There were no funny road signs at City Hall when
a picketing city employee was nearly run over.

HAYWARD | The new road signs around Cal State East Bay in Hayward are bringing loads of positive attention to the often overlooked and self-described “heart of the bay.”

Not only did the local press eat up the new signs urging pedestrians to cross the street before posting to Facebook, but the national media has reached hard for the unique and confectionery nature of the story.

However, the publicity totally overshadowed a very serious development in Hayward.

Recall, Hayward city workers were sideswiped last year when the City Council voted to impose a five percent wage cut rather than negotiate with workers. Over 300 employees have been without a contract for nearly two years.

Hayward city officials say its finances are unstable with pensions and health care costs for current and retired employees outstripping revenues.

Amid the warm and fuzzy publicity over the quirky road signs came this sobering news:

“A major Bay Area-based transit bus maker is leaving Hayward, its home for almost 80 years, to take up residence in a massive manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters in Livermore,” the Daily Review reported Feb. 6.

The loss of Hayward bus manufacturer Gillig amounts to a stunning blow to the city’s already stagnant tax base and its inability to pay competitive wages to its city employees.

In addition, it is not entirely clear whether Hayward city officials did anything early on to dissuade Gillig from relocated to the Tri Valley area.

Curiously, the Daily Review’s coverage of Gillig’s move represents the only article on the subject. Meanwhile, nearly every local media service reported on the road signs story plus the multiplier effect of far-flung affiliates picking up the story across the country.

That being said, Hayward city employees probably wish there were creative road signs next to City Hall when an angry resident put a picketing city worker in the hospital after nearly running over him two years ago.