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April 10, 2012 > Where do the candidates for Hayward City Council stand?

Where do the candidates for Hayward City Council stand?

Tri-City Voice Newspaper has given the nine candidates, who are running for four seats on Hayward City Council in the June 5, 2012 Municipal Election, the opportunity to state their positions on four local issues. One question will be published per week with respondents' answers to enable readers/voters to compare and contrast. This week we publish the second in the series.

TCV: Following the abolition of redevelopment agencies in California, how can the City of Hayward accomplish the goals of redevelopment?

Peter Bufete: With the abolition of redevelopment agencies, the City of Hayward can still accomplish the goals of redevelopment through working partnerships with the private sector and participation in local, county projects in conjunction with surrounding cities. We must not give up entirely on redevelopment as it provides the local economy with jobs, provides quality low-income housing, city revitalization, etc. We are in difficult financial times and must learn to balance our budgets accordingly by being creative with the raising and allocation of our funds.

Barbara Halliday: The partnerships Hayward has established with businesses in the Downtown and throughout the City will help to sustain economic development efforts as we create new incentives to attract commercial investment in Hayward. We will also work closely with our state legislators to evaluate and adopt new programs aimed at countering the loss of redevelopment throughout California. Keeping "safe" and "clean" at the top of our City priority list, promptly responding to problems and complaints and working with the school district to improve performance on standardized tests will also help the City attract and retain businesses.

Greg Jones: Eliminating blight remains the goal, despite the abolition of redevelopment agencies. Public investment does not guarantee private investment follows. Hayward must be safer, cleaner, more business-friendly to attract private investment. The City should focus on and actively market our competitive advantages.

The State must also institute an alternative framework of resources for local agencies to combat blight, either through acquisition or incentives to private property owners for improvements. Locally, investments, like the award-winning Mural Program I initiated, should continue; we must evaluate possible fee-reductions (linked to job creation), relocation-incentives for restaurants and entertainment and devise innovative solutions for real improvement.

Al Mendall: The loss of redevelopment is a huge blow to efforts to revitalize Hayward. It will make it much harder to do large projects but there are many other things we can do. We should focus on making Hayward more attractive (redeveloping Hayward's appearance, if you will). Efforts like the mural program actually save money, while beautifying Hayward, and we should focus on making Hayward an easier and more welcoming place to do business. We all want the jobs, shopping and entertainment options that new businesses provide and there is much more we can and should do to encourage businesses growth.

Francisco Zermeno: It is a difficult situation, in that funds for needed growth, up-keep, and improvement, need to be found elsewhere. Grants, shift of funds and other programs will be key to finding fund replacement for these missing funds that, at least here in Hayward, were used wisely. Federal help would be nice, especially since they bailed out banks and car companies but forgot about cities and education. Important, too, will be to work closely with all the parties of each project, in order to ensure success.

[Candidates Shahla Azimi, Ralph Farias Jr., Olden Henson and Fahim A. Khan did not respond.]

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