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September 24, 2008 > Local Election Coverage - Week 3

Local Election Coverage - Week 3

This week's election coverage is focused on the Hayward Area Recreation & Park District (HARD) as well as races for Ohlone and Chabot community colleges. HARD Extended has three contested seats, while there is only one opening for HARD 2 year; All three races within the community college districts have one contested seat. Each candidate, listed in alphabetical order, was asked to respond to several questions about their qualifications. Incumbents (Inc.) are noted.

Hayward Area Recreation & Park District - Extended (elect three):

Louis Manuel Andrade (Inc.)

Reason for running - As an active Board Member, I've been able to make a real contribution to HARD's great recreation programs and parks.

Biggest challenge - The major challenges include: the continued take-away of local tax dollars by Sacramento to backfill the State's education budget. This does not have an easy solution as it has been going on for many years, but it is important to let legislators know that it continues to be a problem and that we won't let it drop;

And the lack of parks and play fields in older, fully developed communities, especially in the unincorporated parts of the district. We've been meeting some of these needs through creative partnerships with schools and other agencies - partnerships that are working and need to be expanded. The passage of Measure WW, a measure to extend and existing park bond by East Bay Regional Parks, would help; it would provide $12 million to HARD that could be used for local parks.

Primary focus - My focus will be: to continue to "green" the district, by using our resources (water, fuel, electricity, supplies) more efficiently, reducing our impact on the environment and saving money at the same time; to enhance our partnerships with schools, city and county agencies, and other public entities to provide new play fields, parks and expanded recreation programs; smart re-makes of selected parks. Targeted enhancements and re-makes can turn an ordinary park into a real gem.

Qualifications - I am an architect by training, a land use planner by profession and a current HARD Board Member who loves parks! I helped found and was the first president of the Cherryland Community Association, the community where I was raised. Because of these experiences, I have an acute sense of how important local parks are to a community's identity and sense of pride. As a Board Member, I have had the opportunity to help expand and improve our parks while providing meaningful recreation programs, - programs, which, while part of a person's own healthy life style, also help form the friendships and bonds that promote the health of the community as a whole.

Judith-Krystel Berdiago
No Response

Minane Jameson (Inc.)

Reason for running - I'm running for a fourth term because there are a number of projects and issues that are very important to me and I would like to continue to focus on them until they are resolved.

Primary focus - My primary focus will be to continue to make sure that our money is well spent and stretched as much as possible. One way to do this is to partner more with cities, schools, the county, and other agencies to create programs that benefit all of our constituents. As a team we can deliver more and better services that will help seniors stay healthy, keep kids away from gangs and improve the quality of life for everyone. I also want to make sure that Sacramento doesn't forget us.

Qualifications - I've been on the board for 12 years and I feel that I've always made this job a priority in my life. I am passionate about all the things HARD offers, from wildlife education to art to sports. I am interested in improving and protecting our parks and creating programs that engage people of all ages and from all walks of life. My family and I have lived in Hayward for over 20 years and my husband and I both work in Castro Valley, so I interact daily with many people of the district and I care deeply about what happens here. I consider myself to be a hard working and caring person.

Paul S. Sheridan
No Response

Dennis Waespi

Reason for running - I have grown up recreating with HARD. My children and I learned to swim, attended our first day camps, played little league baseball and soccer, hiked, picnicked and had birthday parties in HARD parks and facilities. I am the Chair of the HARD Citizen's Advisory Committee and would like to continue my involvement with the District as a Board Member.

Biggest challenge - Providing a variety of accessible and affordable recreation facilities and services to the growing and increasingly diverse populations in the District.

Restoring monies lost through the State's ERAF property tax shift.

Primary focus - Providing accessible, affordable recreation and leisure opportunities for everyone in the District; working closely with Alameda County, the city of Hayward, School Districts, the East Bay Regional Park District and private entities to fund park acquisition, development and maintenance; and restoring monies lost through the State's ERAF property tax shift.

Qualifications - Chair, HARD Citizen's Advisory Committee; I have worked for the East Bay Regional Park District for 34 years as a Park Ranger, Carpenter, Firefighter and currently as the head of the District's Sanitation/Recycling Department; Elected member, Board of Directors, Castro Valley Sanitary District; Member and immediate past president, Alameda County Waste Management Authority; Member, Board of Directors, Castro Valley Chamber of Commerce; Commissioner, Alameda County Parks, Recreation and Historical Commission; and Commissioner, Alameda County Fire Commission.

Hayward Area Recreation & Park District - 2 year (elect one):

Audie Bock

Reason for running - I am seeking the two-year seat on the H.A.R.D. Board because I love parks and making them available to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Biggest challenge - The biggest challenge facing the District will be finances, as the State requires more funding returned from local districts to meet its enormous budget shortfall. If government funding is all we have, new projects may have to wait in order to maintain high standards on our current programs and facilities.

Primary focus - Of particular concern to me is the use of the Rowell Ranch Rodeo facility, where I would like to see more Board involvement in the humane operation and more community use such as 4-H Club and Pony Club. On a wider scale, I would like to bring academic summer camps in collaboration with the school districts here. In addition, we need an international adult soccer league with corporate sponsorships to provide scholarships for our low-income kids. I have been talking to adult soccer players and fans to explore organizing soccer for all ages. I will continue visiting all the parks and recreations centers and listening to what the community wants.

Qualifications - My qualifications include teaching experience, in K-12 as a substitute in Hayward and San Lorenzo, and at both community college and university level, so I am familiar with the recreational and educational needs of our young people. I hold the Executive Director Certificate in nonprofit management from the University of San Francisco, and I have both directed and served on boards of nonprofits, so I am very familiar with those responsibilities. I have also served as a state legislator in Sacramento, where I worked on park, air quality, water and environmental issues, and passed laws for both my own East Bay district and for all Californians. I have also studied Alameda county issues as a member of the Grand Jury for the year 2006-07.

Paul W. Hodges Jr. (Inc.)

Reason for running - In July 2007, I was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Doug Morrison. I have been honored to serve the Hayward Area Recreation District community and it is my desire to serve in the same capacity for the next two years. I want to remain as a Member of the H.A.R.D. team and help continue their mission of quality.

Biggest challenge - To insure the continuation of quality recreational programs and facilities remain at their current high level, in spite of the constant $10 million annual tax rob from Sacramento known as Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund; And to insure that our changing demographics needs are addressed and met, such as the increase in aging baby boomers, and new cultural interests.

Primary focus - Increase collaboration between H.A.R.D., local school districts and other governmental agencies to increase better recreational opportunities in areas where land/facilities is scarce; restore funding to pre-ERAF levels, through collaborations with other special taxing districts by lobbying our legislators about our urgent needs; seek out grants for all phases of operations; and create, improve, nurture and enlarge the roles of non-profit youth and adult sports organizations to keep the recreation experience affordable and available.

Qualifications - As a Hayward native, my family and I have always enjoyed the wide range of programs, facilities and services that H.A.R.D. offers. As a parent, teacher, coach, businessman and homeowner, I know how important neighborhood parks and affordable after school programs are to families and our community. I sincerely feel that my professional business background along with over 30 years of public service and volunteer time provides me with the needed experience to continue my role as a member of the Board of Directors.

Chabot-Las Positas Community College District, Trustee Area 1 - Extended (elect one):

Jesus Armas

Reason for running - As the former Hayward City Manager, I am well aware of the critical role the community college district, particularly Chabot College, plays in our neighborhoods, schools and businesses. Yet, I am surprised by how often this goes unnoticed. A strong and vibrant college district is dependent on strong leadership, and an informed community. Although retired, I remain committed to public service and am eager to devote my attention and abilities to our community college district in general and Chabot in particular. From my perspective, Chabot and its stakeholders, particularly students, deserve more. The best way to assure this happens is to serve on the policy body responsible for charting Chabot's future. It is in this spirit that I am a candidate for College Trustee.

Biggest challenge - The college district, like so many other public institutions, is challenged by the lack of sufficient financial resources to meet the growing needs of students. Another challenge facing the district is providing a curriculum that is not only contemporary, relevant, and meaningful but more importantly available. Today, students encounter problems finding the classes they need within a timeframe that will enable them to graduate in a timely period. Lastly, while Chabot is undergoing major renovations as a result of a voter-approved bond measure, it still faces the challenge of an aging infrastructure which needs ongoing attention.

Primary focus - With the support of the voters, I will pursue the following goals: Enhance the visibility of Chabot; Promote public and private partnerships; and promote a 21st century education for a 21st century world.

Qualifications - For over thirty years, I devoted my life to serving California cities. While in public service, I endeavored to improve the quality of life for the residents of the cities in which I worked and lived. My longest tenure was in Hayward, where, from 1993 until my retirement in 2007, I had the distinct honor of serving as City Manager. Throughout my career, I managed complex and large organizations. I prepared and presented balance budgets which preserved essential public services while carefully utilizing the taxpayers' money. I am proud that during my years as Hayward City Manage numerous improvements took place in the community and two new elementary schools were constructed. My proven track record of success, of addressing critical needs of the organization and community, and of planning for the future is what makes me the best candidate for College Trustee.

Marshall Mitzman

Reason for running - I'm running for the Chabot Board of Trustees because I believe I can make a difference in helping the college manage the difficult challenges ahead including balancing the budget, replacing aging facilities, and helping the college prepare for the increasing needs of students in the 21st century.

Biggest challenge - I am concerned that our students have the textbooks they need for their classes in this tough and difficult economic time.

Primary focus - I have championed the effort to establish a Text Book Rental Program enabling students to rent their text books is a much less expensive alternative to book purchasing.

Qualifications - I am both a Community College Business Professor, and longtime supporter of Chabot College. I possess a California Community College Lifetime Teaching Credential and a California Full-time Vocational Teaching Credential. I am the founding Chair of the Chabot College Foundation and recipient of Chabot's 2008 Gladiator Award for Outstanding Service to the College.

I have raised over $1 million to support Students and Instructors at Chabot. Additional community service includes: Commissioner of the Alameda County Consumer Affairs Commission; Graduate of Leadership Hayward; Hayward Community Police Academy; and the Alameda County Leadership Academy. Member of the Chabot College Foundation, Board of the San Leandro Boys and Girls Club, Life member of Kiwanis International, F&A Masons, American Legion, Charter Life member of the California State Sheriffs Association and Homeowners Association.

Ohlone Community College District, Trustee Area 1, Seat 4 (elect one):

Bob Brunton (Inc.)

Reason for running - I am seeking re-election to Seat 4 of the Ohlone College Board of Trustees. This past term I have done my best to assure that Ohlone College is prepared to provide for our communities educational needs now and into the future. It has been an honor to serve you and I would like to continue to be your advocate.

Biggest challenge - Two issues that are paramount at Ohlone today: Address in a satisfactory manner the findings in the accreditation report; and performance of an institution-wide environmental scan. In addition, Ohlone College is undergoing a complete review to best align community educational needs with Ohlone resources and capabilities. What is known so far is that our Fremont Campus will need much investment and will alternative funding sources. The environmental scan will uncover many other needs and issues that will need to be addressed.

Primary focus - My primary focus is to ensure that Ohlone College is able to meet the educational needs of our community. Our students deserve a high quality, relevant and affordable education. I plan to use my experience and effort to advocate and communicate what is needed from both the college and community to best meet those needs. With our limited budget and unlimited needs it is through cooperation and coordination more of the educational needs may be met.

Qualifications - I have served on the board and have invested time and education to learn about the very complex and convoluted California educational system. I have used my degrees and studies in business, finance, architecture, electronics and education to provide valuable input on issues that the college was facing. I have used my experience as a business owner to carryover to develop best practices for Ohlone. I have lived in Fremont since 1980 with my wife, Anne. Our children have attended local schools and our daughter is a full time Ohlone student. We have started, volunteered and served on many local groups such as Newark Toastmasters, Fremont Education Foundation and Rotary. I have demonstrated good leadership judgment as I have interviewed and voted for the past and current excellent and visionary College CEO's Dr. Treadway and Dr. Browning. I know who I work for, and that is you.

Teresa Cox

Reason for running - I am running for Board of Trustees for Ohlone Community College, Seat #4 to be an effective advocate for our students, the campus and the community.

Biggest challenge - We need to resolve the accreditation warning as soon as possible. Without a good standing accreditation, the school would not be able to attract new students and educate the workforce. In addition, this will impact the reputation of the school and the financial stability of this college. We need to understand and manage the budget plan to ensure that the quality of education is not compromised. We need to promote the diversity and culture awareness in the community. Ohlone Community College represents a diversity of talented students, campus groups, College Administration in our community. The Ohlone College Board of Trustees must represent the diversity of its population including women and minorities.

Primary focus - The primary focus will be to first resolve the accreditation issue at Ohlone Community College. I will do the following: Advocate students, faculty and the community; Build partnerships between the colleges, local businesses, government and local schools including international learning exchanges and global colleges; Promote courses that are designed for a better-educated workforce, well-paying jobs and healthy economy; Encourage green technology, biotechnology and other courses to prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow; and most importantly, preserve the College's Reputation.

Qualifications - I now serve as the Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Commission for the City of Fremont where businesses partner together with the community to promote better-educated workforces, well-paying jobs, and healthy international trade. I was part of the Fremont Delegation to China to meet with business, educational, and government leaders to promote Fremont as an international center for business and education. I participated in the opening ceremony of Ohlone College in Suzhou, China. I have worked at The White House as a community liaison, where I worked towards solving the issues faced by various constituent groups and strengthening community relationships.

I work at Lam Research, the second largest employer in the city of Fremont. As part of my role as a business leader for twenty years, I have worked with our suppliers on global multi-million dollar contracts in the high tech industry. These experiences, along with an excellent education; a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from Northwestern University and a Master's Degree in Business Administration from University of Rochester, have allowed me to recognize the need to create a practical balance between government and business. I made national headlines when I graduated as the first African American woman with a degree in nuclear engineering in the nation.

Ohlone Community College District, Trustee Area 1, Seat 6 - Extended (elect one):

Greg Bonaccorsi

Reason for running - First, I want to work to increase the capacity of our college to be a gateway to both higher education and career and vocational training; second, I wish to strengthen the Board to be more responsive to the community; and, third, I will strive to develop partnerships with the students, instructors, administration, and businesses so that Ohlone College can be both financially responsible and accountable.

Biggest challenge - First, Ohlone College is our community college. It is the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to see to it that students graduating from the public high schools in the area, as well as those attending private schools, look to Ohlone College as an institute of higher education that meets their academic needs while doing everything possible to maintain affordability.

Second, I am very interested in good governance. Lastly, we must not forget that the community college can be a gateway to providing students with career and vocational training. In a period of economic uncertainty, the community college must be the choice of those who need to be retrained so that they can be productive members of our society.

Again, Proposition 98 funding, specifically, and education funding, in general, really constrains a Board of Trustees from addressing these vital community needs. I believe my background in working with elected representatives in Sacramento may help in spotlighting these challenges. It is also important that local business entities play a role in making career and vocational training an attractive path to those seeking these objectives.

Primary focus - The challenges I described will be my primary focus if elected.

Qualifications - I have lived in Fremont virtually my entire life. I attended public schools in Fremont and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from Humboldt State University. I have been teaching 7th and 8th grade Science along with an occasional 7th grade Math class at Hopkins Junior High since 1989.

In regards to service experience, I have attended Ohlone College since 1990; I served as a charter member of the Fremont Youth Symphony Board of Trustees; I have been appointed by the Mayor to serve on the Redevelopment Agency Relocation Appeals Board; I have been appointed by the Fremont Unified School District Board of Education to serve on the Financial Advisory Committee; I have also served as a member of the Fremont Unified School District Surplus Property Committee; and I served as President of the Fremont Unified District Teachers Association, affiliate of the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association from 2000-2005.

David Sheen

Reason for running - The reason I am running for this position is, because I believe I will bring leadership, teamwork and harmony to the Board. I also believe my leadership, experience, and educational background make me well-suited to be the community's representative on the Board. I was once told that the community is like a ship and "everyone in it ought to be prepared to take the helm." I am ready to take the helm.

Biggest challenge - Some of the challenging issues are how to maintain the college's accreditation in the face of outside threats to withdraw or suspend it; how to protect the integrity and quality of the college's educational programs in the face of impending cuts in funding from the state; and how to maintain and increase the college's enrollment in the face of these pressures.

Primary focus - Advance Ohlone College's standing; maintain Ohlone College's Academic Accreditation; and Sustain Ohlone College's financial well-being.

Qualifications - I have a Bachelors of Arts degree a Doctor of Law degree. I am a long-term resident of, and a business owner and employer in, the Ohlone College district. I have for years been active, and a leader, in community organizations in the district, and have worked hard to help create a better-functioning and more prosperous community. I am the current President of Citizens for a Better Community, one of the most active regional community organizations in this area. As the president of Citizens for Better Community and resident of Fremont, I have had the privilege to support Ohlone through the College Foundation.

I am also a Fremont Rotary member serving as the Public Relations Chair. As a Rotarian I have coordinated annual speech contest and scholarship program for local college aged students. I have also been a guest lecturer at CBC youth leadership program teaching public speaking to high school students. I have delivered seminars and counseled on international law, college admissions requirements, and immigration issues. I am a practicing attorney with offices in the district. As a business owner and employer, as well as a resident, of the district, I am fully in touch with the interests and needs of the community; and as an attorney, I am well qualified to help the college and its Board navigate and avoid the many legal and procedural obstacles to maintaining the college's accreditation. I will take specific measures to increase revenues, and several other specific measures to limit the impact on the college's educational programs of the unavoidable and imminent budget cuts arising from the state's current fiscal crisis.

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