Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Top Candidate For San Leandro City Manager Declines Offer

By Steven Tavares
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San Leandro's search for a city manager has become far more complicated in the past two weeks, according to a source familiar with the city council's deliberations.

The council met in a special closed session meeting May 21 not to finalize an agreement to offer the position to the preferred candidate culled from over 30 applicants, but to formulate a new direction after first choice of the ad-hoc committee rebuffed its offer.

Although the council approved the candidate by a slim 4-3 margin, the unknown person declined the job in the absence of a unanimous vote. The three-person ad-hoc committee made up of Mayor Stephen Cassidy and Councilwomen Ursula Reed and Diana Souza are believed to have voted with the majority.

On to Plan B.

Most likely the council will move onto the next preferred candidate, but news of the split decision and the appearance of not being the initial choice could prove problematic for the potential new hire.

Current City Manager Stephen Hollister announced at the beginning of the year he would step down by the end of June. The abrupt announcement triggered an ambitious timetable for selecting a new city manager.

Whether the city manager's job in San Leandro is a desirable landing spot for highly-qualified candidate has become questionable in the past few months. Calls for focusing the search on candidates willing to lay roots in San Leandro along with its relatively low salary among Bay Area cities have put more pressure on fielding acceptable candidates.

Alameda, for instance, filled its vacant city manager position in far less time and attracted more than double the number of applicants than San Leandro. It eventually hired John Russo, the former city attorney of Oakland.


This seems extraordinary. I want our new Mayor to work more effectively with our Council, taking positions which can gain consensus. Episodes like this do not bode well.

"Manuel", "Frank" and numerous anonymous shouters, pay attention to the reporting here. A likely factor in our City's difficulty in gaining the best candidates for this important position is that San Leandro pays poorly in comparison to its competition. Doesn't fit in well with your "lavish pay and benefits" falsehoods, does it?

It's a problem because San Leandro wants the brightest candidate; anyone with an ounce of intelligence doesn't want to move to San Leandro. The candidate was probably from out of town and did a little research on San Leandro's schools and crime rate - and then declined the offer.

The East Bay Express called Richmond's city manager the best in the area for bringing the city back from nothing to attracting business, amassing a $10 million reserve and a balanced budget. He makes $280,000.

I know the San Leandro Times stupidly made Hollister's $200,000 a point of contention, but I don't just cover San Leandro and know this is nowhere near the going rate for city manager talent in the Bay Area.

Sad situation indeed, a top quality city manager is absolutely needed in this city and shame on our city council and Mayor Cassidy for not learning to work together. I would turn down a razor thin vote of confidence like that too if I had applied for such an important job that requires working with the council to succeed.

What is sad is the tradition of stable city government and a tradition of producing excellent city managers from Wes Mclure to Dick Randall to John Germanis, all loacal and groomed from within has blown up because of the stupidity of this council and our red haired step child mayor.
San Leandro is believe it or not in much better shape than most California cities because of past strong leadership. Sadly we are now being run by a bunch of morons.

San Leandro has always been run by a bunch of morons. Less so now, although Gregory, Souza and Prola still on the council.

As does our dumb ass Mayor who is the new poster boy for our lovely City. Which would be great if our major export was chip, cheetos and coca cola....Oh wait...add chocolate and I guess our Oompa Loompa Mayor fits the profile. Someone get that guy on a treadmill before he has a heart attack!

Any fool who thinks that the City Manager is under paid is a fool pure and simple. Oh wait, "Proud San Leandran" is the fool we're talking about here.

A Wal-Mart manager makes way less and has far greater responsibility than any City Manager.

The past pirates (City Managers) in this town just sat back and sucked money from the taxpayers. Oh yeah, Wes McClure big shot, Jack Maltester's moll. That SOB he had a boat and when these pirates wanted to hold a secret meeting without the public getting wind they'd head out in the bay on that boat and make their deals.

Or that house up in Andreas that Maltester would hold his "Barbeques" Yeah right, figuring out ways to enrich themselves at government expense.
There's a lot of City shills on this entry this week.

Oh and Tavares, you idiot, if you or anyone thinks that a City Manager from Richmond, one of the top ten most violent cities in America, is the best in the area you ARE the biggest FOOL!!!!!!!!!!!

Reading is fundamental. Tavares said the East Bay Express called Richmond's city manager the best in the area.

It's also helpful to engage in analytical thinking. City managers are not law enforcement. There are things that city managers can do which have the potential to improve neighborhoods and reduce crime opportunities, but the previous commenter's angry, insulting screamfest seems to claim that reducing violence is the only way a city manager's quality is judged.

Finally, the coup de grace: Richmond is not on the current list of the ten most dangerous cities in America; a search for the ten most violent cities comes up empty. If it was in the past, perhaps the City Manager has been effective in this area as well, in partnership with law enforcement and public and private social services.

Jack Maltester is dead. Give it, him and us a rest. Try to persuade with facts and reasoned perceptions rather than bludgeon with insults.

Tavares is a communist and homosexual.

Ok...here we go with the Wal Mart analogy, a city manager is not at all similar to a single store manager. It is a complex, political and highly skilled job and it is a very competitive position to fill in our marketplace. Reality check: you do get what you pay for. If cities in low cost places like the Sacramento area pay more, how do we expect to get quality for less in an expensive area? Republican strongholds and small-medium sized cities often pay the best as they understand the business and community benefits that come from hiring a strong business development oriented city manager. This is a very important position, so if you want San Leandro to continue its slow drift downward, then pay less and get less.

Barry, you made some good points, however, a Manager at Wal-Mart is responsible for 500-600 employees, must keep the store clean, and profitable.

There is very little that a City Manager does that is beneficial to the business community other than undo the damage that previous City Manager's have done. Most of these people in City government; San Leandro is a good example, are only in it for themselves and could care less about the people who pay the bills.

Look at the recent sales tax hike in San Leandro; why do you think that none of the car dealers were against it? Because it is in their best interest for a higher sales tax. Why you ask? Well, this is what happened down there that few people know about; when the City was railroading that "auto mall" down on Marina Blvd. the City told the dealers who moved down there; "look, at your current location you are bringing in say $300,000 a year in sales tax, move to Marina Blvd. and for the next 20 years any sales tax above $300,000 that your dealership brings in we'll split it 50/50 with you."

So say if the dealership brings in $600,000 a year then the difference is $300,000 the City will cut a check for $150,000 to the dealership. Under California law sales tax on an auto purchase is calculated not where the vehicle is sold but where it will be registered, so only people who live and register their cars in San Leandro will have to pay the 10% sales tax.

However, anyone who goes into that dealership, has their car serviced, buys parts etc, they are charged the 10% sales tax. So basically the dealerships looked at how many people who live in San Leandro they sold cars to and figured that it probably wouldn't affect the sales of cars. However, how many people come in to the dealership for parts and service? They did the math and figured it is very lucrative for them to support an increase in the sales tax.


Richmond was just in the Chronicle today listed as #3 highest in violent crime rate out of all CA cities with more than 100k population, Oakland was #1.

Manuel, thank you for this reasoned argument. It's good to be able to engage in a discussion that involves discussion of real issues with real numbers.

It is rather easy for an individual Wal-Mart manager to make a profit at his store. The corporation uses its bone-crushing market share to micromanage cost control of their products all the way through the chain. Manufacturer to distributor to shipper to "associate": Wal-Mart pays all of them the very, very lowest amount possible. What is probably challenging for a Wal-Mart manager is to gain the extreme profit that the CEO demands; that I'd give you.

This is capitalism at work, if a warped version which ls not a true free market with an even playing field. Examples: Wal-Mart gains tax benefits and other local accomidations which gives Wal-Mart advantages over small businesses, and can gain exclusive access to products made by people making slave wages (and in some countries with poor labor laws, almost literally slaves).

Accepting your numbers and representation, Manuel, isn't the decision the car dealerships made an example of capitalism at work? You said it yourself: "...the dealerships looked at how many people who live in San Leandro they sold cars to and figured that (Measure Z) probably wouldn't affect the sales of cars."

Regarding the sales tax for car repair and parts, I use one of the dealerships on Marina for these services. For $100 in purchases at the dealership, or for that matter any other purchases in San Leandro, we pay...wait for it...25 cents more than someone making that same purchase elsewhere in Alameda County. We actually save one thin quarter for that purchase than someone spending that amount in Union City. For $10, we pay two and a half PENNIES more than elsewhere in the County.

A person would be extremely misinformed and foolish to drive outside of the city to avoid our sales tax if the San Leandro business is close to their home and is providing the service they want. It would cost much more in gas to drive to South Oakland, North Hayward or Castro Valley than would be gained in sales tax savings.

I believe it is extremely unlikely that our sales tax will negatively impact businesses here. The best way to get people to avoid doing business in San Leandro (or staying in the City) is to hyperventilate in Letters To The Editor and other venues about how high the sales tax is. This would be particularly unfortunate, taking away needed money for our businesses and the important revenues Measure Z provides to fund our police, fire, 911, library, street and park maintenance, and youth and senior programs.

But the Richmond City Manager is doing such a wonderful job and getting paid $280,000 a year plus perks???? You're such an idiot Tavares.

John Evans; you're an idiot, any search of the 10 most violent cities in America in the past 3 years has Oakland and Richmond in that list. You're obviously blind to reality, but then you hide behind a fake name so there's no shock there. Oh wait, Stockton beat out Richmond this year; yay!!!


Thanks for the late admission that you were wrong, Anonymous.

From the article

Our list is dominated by towns like Detroit, New Haven, and Baltimore, parts of each of which are, in turn, dominated by crime. Much of the violent crime in Detroit is committed in the old Palmer Avenue section of the city, which is far from the shiny skyscrapers where GM has its headquarters. Baltimore's Front Street neighborhood is a world away from the new office towers of companies like financial giant T Rowe Price on Pratt Street. The crime-plagued Lamar Avenue section of Memphis is also far from the city's ritzy neighborhoods.

Basically the crime in these cities are in the hood where the anonymous posters on this site would not be hanging out anyway.

Those entire slime pits are the "hood". The Ren Cen in Detroit is a pit. And "John Evans" you're a fool for think Richmond is a good place.

Washington manor is the pit in san leandro. it's an easy part of SL to overlook because it's way back in the corner of the city but it's a lawless tangled mess of delapitated 1970's track homes. san leandro will be on the top 10 list some day the only question is when.

For the hundreth time, crime is sharply down in San Leandro. The people who are doing the most to bring down property values in San Leandro are stupid, racist San Leandrans who talk so much uninformed BS!

It is still a declining city with a high crime rate compared to the national average and much higher crime rate than all the areas in the tri-valley. Reduced crime rates that are already high combined with an increase in burglaries and robberies, does not make it a safe or good city Mr Proud.

For the 1000th time PROUD, It is poor schools and a run down housing stock not built for what people now want and 70's era apartments that is bringing down property values...lower demand from families with middle and high school children and their movement out of town to the east when kids get to the age to attend middle and high school does not bode well for property values here, it is not racism, it is reality. Put away your oh so convenient "race" card please!

Mary, you will not be allowed to lie or distort the facts without having your lies revealed. Robberies in San Leandro have gone down sharply in recent years.

There is a huge difference between robberies and burglaries in the public perception of safety. The slight rise in burglaries is more than overmatched by the sharp declines in burglaries and stolen vehicles, plus declines in assaults and almost all other crimes.

I would be willing to take up your discussions of school quality and housing stock. However, I feel certain from your previous comments that you support keeping in place California's poor funding for public schools, social programs which support parenting, and affordable housing policies. If this is true, you are part of the problem, not the solution.

In addition, your willingness to lie or spout off your prejudices without looking up the facts, and your previous posts where you claim San Leandro's crime rate is caused by its diversity when it can be proven that the City's crime rate was higher when its population was less diverse, suggest that you would not engage in such a conversation in good faith.

Pity, because there is legitimacy in the discussions of housing and education and their effects on the quality and safety of San Leandro. Unfortunately, it is clear that you would bring no light to the discussion, only heat. I want to talk about solutions to our problems, not bitching and blame.

Correction- "...The slight rise in burglaries is more than overmatched by the sharp declines in ROBBERIES and stolen vehicles...,".

Things must look different from your perch in bay o because from my view in the heart of downtown, Oakland is swallowing the city whole little by little. I have lived my entire life in san leandro and it's painful to watch it slowly decline year after year, comparable to some type of Chinese torcher.

I live in the heart of downtown as well. What do you mean when you claim "Oakland is swallowing the city whole little by little"? This is not clear. Be proud of your view- don't hide it. Tell us exactly what you are referring to.

Proud; you're like a broken record.

Anony; acutally the armpit of San Leandro is Broadmoor, it's right next to East Oakland and Broadmoor is a teeming pit of lawlessness, but the liberals up there don't want the Police to do anything to "offend" the minorities who commit the crimes in the Broadmoor. I live in The Manor and it's a far better section of San Leandro than Broadmoor.

Oh you idiot, The Manor and Bonaire are actually well kept 1950's homes where most people take pride in their homes, work and nation. Unlike the liberal commies in Broadmoor who want the entire City to pay for their sewers, people who don't take care of their lawns, but want everything done their polluted mind way.

Talking ot the wall named Proud San Leandran...there is a feeling of fear and incivility downtown, sorry but ghetto thugs are scary and have behavioral issues Proud, even to East Oaklanders, many of whom are leaving East Oakland for safer grounds well inland....did you see the sideshow footage on the news with at least 2 people being killed and others wounded, innocent people in the mayhem at 88th and International? East Oakland is a hot bed of crime, uncivil beehavior and decline and yes it is seeping in to our area. Is this your dream for San Leandro, a ghetto extension where the children and elderly live in constant fear??...and no I am not talking of the many good people in East Oakland of all races, so put away your "race card"

Proud calls them like he sees them, but Manuel, Mary and Frank don't like to admit their prejudice.

Every home on broadmore if put on the market right this second would all sell for more than any of the ridiculously redundant track homes in the manor.

That's not opinion it's fact. 1950s or 1970s it doesn't matter. Were talking ugly boring track home. evetyhouse on broadmore was individually built and not one looks the same to the other. My home turned 100 this year and its shits all over your track homes haha

Its "tract" homes, not "track" homes! And...your home shits all over because your neighborhoods old sewer line is broken, its that simple and nothing to be so proud of! Tract homes are good because you do not have to be jealous, they all look the same. The Manor is very Democratic and I must say progressive in its fairness with all the same design for all!

I live downtown, and don't experience fear or see incivility at any increasing rate. Young people behave differently than young people of previous generations- so it shall ever be. Some homeless people with mental illnesses act oddly, which can be unsettling. We've decided collectively as a society that we don't care to pay to see to it that these people recieve the help they need.

You are simply wrong, though, when you claim that "crime, uncivil behavior and decline...is seeping into our area." Crime in San Leandro is down, sharply down. I'm a wall on this because the only responses I've gotten on this are not persuasive.

Question: San Leandro had a much higher crime rate than Pleasanton in 1970, when there was almost literally NO African-Americns living here. What was the explanation for the City's higher crime rate then?

Duh, the ghetto and its problems and poverty are right next to us, have been for a long time. The criminal element has always come in and created problems. Crime is down in most cities, not just this town. Kids are not uncivil in the Tri-valley, regardless of their race, very polite, not like here. Sorry but ghetto teens can be very scary. Get out of the ghetto for a few and see the rest of our beautiful world.

Proud San Leandrean is proud of the urban ghettopia in which he lives. It would only be poetic justice if those "celebrating diversity" celebrate it with a "gat" to his face and do point-of-contact "reparations" of his money, credit cards and automobile.

I of course, do not wish that on him; plus I think he's so liberal that even if he got robbed by urbane minorities, he'd conclude it was somehow his own fault. And ironically, but supporting the thug culture that thrives in San Leandro and hides behind the "Dats rayciss" card, he'd be right...

Why don't all you whiners move if its so bad here?
If you are so freaking smart I'm sure you are making enough money to move to the white ghetto,Pleasanton.

White ghetto is an oxymoron. I wonder if the last commenter is a thug?

Would love, love, love to move, but home has lost all equity, stuck until retirement, then I go to Capitola. Until then stuck sleeping in SL and working in Pleasanton, which is a very nice 10 hours while at work in a nice, clean suburb. Honestly, I hate coming back here.

You are not stuck you can short sale, walk away. If there is no equity you can leave town.
Or do you just like to complain?

The original ghetto's consisted of white people, usually jewish, who were forced to live there.
So whit ghetto is not an oxymoron. The moron's are the people who piss and moan about how bad things are when they aren't,

A ghetto is a section of a city occupied by a group who live there especially because of social, economic, or legal pressure. The term ghetto was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. A ghetto is now described as an overcrowded urban area often associated with a specific ethnic or racial population.

So Pleasanton is a white ghetto comprised of people scared to live among diversity

Really, you are wrong, Pleasanton is only 60% white, so its no white ghetto. Diversity does not have to mean thugs, it can be diverse people that respect one another. Some people use "diversity" to mean lots of thugs or to shame certain communites becasue they are economically more successful, like Pleasanton.

Above is a moron. Enough said. And Broadmoor homes are pieces of crap, termite ridden crap boxes that only a bulldozer and a can of gas can cxure.

"Diversity" in the Bay Area is usually a euphanism for negroes.

"You are not stuck you can short sale, walk away. If there is no equity you can leave town.
Or do you just like to complain?"

I am sorry but I obviously have more ethics than you do and would never short sale and walk away from my obligation to pay my debt and I would also never intentionally ruin credit I have kept perfect my entire life. Loser idea dude! I will suffer in this town until I can move doing it the right way, thanks!

With new crime statistics showing violent crime in California decreasing 6.4% from 2009 to 2010, San Leandro showed a 16% drop in the same period. Violent crime and violent crimes per capita have been dropping in San Leandro since 2006.

San Leandro's violent crime rate of 4.11 violent crimes per 1,000 residents is lower than neighboring cities of Oakland (15.3, the highest in California for large cities) and Hayward (4.51), but higher than Fremont (2.37). Oakland had the highest crime rate in California and the sixth-highest crime rate in the United States for cities with more than 100,000 people. The table below compares violent crime rates of some cities in Alameda County:

City Violent Crime Rate in 2010
Oakland 15.3
Berkeley 5.19
Hayward 4.51
Newark 4.49
San Leandro 4.11
Fremont 2.37
Alameda 2.34
Violent crimes are defined as murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.

When asked about the drop in violent crime in San Leandro, Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli said, "Crime in San Leandro is at a 30 year low..." Spagnoli attributed the drop in crime to community involvement in crime prevention, proactive policing practices, relentless follow up on serious/ violent crimes, technology such as cameras, and specialty units, like traffic and the tactical unit.

Spagnoli noted that "Benicia had a similar drop in violent crime," although the nature of the crimes committed was becoming more violent.

That is good news, more vigilance and we can get closer to Fremont and Alameda.

2 contributing to the decline of san leandro.

-White trash in the manor festering in garbage tract homes.

-jungle bunnies and spicks invading from the depth of Oakland.

Proud whites need to stand up and iraticate they're persistence to liberal faggotry

You mean white trash liberals festering in the Broadmoor in termite ridden, flea infested fire traps that they claim have "individuality" which is just another subterfuge to hide their insanity for buying a run down house and living in it's squalor.

Would you 2 above grow up and act like adults--You're like children!

Why do those people in the Broadmoor think everyone in San Leandro should be taxed to pay for their sewer? They bought an old house, now live with it.

People in the broadmoor have shit leaking beneath the ground and everyone else is paying the price, BUT people in the broadmoore have had to be associated with the city that the manor is in where human shit floods the streets and one can buy a run down tract home for 200k or less. I say things are finally even

Would some of you try posting an intelligent comment please.

Yeah, those run down firetraps in the Broadmoor are so laughable no wonder insane people live there. "oh this was the 'Blackhawk' of the East Bay" Yeah, 90 years ago!!!! Now, it's just a collection of run down, old homes with weeds in the yards, termite damaged frames, broken sewers and insane people who don't bathe or shampoo trying to convince others that their flea bag flop house is "quaint".

Also, all you pot smoking losers in the Broadmoor, your neighborhood school; Washington has the lowest test scores in the entire SLUSD. While every single school in the Manor, SLZUSD and Madison in Bonaire has higher test scores. That just goes to show what type of crack pot lives in Broadmoor. Test scores are indicative of the IQ of the parents of the children more times than anything.

I thought Roosevelt served most of Broadmoor and Estudillo? Washington is further towards downtown?

You must live in the Broadmoor if you don't even know where the hell Washington School is located. It's right there on Dutton/Dowling/Breed. Roosevelt serves above Bancroft, Washington serves from Bancroft to San Leandro Blvd.

Or I could give you the benefit of the doubt and just say you're thinking of McKinley on East. 14th St.

Too me Broadmoor is from Bancroft to MacArthur and Dutton to Oakland border.

OK, you missed the main section of Broadmoor, which runs from Durant along E. 14th. up Dutton and down Bancroft back to Durant. That was the original Broadmoor which was built in the teens and twenties. Those lots are much bigger than the ones you just described, which is also considered Broadmoor.

The lots in the broadmoore can literly fit up to 3 poorly, boringly built manor tract homes on the properties with ease. Have fun living in your little rat maze of crap manor residents

Real Intelligent posts--Get real and grow up.

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