Oro Loma board member Laython Landis opts for retirement after racist comments

With Landis’ retirement next month, the Oro Loma
board will begin searching for his replacement.

ORO LOMA SANITARY DISTRICT | After repeated calls for his resignation following the use of a racial slur during a meeting last December, Oro Loma Sanitary District board member Laython Landis is instead choosing retirement, effective Mar. 30.

The Oro Loma Sanitary District made the announcement Friday afternoon ending a tumultuous few weeks for the normally understated low-level government body that represents 135,000 residents in Central Alameda County.

The board censured Landis, 88, for sexist and racist comments made in the past that reached its nadir in early December when he referred to the heavy rains that day with a racial slur. “It’s raining cats and dogs and n—ger babies,” he said during the committee meeting.

Last Wednesday, the board directed its counsel to ask permission from State Attorney General Kamala Harris’s office to sue Landis in an effort to prove his mentally capacity had diminished to the point he could not competently hold the office he has held for 42 years.

Numerous political groups had officially called for Landis’ ouster in recent weeks and pressure from his colleagues to resign may have taken a toll.

In a phone conversation Thursday afternoon, Landis told the East Bay Citizen he was contemplating an exit from the board when “a good friend” suggested, instead, he choose retirement over resignation.

That friend was former San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos.

“The word resignation was really holding him up,” said Santos. “Why should he have the stigma of resigning his seat? What he said obviously was not right, but you can’t ignore what he’s done in local politics over the past 60 years.”

In fact, on three separate occasions during our conversation Thursday Landis quickly corrected me when I used the word resignation, instead of retirement.

He also suggested he would not notify the sanitary district of his intentions to leave the board for another 7-10 days, but instead, called its executive director Thursday evening to deliver the news.

As for the district board’s attempt to question his mental acuity, Landis responded, “Do I seem competent to you?” he asked. “Yes!”

The effective date for Landis’ retirement is also his birthday. “I’m going to be 89. I think it’s a good time to retire.”

11 thoughts on “Oro Loma board member Laython Landis opts for retirement after racist comments

  1. By MW:

    In regard to the above post of 1:56PM, and which is supposedly from someone named Linda Fraley and who refers to Laython Landiis as her “uncle.”

    If Laython Landis, and who is about ninety years old, has reached a point at which his mind is almost totally gone, perhaps Linda Fraley should present clearcut evidence of that to the five members of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, and then maybe one of them would appoint Laython Landis to the Tree Advisory Board, and including since the management of the Public Works Agency and at least some of the members of the AC Board of Supervisors want the Tree Advisory Board to be composed of totally braindead people who will be nothing but rubberstamps and easily manipulated puppets on a string.

    In fact if Laython Landis is almost totally braindead, then based on the “standards” of the management of the PWA he would be absolutely “perfect” for the Tree Advisory Board.

    First of all, and as previously mentioned, the management of the PWA only wants people on the Tree Advisory Board who are totally braindead and nothing but rubberstamps; and two, as a member of the TAB Laython Landis would get to “participate” and believe he is serving the public and the community.

    (NOTE: In fact speaking of totally braindead people who are nothing but puppets and easily manipulated rubberstamps, often it seems that in reality the management of such departments as the Public Works Agency are the real bosses, and the members of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors have no major function except to be their yes men and rubberstamps.)


  2. I would have liked the issue to have been pushed to the office of Kamala Harris. If my uncle had been declared incompetent by the state it would make it a hell of a lot easier for my cousin to take charge of his affairs. As it is now, Uncle Layton is losing every asset he has to his loss of mind. He does have special needs son and former wife to still support. His Kaiser neurologist refuses to demo him incompetent and Adult Protective Services is very, very slow to help.


  3. Tony Santos seems to feel Landis is still sharp as a tack and has done wonderful things for the community that none of us should forget, perhaps he'll have an idea or two. I agree completely that it would be a terrible shame to let all this talent and wonderful legacy slip through our fingers.


  4. By MW:

    If he is extremely senile and/or a completely out of control drunk, then it would be shame for us members of the general public to lose his “talents” and “abilities” by forcing him to totally leave public life.

    More specifically, if he is an extreme drunk and/or a world class nitwit and/or extremely senile, then we should make use of his “talents” and “abilities” and let him continue to serve the public by giving him a job in Alameda County's DA's Office, County Counsel's Office, or a management position in the Public Works Agency.


  5. Along with every other practicing Catholic who attended Mass over 1/17-1/18, I joined in the Prayers of the People “that racism and bigotry be forever wiped from the face of the earth, Lord hear our prayer.” Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.


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