EAST BAY CITIZEN. EVERYWHERE SINCE 2009

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Year In Review: Seeds Of Protest Grow; Large Budget Cuts Across The East Bay

Dec. 28, 2011 | Part 2 of the East Bay Citizen Year in Review: April to June.

APRIL
Dr. Jennifer Ong becomes the first official candidate for assembly in the redrawn 20th District hoping to take over for Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, whose term ends next year.

The Year of the Protester in the U.S. gets a preview performance when protesters opposing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to beat down collective bargaining gather for marches in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and San Jose along with a smattering a smaller protests all over the Bay Area.

Does the city own the pipes under your house or do homeowners? A group a residents in San Leandro are shocked to receive bills in excess of $10,000 to connect to a new sewer line owned by the city. After howls from the public, nine homeowners and the city later come to an equitable solution.

The Eden Township Healthcare District announces it will appeal a decision by a Superior Court judge awarding title to San Leandro Hospital to Sutter Health.

Rep. Barbara Lee has a busy week. She attacks Republicans for stalling budget negotiation, attempts in vain to restore additional weeks of unemployment benefits for 99ers and fasts for the poor.

In one of the weirder pieces of legislation proposed by local politicians, Sen. Ellen Corbett goes all George Clooney and Angelina Jolie on the East Bay with a bill penalizing companies who dabble in “conflict minerals” from the Congo by excluding them from state contracts.

St. Rose CEO Michael Mahoney official unveils his plan to save his hospital and San Leandro Hospital and calls Sutter Health “good people” to the consternation of some.

What’s the damage? Alameda County announces a budget shortfall of a whopping $138 million. On the bright side, the shortage is is less than the $153 million the year before. Either way, another round of steep cuts to staff and services lay on the horizon at time when more residents are in need of services

Tax Day protesters demonstrate in front of Chevron headquarters in San Ramon and the Citibank branch on Broadway in Oakland. The mega-corporations were 2 of 12 who managed to avoid paying taxes in 2010.

San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy chooses to find its next city manager by leading a three-person ad hoc committee. Ultimately, the decision blows up in his face. Through the end of the year, there is still no replacement for Stephen Hollister.

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty swears nobody pushed him to propose naming the sprawling Bay Trail after its founder, Bill Lockyer, but the plan meets opposition from some Bay Area cities.

The newest member of the assembly, Fremont’s Bob Wieckowski, makes an early name for himself by proposing a bill to regulate the chemicals used in fracking. Even though, the controversial process is not readily used in California, large deposits are known near the Central Coast.

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan tells the CEO of the Alameda County Medical Center to drop the proposed lease deal with Sutter Health signed in 2009 to run San Leandro Hospital. She later wields the board of supervisor’s power to appoint directors to the ACMC board as a carrot.

A report says the ACAP fiasco will cost the 13 Alameda County cities overseeing the poverty-fighting program $1.9 million. Despite protestations from a few cities, each city council begins writing checks to wind down the agency's costs and outstanding debts.

The Sacramento Bee finds Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi missed the third highest number of votes in 2010. You may recall a report from 2008 accusing Hayashi of “ghost voting,” which is akin to mailing it in legislatively.

MAY
Rep. Pete Stark reintroduces a bill seeking to withhold federal funding to states with laws discriminating against gay, lesbians and single people from adopting children.

Sen. Ellen Corbett averts a potential ambush at a Cinco de Mayo event at Chabot College. Corbett’s allies tell her to cancel when word comes opponents of the Russell City power plant planned to disrupt her speech. Her rival, Mary Hayashi is suspected to be behind the proposed sneak attack.

Reps. Barbara Lee and Pete Stark vote present on an amendment in recognition of the intelligence community’s efforts in capturing and killing Osama Bin Laden.

San Leandro narcotics detective Jason “Big Dirty” Fredriksson is charged with selling one pound of marijuana to an informant. He later quits the department. His case is still awaiting trial.

The top candidate to be the next city manager of San Leandro withdraws from consideration after the council approves their employment with less than an unanimous vote. It’s back to the drawing board, again.

Alameda resident Raymond Zack inexplicably drowns at Crown Beach on Memorial Day while police and fire fighters fail to act to horror of many. The story receives national attention and becomes a source of deep civic embarrassment. An investigation later finds widespread confusion in public safety’s response.

JUNE
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors pass a resolution asking the federal government for an official apology for slavery along with reparations.

Facebook is no friend of Ellen Corbett. Her bill installing tougher privacy rules protecting information proffered by children fails in the state Senate when few have the political guts to take on the Silicon Valley powerhouse.

San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy purchases the $800,000 home of Steven Meyers, the founder of the law firm Meyers-Nave and employer of the city attorney. The house, in one of San Leandro’s best neighborhoods, begs the question, why should city employees “sacrifice” while the mayor upgrades his living situation.

If there was any uncertainty over whether San Leandro City Hall is in upheaval under Mayor Cassidy, it ends with news that its finance director quits after seven months for the same position in Hayward.

The first draft of the highly anticipated Citizens Redistricting Commission draws Corbett and Hayashi out of San Leandro and places Reps. Jerry McNerney and Pete Stark in the same congressional district. Despite the news, Stark announces a few day later he plans to run in 2012.

Hayward covers a $20 million budget shortfall on the backs of city employee unions, some of which give back up to 13 percent in salary and benefits, in addition, to increases in their pension contributions to 8 percent.

A House Oversight Committee begins looking into the events leading to the disastrous $535 million secured federal loan given to Fremont’s Solyndra.

Berkeley State Sen. Loni Hancock calls the death penalty an “expensive failure” and proposes a bill calling for lifetime imprisonment without parole.

Calpine announces it has secured a $845 million loan facility from General Electric Energy Financial to construct the controversial Russell City Energy Center on the Hayward shoreline.

Hayward names Diane Urban, the city’s first female police chief.

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