Mayor To Hayward: With Better Schools, Your Home Could Be Worth $100k More!

HAYWARD | Hayward Mayor Michael Sweeney says the city is going nowhere fast unless it improves its consistently flagging schools.

“We’re at the bottom,” said Sweeney, while pointing to a chart before residents Wednesday at a neighborhood state of the city address. “We’re the lowest performing school in Alameda County. Take a long look at that. This is a big problem.”

State of the City, Jan. 30, Southland Mall
PHOTO/Natalia Aldana

If the city’s schools could merely rise to the level of its neighbor, Castro Valley, roughly in the middle of the pack among Academic Performance Index (API) scores in Alameda County, Sweeney believes many of the city’s financial ills could be instantly solved. “I would wager if Hayward schools were performing, at say, the levels Castro Valley schools are,” he said, “we wouldn’t have a structural deficit and you’re houses are probably worth $100,000 or more and our future is probably limitless.”

Like most cities, a majority of Hayward’s annual revenue comes from sales and property taxes. The steep decline of both in the past few years is a major reason why Hayward plowed ahead with deep cuts to services and staff following some of the largest deficits in the county.

Hayward’s moribund, but potentially prosperous downtown, however, may be the victim of “unrealistic expectations” when it comes property owners’ demands for rent, Sweeney said. While the city’s industrial areas may offer businesses bargains, Sweeney believes downtown property owners, some of whom live locally, he forcefully noted, are holding out for greater rent demands, while empty storefronts are scattered across the city.

When it comes to education, the Hayward Unified School District has been at or near the bottom in student API scores for the last five years, says Sweeney, yet the mayor and City Council’s hands are tied in making more than incremental progress since the school district is overseen by a separate elected school board. “However,” said Sweeney, “it’s on all of us, because we put those people in office.”

But, Sweeney is skeptical about the current leadership at the school district led by Superintendent Donald Evans. “I’m not sure the school district is clear about their priorities.” He added he is unsure there is accountability from the school superintendent down to teachers on a clear directions for the school district.

The schools will not improve, says Sweeney, unless residents communicate with the school board in a “vigorous manner” and parents strive to take a more hands-on role in their children’s education. “There needs to be a constituency that is willing to raise holy hell,” Sweeney said. “If there is not, then it’s going to be tough.” However, Sweeney noted the lack of outrage by residents over the affair last year between two sitting school board members, which allowed the board to virtually run out the clock without ever dealing with the issue in a public manner.

“We now have two new members who could make a difference, but, we’ll see,” said Sweeney, referencing Annette Walker and John Taylor. “I think we all try to be hopeful after each election, but how many times have we been burned?”



Categories: Annette Walker, Castro Valley, economy, Hayward, hayward school board, hayward school district, John Taylor, Michael Sweeney, property tax, recession, sales tax, schools

86 replies

  1. Cant' think of anything this guy Salinas has done for Hayward, but he will cite all the things he claims to have supported when he runs again. Claim credit for everything, but never accomplish anything and still get paid.

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  2. I thinks Mark Salinas gets an F- minus just like Sweeny for dweebs of lousy community service. Bunch of losers.

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  3. as ineffective as Mr. Salinas is he will still be considered a good candidate if Sweeny doesn't run for re-election. In this town it matters not that our elected officials do nothing but strut around glad-handing people. Hayward deserves what it gets.

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  4. Glad-hand…To be overly friendly with a stranger in order to gain an advantage.

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  5. We need somebody with lots of balls that does not cowtows to anybody unions included and you are right Hayward deserves what it gets of these Sweenes and Salinas and Jones and Zermenos and Halliday and Mendal…all machine whores and losers. I wish I could move out of this area.

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  6. Seriously Hayward people, did you really expect anything from the Sweeney council of Zermeno, Salinas, Mendal, Peixoto, Jones and Halliday to improve Hayward? Historically you people enjoy voting for political machine candidates that are endorsed by the mafias of the employee unions of the city: police, firemen, etc,. How do you think Hayward has a police chief that is double dipping she makes $500k a year. You people in Hayward have no one to blame but yourselves.

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  7. lol… the picture of Mayor Sweeney labels him as the F- mayor of Hayward…lol.

    So how do we get at least a C- mayor or maybe in lala land an A+ mayor?

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  8. Double dipping? Really!

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  9. 1:24 The Hayward police chief collecting from pension 250k and salary from Hayward of 250K is not double dipping it is legal, get your facts straight that is not double dipping.

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  10. collecting pension and pay is not double dipin

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  11. I wish you could move out of the area too. You're such a downer.

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  12. Interesting. A good candidate for what reason? Not being honest about his profession, double dipping into public money for his council salary and funds for the organization he heads; not providing leadership; not serving all of Hayward; and being an egomaniac who likes to hear himself talk. Credible candidate really?

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  13. Sounds like Mark Salinas to me :0)

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  14. to negative critisizing double dipping..that is just how things get done stop being a downer

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  15. To 3:46. No it isn't just how things get done. Many cities have prohibitions against such shennaggins. You can't be a Hayward taxpayer and condone this behavior. Change would be very good for our city.

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  16. Funny if everyone moved who had a different opinion than the one espoused by 3:46 they would be the only one left in town.

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  17. All of you are downers the city has god things like the murals. So what if the mayor sweeny or council salinas have business on the side. It is legal for extra business and it is not double diping.

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  18. Some really good things including more than 5 new or substantially rehabilitated schools, improving test scores, new housing developments like Stonebrae, great golf course; new homes in downtown area near public transit; new landscaping on Mission/Foothill and on and on. Some things are good, some are bad. Our goal should always be to be better. Won't be easy with the group now in charge. I do believe the new school board will do a good job.

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  19. Maybe some basic re-education classes for parents on the English language and math to better tutor their children. Or mandatory motivational classes to educate parents on the importance of education and how it benefits society as a whole.

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  20. i only want to talk about the great things hayward has done with murals. The rest is old news because it goes on all the time.

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  21. Murals
    Where else can an artist display their talents for the world to see 24/7 365. With no change out at the end of the month. You must be good and many of the Hayward mural artist are very good. And you don't have to pay or wait in line to see their work.

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  22. Get rid of the corruption that exists with the former director of maintenance who has a relative that is doing all the concrete work and went on to take a position with Headstart and has his partner from a former place of employment that took his position to escape an investigation of nepitism, who may be receiving kickbacks. I believe this may be an organized crime system taking place. I take my hat off to Dr. Reynoso to being a watchdog on district spending.

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  23. The politics of perception not necessarily legality. Are other non-profits seeking support disadvantaged because these two have more influence and give the money to themselves. They should resign from the non-profit or resign from council.

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  24. Grand Jury investigation! Who wants to blow the whistle? Quit the the wallet padding of the fat elephants and the system of dictatorship and tierany ( Lord and Master).

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  25. Has Sweeney ever asked what influence the teachers union has on the quality of education in Hayward schools. Told recently by a parent that Castro Valley schools have taken a downward turn. How well do non-union influenced school districts do compared to Hayward?
    Believe that parents who use dishonest means to send their kids out of their home district should be severely punished since it takes away money from the local district.

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  26. Mendal at the Hayward city council sends his kids to the Sunol school district. Oh, I guess the council is not here to support Hayward schools.

    Sweeney how about that you little F- mayor.

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  27. One challenge that all schools experience is absenteeism. It's a big problem.

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  28. F- mayor ..do you mean F minus or F***
    When you speak of Sweeney

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  29. Has anyone ever asked Mendal why he sent his kid(s) to Sunol? Lockyer did that with their child too. Used the excuse that it was for work and child care reasons. So I guess when the kid(s) get to be teens the same excuse will work????? It is so very easy to criticize when you don't have to do anything to resolve the problem…Right Mr. Mendal and Mr. Sweeny???

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  30. Why don't you ask him yourself? His email address is on the city web site.

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  31. I have emailed both and NO response from wimpy sweeney and wimpy mendal.. the wimpy clones

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  32. maybe would be better if you use the word spineless instead of wimpy

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  33. or just don't call people names.

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  34. I think spineless Mayor Sweeney is more appropriate, and actually the entire city council like that too.

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  35. union and trailer park whores

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  36. Great Post! It's very nice to read this info from someone that actually knows what they are talking about. http://bwbaker.com

    Like

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