SAN LEANDRO -- The mayor of San Leandro on Thursday ground to a halt the city's controversial plans to raise the flag of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1.

"San Leandro does not fly the flags of other nations at our City Hall. We need to call a 'time out' and allow the community to weigh in on whether or not we should raise the flags of other governments," Mayor Stephen Cassidy said in a statement that acknowledged the move may disappoint some.

The request, made by Chinese-American Councilman Benny Lee, was approved by the City Council Monday in a 4-3 vote. Lee declined to comment on the mayor's action Thursday.

Human rights activists had rallied outside City Hall on Monday, saying raising the flag would signal the city condones the Chinese government's crimes against the Tibetans and others. Lee said he asked to raise the flag on National Day Oct. 1 -- a day that honors the 1949 creation of the sovereign state by communist leader Mao Zedong -- as a sign of support for local Chinese residents and as a sign the city is open for Chinese business and investment.

Cassidy and council members Pauline Cutter and Michael Gregory voted to reject the request. Lee and council members Ursula Reed, Diana Souza and Jim Prola voted in favor, saying their votes represented support of the Chinese community alone.

San Leandro does not have any specific guidelines governing the raising of flags of other nations at City Hall. According to the city, the mayor has the power under the City Charter to suspend implementation of a council action within three days of the vote. The item is then reconsidered at the next regularly scheduled meeting, which is Oct. 7.

"Those in our community wishing to celebrate the founding of the People's Republic of China are welcome to use one of our parks, as are other groups celebrating key dates and events of the nation of their origin," Cassidy said.

Ashly McGlone covers San Leandro, San Lorenzo, San Ramon and the Washington Township Health Care District. Contact her at 510-293-2463. Follow her at Twitter.com/AshlyReports.