Monday, April 7, 2014

Hayward Council Candidates Agree on much and they really dislike The Loop

Six of the candidates seeking two seats
on the Hayward City Council.
HAYWARD | CITY COUNCIL |The seven candidates for two open seats on the Hayward City Council may be secretly rooting against Councilmember Mark Salinas being elected mayor on June 3. Instead of running for re-election to his council seat, Salinas is running for mayor against two other members of the council, both of whom are in the middle of their terms. If Salinas wins, two seats are available. However, if he loses, one of the five remaining candidates and others still have a chance, if not slightly. In the event either Councilmember Barbara Halliday or Francisco Zermeno wins the mayoral race, the City Council will need to appoint a successor to fill out the remaining two years of their term, according to Hayward City Clerk, Miriam Lens. In the meantime, much remains to be decided in the next two months.

Similar to recent elections in Hayward, public safety and the state of its downtrodden school district are again common themes. Councilmember Marvin Peixoto, who is up for re-election in Hayward’s at-large election (top two vote-getters win), is one of just two candidates in the field to have held elected office. Peixoto is running on a platform of “long-term financial sustainability” and public safety, he said. During the Great Recession, he added, Sacramento took advantage of small municipalities like Hayward. “We’re the bottom of the food chain,” Peixoto said at a candidate's forum last Wednesday night.

Rocky Fernandez, a former member of the AC Transit Board of Directors and currently district director for Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski, said Hayward needs to follow other Bay Area communities in encouraging the new businesses of tomorrow to land in the city. He urged for smart growth and said the key to bringing life to the downtown is through a walkable city. Sara Lamnin, a well-known Hayward activist, who ran for the City Council two years ago, agrees and identified downtrodden Mission Boulevard as a possible incubators for new businesses.

“Public safety is a huge issue in our city,” said Rodney Loche, a member of the Hayward Planning Commission. He added, the city needs greater emphasis on the youth of Hayward, including its poorly-performing schools. Similarly, first-time candidate Philip Gallegos said Hayward is not doing enough to attract and keep families in the city. Himself a father of young children and a Hayward native, Gallegos worries about the “flight of families” due to the perception its schools are below standard.

A sales tax referendum on the ballot this June hopes to alleviate some of the city’s quality of life issues, including support for police and fire and a new downtown main library. Support for Measure C was almost unanimous among the candidates for council. Although she did not register opposition to the measure, Lamnin, however, questioned how local businesses would be affected by Hayward having one of the highest sales taxes in the Bay Area. Three-time council candidate Ralph Farias, Jr. was absent from Wednesday program.

When it comes to Hayward’s budget problems, Julie McKillop, as a certified public accountant, says she can help. “I know how to do it and I’ve done that,” said McKillop, who also runs a restaurant near City Hall. She also was critical of the infamous Loop, a one-way, multi-lane road that wraps around the downtown area from Main Street to Foothill Boulevard. However, later McKillop said through additions and corrections to the Loop currently in the works, it could be “one of the best things that has happened to the downtown in a long time.”

The Loop has faced considerable criticism from Hayward residents and those in neighboring cities for being confusing and wildly onerous for visiting patrons to the downtown. When a question regarding the Loop was posed Wednesday night, it immediately caused chatter among the packed audience. The issue also conjured the strongest comments of the night from the candidates.

“The loop contradicts everything we’re trying to do downtown,” said Peixoto, long a critic of the transportation project. “It’s not about Hayward,” he said, “it’s about getting people from Oakland and The City down to their homes in Fremont and Union City five minutes faster.” Downtown needs destination traffic, not through traffic, he added. Peixoto described a portion of the Loop at A Street and Jackson Street as the beginning of the Indianapolis 500. “You cannot create a pedestrian-friendly environment with a five-lane highway going smack down the middle of your city.”

Chronic traffic around the areas has been significantly alleviated, said Lamnin, but not in other sections of the Loop where changes and better signage are needed. “I’ve come from the freeway to get to D Street and taken my life into my hand,” said Lamnin. “We also need signage that says, ‘If we want to go to [Interstate] 580, you need to be in this lane, now.’”

Fernandez and Loche also found fault with the layout of the Loop. As a downtown resident, Fernandez said it presents the city with challenges. “One-way streets are the antithesis of trying to get to walkable communities and smart growth,” he said. Nevertheless, the Loop is here like it or not, said Loche. “It needs to be changed. It’s here now and we owe it to ourselves and our city to try and make it work the best we can.” Gallegos said he was under the impression from early drawings of the Loop, it would foster gleaming sidewalks and outdoor dining. The reality, however, is different than his previous perception. “It doesn’t feel like a place I would want live outdoors,” he said. “It feels like I’m on the side of the freeway.”


What changes are under way with the loop? It seems that during the few times I use the Loop, more and more businesses are closed.

Fernandez and Lamnin are the ones talking about smart growth and they get my vote.

If you are not for the Loop then you are for a return to gridlocked streets or for a freeway that destroyed neighborhoods, takes out 300 houses and open space. Freeway also allows residents an easy by pass to shopping in Tri Valley. Hayward just loves to fight and fight and never accomplish anything. City staff is doing a traffic study and I expect some tweats and improved signage.

Nobody I know is for the Loop except for a few misguided council people.

Reply to 12:15 PM. The freeway idea in the foothills died a long, long time ago. Now we have a freeway in the heart of downtown. The no project alternative was the better choice. All the tweeks in the world will not eliminate the freeway. All mayoral candidates supported it. Zermeno promised to oppose but like many politicians switched as the deciding vote. They should all be recalled.

Peixoto is a critic of almost everyone & everything. Except special interest groups like Police & Fire--who chose to endorse him. Let's see, new fire stations, new police station & a fire training facility so maybe that'll be a little less than 175 million dollars in infrastructure for his biggest supporters. What make me laugh is how Peixoto, Salinas, Zermeno & Halliday talk about all the empty buildings downtown & on Mission Blvd. What have they actually done to attract businesses to Hayward? If you want to promote Hayward, start with a clean slate and boot them all out. They are fiscally irresponsible, dishonest & morally bankrupt. If they couldn't accomplish anything noteworthy as Council, how can any one of them do so as Mayor?

Can't support Rocky or Sarah because they're whores for the unions. Even though Tavares doesn't like the truth being told. We won't be silenced.

Going to keep spreading the truth, over, and over, and over again!

A vote for either of them is a vote to pick the public's pockets clean!

Only person worth voting for is clean Marv Piexoto.

He don't suffer dem dirty union whores.

Why doesn't Reynoso on the Hayward board run for mayor or council he is the only one I would vote for. Not regular you see someone with plenty of fortitude to stand up against unions, developers, corporations. I don't think there would be a power plant or a loop if he was in city hall. Where are all of our leaders today? Now they are all in the pockets of unions and developers and corporations.

April 7, 2014 at 11:52 PM

Smart growth is a tired old phrase used by folk who don't have a clue about the need for economic growth to fund our schools, parks, police and fire. "Smart growth" is used by dumb people to vote against anything and everything that generate jobs, sales and property taxes and avoid the need for ballot measures for new taxes on our citizens.

Piexoto has not offered a single proposal or done 1 thing to promote downtown development. He is such a dishonest hypocrite. Yes, the loop is a disaster, yet he blames the loop solely for lack of downtown growth and votes against a project to eliminate blight and create jobs and tax revenue at the Mervyn's site, but takes no personal responsibility for the lack of economic activity downtown. He complains but is devoid of ideas, vision and commitment to community progress, and votes no on everything that will help our local economy. What an absolute waste this guy is.

reynoso is not a hayward resident thats why he cant be in city elections

Reynoso should move within the city limits. He is truly the voice in the wilderness.

7:57 The only stupid one is you. Smart growth is along transportation corridors with retail and housing to help eliminate the pollution from workers driving long distances to work. I'll be voting also for Rocky and Sarah because they seem to understand that is the smart thing to do, even though you don't.

At the Southgate Homeowners Association Candidate Interviews on Wednesday, Barbara Halliday tried to defend her Yes vote for The Loop by saying that "otherwise the City would have been sued." Alluding to the Foothill Freeway debacle. As a Hayward resident and tax payer, I have to foot the bill for the Council's mistakes that most of them can never seem to own up to. You spend big bucks to make a Hot Wheels race track in the middle of downtown Hayward and wonder why no one shops there. Not only that, you make it difficult and very expensive for people who want to start a business in Hayward. We need new people with fresh ideas, because what we have now is a Council concerned with giving themselves raises and keeping their lifetime medical benefits. Why re-elect those who haven't done much, other than crow about their "no" vote on lame projects like The Loop.

@8:12 yep we need someone with enough spine to stand up to all that makes Hayward a very good old boy corrupted place.. unions and developers. No more loops or powerplants

There are a lot of things more important than your hatred of unions Mr. Farias (aka anti union troll). Some are voting for Rocky and Sara because they have ideas the make sense to most of us like smart growth along transportation corridors which will help bring Hayward into the 21st century. Heard all of the candidates speak and they make a lot more sense than you or the others.

The Mini-Loop. Jesus Armas legacy. In the end, he screwed us all.

Fernandez and Lamnin will bankrupt Hayward.

They'll sign it over to the unions forever. Can't support such whores.

Mr. Fernandez and Ms. Lamnin will get many more votes than you will Mr. Farias until you get over your use of sexist terms and unhealthy hatred of unions. It shows a lack of education. How many times have you run and lost? Three after this election!

Rocky and Sara are in the pockets of the unions. They'll be bigtime asslickers for them.

Vote for almost anyone else.

There are a lot of things more important than your hatred of unions Mr. Farias (aka anti union troll). Some are voting for Rocky and Sara because they have ideas the make sense to most of us like smart growth along transportation corridors which will help bring Hayward into the 21st century. Heard all of the candidates speak and they make a lot more sense than you or the others.

We'll support Marv Piexoto and possibly one more.

Well I have chosen Rocky now I just need to decide on who is better Marv Piexoto or Sara Lamnin. Anyone know anything on Sara Lamnin? I am not sure if she is the woman has run for everything in Hayward and not get elected for anything for the past 5 years.

Time for some new blood. Support Lachey and Mckillop.

Definitely not Fernandez and Lamnin. They're bigtime union whores who will the sell the city right down the rat hole.

If you believe in bankrupting the city, then and only then, vote for them. Can't be trusted under any circumstances.

Yes. Lamnin has been running and running. Wish I had that kind of money.

The new blood I'm voting for is Rocky Fernandez and Sara Lamnin. They are the only one with new ideas. Read Tavares's article. Plus, I have heard them talk and all the rest are void of ideas that will make sense for our city. Smart growth along transportation corridors is the only way to move our city forward that makes economic sense.

They're the ones bought and paid for by the unions which have bankrupted Hayward.

Is you loco?

loco is as loco does..I am not voting for any of those

Alot of these ideas that people are peddling are truly not realistic also Many of the bloggers on here tend to hide from their views. Freedom is not free is has a cost. Many of you like to call the canidates names and toss hatred towards them, Fernadez, Farias, Lamnin, and others but you dont have the balls to reveal who you are. Why is that??Also You , the Blogger, critizicize our great city but when it comes to putting your name on the ballot your all talk. It takes alot of balls to go out there and say something in public. Its not easy for these folks to campaign. So next time when you have time think about who you are and think about who they are. Atleast these candidates have the balls to try to make a difference not like you who point fingers..

No way on Rocky or Sara. We need stronger voices on the Council that understand the issues, and that can stand up for what they think.

Rocky Fernandez and Sara Lamnin are the only ones who have new ideas that make sense. Smart growth along transportation corridors is good for business, good for our city, and good for bringing revenue to downtown Hayward.

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