Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday

HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL | There’s a reason why it’s good to be the king. Of course, it means you run the show and during new Mayor Barbara Halliday’s first chance to wield her powers last week, she took control and avoided a potential loss of face.

One of the five candidates for the appointment to the Hayward City Council remarked the pick of Planning Commissioner Elisa Marquez was a fait accompli. However, the candidacy of another commissioner, Rodney Loche still lingered. Then the public politicking began.

Keep in mind, city council’s typically strive for appointments of this kind to be unanimous affairs. It’s good for camaraderie and sets a positive tone. When a majority of the six council members voiced public support for Marquez, the minority should have read the writing on the wall and begrudgingly supported her. Both Councilmembers Greg Jones and Marvin Peixoto also remarked positively upon Marquez.

This is when holding the gavel can save an elected official some grief. When the council comment period concluded, Halliday didn’t ask her colleagues for a motion to nominate a candidate, but quickly changed course and did it herself. Halliday motioned for Marquez and she was approved, 4-2.

Those two no votes represent a somewhat impolite decision by Jones and Peixoto since there was little doubt in Marquez’s nomination. But, the onus is on them because Halliday beat them to the punch. If Jones or Peixoto had the opportunity to instead nominate Loche from the start, the other four council members would have then been put in the position of voting no.

These are the little political games that are easily ignored when played correctly like Halliday did last week. When they are not, it begins a tiny tear that can fester into a gaping hole later.