Jan. 12, 2012 | San Leandro Planning Commissioner Chris Crow awoke Wednesday morning to the nasty reality of political skulduggery when he learned the councilmember who appointed him to the seat hopes to inexplicably remove him without notice.
The release of next Tuesday’s City Council agenda contains a motion calling for Crow’s removal. First-term Councilwoman Ursula Reed named Crow to the commission in 2010. A separate motion Tuesday recommends appointing Ed Hernandez to replace Crow. Commissioners serve at the pleasure of the council.
Crow, who has been contemplating a run for Reed’s District 2 since the fall, says he was never notified of the change before learning about it in the council agenda. He has also entertained the possibility of running for Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak’s termed-out District 4 seat located in Washington Manor.
The move by Reed appears politically motivated. Last year, observers in San Leandro say Reed was repeatedly on the receiving end of political pressure applied by Mayor Stephen Cassidy and the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce–a byproduct of the mayor’s inability to gain a consistent majority of votes on council items, they say.
Crow says he received an email Wednesday from Reed alluding to her intention to relieve him of his duties. She also claims her intention to replace him was communicated in a conversation last September after he mentioned the possibility of running against her next fall, said Crow.
Although some have questioned Reed’s performance in the past, primarily a perception that she is often absent from community functions, Crow’s removal may have more to do with his vocal support for embattled Bal Theatre owner Dan Dillman and his fight against the city community development department over liquor and event licenses. It’s a reality Crow says may have rankled some feathers at City Hall.
Recently, Crow has, at times, appeared to represent Dillman in community meetings and public hearings while portraying a sharp contrast to the cities position on the multi-purpose theater located in Reed’s district along East 14th Street.
Aside from Crow there are no expected challengers for District 2, as of yet, and no known candidates for District 4.