Five times the Oakland City Council had scheduled a vote to replace Margaret Gordon from the Board of Port Commissioners and every time the heralded West Oakland environmental activist kept her seat -- until Thursday.
At a 90-minute special meeting, the council voted 6-1 to approve Mayor Quan's nomination of businessman Cestra "Ces" Butner to replace Gordon, whose term expired last year. Councilmember Desley Brooks cast the lone dissenting vote and Councilmember Larry Reid abstained.
"All I wanted to do was do service ... I think I served my community well" said Gordon, who got a partial standing ovation from audience members in the council chambers.
Gordon's appointment five years ago to the commission that oversees the Port of Oakland was seen as a victory for West Oakland residents concerned about the environmental impacts of the nearby port. Gordon's work to improve air quality in West Oakland helped land her in the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame and won strong support among civic leaders.
But Quan has been adamant that she wants more people with business experience on the Port Commission. The council also confirmed Quan's choice of technology executive Bryan Parker to replace Pamela Calloway on the board.
Before the vote, Councilmember Nancy Nadel, who had previously backed Gordon, said the commissioner bore some responsibility for the port potentially having squandered $242 million in state funding to help redevelop
Brooks called council members that had previously backed Gordon disingenuous. "What does your word mean?" she asked them.
Reid directed his ire at Quan. "Margaret, thank you for fighting to convince the mayor to do the right thing," he said. "But it fell on deaf ears."
Hayward council names Trivedi to Planning Commission
The City Council has selected Vishal Trivedi to fill a Planning Commission position that became vacant when Al Mendall was elected to the council.
The selection made Wednesday is not official until the council votes at its Sept. 11 meeting. The council is on recess until then.
Trivedi previously served on the city's Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force.
Other selections include: Marie DeLeon to the Personnel Commission; Peter Bufete to the Library Commission; and Muhammad Irfan, Radonna Foley-Scott and Dana E. Caines to the Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force.
Alfredo Rodriguez Jr. and May Shay were tapped for the Downtown Business Improvement Area Advisory Board, and Alan Parso was chosen for the Council Economic Development Committee.
Heather Enders and Sai Manapragada were named to the Community Services Commission.
Newark City Council authorizes police to lease armored rescue vehicle
The City Council voted Thursday night to authorize Newark police to lease an armored rescue truck for a total of $161,000 over seven years.
The contract gives the city the option to buy the bulletproof vehicle for $1 when the agreement expires.
Two residents spoke against the lease agreement while another said he favored it.
The recently refurbished Lenco BearCat, which resembles a Brinks truck, would be used only for special circumstances, including armed, barricaded suspects and shootings, police said.
Newark City Council appoints new city attorney
The City Council voted Thursday night in closed session to appoint a new city attorney.
David Benoun, who has been serving as interim city attorney for about three months, is expected to become the city's full-time city attorney, effective Sept. 15, City Manager John Becker said.
Gary Galliano served as Newark's city attorney for 19 years -- from 1993 to April, when he retired.
Benoun's hiring is expected to become official at a City Council meeting on Sept. 13, Becker said.
Fremont City Manager Diaz on Silicon Valley board
City Manager Fred Diaz was recently appointed to the Joint Venture Silicon Valley board of directors.
Joint Venture is a nonprofit organization that brings together area leaders from various sectors -- government, business, academia, labor and community groups -- and provides information about the region's challenges. It also leads plans to address those challenges.
Diaz is the organization's first board member from an Alameda County city.
Joint Venture, which was established in 1993, is funded by cities and counties, local businesses, colleges and universities, labor and workforce institutions and foundations.
Diaz has been Fremont's city manager since 2004. He also spent 10 years as city manager in Tracy and has worked for several Southern California cities.