Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday takes
the oath of office Tuesday night.
Halliday, who topped a four-person field last June to replace the retiring Michael Sweeney, said, “My most important goal is to make this city a more nurturing and healthier place for children to grow up in.” She also vowed to boost Hayward’s moribund economy and improve its overall quality of life, including seeing through the new general plan sketched out over the past year.
Strengthening partnerships with the school district, Hayward's colleges, its business community and faith-based institutions will have be important to the city’s future, said Halliday. “None of us can do it alone. We have to work together.”
Civic participation in Hayward has been a lingering problem, as has voter apathy. Halliday notably challenged residents by evoking President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech to give back to their community. “We need to step it up and bring a lot of other people with us,” she said.
Outgoing mayor Michael Sweeney ended eight years at the helm in Hayward thanking residents for giving him his start in politics starting with his election to the City Council in 1982. “At the end of the day we serve you all and without you the City of Hayward doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot,” Sweeney said, while addressing residents.
In addition to Sweeney, the Hayward City Council also said farewell, at least for the time being, to Councilmember Mark Salinas, who chose to run for mayor instead of defending his council seat this spring. Salinas, however, could be a strong front runner for appointment later this month to Halliday’s remaining two years of her council term. In fact, his final remarks sounded much like a pitch for a return to the City Council. “Our city’s future is based on much we invest in our city’s children, college students and our families. Hayward has all of the ingredients that some of our most developed cities in our area and the world has,” said Salinas, before adding, “Of course, I would have liked to have won, but I didn’t and when you lose, you have to say goodbye.”
New Councilmember Sara Lamnin, the top vote-getter last June in the City Council race, struck a positive note throughout her remarks and declared, “Together we will move Hayward forward.” In addition, Councilmember Marvin Peixoto was sworn-in for a second term and the new City Council voted to name Councilmember Greg Jones as mayor pro tempore (Hayward’s version of vice mayor) for the next year.
Meanwhile, the dais is still missing a seventh member. On Tuesday night, the new council agreed to a timeline for securing applications and determining an interview schedule that could fill out the council before the end of this month. The application is available on the city’s web site and due before the end of business hours next Wednesday, July 16.
Two days later each council member will choose up to five applicants and candidates named on at least three ballots will be interviewed during the July 22 council meeting. A new member could potentially be named that night. The approved timeline allows for the decision to be put before voters during the November General Election. However, there appears to be little support for leaving the council in flux for another four months.