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Showing posts from September, 2016

San Leandro Arts Gain National Attention

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Truth is Beauty will soon be in San Leandro & we will have our first world class landmark. As Mayor, I had no role in selecting of Truth as Beauty as the artwork for the tech campus. That was a decision made by the developers. 
I did, however, insist in the course of the City's review and approval of the tech campus that the developers include a public art component. I advocated that every major public and private project that came before the City Council for approval should include public art. 
I was proud that the City Council in my last year as Mayor inserted supporting and celebrating the arts within its goals for San Leandro. This objective remains part of the present City Council's goals. The City Arts Commission of which I am a member is working with a consultant on a public arts master plan for San Leandro which will go the City Council for review and approval next year.

Review of San Leandro School Bond Measures A, B & M

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The voters of San Leandro have passed three bond measures, starting with Measure A in 1997. It was a $53.8 million bond. The initial 12-year construction schedule was accomplished in 7 years.

Measure A served as the local match to obtain $33 Million in state grants, e.g. $33 million in free money for San Leandro schools for school construction projects including:

– New San Leandro High School Science and Technology Wing
– New John Muir Middle School Academic Wing 
– Bancroft Middle School Shop Renovation & Expansion 
– Modernization at Nine School Sites 
– District-Wide Seismic Upgrades (this was a major expense and critical to have accomplished following the Loma Prieta earthquake)
– Completely new Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (the only thing holding up walls of the original school were termites)

Measure B was approved in 2006. This was a $109 million bond that allowed the school district to receive an additional $28.5 million in state grants plus funds from other sources that brou…

Response To San Leandro Times False Story On School Bond Debt

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The San Leandro Times published my letter in response to the paper's false and misleading story on school bond debt last week.  Here is the letter I submitted:
"'Nuclear Power Coming to SL.' That was a headline in the San Leandro Times five years ago. It was supposed to be an April Fool’s Day joke (though not published on April 1st).  I remember the story well because I was Mayor then.  Phone calls by irate residents flooded City Hall.  
Reading last week’s alarming front page article on school bond debt reminded of the nuclear power article.  It was so riddled with errors that the article is as close to reality as a nuclear power plant opening in San Leandro.
The factual premise of last week’s article was that payments we are making on Measure B, the 2006 school bond that funded the construction of the performing arts theater and Fred T. Korematsu campus at San Leandro High School, are not being allocated to pay off certain debt, called Capital Appreciation Bonds or CA…

Gigabit Fiber Connectivity to Homes in San Leandro: An Opportunity Lost

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This week, I drove by the street I used to live on Bridge Road. It's behind Bancroft Middle School. 

A work crew for PG&E was digging a trench for laying new gas piping. It's a part of a project that has been ongoing for several months. Apparently the old gas lines have deteriorated and must be replaced for all homes along several streets.

What is not happening at the same time is the laying of conduit to connect households to Lit San Leandro, the City's ultra high speed internet. 
Lit San Leandro has been a game changer for San Leandro but it's impact will not be nearly as great as it could be if it is not extended to our residential neighborhoods. The major challenge is cost. It's very expensive to dig up streets. The fiber for Lit San Leandro has only been installed in business areas because conduit already had been laid in those areas to monitor traffic on our major streets by City engineering staff.

In 2012, the City Council adopted a San Leandro Commercial B…

Response to Questionnaire from City Council Candidate Ed Hernandez

Last month, I sent the four candidates for San Leandro City Council a questionnaire asking for their positions on local issues and information on their background.  Only Ed Hernandez responded.  He is running for City Council District 2, the seat currently held by Ursula Reed who terms out this this.  Bryan Azevdo, also running for City Council District 2, informed me that he would not be responding.  Likewise, Benny Lee and Pete Ballew, who are running unopposed for other district seats have not responded.

Below are Ed's responses. You can learn more about him at http://www.edhernandezforcitycouncil.com/

Policy Questions
1. What is the most pressing issue facing San Leandro and how would you
address it?

The most pressing issue facing San Leandro, and the entire Bay Area is a
lack of housing for all income levels. To address the housing needs of San
Leandro we must ensure that any development at BART, in our Downtown,
and along our transit corridors are mixed-use developments.

Addi…

Yes on San Leandro Schools Measure J1!

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I am proud to serve as the co-chairperson of the Yes on Measure J1 campaign committee. We are a group of parents, teachers, administrators, students, and friends who recognize the critical importance of strong public schools to San Leandro.
What is Measure J1?
Measure J1 is a bond measure on the November 8, 2016 ballot to fund critical facility upgrades and improvements for San Leandro schools.
Why is Measure J1 necessary?
The State of California pays for the costs of running a school district, e.g. salaries for teachers and staff and school supplies.  But state tax revenue is not given to school districts for major construction projects to renovation and modernize school sites. These are called capital improvements and raising the funds for capital improvements falls on each community served by a school district.
Thanks to the generous support of San Leandrans, significant improvements have been made to our schools. New facilities have been built, and seismic safety upgrades have been…