SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | San Leandro Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak is resigning from the City Council. The long-time public servant read a farewell letter near the conclusion of Monday night's meeting citing the residual heartbreak over her stinging mayoral defeat in 2010 as a main reason for her decision. Starosciak said she will be moving to the Roseville area this summer. Her seat is termed out this December.
Her early departure will likely set up a political fight in search of an appointee to serve the remaining four months of her second term. According to the City Charter, depending on the exact date of Starosciak's resignation, the council has 60 days to appoint a new member. Three candidates to replace Starosciak in November have already expressed interest. They include, Benny Lee, Chris Crow and Darlene Daevu.
"Born and raised in San Leandro, I have often said that the soil is literally in my bones," Starosciak said. However, she added she remains "heartbroken" over her disappointing third-place finish in the 2010 mayoral election, ultimately won by Stephen Cassidy. "In order to move on from the daily reminder of this loss it has become necessary to leave," she said.
Starosciak's sensitivity to losing the election was very real and apparently still evident. On one occasion, following a city council meeting following the November 2010 election results, Starosciak nearly bursted into tears in response to a claim by former Mayor Tony Santos that her decision to run against him inadvertently handed the election to Cassidy. Just two weeks ago, following a homeowners meeting at Heron Bay, Starosciak admitted she "really wanted to be mayor."
The reasoning for leaving the council before the end of her term was designed, she said, is to allow a smooth transition for her children in their new surroundings. Her son starts high school in the fall, she said, while her daughter begins junior high.
"I love San Leandro. It has been a wonderful place to raise my family. I am thankful and honored to have been able to serve in elected and appointed office for 14 years in this very special city," she said. "I am confident that San Leandro is on the right path and will soon be a world-class city with a new hospital, revitalized shoreline and a bustling downtown."
Starosciak public service may not be over, though. She told the council a possibility existss for her to be appointed by the governor to the Department of Transportation as a deputy director of legislative affairs.
Beginning with an appointment to the city's Parks and Recreation Commission in 1993, Starosciak spent four years on the San Leandro School District Board of Trustees from 1994-1998 and was elected to the City Council in 2004.