ELECTION ’12//SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL DIST 2 | As early as last July, there were rumors the campaign for San Leandro’s District 2 seat would get vicious. Candidate Dan Dillman faces the possibility of incarceration next year for obstruction of justice against two Alameda County sheriff’s deputies. San Leandro school board trustee Morgan Mack-Rose heard rumors circulating surrounding her private life and the incumbent Councilwoman Ursula Reed is perceived to some as unresponsive, and, at times, absent from her district.

So it is not surprising one of the candidates apparently vowed early on to run a clean campaign. However, a voice message obtained by The Citizen shows, in hindsight, the truce was broken by the same candidate who first proposed it.

Reed played a two-minute voice mail to her from Mack-Rose calling for a respectful fall campaign. The recording, received Aug. 1 shows Mack-Rose addressing a “disturbing rumor” going around that she plans to campaign negatively against Reed.

“I have no intention of doing that,” says Mack-Rose, who later assured Reed of her “personal respect” for the sitting councilmember. Besides, says Mack-Rose, “people don’t want to hear negative.”

Reed says she is bringing the voice mail to the public in response to a claim by Mack-Rose at an event Sept. 25 that Reed proposed purchasing and later accepting, in trying economic times like these, a city-issued iPad. Mack-Rose’s implication was the expenditure was a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. A mailer featuring the same falsehood was also sent to area seniors last month.

“It would be unconscionable to take iPads when we didn’t have enough money for papers for our students and I question the validity of the councilwoman’s statement that she did not accept an iPad, because she did,” said Mack-Rose on Sept. 25.

“I have no idea where she got her facts,” said Reed, afterwards, “because that didn’t happen.” Although, Reed, already in possession of her own tablet, first broached the idea of saving money by replacing paper city council agendas with iPads, she never accepted one paid for by the city, according to its IT Department.

The accusation and falsehood is not without precedent in these odd, often times bitter races for the council’s three open seats with most of the antics centering around two of Mayor Stephen Cassidy’s hand-picked candidates, Mack-Rose and Chris Crow in District 4.