East Bay office hopefuls vie for five local seats

A position on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and four seats on the Hayward City Council are the only competitive local races on the ballot in Alameda County in the June 7 Presidential Primary elections.

All but three candidates for the contested offices have submitted ballot statements for next month’s election.

In the board’s fourth supervisorial district, which includes East Oakland, Pleasanton and the unincorporated areas of Fairview, Ashland, Cherryland and Castro Valley, four-term incumbent Nate Miley is being challenged by former business executive and Port of Oakland commissioner Bryan Parker.

Parker, who ran for mayor of Oakland in 2014 but finished sixth with only 7.7 percent of the vote, said his priorities include creating more jobs and affordable housing and improving health care.

“We must do more to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities including the use of smart strategies — like ‘working’ police body cameras — and putting an end to racial profiling.”

Said Parker in a statement on his website:

“I will work with our state and federal representatives to end mass incarceration, continue to reform mandatory minimum sentences and shift investments away from new prisons and toward education.”

Parker said his experience as a businessman and Port of Oakland commissioner “has given me the expertise needed to attract good-paying jobs and focus on investment in infrastructure to improve our quality of life and keep commerce — and our economy — thriving.”

Miley, who served on the Oakland City Council before he was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2000, said if he’s re-elected to a fifth term he will create livable and safe communities through violence prevention efforts, improve transportation and improve government efficiency.

Of his 16 years in office, Miley said:

“We passed the first ordinance in the nation for safe disposal of pharmaceutical drugs, secured funding to improve transportation options and repair roads and complete award-winning projects in unincorporated communities. … Finding solutions to provide housing, protect our environment, improve transportation, enhance senior and youth programs, improve public safety, create living wage jobs and fiscal responsibility are items I will always fight for.”

In the Hayward City Council race, incumbents Al Mendall, Francisco Zermeno and Elisa Marquez are competing with seven challengers for four seats.

Marquez, who was appointed to a two-year term in 2014, said that as a councilmember:

“I am providing leadership to improve public safety, strengthen our economic and sustainability measures and build a 21st Century library.”

She said she wants to continue to “ensure a safe community, accessible, responsive government and a shared vision for Hayward.”

Mendall, who is running for his second term, said:

“Hayward is moving in the right direction.”

He said while he’s been in office, crime has been reduced by 7 percent and the city has added police officers and bike patrols in the downtown and south Hayward areas.

Zermeno, a three-term councilman, said of his time in office:

“We were able to weather the recession without sacrificing public safety or city services. We made it easier to start a business and also focused on bringing the community together to help our local schools, benefiting our youth.”

Zermeno said of his potential reelection:

“I will keep working diligently toward a city of economic, employment, social and leisure opportunities.”

Among the challengers, Matt McGrath, a retired city maintenance services director, said,

“We are at a crossroad. The city has done some good things but we can do better. Now is not the time to get complacent. Now is the time to partner with the community and work together to build a stronger Hayward, be fiscally responsible and protect services.”

Mark Salinas, who served on the council from 2010 to 2014, said:

“I will protect Hayward’s budget and the services we expect from City Hall. I will fully staff fire and police and focus on creating jobs so families can make Hayward their home.”

Planning Commissioner Brian Schott, who ran for mayor in 2006 and unsuccessfully sought to fill Mayor Barbara Halliday’s vacant council seat in 2014, said the concerns of Hayward residents “continue to be crime and safety, traffic, neighborhood enhancement, reduction of blight, more retail and better schools.”

 “Hayward needs the leadership that I can offer.”

Hayward Unified School Board Trustee John Taylor said:

“I will work to create more affordable housing as I successfully did as director of Northern California Community Development. … I will also use public and private partnerships with the Silicon Valley, our universities and labor organizations to create job training and career path programs.”

Challengers Wynn Grcich, a school security guard and community activist, Kenneth Rollins, a security guard, and Leo Ram, a real estate agent, didn’t submit ballot statements.