Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Starosciak and Santos Fighting a War Within the Council


By Steven Tavares

Mayor Tony Santos has a new battle front in his bid for re-election this November after his opponent for the office Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak accused him last week of violating the Brown Act in a email to supporters. She backtracked on the allegation Monday night saying "It wasn't on the agenda. It's like it never happened."

Violating the Brown Act is a potential criminal misdemeanor, if proven.

In the email sent Sept. 14, Starosciak characterized her campaign as "restrained" but a brief confrontation between her and Santos during a meeting of the Shoreline-Marina Committee Sept. 13, of which they both sit along with Councilman Jim Prola, forced her to speak out, she said. "You need to hear what is going on," said Starosciak. "San Leandro, we deserve better."


At issue is the replacement of a seat on the 32-person Shoreline Citizen Advisory Committee. News of the open position was communicated during the meeting by a city staff member. Santos and Prola told The Citizen the conversation at the meeting to fill the slot with an unnamed member of the audience was informal, although Prola mentioned he would be in favor of the appointment and Starosciak wrote Santos ended the discussion by abruptly telling her, "It's done."

Starosciak said Monday she agreed with the order of the events and said the Brown Act, designed to allow for greater transparency of government decision-making, was not violated by Santos. Her email, though, strikes a different tone.

"This was not only an inappropriate, knee-jerk reaction, it’s a blatant Brown Act violation," said Starosciak. "There was no process for the selection; it wasn’t even on the agenda. The resident who was appointed on the spot, even stated he didn’t want the position." On numerous occasions Monday night, Starosciak said "It's about the process" and added, "It needs to be followed." Any appointment to the board would go through the committee and set for approval by a full council vote.
Santos called Starosciak's accusation "vile" and says he turned over the email to the assistant city attorney.

The relationship between Santos and Starosciak has soured precipitously since she announced her candidacy for mayor in Aug. 2009. At the time, Santos told The Citizen he believed a councilmember running against a sitting mayor would adversely affect the council's ability to function. Santos reaffirmed those beliefs Tuesday. Looking back, he says, he declined to run for mayor in 2002 against then-Mayor Shelia Young, despite support, "because it would cause dissension on the council."

Both candidates have not spoken to each other outside of council chambers for months, yet tensions between them have even been evident during numerous meetings where Santos has repeatedly cut off Starosciak's comments and oftentimes fails to address her by her title as councilmember. As the level of comity continues to drop, both resorted to cutting each other off Monday night leading Starosciak to retaliate by cutting short Santos' comments and asking for clarification from city staff regarding a question regarding the interoperability of police communications being discussed, instead of Santos' explaination.

The nasty, personal tone of the campaign has become palpable as the days until election day become shorter and risks bleeding into the new council next year. "She is rude and has no respect for others," Santos said. "I've known her since she was a little girl and I'm disappointed at the kind of woman she has become."

"Tony Santos is reactive, not pro-active," Starosciak said in her email. "He doesn’t listen to residents until he fears that his re-election is in jeopardy. And then the response is short-sighted. This is detrimental to our City. It is time for a change in Leadership."

If Santos wins re-election this fall, time will tell if the rift between the two city official will ever be mended.


Thankfully Stephen Cassidy will be the next mayor, so the level of buffoonery on the council will decrease by at least 2/6; 1/2 if Michael Gregory loses.

Btw, violating the Brown Act is nothing new for Tony and Joyce. After I started a stink about the San Leandro Crossings project, city officials held a secret, invitation-only meeting to 25 select stakeholders in order to bolster public opinion for the project. City officials felt it wasn't a violation of the Brown Act, but they were discussing city business and a project that would receive $9M in city redevelopment fees. It's at least not very transparent.

City Manager Hollister even slandered me in the San Leandro Times and called me a liar, but I saw a copy of the invitation.

Btw, that's rich Mayor Santos calling Joyce rude. Just watch the first few seconds of his crime summit, and how he treats a concerned citizen: http://www.youtube.com/user/slbytes#p/u/228/NJEoqwYTW0Q

Frank Lynn

Btw, if you go to 2:01 of the video: http://www.youtube.com/user/slbytes#p/u/228/NJEoqwYTW0Q, City Manager Hollister states he wouldn't let his teenage kids go to the Bayfair Theater, and that he and is wife wouldn't choose to see a movie there.

Pretty interesting, considering he also chooses not to live in San Leandro - having chose Castro Valley instead. It sounds like he dislikes San Leandro as much as I did - only he's the freakin' city manager!!! Hollister was appointed on Tony and Joyce' watch.

Also, at 3:27 in the video, Tony Santos admits to never having gone to the movies at Bayfair. Of course, at his advanced elderly age, I guess perhaps he stopped going to the cinema once "talkies" became the norm...

Frank Lynn

Thank you Frank for the links. If you go to the Jan 2008 video, you'll see me in the audience in the last 30 seconds. I remember that meeting well. It was an eye-opener in terms of the saying, "opinions are like assholes, everybody has one."


I think the consensus at that meeting was that San Leandro was going downhill in terms of crime. Except despite a surge in takeover robberies, business thefts (including Hollywood Video getting broken into 4x in a row), auto break-ins, and shootings; Mayor Santos refused to take off his rose-colored glasses and held a package of statistics telling people that what they saw with their own eyes and read in the paper was wrong; and that San Leandro was perfectly safe! Why, he'd even walk any street alone in the dark!

I think the biggest asshole at the meeting was Mayor Santos himself - for how he treated people. Speaking against the brick wall, he reminded me of some type of weird, performace-art comedian who had contempt for the audience.

Frank Lynn

I do not think that Cassidy is leadership material. I am leading now, doing things now, not waiting for a Mayor's position. He talks about the issues but what is he actually doing?! I on the other hand have a good working relationship with the people and City I am leading.

Frank, performance art! Good one. I think the mayor started doing shadow puppets for an encore. But you're right, it was not the mayor finest moment. It was pretty much a disaster. I once asked Hollister about it months later and he agreed.

That meeting was all about perception and reality and not advocating for either in this case.

I'm working on a story from Hayward about their rise in home burglaries and it's astonishing how much crime is in that city as opposed to the others surrounding it.

In a nutshell, going to city council meetings in Hayward, makes you feel good about San Leandro. Sorry, Mayor Sweeney


And it was prettymuch Santos' *only* interaction with constituents. At least in primetime. San Leandro's "accessible" mayor touts how accessible he is; but only holds open forums at 10AM on weekdays, when most people under 60 who work and produce tax revenue are off at work.

Tony Santos is pretty mean to his constituents - from belittling them and arguing with them at the Security meeting, to threatening people with removal for exercising their right to free speech by applauding to opposition statements at City Council meetings.

Sorry to hear about Hayward. San Leandro is quickly headed down that path.

And Sara, you're right you've lead in a lot of ways, especially on school crossing guards. Cassidy has too--from the 9th grade campus to city funding priorities to forcing Joyce Starosciak to allocate grant money for parks out in the open. You've both done considerably more leading than Mayor Santos and Joyce.

Frank Lynn

I can't believe Tony said he was disappointed about the person Joyce has become. That is unbelievably demeaning and belittling. Is he her father? She must be crying right now.

Frank Lynn is an idiot and he needs to get a life. And Joyce should be crying, she's a b***h now and always has been!! She would be a disgrace to represent this city. She needs to try to be a Mom and forget about running for Mayor.

Santos is like a temper tantrum child. He huffs and puffs, turns red, cries, yells. He's been an embarrassement for 30 years.


Mom called time for your bath.

She got the bubble bath you like!

One good thing Santos did, got Frank Lynn out of town.

Now if Frank could only get a life we wouldn't have to read his petty jabs here.

Ya, exactly Manuel, 30 years. Go figure! Pretty good track record I'd say.

Heron Bay Boy is right, I heard your Mom too and she is pissed you've been going to the library and using there computer when you should be home taking a bath. And yes, it was a true blessing when Frank left San Leandro. It smells so much nicer these days. Now if he can just get a friend or maybe he & Manuel can bond over conversations about the good old days. So we don't have to listen to his same old stupidity.

Heron Bay and Anne's comments are so intelligent and enlightening, it's a shame they don't put their real/full names.

Ya really Anonymous? Talk about intelligent and enlightening comments.You sound stupid!!

Anne - I'll venture to say that you don't just sound stupid,...

What is everybody here going to do when Santos wins another term, because he is, sorry to say and there's really not a good reason why shouldn't.

Not a really good reason why Santos shouldn't win a second term? No wonder the asshat above didn't put his real name because he lives in a fantasy world like Santos. (Pronounced Sand-Toes).

Did anyone read in the Times that Sand-toes said San Leandro is "doing good with 10% unemployement" and that "San Leandro is at the low end of wages for it's employees"??? The man is a senile jackass. Right there anonymous babooze are TWO reasons Sand-toes shouldn't be given a second term.

Hopefully the voters will do a Faria to him and he'll come in third. It's not fair that he comes in second, third would be better, FOURTH even better with John Palau coming in first. GO MAYOR PALAU!

Anyone ever notice that Joyce looks like Mrs. McFly on Back to the Future????

Well Manuel, I will type slow so you can follow along.
10% unemployment is good when the state average is above 12%
Your grasp of the landscape is so very keen, must be why you got smoked when you ran for council, you are out of touch.
Of course having a world view is tough when you still live with your mom and dad.
And thats whey Heron Bay is for Tony

Heron Bay Butt-Boy, Santos just rang his bell. Time to go carry water for him.

Heron Bay Boy; You are not just a water carrier for Sand-toes you're a drunken fool. 10% Unemployment is unacceptable except for lazy government workers like yourself.
When 1/3 of City Employees are making over $100,000 a year for basically doing nothing, you're the one out of touch with reality.

I've been married for 20 years and I'm sure not only my 15 and 17 year olds would cause you to quake in your bassinett, but the 7 and 9 year olds would cause your spineless back to melt.

So go back to your gutter, crawl up with your Wii, whack it, and then have your case worker fill out your prescription. As they say in Madeira; fecha a boca babooze.

Have you ever noticed Cassidy looks like the stay puff marshallow man from Ghostbusters. Keeping it in the eighties.

Hey Mr. Vieira - your intelligent and enlightening comments on Cassidy's appearance, and how it would affect his Mayorship have really raised the bar for the level of discourse on this blog. If you're so worried about appearances, doesn't it bother you that Santos looks and acts like a senile, bumbling old fool? I think in terms of IQ, you're "keeping it in the 80s" as well :)

Santos is the only candidate that hits the gym regularly according to Tavares, scary that he appears to be the fittest of all except maybe Mestes, Joyce's has hair from the 50's and Cassidy reminds me of one of the 3 stooges.
Nice gut on Cassidy also, too many lattes with his bromance partner Holmes

Scary that Manuel has kids, hopefully they take after their mother

Bill Lockyer also looks like Dan Akroyd after Akroyd put on all that weight.

How about Tony challenging Cassidy to a show of virility. First one to two push-ups wins the race. Oops, another four more years for Santos!

Michael Gregory looks like the Father in American Pie.

Tony Santos looks like Dick Van Patten from Eight is Enough.

Speaking of look-alikes, under Santos' leadership, San Leandro is starting to look a lot like Oakland or Detroit.

Frank Lynn

Shelia Young could pass for Pizza-the-Hut in Space Balls.

Gordon Galvan looks sort of like Sean Hannitty.

Yay, we are getting famous, how rewarding to morph into an Oakland or Detroit. We should all be so proud of our city leadership for this stunning achievement! Hey, at least our property taxes will never go up on our ghetto property values.

Nice racist comments by anonymous. San Leandro is diverse, California is diverse, if you can't deal with it move to some state that has the balance you seek.
Sick people on this site.
I would use my name but I am afraid the KKK might show up at my door

What alleged "racist" comment is above referring?

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