Incumbents prevail in Alameda County races
Incumbents prevailed on Tuesday in the races for a seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and four seats on the Hayward City Council.
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 easily defeated challenger Bryan Parker, a former business executive and Port of Oakland commissioner, by 62 percent to 38 percent.
In the 10-candidate Hayward City Council race, incumbents Al Mendall, Francisco Zermeno and Elisa Marquez all won re-election and Mark Salinas, who served on the council from 2010 to 2014, also was elected.
Miley, who served on the Oakland City Council before he was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2000, said that in a fifth term he would create livable and safe communities through violence prevention efforts, improve transportation and improve government efficiency.
Parker, who also ran for mayor of Oakland in 2014 but finished sixth with only 7.7 percent of the vote, said his priorities included creating more jobs and affordable housing and improving health care.
In the Hayward race, Salinas, who finished first with 17.43 percent of the vote, promised to protect the city’s budget, retain the services citizens expect from City Hall, fully staff the fire and police departments and focus on creating jobs.
Zermeno, a three-term councilman who finished a close second with 17.41 percent of the vote, said that while he’s been in office, the city has been able to weather the recession without sacrificing public safety or city services, made it easier to start a business and also focused on improving local schools.
Marquez, who was appointed to a two-year term in 2014 and finished third with 15 percent of the vote, had said she should be re-elected because of her leadership in improving public safety, strengthening the city’s economy and sustainability and building an up to date library.
Mendall, who placed fourth with 14.86 percent and was elected to a second term, said, “Hayward is moving in the right direction” and that 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.
Planning Commissioner Brian Schott finished fifth, Hayward Unified School District board member John Taylor finished sixth, retired city maintenance service director Matt McGrath finished seventh, school security guard Wynn Grcich was eighth, security guard Kenneth Rollins was ninth and real estate agent Leo Ram was 10th.
Alameda County voters approved many school bond measures that were on the ballot on Tuesday, as well as a measure that will move Hayward’s municipal election, which is held in even-numbered years, from June to November.
Supporters of Hayward’s Measure C, which got 61 percent approval, said in their ballot statement that holding city elections on the same day as state and federal elections will increase voter turnout and save taxpayers money by consolidating elections on one day.
Supporters, which included the Service Employees International Union and City Councilman Francisco Zermeno, said increasing the number of people who participate in local elections will result in having more young and minority residents vote and said Hayward is the only city in Alameda County that holds its city election in June.
Opponents, including former Alameda County Sheriff and Hayward police Chief Charlie Plummer and former Mayor Michael Sweeney, said they didn’t want to move the municipal election to November because they believe local Hayward issues and candidates get lost in what they said was:
“… a barrage of money-fueled ads, mailers and robocalls for national and statewide races.”
The opponents said:
“SEIU’s goal is clear: move Hayward’s election to November, where their enormous financial power can overwhelm any candidate not beholden to them. They want control over our community, and control by any special interest group over Hayward is bad for Hayward.”
Hayward voters, by a margin of 73 percent to 27 percent, also approved Measure D, which will extend for another 20 years a 5.5 percent local utility users tax that the city’s voters approved in 2009 to prevent cuts to public services in the wake of the recession. That tax was scheduled to expire in 2019.
In Albany, voters approved Measures B and E, which will raise a combined $95 million to rebuild two elementary schools, relieve middle school crowding and add high school classrooms. No arguments against the measures were submitted.
Measure B won with 68.6 percent approval and Measure E was passed by 72 percent of voters.
In Dublin, voters approved Measure H, which will raise $283 million to construct a second high school, modernize elementary schools and add science labs at two middle schools and the existing high school.
The measure, which 59.5 percent of voters approved, will raise Dublin homeowner property taxes by $60 per $100,000 of assessed value.
In Piedmont, 70.6 percent of voters gave their approval to Measure F, which will increase the city’s parcel tax by 30 percent.
Supporters said the tax hike is needed “to maintain Piedmont’s excellent public services” and because the city needs to address long-standing deferred maintenance of its facilities and update the city’s aging infrastructure.
But opponents, including residents Bruce Joffe and Rick Schiller, said, “The need for such a dramatic increase has not been substantiated by the City Council nor by the budget advisory financial planning committee’s report.” In Fremont, 69 percent of voters approved Measure I, which will extend and increase an existing parcel tax from $53 per year to $73. It will expire in 2025.
Voters in the Livermore Unified School District, which includes a small number of voters in neighboring Contra Costa County, approved Measure J with about 66 percent voting yes.
It’s a $245 million bond measure to renovate aging classrooms and facilities, improve fire safety and security systems, modernize science labs and instructional technology and qualify for state matching funds.
It will cost $48 per $100,000 of assessed home value and no opposing ballot statement was submitted.
In Pleasanton, voters were narrowly approving Measure K, which would approve the Lund Ranch housing project in southeast part of the city and consists of 43 single-family homes, 174 acres of open space and two miles of trails.
The measure, which needs a simple majority to pass, got 51 percent of the vote. But the measure was only ahead by 254 votes, or 6,852 to 6,598, so absentee ballots that were turned in at the polls and haven’t yet been counted could affect the outcome.