Howard Kerr

Oct 012014
Howard Kerr

Howard Kerr

The Oro Loma Sanitary District includes parts of San Leandro – which parts, I’m not actually sure.  They have contracted with Waste Management for garbage collection, so if you live in San Leandro and get your bill from WM, you are in the Oro Loma district.  Oro Loma has an elected board of directors, and this year five candidates, including two incumbents, are vying for three seats.  I have sent all candidates a 3-question questionnaire based on the fact that I assume others, like me, know very little about sanitary districts.

Here are the answers and candidate statement from Howard Kerr, an incumbent who’s been on the board since 1986

What does the Board of Directors of the Oro Loma Sanitary District do and why are you best suited for that position?  

The Board sets POLICY. The General Manager implements Board’s policies. I am well suited for the Board because of my University education at UCLA School of Public Health Sanitation. My qualifications include years of experience as a state Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS), supervising Code Enforcement Programs, including the numerous regulations on sewage, garbage and public health. I have also had extensive experience working directly with the public.

– What will be the most important issues facing the Board in the upcoming four years, and how will you tackle them?

The most important issues for the Board are to finish the current projects such as replacing of aging sewer, and to complete the Ecotone environmental project. Board members must be aware of ever-changing governmental regulations and the tremendous costs of compliance, and be able to predict new requirements years in advance.

Big issues clean up the bay and to determine practical re-use of recycled water.

– When the contract with Waste Management expires, will you consider contracting with California Waste Solutions or another company that does not have its transfer station in San Leandro?

Oro Loma has a multi-year garbage contract and this subject will not be an issue for the new Board in the next 4 years.

Candidate Statement

My education and qualifications are: Oro Loma Sanitary District is often referred  to as a most efficient public agency for good reason. We made it that way. Oro  Loma’s Board actually reduced sewer rates and created lower costs for mobile  homes and apartments. Oro Loma’s sewer rates are the lowest in the County,  and are less than sewer charges reported by 150 statewide agencies. Yet, Oro  Loma Sanitary District is financially sound and completely debt free. Oro Loma  has not accepted Federal Stimulus funds, nor State money that could be taken  back by the State. Oro Loma employees, management and Board of Directors  are proven to be committed toward successful development and maintenance of  good, quality services at lowest costs to ratepayers. I was educated at U.C.  Davis, U.C.L.A., Chico State College, Chabot College, and Chico College of  Commerce. I am a Registered Environmental Health Specialist with the State  Department of Public Health. I am a former San Leandro Vice Mayor and  Councilmember, Past President of the Washington Manor Homeowners  Association and Associated Homeowners of San Leandro. I have been active in  community services in San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Cherryland and Ashland.  Vote for me, Howard Kerr. 352-1000 or

Jul 212014
Tweets by Mike Katz-Lacabe

Tweets by Mike Katz-Lacabe

The San Leandro City Council no longer keeps minutes of its meetings. Anyone interested in what transpired has to listen through hours of recordings. There is no way to search through them either.  San Leandro Bytes editor Mike Katz-Lacabe (who is currently running for City Council) sometimes tweets from the meetings.  I’m going to start collecting his tweets to serve as the record the City Council does not want to keep. The tweets are slightly cleaned up for ease of reading.

Mayor Cassidy notes that San Leandro City Council voted to extend Measure Z (.25% sales tax) and increase to .5% mainly to fund roads.

San Leandro Town Hall meeting starts with update on Marina & Davis freeway overpass construction project. Summer 2015 ETA for completion.

Pile driving complete on San Leandro Marina overpass. Pile driving starts in August for Davis overpass: 7am to 3pm.

Question to CalTrans: Can you do something about timing of lights on Marina Blvd in San Leandro? Traffic there is horrible.

CalTrans response from Scott McCrank: We agree. We’re looking at it, but “only such green time that can be allotted.” We’re brainstorming…

San Leandro Town Hall meeting has nearly 60 attendees and about 15 City staff.

Police Chief reports that crime in San Leandro is down 7% from last year. Note that this matches regional trend.

Former San Leandro CM Howard Kerr supports increasing sales tax to 10% or more to fund more police, surveillance in streets, neighborhoods

San Leandro CMs Benny Lee, Jim Prola ,Diana Souza supported Measure Z in 2010 and support doubling

Commenter at San Leandro Town Hall: Look at cutting city government, including red light cameras, before increasing sales tax.

Dwight Pitcaithley at San Leandro Town Hall: Why aren’t voters being allowed to vote on the fate of the San Leandro Marina?

Mayor Cassidy responds to Pitcaithley: We don’t have a final plan for the San Leandro Marina yet. EIR is currently underway.

San Leandro Comm Dev Director Cynthia Battenberg notes that public wants boat harbor, but not enough to pay for it. From 11/2007 Godbe poll.

Leo West at San Leandro Town Hall: Measure Z was supposed to be a temporary tax & now it’s for 30 years. Says supporters of Measure Z lied.

Mayor Cassidy to West: We eliminated utility user tax rebate for large businesses. Spent money wisely. Doing same work with less staff.

Two more supporters of a boat harbor in San Leandro speak of a lack of vision, the marina as a gem in the Bay Area, & resident support.

Mayor Cassidy response to question from Justin Hutchison: City is working on free wifi in downtown San Leandro.