Pensions, Contract Factor In Police Endorsement

San Leandro's Police Officer's Association back two incumbents and one supporter of its pension stance as its contract and the city election converge.


Jim Prola, Ursula Reed and Benny Lee have been endorsed by the San Leandro Police Officer's Association (POA).

Prola and Reed are incumbents. Lee is one of four challengers for the open seat in Washington Manor that used to be represented by Joyce Starosciak.

Sgt. Mike Sobek, who heads the 87-member group, made the picks public Monday.

"The police have vetted these candidates," he said.

San Leandro and its police have a lot cooking right now. 

The city's contract with police expires December 31. New contract negotiations are underway.

One big issue is pension costs.

The city currently pays part of the money that goes into the retirement kitty for police and other city staff.

Mayor Stephen Cassidy , to have police and other city employees pick up all or part of what the city now contributes on their behalf.

Council candidate Hermy Almonte, who is running against Prola, also saying, "I am the only candidate running for the City Council this year to unequivocally call for pension reform."

The pension issue is part of the POA's election calculus.

Benny Lee, who was endorsed in the open district, said he wants to maintain the status quo on pensions, which supports the POA's position.

Reed and Prola could not be reached for comment.

Morgan Mack-Rose, who is running against Reed, said her support for pension reform took her out of the running for the POA endorsement.

The timing of the contract gives the POA considerable leverage in city politics.

The elections are held in November but the winners don't take office until January.

The police contract expires December 31.

In the past the contract has been voted on by the outgoing council. 

That means incumbents seeking reelection must stake out positions on the police contract before the election  -- with an eye on the POA endorsement, which is valuable as a vote of confidence and as a source of funds.

In the 2010 election, for instance, the POA contributed to mayoral candidates Joyce Starosciak and Tony Santos, and opposed Cassidy, according to the San Leandro Bytes website.

If the pattern holds, the contract will again be decided by the outgoing council. Thus any change of voter sentiment for pension reform will be irrelevant -- at least until the next contract cycle in two years, when incumbents will once again have to face the POA before they face the voters.

Read more city election coverage.

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Marga Lacabe September 12, 2012 at 06:11 PM
"The children's tracts apply to you too. " Ah, what a quaint way of saying "go to hell" :-)
Leah Hall September 12, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I thought you already had a time-share there, Marga. ;-)
Andrew Kopp September 12, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Pastor Jung, where does your congregation meet? I'd like to attend one of your sermons.
Andrew Kopp September 12, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Actually I found your web page with your church address and services schedule.
Marga Lacabe September 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I did, but I had to sell it on ebay because the maintenance fees were killing me. Who knew keeping all that fire going could be that expensive!
Leah Hall September 12, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I just checked out the Fundamentalist Baptist Church's website and it says that the church is a house in the Broadmoor, 618 Victoria Court 94577. I've driven past this house countless times and would never have guessed that a large congregation of people was meeting there on a regular basis. Curious. Is this up to all relevant city planning and fire marshal codes, I wonder? Thank you, "Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act?" http://derekjung.tripod.com/index.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Land_Use_and_Institutionalized_Persons_Act
Justin H. September 12, 2012 at 08:14 PM
And since we're talking about meeting, Andrew I wouldn't mind meeting you for a cup of coffee or a beer. I like the way you would put together your arguments and you seem very well informed...
Justin H. September 12, 2012 at 08:18 PM
And Fran you are nuts and I am pretty okay with not getting your vote.. If you can't understand that they built a 160,000 sq ft facility in alameda which will employ 470 people and how that ties into the local economy than I cannot continue to have a rational conversation with you.
Justin Agrella September 12, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Thank God for the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Cities are hostile to allowing churches into areas they want to serve because of the whole non-profit status. We have seen that in effect with the city's lawsuit with a church as it is. I hope the church wins and socks them good.
Justin Agrella September 12, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Gee, what wonderful conduct for a person seeking public office.
Leah Hall September 12, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Just as Jesus preached: Sock it to your neighbors and make Hell on Earth a reality today. After all, what's a few fire code violations among institutions of trust in care of our city's youngest and most vulnerable residents? Leah Hall A Broadmoor neighborhood & San Leandro resident and parent
David September 12, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Why don't you contact the minister directly and ask him about the size of his congregation? Or are you just trying to shut him up with some vague threats about city planning and fire marshal codes? That is part of your pattern of attempts to suppress free speech. Why do you hate freedom so, Leah? You could also have easily looked up the Alameda County Assessor information on the address: Single family home used as such. And yes, the property taxes are paid up and current. House churches have a long tradition in various Protestant sects. Perhaps you're not even aware of the history of your own adopted Protestantism. Perhaps you could try to restrain yourself from your default "Shut up."
Pastor Derek Jung September 12, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Leah I would not consider my wife, my mother, and my six children and three other single people a large group. Your assumption that we have more than a few people is flawed because you have not yet visited our services (10am Bible Class and 11am Worship Service) on a Sunday Morning. Please come and visit and you will add to the twelve people that gather in our living room. The four youngest children then go to a bedroom for Sunday School taught by their mother. All ages are welcome! I ministered to a small group (max, of 10) elderly folks in Richmond from 1996 through 2011 in an afternoon service at their apt. Currently we hold an afternoon service at a very large home in San Rafael that is attended by youth, adults and seniors. That service starts at 2:30pm. About 13-14 people attend that service including my family. Zoning and parking have never been a problem because our meetings in these homes have been very small in number over the past 16 years. However, we did rent the Broadmoor Community Church for 1.5 years a number of years ago. Previous to this church I also planted a church in Berkeley where we rented the Westbrae Bible Church (1986), First Congregational Church (1987), School at the corner of Rose and Sacramento (1988-1994). Again you & your family are welcome to visit any service. We also have services Wed night and Friday night Bible Study at a home in Oakland. Derek Jung, Pastor & Church Planter Fundamental Gospel Baptist Church
Leah Hall September 12, 2012 at 08:36 PM
No David. What's got your Victoria's Secret lace trim hiptster panties in a bunch this time, girlfriend?
Leah Hall September 12, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Oh dear, I've seem to have struck a nerve. Don't worry, Pastor Jung. Women don't really care all /that/ much about size. It's the heart that matters most.
Andrew Kopp September 12, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Justin - you and I have met before. You may recall that I took your deposition. I'm going to respectfully decline your invitation.
David September 12, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Ok, Leah, what's your purpose in bringing up city planning and fire codes? Are you a new enforcer of zoning regulations or fire codes?
David September 12, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Stay classy, clown.
Richard Mellor September 12, 2012 at 09:08 PM
I see you guys have strayed a long way from pensions. But we should abolish the tax exempt status for religious institutions. Also, children should not be called Jewish kids, or Catholic Kids or whatever because they are indoctrinated from birth with all this religious mythology. They should be called, as Dawkins points out, "Children of Christian parents" or "Children of Jewish parents" as the children have no means of defending themselves ideologically. By the way, I put a very interesting piece on the capitalist mode of production from my economist friend on my blog at http://weknowwhatsup.blogspot.com/2012/09/global-economy-crisis-or-breakdown.html if you'd like to check it out.
Justin Agrella September 12, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Jesus said no such thing Leah. (rolleyes) Please quote what fire code was violated. It seems to me that, under said strict interpretation, you could not have a thanksgiving day dinner with your family by that definition if you invite over 14 relatives. I suppose that threatens young and vulnerable residents too? I am pretty sure I trust Pastor Jung's church more than I trust government to do the right thing. Signed a fourth generation San Leandran and Broadmoor resident for longer than I care to remember.
Fran September 12, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Well I'm willing to listen to your reasoning Justin. If you believe Northface's decision, a multinational corporation, to move from San Leandro to a near-by town is going to have a negative impact on our city, then tell me exactly what that negative impact is. Bragging rights? They don't pay the pensions, sorry. Do you honestly believe it's something someone from city hall did or did not do to cause their move? What would you do differently? In the big picture the fact they moved really does have little to do with the local economy. If they moved their headquarters to Dubai, my answer would be different. Did you listen to Luke Sims when he answered your question at the library? Is he to blame for a lack of Trader Joe's or Whole Foods? If you're elected, what would you do differently to make San Leandro better, as you so put it? So far your answer has been to pay the police more money to increase our safety or change the perception of said safety. But, again, you never stated how you would afford it. I may be crazy, but one thing I am not is irrational. You're the one that's irrational as far as I'm concerned, and delusional to boot.
Leah Hall September 12, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Judging from his contributions on this string, Pastor Tiny Congregation doesn't strike me as someone I'd want anywhere near our city's children. Just saying.
Leah Hall September 12, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Dawkins wasn't too pleased about his portrayal in a two-part South Park episode, but it is one of my family's all time favorites. "Richard Dawkins reacted to the two-part episode by saying, "I'm buggered if I like being portrayed as a cartoon character buggering a bald transvestite. I wouldn't have minded so much if only it had been in the service of some serious point, but if there was a serious point in there I couldn't discern it." "I would have thought they could at least have got an actor that could do a proper British accent. Now, if only I could be offered a cameo role in The Simpsons, I could show that actor how to do a real British accent." When asked about the episode in a 2012 interview with Playboy magazine, Dawkins, who said it was the only episode of South Park he had seen, thought the future war among the different atheists sects, which he felt had "a certain amount of truth in it", harbored a greater potential for satire, as it reminded him of the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea from the film Monty Python’s Life of Brian, but felt that too much of the episode was devoted to ridiculing him by depicting him having sex with Ms. Garrison, commenting, "That isn't satire because it has nothing to do with what I stand for. And the scatological part, where they had somebody throwing shit, which stuck to my forehead—that’s not even funny. From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_God_Go
Marga Lacabe September 12, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Richard, Judaism is as much an ethnic group as it's a religion. You can be Jewish, identify as such, and still be an atheist. I think that's probably the case with a large percentage of Jews in America. Outside Beth Sholom, I think I may have met two Jews who actually believed in God. BTW, the same thing is true of Copts, though I think there are much fewer atheist Copts.
Justin Agrella September 12, 2012 at 10:25 PM
And judging from government's past inability to deal with any situation adequately, I would prefer the Pastor over the government. He has to answer to a higher power---government thinks it IS the higher power.
Leah Hall September 12, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Victoria Secret Valentine's Day Present from Justin Agrella to his wife: A man goes into Victoria Secret's to buy his wife a Valentine's day present. "I want something very shear," he asked. "This is a shear nighty replied the clerk and its $200." "Not shear enough" said the man. "This one is much sheerer, but it costs $300," said the salesperson. "Not shear enough," said the man. "Well, this one is the most shear, and it is $500." "Perfect, I'll take it." The man goes home and presents the gift to his wife and asks her to go upstairs and model it. The wife does, and sees the sales slip which he inadvertently left in the package. She thinks, $500 for this? I'll wrap it up to return it and keep the $500 for something else, it's so shear, he'll never know the difference. So she takes all her clothes off except for high heels and strikes a pose at the top of the stairs. "How do you like it?" she asks. "Great," he answers, "but for $500 bucks you think they would at least iron it."
David September 13, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Is anyone forcing you or "the city's" children to join his church? Really, Leah, get over yourself.
Marga Lacabe September 13, 2012 at 12:35 AM
David, I have no problem whatsoever with that church being in San Leandro and with those people believing whatever they want to believe. BUT, I do have huge problem with them putting little comic books into children's Halloween bags that tell them they're going to hell. And I also have a problem with them offering a "summer camp" program, but not being open about what their theology is.
David September 13, 2012 at 12:43 AM
I'm sure your children and others' children are made of sterner stuff. Compared to promising cops retirement packages worth well over $2,000,000 as young as age 50, that will bankrupt the city unless broken first, a man running a micro-church shouldn't even register on your "problem" list. Even if he hands out scary pamphlets on...Halloween.
Leah Hall September 13, 2012 at 12:46 AM
David's so right, why didn't I see this before? I'm channeling my inner king of pop now: I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place (If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place) Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change (Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change) (Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na, Na Nah)


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