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July 3, 2007 > City Council bids farewell to Hayward City Manager

City Council bids farewell to Hayward City Manager

By Charlotte Weston

Hayward City Council meeting opened for public comment. Residents and citizens of the community voiced their opinions on a number of issues.

One such issue was the continued waste management dispute. It was recommended that Mayor Sweeney write a letter to the two parties who are in disagreement to try and come to some type of resolution.

The Honorable Mayor Michael Sweeney closed the public comments part by recognizing Hayward City Manager, Jesus Armas, who is retiring from his position after nearly three decades of public service.

"He has had a long and distinguished career starting in Glendale through Santa Cruz, to Hayward and then, South San Francisco, and back to Hayward with over 18 years of service to the citizens of Hayward both as an Assisting City Manager and as City Manager. Throughout his career he has much to be proud of in his work. There is much in the ground that has Jesus' imprint..." said Mayor Sweeney.

His colleagues followed with kind remarks of their own.

"We're going to miss him. I'm trying to imagine next Tuesday when Jesus isn't sitting over there. Jesus is so unique and so different; he will never be replaced by this city," said Council member Bill Ward.

"I know for me this job would have been so much more difficult if I had not had someone like Jesus to explain things to me in the early days and to guide me through some of the more difficult parts of doing this job," said Council woman Barbara Halliday.

Council member Doris Rodriquez had a little story to share about her first encounter with the City Manager. "We had come to a meeting and I felt that the city manager at that time had given us a different time schedule and so we failed to get the audience that we needed. I was very deeply upset as were the group with me. As we left, the elevator door opened and Jesus came out with two other people and they said, "We want you to meet the new Assistant City Manager of Hayward." "Now remember I was very upset," said Rodriguez. "So I looked at Jesus and I said, you seem like a very nice young man. I'm sue you are, but my suggestion would be, you go somewhere else for employment. And with that I got in the elevator and left," said Rodriquez as the audience burst into laughter. But she added that although that was their first encounter she and Jesus have a very nice working relationship.

Council member Kevin Dowling said it took some time but he eventually learned to appreciate the City Manager's advice. "You can't pick a street or a problem in town that's he's just not familiar with. He's a terrific guy to have on your side."

Olden Henson spoke about Armas' dedication and hard work. "This man works constantly. I don't think there's anyone who can outwork him at a city managerial level. He's left an amazing mark on this city. For around 12 years we've seen unprecedented growth in this city and the attraction of some entities that were not here before. We needed upscale housing, we got some upscale housing. We continued to need affordable housing. He came up with exclusionary plans to address the number of issues led by the city manager. Thank you Jesus," said Henson.

When it was council members Bill Quirk's time to speak he said it short and sweet. "I think my colleagues have pretty much said it all so I'll just say, it is the end of an era".

Continued Items were adopted unanimously and Item 6, a recommendation that the City Council approve and adopt resolutions regarding contracts which made minor modifications to the plans and award the contract to Pavex Construction for the North side helicopter parking apron at the Hayward Executive Airport, was adopted and approved.

The next city council meeting will be held on July 10th, at City Hall.

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