely be close to or exceed Hollister's by a few thousand dollars.

Zapata, who currently serves as National City's City Manager is scheduled to start on January 30, 2012.

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January 15, 2012

Fifth Coffee with the Cops Focuses on New Laws

The San Leandro Police Department's Fifth Coffee with the Cops focused on new laws for 2012, including:

  • Booster seats required for children until they are eight years old or until they are four feet nine inches tall
  • Requires that police allow another licensed driver to drive a vehicle away (instead of impounding the vehicle) if the driver of a vehicle at a sobriety checkpoint does not have a valid license
  • Allows a person convicted of reckless driving to apply for a restricted license prior to the end of the one-year suspension
  • Vehicles will be prohibited from crossing double parallel solid white lines, except where permitted.
  • Electric vehicles must now be plugged in for refueling when occupying an EV-designated parking space
  • Local governments can now regulate advertising signs on any motor vehicle parked or left standing upon a public street
  • Courts may revoke a driver's license for 10 years if a person is convicted of three or more DUls

Lt. Jeff Tudor and Detective Josh Brum described a series of strong arm robberies in the area of Estudillo, Bancroft, Joaquin and Juana from December 26, 2011, to January 7, 2012. The suspects are a young African American female and a young African American male, 18 to 25 years old. There is no specific time of day at which these robberies occur, but they appear to be target people of either sex walking alone. The female approaches the victim and claims to have a gun in her purse. One witness confirmed that there was a gun in the purse.

The next Coffee with the Cops is at Creekside Bistro on February 7, 2012. Creekside Bistro is located at 500 Davis Street.

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Bob Wieckowski and Loni Hancock at California DISCLOSE Act Kickoff

On January 7, 2012, local elected officials joined the California Clean Money Campaign in a kickoff event for the California DISCLOSE (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections) Act, which would require disclosure of political campaign funders in the political ads that they fund.

California State Senator Loni Hancock was joined by California Assembly Member Bob Weickowski, Oakland Councilmember Pat Kernighan, Trent Lange, President of the California Clean Money Campaign, and Michelle Romeo, Our Democracy Program Manager for the Greenlining Institute for event, held at Oakland City Hall.

Hanock, Wieckowski, California Assembly Members Mary Hayashi and Sandré Swanson, and California State Senator Ellen Corbett are all co-authors of the California DISCLOSE Act, AB 1148.

The California DISCLOSE Act would require that television political ads show the top five funders in a readable manner, radio ads disclose the top two funders, and print ads list the top five funders.

Hancock is running against termed out Swanson in 2012 to represent San Leandro in a newly-drawn Senate District. Wieckowski was expected to face termed out Hayashi in the new Senate District 10, but Hayashi's political future is in doubt after pleading "no contest" to shoplifting charges.

Below are the opening statements from Hancock and Wieckowski:

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January 11, 2012

Chris Crow May Be Removed From San Leandro Planning Commission

The agenda for the January 17, 2012, meeting of the San Leandro City Council includes an item for replacing Planning Commissioner Chris Crow. Chris Crow was appointed to the Planning Commission on November 1, 2010, by District 2 Councilmember Ursula Reed, who is up for re-election this year.

Reed said that she appreciates his service and wishes him well. Crow did not respond to questions at the time of this posting, but posted that the first he learned of his potential removal from the Planning Commission was today, a claim denied by Reed.

Appointments to commissions and boards are typically political decisions and appointees tend to be supporters of the Council member who appoints them. The nominations come from individuals members of the City Council but are voted on by the entire City Council. According to paperwork on file with the City of San Leandro, Crow filed to run for the District 2 City Council seat currently held by Reed on September 6, 2011. Former San Leandro School Board member Ken Pon is his campaign treasurer.

Crow isn't the first one to be removed from the Planning Commission. In March 2008, Marcene Nardine was removed from the Planning Commission. Nardine had been appointed by former Mayor Tony Santos, whom she endorsed shortly after finishing third in the June 2006 election. Nardine missed five of 12 Planning Commission meetings since being appointed, including three consecutive meetings.

The City Council Handbook section on Boards and Commissions is silent on reasons for removal of commission members, except for the following:

"If members of a board or commission absent themselves from three consecutive regular meetings of each board or commission, unless by permission of such board or commission expressed in its official minutes, or is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, or ceases to be a qualified elector of the City, their office shall become vacant and shall be so declared by the Council."

Crow works for McDermott Costa Insurance Brokers and graduated from San Leandro High School in 2002. On his application for the Planning Commission, Crow listed his qualifications for the appointment as, "AA, Certified Ins. Counselor, smart, go-getter, care about city, problem solver, hard worker." Crow is on the Board of the San Leandro Education Foundation, active in San Leandro Rotary, and an Assistant Wrestling Coach at San Leandro High School.


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January 5, 2012

San Leandro City Council Appoints Chris Zapata as City Manager

Chris_Zapata_small.jpg
Chris Zapata
According to a press release issued today, the San Leandro City Council voted 6-0 in closed session on January 5, 2012, to appoint Chris Zapata, 52, as San Leandro's new City Manager, effective January 30, 2012. Councilmember Michael Gregory was absent.

Zapata replaces Steve Hollister, who resigned effective June 30, 2011, after a closed session meeting on December 20, 2010. Since then, Lianne Marshall has served as Interim City Manager.

The San Leandro City Council initially sought to recruit and hire a City Manager using an ad-hoc committee consisting of Mayor Stephen Cassidy, Councilmember Diana Souza and Vice Mayor Ursula Reed (later replaced by Gregory). After the process fell apart, the San Leandro City Council voted to hire the recruitment firm Teri Black & Company.

Zapata is likely the first San Leandro City Manager not promoted from within and also the first non-white City Manager.

Zapata currently serves as National City's City Manager, where he was hired in 2004. Prior to that, he served as Deputy City Manager for Glendale, Arizona. Zapata also was the City Manager for the Arizona cities of Superior and Eloy.

In April 2011, Zapata was one of five finalists for a City Manager position in Chandler, Arizona, but lost out to the Interim City Manager. In March 2010, Zapata withdrew his name for consideration for Stockton's City Manager position after it became known that he was being interviewed as a finalist for the position. When Zapata announced that he was hiring National City Councilmember Frank Parra to replace retiring Fire Chief Rod Juniel in early 2010, critics noted that Parra had no firefighting experience and that Zapata was essentially hiring one of his bosses.

Zapata's current salary, according to the National City web site, is $165,000, the same as when he was hired in 2004. His monthly car allowance and housing allowance were increased from $550 to $750 and from $250 to $500, respectively, in 2007, an increase of $5,400 annually. In lieu of salary increases, Zapata received one-time payments totaling $53,000 from 2006 to 2009. Zapata also took voluntary pay cuts of $8,250 in 2006 and $6,346 in 2009 "due to economic conditions."

Compared to San Leandro, National City has about 26,000 less people, with 63% Hispanic or Latino, while San Leandro has 27.4%. Racially, whites account for 42% of National City and 37.6% of San Leandro, Asians account for 18.3% of National City and 29.7% of San Leandro, and African Americans account for 5.2% of National City and 12.3% of San Leandro.

Below is a list of previous San Leandro City Managers:

  • Steve Hollister, 2008 - 2011

  • John Jermanis, 1997 - 2008

  • Michael A. Oliver, 1992 - 1997

  • Richard H. Randall, 1986 - 1992

  • LeRoy E. Riordan, 1976 - 1986

  • Wes McClure, 1948 - 1976

  • Laurence E. Olson, 1945-1948

  • Raymond Billings, 1937-1945

  • F.R. Chilton, 1935-1937

  • Allen E. Pelton, 1932-1935

  • W.A. Richmond, 1928-1932

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