ELECTION ‘12//ALCO SUPERVISOR DIST 2 | The catatonic demeanor of Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle is not a new thing, says Union City Mark Green. The two worked together on the Union City City Council for over a decade ending in 2010. They now face off next month, along with Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi and Mark Turnquist, in the race to secure the final two years of Nadia Lockyer’s disgraced first term.

Valle’s stoic stare and quiet, boy-in-a-library speaking voice, along with an unwillingness to play hard ball politics while his main rival, Hayashi, lobs bombs in his path, is causing concern for many Democrats who think he is not trying hard enough.

Green said there is no reason to confuse Valle’s perceived lack of effort with his passion. “He’s a very smart guy,” Green said after Wednesday night’s forum in Hayward. On three different occasions during the forum, humorous comments by some of the candidates elicited a chuckle from the group, but not from Valle, who stared expressionless while the others guffawed.

Green said in all his years working with Valle it is a very rare occasion to see him offer a humorous quip. “He’s almost always in a sedative or meditative mood,” said Green. The description is not all that odd when you add Valle is a practicing Buddhist. In fact, much of his campaign discourse over the past two months has included references to humanity at large and the interconnected universe around us.

All this New Age talk though hasn’t stopped Hayashi from repeatedly bashing Valle in public. On Wednesday, Hayashi added yet another wrinkle to argument against Valle, claiming he took exorbitant raises, as late as 2010, while working at Tri-CED, the non-profit recycling company he helped found, while passing on rate increases to customers. As she leveled the explosive charge, Valle with pursed lips, again stared into the great beyond, blinked once and never addressed the assertion.