San Leandro Marina

Sep 172014

In the last week there have been two poorly-advertised and poorly-attended Mayoral and City Council candidate fora in San Leandro.  Mike Katz-Lacabe tweeted from the Mayoral fora.  He’s running for City Council himself, so he couldn’t report on that part of the fora, though he did note some of the “lightening questions” from the first forum.

Update: See also responses to the APA Caucus questionnaire below.

City Council Candidates

All San Leandro City Council candidates favored a marina with small boats – in other words, no support for paying to dredge the channel.

All San Leandro City Council candidates said that they did not support surveillance cameras throughout city. Leah Hall was late so no answer

San Leandro City Council candidate Deborah Cox said she supports marijuana dispensary but spoke against it at June 18, 2012, City Council meeting

All San Leandro City Council candidates say they support marijuana dispensary except Lee Thomas.

All San Leandro City Council candidates support ranked choice voting except Dist. 1 candidates David Anderson & Deborah Cox.

Mayoral Candidates

Dan Dillman says San Leandro’s pressing problem is perception. It’s a beautiful city.

Pauline Cutter says San Leandro’s most pressing problem is economics.

Diana Souza says San Leandro’s most pressing problem are the streets.  (The street conditions decreased every year she’s been a Councilmember).

Mayoral candidates on Marina: Cutter: exciting new development planned. Dillman: what voters want. Souza: new restaurants, hotel, conference center

San Leandro mayor candidate Souza asks for other candidates’ views on rent stabilization. Cutter: we need to consider. Dillman: what voters want.

San Leandro mayoral candidates on city staffing: Souza & Cutter: more cops. Dillman: use police from CHP, BART, Sheriff, Parks.

San Leandro mayoral candidate Diana Souza says working poor can be helped by recreational programs for youth, seniors and adults.

Breaking news: All San Leandro mayoral candidates support transparency at City Hall. Cutter & Dillman mention improving meeting minutes.

San Leandro mayoral candidates on red light cameras: Cutter and Dillman oppose. Souza supports. Thinks they save lives.

San Leandro mayor candidates on SLPD acquisition of armored personnel carrier: Dillman opposed, Cutter researching, Souza supports.

San Leandro mayor candidates on Measure HH: (sales tax increase for 30 years) Dillman opposed to length. Cutter & Souza support HH.

San Leandro Mayoral candidates on whether they support marijuana dispensary: Cutter and Dillman: yes; Souza: No.

San Leandro Mayoral candidates on whether to keep ranked choice voting: Cutter says yes, Souza says no & Dillman says “what voters want.”

San Leandro Mayoral candidates on flying the flag of other countries: Cutter says no, Souza says yes, and Dillman says: whatever voters want.

Note: During the interviews for the Democratic Party endorsement, Souza and Cutter clarified that they are in favor of surveillance cameras, just not throughout the city.

APA Caucus Questionnaires

While many organizations ask candidates to fill out questionnaires, very few actually make the answers public.  The Asian Pacific American Democratic Caucus of Alameda County is the exception.  Here are the answers from San Leandro Candidates to APA Caucus questionnaires:

San Leandro, Mayor

San Leandro, City Council

District 1

District 3

District 5

Jul 292014

These are Mike Katz-Lacabe notes/tweets on the July 28th San Leandro City Council meeting on the Marina/Shoreline development and expansion of the San Leandro Police Department headquarters. These notes are provided because the Council no longer produces minutes of its meetings. Once again, Mike Katz-Lacabe and Mia Ousley were the only two City Council candidates present at the meeting.

San Leandro City Council work session on shoreline fund and police space needs starts now – without Councilmember Michael Gregory.


Dredging needed for channels to San Leandro Marina every 4 years and berths every 8 years.

Siltation rate for San Leandro marina is 8 to 12-inches per year.

Harbor operations at San Leandro marina have a net loss of more than $400k per year. Fund is $2.5 million in the hole.

Shoreline operations generated $335,000 in 2013-14. Includes tax generated by San Leandro Marina Inn and restaurants. $94k expected this year.

San Leandro shoreline fund expecting $84k in net revenue this year. Outstanding debt is nearly $9 million.

Amortized over next 10 years, the annual unfunded liability for the San Leandro Marina is $3.2 million, including dredging of $1.5 million.

130 of 462 berths at the San Leandro Marina are occupied. 26 berths are occupied by San Leandro residents. 11 are live-aboards

In April/May 2012, average depth in channel to San Leandro marina was 5.9 feet, according to Army Corps soundings. 3.9 feet at fuel dock

San Leandro shoreline fund debt is about $1.9 million for Cal Boat Loan and $7 million to city’s general fund.

Download tonight’s presentation on the status of San Leandro’s shoreline fund.

Earliest that construction on San Leandro Marina project could begin is estimated at February 2017.

Projected lifespan of San Leandro boat harbor without dredging is another year or two before boats have problems getting in and out.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy: Why is there no federal money for dredging? A: Disappearance of earmarks & Army Corps budget priorities.

San Leandro city staff on possible ferry: Sea of parking with a dock. Might not be seen as a good thing by residents.

Dwight Pitcaithley: Costs are formidable. “It’s not going to be an easy thing.” “You could privatize the channel.” Marina needs a benefactor

Dwight Pitcaithley is making a documentary on the San Leandro Marina that he will put on YouTube.

San Leandro Marina supporter: “The decision is pretty much made… The Marina is sentenced to death.” Put this on the ballot.

San Leandro still has an estimated $2.5 million expense for disposing of dredge spoils from 2009, when the Marina was last dredged.

Bella Comelo Why cannot the Marina issue be put on the ballot? Let the people decide.

Note that dredging (or lack thereof) of the San Leandro Marina only affects the boat harbor. Park and other areas unaffected.

San Leandro Councilmember Diana Souza: most people want to keep the marina. “Everyone of us would love to have the marina there.”

San Leandro Councilmembers Souza, Prola, and Lee seem resigned to the demise of the boat harbor. Lee says $1,500 to $2k per boat in costs.

Bella Comelo, If the City Council wants to put it on the ballot, they can.  Survey from 2007 showed not enough support to financially support Marina.

San Leandro Councilmembers Ursula Reed and Pauline Cutter also resigned to demise of boat harbor. Reed says money needed for roads.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy: advisory vote would get lots of support. But what then? Tax to support marina requires 2/3 vote, which previous poll shows would lose. Favors vote on planned development, but that wouldn’t save boat harbor. Also mentions need to maintain roads.

slpdbadgePolice Department Expansion

San Leandro City Council now onto police department space needs.  Current bldg built in 1967; seismic upgrade in 1995.

San Leandro Capt. Lemmon: If there was an earthquake like there was in 1989, we wouldn’t be able to operate at needed capacity.

San Leandro PD: Needs Assessment report had 3 options to construct a new police bldg from $60 to $71 million (2009 $) to address needs.

San Leandro PD expansion options: Address top 5 deficiencies at $6.4 million or address top 3 deficiencies at $3.8 million.

San Leandro PD expansion ranked #2 capital improvement project after street repair. Possible funding: Measure Z sales tax increase.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy questions how San Leandro City Council can decide on PD expansion options without knowing about how it will be funded.

San Leandro Councilmember Prola supportive of $6.4 million option and gym for police department expansion.

All San Leandro Councilmembers support the $6.4 million SL police dept expansion. Cutter/Prola express concerns if taxes fail in Nov.

San Leandro Councilmember Ursula Reed on PD United for Safety event: “I was hoping to win something, but that didn’t happen”

Mayor Stephen Cassidy notes that surveillance cameras approved last week have microphones. Asks for update/clarification on audio surveillance.

San Leandro City Manager says that staff will come back with recommendations on audio surveillance.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy wants to name street after Officer Dan Niemi, who was killed in the line of duty July 25, 2005.

Jul 242014

The July 23rd Council meeting went extremely long. Mike had gone to speak in favor of a strong privacy policy for surveillance data, and didn’t get to do so until nearly 11. Before that he tweeted from the meeting. My comments are in italics. The Tweets have been organized by subject. Follow him @slbytes.

The only City Council candidates present at the meeting were Mike Katz-Lacabe and Mia Ousley.

San Leandro City Council to discuss Heron Bay wind turbine lawsuit in closed session on Monday 7/21.

Surveillance camera policy is on the agenda for Monday night’s 7/21 San Leandro City Council.

Councilmember Jim Prola is absent from tonight’s San Leandro City Council meeting.

pickardCongratulations Officer Pickard for being recognized as the City of San Leandro employee of the quarter!

Kinkini Banerjee & family accept Proclamation from Mayor Cassidy declaring Aug. 2014 as Indo-American Heritage Month.

Kinkini is one of my best friends and I love her, but I wonder why India West was not invited to receive the proclamation or at least attend the ceremony. India West is the largest Indian-American newspaper in the US, and it’s based in San Leandro!

LINKS shuttle

San Leandro LINKS shuttle: 6.25 mile loop, 23 stops to connect W. San Leandro to downtown BART. Hours: 5:45am-9:45am and 3-7pm

Bike racks added in past year. Avg. 737 riders per day. 191,646 total riders in 2013.

Goals for San Leandro LINKS: shorten route to reduce time, reach Marina Sq./Auto Mall, service to Westgate, Kaiser, 21st Amendment Brewery.

Proposed change to San Leandro LINKs to meet goals: split route into north and south routes to reduce wait and trip times.

Proposed change to San Leandro LINKS will cost: $50k from City, $165k more from business improvement dist. & $130k more from grants/business

Mayoral candidate Diana Souza sounds supportive of San Leandro LINKS. She voted against it on 3/16/09.

Former San Leandro Councilmember Gordon Galvan is Exec Dir of San Leandro Transportation Mngmnt Org, which runs LINKS shuttle.

Mayor Cassidy wants to add San Leandro to the LINKS shuttle name a la “Emery Go Round” since the City will be partially funding it.

Diana Souza had been very critical of the LINKS shuttle until now. Her change of face is interesting. Gordon Galvan, who not only runs the shuttle but is also a lobbyist, was one of main contributors to Cassidy’s campaign.


San Leandro City Council voted 6-0 to impose liens for non-payment of bus. license fees, garbage fees, sidewalk repairs, and code compliance.

Among those with liens imposed by San Leandro for non-payment of business license fees: Diana Souza campaign mgr Charles Gilcrest.

I was at the council meeting last year where the Council voted to place liens and one of the business owners who appeared complained about the cumbersome system for paying business license fees, the immediate fines and lack of communication from the city. Apparently things haven’t changed as there were many liens imposed.

Floresta Gate

Much discussion about a gate for the Floresta Gardens neighborhood.

Karen Williams of Floresta Gardens asking for gate to reduce crime from non-residents. City discourages gates communities.

San Leandro City Council approves gate on Caliente Drive for Floresta Gardens neighborhood 4-2. Gregory and Lee vote no.

Facebook comment: A neighborhood in Fremont was asking for a gate along the Alameda Creek a few years ago. After a few months of curfew enforcement and checks at the location of concern we found most of the trouble actually originated from the HOA family members and guest.

Public Comments

First speaker addresses issue of children arriving in US from Central America.

Second speaker supports San Leandro Marina. Work session Mon. 7/28 on marina and shoreline.

Marijuana Dispensaries

San Leandro selects ICF International to help craft dispensary selection process. Mass. paid $335,449 to ICFI for similar work.

San Leandro Councilmember Diana Souza recuses herself because son works for pot dispensary that will apply for San Leandro dispensary.

Nothing in the government code requires Souza from disqualifying herself from this situation, but she doesn’t want to be in record voting against medical marijuana facilities. Alas, she has been on the record speaking and voting against them before. Souza, however, did not feel she needed to recuse herself on a vote concerning the property belonging to her own campaign manager.

Surveillance Cameras

Next up: vote on 36 cameras to monitor San Leandro City Hall and other city properties.

Mayor Cassidy clarifies that the upcoming vote does not approve a policy or anything to do with public surveillance cameras.

San Leandro Councilmember Benny Lee asks about backup of the data and whether backups are encrypted: Answer from staff: I believe so.

San Leandro City Council candidate Mia Ousley notes deficiency in draft surveillance camera policy and confusion about the agenda item.

San Leandro City Council votes 6-0 to approve $156k contract with Odin Systems for City Hall cameras. Not sure if it was sole source contract [later confirmed it was].

Pittsburg PD purchased cameras from Odin Systems. SLPD Chief Sandra Spagnoli used Pittsburg as example of video surveillance success.

However, San Leandro had greater reduction in crime without cameras than Pittsburg with cameras.

Odin Systems recently “donated” 60-inch monitor to Pittsburg PD, which paid thousands for cameras from them

No bid contract approved by San Leandro City Council Mon. 7/21 includes cameras with microphones for audio surveillance [which is unconstitutional].

Facebook comment from Mia Ousley, who was also at the meeting:

Only 3 people spoke out at last night’s meeting — all against the policy as is. However, in a confusing intro, Mayor Cassidy said the Council was not voting on a potential future plan to increase the number of cameras, which is what was written in the printed or online agenda. He said that information was only in the title and was misleading. However, I don’t see it that way at all, so it’s unclear to me what the Council actually unanimously agreed to — just replacing the current cameras at our Civic Center or a plan to install cameras at other areas in the city in the future. So I decided to address that issue anyway, saying oversight must be by a neutral party, and that decisions should come from the City Council, which would allow thorough vetting by the public.

Mike Katz-Lacabe agreed, and also discussed additional security and privacy issues that were not addressed in the proposed policy.

Darlene Evans was the only other speaker on the topic, saying her bike had been stolen from the library, where there was a camera, but the officers there told her spiders covered the camera and they couldn’t see anything.

Jan 272012

I truly cannot understand the people who want the city to spend millions and millions of dollars dredging the marina. What makes them so special that their needs to sail should be put before of the needs of children to eat, get access to social services, safe parks, after-school care, etc.? Human services and other community-oriented programs of the city have been cut to their core.

Of course, the same could be said of the city staff members who try to fleece the city out of every penny they can.

‘Liveaboards’ at the San Leandro Marina want to hang onto their floating homes

Jun 102011

From the Alameda County Fire Department

On Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 3:28PM Alameda County Firefighters, the San Leandro Police Department (SLPD) and the US Coast Guard responded to a report of a fully clothed individual that walked out to shoulder-height water in the shoreline of the San Leandro Marina.

As part of a Unified Command with the US Coast Guard and SLPD, under the direction of a Battalion Chief and the Assistant Chief of Special Operations, ACFD Rescue Boat 11 and Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) 10 were immediately launched to help search for the individual, who was seen approximately 200 yards from the shoreline.

While the two ACFD boats scoured the shoreline, the helicopter from the US Coast Guard conducted a search from the air and SLPD officers led the search on land with the assistance of ACFD Truck 9.

An air, land and water search was conducted for approximately 45 minutes in and along the Marina shoreline area and all units were unable to locate anyone. Search efforts were suspended at approximately 5PM.