OAKLAND -- Mayor Jean Quan just can't seem to get Margaret Gordon off the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners.
For the second time in less than a year, the mayor lost her bid to remove the West Oakland environmental activist whose four-year term expired more than a year ago -- this time because one council member expected to provide the decisive fifth vote was absent.
Council members consequently will reconsider all three of Quan's nominees for the board at their next meeting in September.
Last year Quan proposed replacing Gordon with nonprofit executive Jakada Imani. He later withdrew amid opposition to ousting Gordon, a member of the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame. One Gordon supporter, Gene Hazzard, even launched the first recall campaign against Quan in response to her effort to oust Gordon.
This time around Quan nominated beverage distribution company owner Cestra "Ces" Butner to replace Gordon. She also proposed appointing technology executive Bryan Parker and reappointing Commissioner James Head. All of Quan's appointees are black, as are the board members they would replace.
The seven-member board oversees the Port of Oakland. Quan, who has said the board needs more members with business experience, urged council members not to delay the appointments because the Port will be busy this summer safeguarding state funds for the Oakland Army Base project and resolving legal issues with the city.
When a majority of council members opposed delaying the vote, Reid warned that he would treat them similarly if they ever lead the council. "This disrespect that you have shown me tonight is the disrespect that I will show to you."
However, Quan needed five votes to get her nominees appointed, and with Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan a surprise no-show because of a family emergency, the mayor could only muster four: Jane Brunner, Pat Kernighan, Nancy Nadel and Libby Schaaf. Reid was joined in opposition by councilmembers Desley Brooks and Ignacio De La Fuente.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6345.