New Vice Mayor Jim Prola

SAN LEANDRO CITY COUNCIL | San Leandro Councilmember Jim Prola was appointed vice mayor this week. The motion was made without discussion and passed, 4-3. Then there was a pause.

Councilmembers detailed their mostly mundane past two weeks. Councilmember Michael Gregory rode his bike with the mayor. Prola attended every event in the county and Pauline Cutter said something akin to thinking out loud, then came Councilmember Diana Souza’s turn to speak.

“Many of you know I have not been vice mayor,” said a sorrowful Souza. “I would have embraced the opportunity to be vice mayor and, yes, I am disappointed that I did not have the support of my colleagues.”

Nearing the end of her second term on the City Council, Souza had never been elected by her peers to serve the entirely ceremonially title of vice mayor. Along with Souza, Councilmembers Ursula Reed and Benny Lee also voted against Prola’s appointment, all without any acrimony towards the victor.

However, it was clear Souza was hurt by the snub, even alluding to apparent horse trading that may have occurred during the run-up to Monday’s quick vote. To win the appointment, Souza said, she would have had to “compromise my values and integrity that got me elected and some would say, ‘that is just politics’ and I say, ‘that is not my politics.’”

She went on to criticize the current council environment for producing “conformity rather collaboration.” The latter point holds some truth. Over the past few years, the San Leandro City Council has shown a propensity for middling city-wide discussions and leaders who almost always lead from the back rather than the front.

Prola, also in his second term on the council, had been similarly passed over for vice mayor the last two years before getting the nod this week.

The council’s decision is also a slight blow to Souza’s potential run next year for mayor against Stephen Cassidy. Even if Souza was successful Monday night, the term for vice mayor only extends one year, leaving a roughly six month space before the November 2014 election.

However, as stated before, the campaign season starts now and the title of vice mayor to the layperson carries an air of importance, even though now-former Vice Mayor Gregory once labeled the job’s sole duty as making certain the candy dishes on the council member dais is filled.

Categories: 2014, Diana Souza, Jim Prola, mayor, Michael Gregory, S.L. City Council, san leandro, vice mayor

16 replies

  1. I think it was well deserved.


  2. Prola works harder, puts more time in, and attends more city events than Souza or the other Council members. Even though I don't always agree with him, he should be Vice Mayor.


  3. 10:13

    How do you know he goes to every city events?


  4. Congratulations to new Vice Mayor Jim Prola. He seems to have a lot of energy and my wife and I do see him often at city functions, and other events and fundraisers around San Leandro.


  5. Good luck Jim. You made the right choice council.


  6. How do I know Prola attends every meeting? It's a joke, but he sure attends a lot of them. I'd say Prola is one of the hardest working council members in the East Bay.


  7. Until Jim's appointment, neither District 3 or 6 had held the vice-mayor position this millenium. Its time to rotate the position.


  8. Prola hard working for unions only!
    I will pick Cassidy for Mayor because he's smarter than Prola – although don't care for either one of them.


  9. Prola is one of the hardest working yet not productive council members in the East Bay.


  10. My husband and I attend a lot of fund-raisers for non-profits and other happenings in our city. We see the Prolas, Jim and his wife Diana, at a lot more of them than Souza. We are glad Jim received the most votes Vice-Mayor.


  11. Jimmy neither has mayoral quality nor policy IQ.

    Will vote re-elect mayor.


  12. Between A Sly and A Bully…Fun to Watch.


  13. Prola was just re-elected in 2012 and his term expires at the end of 2016. He has told people he doesn't think he will run for Mayor, which is probably why Cassidy voted for him to be Vice Mayor. That, and he is more qualified because he puts in more time, is smarter, and works harder than Souza. I wish him the best.


  14. Souza has been passed over 3 years in a row. Gregory beat her in 2011 and 2012 which shows she hasn't earned the respect of the other Council members or the Mayor. It isn't politics. In her almost 8 years on the Council she has accomplished what? Can't think of a single thing she has started and done.


  15. Gregory made 2 terms what did he has started and done?


  16. Think the team of Prola and Cassidy will be a good one for our city. Maybe one of the best the city has ever had in the 20+ years I've lived here. If they learn to play nice they will move our city forward. They are both intelligent and sort of fix each others strengths and weaknesses. Good luck as Vice-Mayor Jim.


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