Councilwoman Will Unseat Political Rival

Councilwoman Ursula Reed will replace planning commissioner Chris Crow, who has filed papers to run against her in November.

The 2012 City Council race gets off to an unofficial start Monday night when members vote on Councilwoman Ursula Reed’s request to remove her political rival Chris Crow from the planning commission.

Reed, who represents the city’s second council district, appointed Crow to the commission in November 2010. Crow, a 27-year-old San Leandro native, has filed papers to run for City Council in the second district, where Reed will stand for re-election in November. *

“I know they may think it’s biting the hand that fed me,” said Crow, who is nevertheless determined to run for council – although he said he might move and run from a different district.

Reed told Patch in an e-mail exchange that she will seek re-election. She said commissioners serve at the discretion of the member who appoints them and that she had another person in mind to fill the post. Reed will appoint Ed Hernandez to fill the vacancy.

Reed took a more political tone in an e-mail to Crow which he forwarded to Patch.

“I am not clear as to why you would run against me instead of waiting for me to term out,” Reed wrote. “Not sure that I should keep you as my commissioner though, since you don’t have my back.”

Two other council seats will also come up for election in November: they are district six, represented by Jim Prola; and district four, now represented by Joyce Starosciak, who has reached her term limit and will leave an empty seat.

Crow said he might move to the fourth district and run for the open seat, or move into the sixth district which could pit him against Prola.

Under the city’s election rules, a candidate must live in a district in order to be a candidate for its council seat. To win requires a majority of all the voters in San Leandro who cast ballots in the election for that district.

Crow is so far the only person who has filed the paperwork to run for city council, according to City Clerk Marian Handa.

But there is plenty of time. The nomination period runs from July 16 until August 10. During that period candidates must gather signatures from voters in their district and file other papers with the city, Handa said.

The City has a web page that explains how to run for council. Handa said it will be updated next week to provide information specific to the 2012 election.

* This story initially and erroneously said Reed had not yet named a successor.

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Larry Smith January 13, 2012 at 03:10 PM
it sounds like we have a young man bent on being a career politician like Don Perata or Bill Lockyer. Please get a real job or move to Chicago, California has too many career politicians now, just look at state government.
Jamie Wallace January 13, 2012 at 05:12 PM
It sounds to me like that young man cares about the city he is proud to have grown up in. It also seems that the Counsilwoman is threatened by his talents and determination. Go for it Chris!!!!
Thomas Clarke January 13, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Chris is determined to take his local high school education and family business, real estate, and turn them in to a long time professional political career. He has a good start so far, combining controversy and entitlement and producing headlines and a facebook presence. He will be like his predecessors in San Leandro business working from his economic base, real estate and insider profits, to a political presence which will insulate him from regulation while ripping off the public. Jack Maltester is smiling from his hot spot in hell.
Dan Dillman January 13, 2012 at 11:35 PM
I will say it again for the Record :) Chris Crow should be praised for his dedication to our City most young men of his caliber of passion and intelligence move out of town to get away from the backward thinking that still exist in San Leandro today. Chris Crow I am truly sorry that you are being treated this way for speaking up for small business and the community, telling the truth seems to go against the status quo. I hope other commissioners are taking note that if they speak the truth and disagree or expose city staff for wrong doings or mis-leading/mis-guiding elected and appointed officials they could be next on the hit list! It seems puppets are what they want, when it is leaders that we the people need! Chris Crow, I say run for the District 2 or District 4, whatever your heart and mind lead you to choose, you have my full support!!! Either Way, you have proven to be a leader and someone who stands for Truth , Justice and Freedom!!! We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and woman are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Mike January 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM
What I say to Larry Smith and Thomas Clarke is if you don't like who is in office run yourself but I am sure these two already know what that outcome would be. Knocking someone because they want to enter public service and have pride in their city and the community they grew up in is pathetic.
Thomas Clarke January 14, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Mike Santos, of course you want to support your young protege who you are busy showing how to suck on the public fund teat and at the same time be the legislator who creates the loop holes to let you get rich? One has only to look at the self serving actions of Chris in his short time in public service to see that Councilperson Reed is right to cut out the infection that is Crow. You are right though, Mike, I am not interested in running for public office. I have too little respect for politicians to join them in the muck.
Mike January 14, 2012 at 02:42 AM
You shouldn't assume anything Mr Clarke. I don't know Chris and I also believe he was a Cassidy supporter so i doubt I would support him anyway. I just have to laugh at people like you who just sit around and complain and can't take the initiative to try to change what you perceive to be a broken system. I also laugh if you think folks serving on the SL City council are enriching themselves. I also have to laugh that you think public service is self serving. It is the exact opposite. I will never run for public office because I know the personal sacrifice of time and effort is never appreciated by the people government helps.
Chris Crow January 14, 2012 at 02:57 AM
It has been an honor serving on the Planning Commission. I won't hold out much hope that the council will keep me on, but I thank them anyways for the opportunity I had to serve. There is a bio here on Patch about me should people want to know more about who I am. I was surprised Tom Abate didn't link to it in the article. http://sanleandro.patch.com/users/chris-crow for the record...I did not vote Stephen Cassidy, though I have supported the current administration's efforts in building more transparency in our local government, and I have never met Michael Santos.
Marga Lacabe January 14, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I think people like Larry and Thomas are missing a great opportunity. I have met Chris a number of times and I think he's very sincere, committed and energetic. He is also very *green*. Now, what you do with a person like Chris, who I think is willing, if not eager, to learn and consider different points of view, is help him grow, both as a politician but also as a civic leader. I actually feel it's quite encouraging to have someone who is not yet formed, and therefore is open to input, someone who is willing to make mistakes and hopefully correct them. I've thought about this quite a lot and I've decided that I want to see Chris in the City Council. I think the City Council does need a new, *young* perspective (the youngest members of the council are now in their mid-forties). We need people who have grown up in a diverse community and can relate to people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. And we need people who still have ideals, who still have the impetus to change things and make them better and not just push a business as usual agenda. Now, I have a very bad history in picking candidates. Almost everyone who I helped get elected, and most people I voted for, disappointed me by quickly becoming an advocate of the status quo. I'm almost to the point in which I believe there is really no hope for our democracy. So I'm willing to give Chris a chance. Yes, he's green and rough, but let's see if that's actually an advantage.
Jamie January 14, 2012 at 04:30 AM
My my my. San Leandro politics is getting more and more interesting.
anthony February 02, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Chris Crow... Followed the link you posted today ,but couldn't repond there. It seems that the mistake, if that is what it was, goes back to the decision regarding denial to Norcal. I don't really see the backroom conspiracy implied in the blog, but more likely good and poor decisions made by the involved parties. I've read swipes you took at city staff and the chief of police here, has anything come from those?
Marga Lacabe February 02, 2012 at 06:29 AM
anthony, it's my blog posting you are referring to (http://sanleandrotalk.voxpublica.org/2012/02/01/city-council-quietly-negotiates-sale-of-albertsons-property/). I don't know why you couldn't comment there, could you let me know what type of error message you got? In any case, let me respond to your points. The city bought the Albertson's property in April 2009 for $6M and immediately hand it to Irmer to develop, without considering any other developers. Three years later, it is selling it to Irmer for about $2.5M or 60% less than they paid for it. Again, the city is not entertaining any other offers. No reason has been given as to why Irmer didn't directly buy the property in 2009, rather than having the city do it. Real estate prices have gone down since 2009, but nowhere near by 60%. So there are two possibilities: they city overpaid then or it is undercharging now. Cities have a legal obligation to buy/sell properties at their market value, and not gift public money to individuals - to the extent that the city overpays when it buys or undercharges when it sells, it is gifting public money. That's usually not done for non-corrupt reasons. But I welcome your input as to the actual faults with my analysis. Thanks.
Chris Crow February 02, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Hi Anthony, I did raise some, and echo some concerns from other community members, about how City Hall, including staff, the chief, and council, were handling the BAL Theatre issue. Some would say the comments I made here on Patch led to me being ousted from the Planning Commission, although the official line from Council Member Ursula Reed is she kicked me off because I didn't have her back, and chose to file to run for City Council. It's clear that City Hall considers me a challenge to the status quo. The Albertson's site isn't an isolated incident by any means. I recently learned that a multi-million dollar investment from a community member was turned away at the doors of City Hall for development of an international market at a site in South San Leandro across from PepBoys. City Hall told that individual, a long time san leandro business owner, that the site was being saved for a mixed-use development (like they told Grocery Outlet), but then when former mayor Sheila Young brings in a large corporate entity, in AutoZone, that site is given the green light for development, and magically City Hall's minds changed again on what they want, just like when Innisfree Enterprises brings in big corporate giant Fresh & Easy. If the Albertson's site issue was isolated, I would agree that it may have been, even honest mistakes by all parties, but when you find the same mentality being applied elsewhere in the city, you can only imagine those back room convos.


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