‘Nothing gets done’: Fairview resident is running for five local offices

Nicholas Harvey, a resident of Fairview in unincorporated Alameda County, is fed up with the local array of governments serving his area. So, he decided to run for public office this November. Not for just one office, but five!

Sidewalks are lacking near schools and churches, despite repeated complaints, said Harvey. “Nothing gets done.”

Harvey’s candidacy qualified for the East Bay Municipal Utilities District Ward 3 seat; two at-large seats on the Hayward school board; the three contested seats on the Eden Health District Board of Directors; in addition, to the three seats on the Fairview Fire Protection District Board; and the AC Transit Board seat in Ward 4 currently held by Mark Williams.

Originally, Harvey pulled papers for eight offices in the area, including the Oro Loma Sanitary District Board of Directors, the Hayward Area Recreation District Board of Directors, and East Bay Regional Parks District Board of Directors.

As an avid cyclist, who does not own a car and relies entirely on public transportation, Harvey says the main focus of his orthodox campaign is AC Transit’s embattled boardmember Mark Williams. “I want to win all of them, but the AC Transit seat is the one I’m really gunning for,” he said.

Williams Mark sunglasses
AC Transit Ward 4 Director Mark Williams has served unincorporated Alameda County and portions of Hayward and San Leandro since 2010.

In January, came reports that Williams had not filed a campaign finance report between 2012 and 2016. And after Williams neglected to respond to inquiries by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), they issued him a staggering $60,000 fine.

“By failing to timely file these pre-election campaign statements,” the FPPC wrote last fall. “Williams hid his campaign activities from his opponent and the public.” Williams reportedly negotiated a much lower fine.

“The bus system is terribly run,” said Harvey. “Especially the ’94 Line’ through East Street (in Hayward), which I ride.” Despite Harvey issuing complaints at recent AC Transit meetings, the bus line has not improved, in fact, he believes it’s gotten worse.

Meanwhile, an incumbent in another race facing Harvey this fall took exception to his electoral gambit. East Bay MUD Ward 7 Director Frank Mellon appeared destined to run unopposed for the seat he’s held since 1994, until Harvey’s name showed up as a qualified candidate on the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website last Friday evening.

Mellon Frank
East Bay MUD Ward 7 Director Frank Mellon

Mellon lashed out on Facebook over weekend claiming, among other things, Harvey’s strategy could cost Alameda County taxpayers $1 million if he is successful in winning a few of his races. The argument being Harvey could win seats that are incompatible, meaning they present a potential conflict of interest, and therefore trigger a costly special election.

Harvey joined the fray to defend himself on Facebook, and took exception to some of the vitriol from Mellon and his supporters. Comments, which he said are hypocritical “How I’m being treated is reminiscent of Trump and ostensibly these people don’t like Trump,” said Harvey.

According to Harvey, Mellon arrived on his doorstep last Saturday in order to deliver him the local newspaper and East Bay MUD-related documents. Harvey said he returned the favor the next day, showing up at Mellon’s house, although nobody came to the door, he said.

The extent of Mellon dissatisfaction, however, may rest on the fact that Harvey qualifying as the second candidate in the East Bay MUD race cost Mellon thousands in order to place a candidate statement in the Alameda County voters’ guide. For many low-profile, down ballot races like Mellon’s, a candidate statement may be the only chance to introduce yourself to voters.

The act of running for multiple elected offices is not entirely unique this fall. In Emeryville, Ken Bukowski is running for the City Council and school board.

19 thoughts on “‘Nothing gets done’: Fairview resident is running for five local offices

  1. Hi, you may be interested in doing a follow-up story about Mr. Nick Harvey, running for 5 seats, what it is costing the taxpayers for him to be on the ballot against incumbents, how (AFTER he got on the ballot) he has expressed no interest in 4 of the 5 and how he didn’t even show up yesterday for the LWV Candidate Forum on 3 of the 5, one of which (EBMUD) he purports to be “gunning for”.

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  2. Yesterday, EBMUD had a special Board meeting to address the open seats that are uncontested for 2018. In those uncontested races, Board members Coleman, Young and Katz were appointed to continuing four year terms. As a matter of public record, the fiscal impact of the Ward 7 contest is noted to possibly “be between $373,000 and $560,000 – depending on the counties’ estimated charge per number of registered voters in Ward 7.”

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  3. The Fairview Fire District is unrelated to the county and so are their programs such as the chipping service. The county does not have any obligation to fund any chipping program in Fairview. They have their own budget and obligations and cannot makeup for shortfalls of other agencies. Mr. Harvey has the most bloated and expensive ego in Alameda County. I cannot think of a greater waste of money. It its right up there with $4,000 toilet seats.

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  4. Dear BCBD Bear,

    Thank you for the correction. I was misinformed and did not check to see if the Fairview Fire District was connected to Alameda County or not. My apologies.

    I have now learned that FFFD is under contract to the Hayward Fire Department through the next few years and that the FFD is not connected with Alameda County. The taxpayers connected with the City of Hayward are connected to the FFD, by way of California state law, not the County of Alameda. Again thank you for taking the time on behalf of the FFD and the Hayward taxpayers.

    As for Mellon’s assessments of the electoral costs I have no idea what those are. You are much closer those real costs. I think Mr. Mellon was talking about the EBMUD assessed costs for an election. He should be relied upon for an accurate assessment. If he says that the EBMUD planned cost is $1,000 to file for Ward 7, I am not in a position to doubt his veracity. I assume that that is the charge for each candidate to make the cost of election cost neutral for the taxpayers.

    I do not know what the fees are that are assessed by the County for each of the positions in the upcoming primary in November. I would hope that the costs are neutral to the taxpayer and born equally by the candidate and the district so that the costs do not detract from the services from the position in the election. Certainly the imposition of candidate fees are part of the democracy and elective policy. I am sure all candidates are told that when they file. That way dilettante candidates do not become an economic burden on the part of the electorate.

    As to chipping services, those would seem to me to be best funded under contract as the rest of the FFD services are covered. Otherwise the chipping costs would fall under the Fairview MAC and the County through District 4 Nate Miley.

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  5. For the record in response to theomordha, Justice and Clark (FFPD) were NOT appointed or approved by Nate Miley. You may be confusing the FFPD with the Fairview MAC, whose members WERE approved by Mr. Miley. Justice and Clark were interviewed (among others, including Harvey) and duly appointed by the FFPD Board of Directors to fill vacancies on the Board. They are Incumbents on the November ballot, not “members” as titled on the Candidates’ List on this blog. As far as costs go, I’ve no idea if Mr. Mellon’s estimates are accurate, but I think FFPD’s ballot share cost is closer to $12,000.00 because it is now a contested race. In my opinion, that money could have been better spent on community services such as chipping programs.

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  6. Frank,

    This is the fourth time (between numerous Facebook posts and meeting you in person) you have stated it would cost the county $1 million for me to run, and each time I ask you to provide documentation to support your claims. And each time, you ignore my call to provide evidence corroborating what you are saying. As you saw on the FB post, I posted some resources for you from ROV and EBMUD; however, these posts have received no response.

    Thank you and I look forward to seeing the sources from the figures you are quoting.

    Nicholas “Nick” Harvey

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  7. Frank Mellon here – thanks for bringing this to the public’s attention.

    However, there needs to be some clarifications. First – the cost of the election is determined by the County — regardless of who wins. That cost is based on the number of votes cast in each contest. For example, in 2014 there was a contested race in EBMUD Ward 3 (my Ward is 7) and the final bill was $187,000 from the County. This year, assuming the same number of votes cast – the bill could be as low as $200,000. Each agency gets a different bill because of the number of final votes in each contest. Each agency figures its own budget for the election, but must wait for the final bill.

    For example, East Bay Regional Parks budgets $500,000 per ward. AC Transit does about the same. EBMUD figures it could be has high as $350,000 while Fairview Fire estimates it will cost more than $10,000.

    Last Friday, August 10th, when it looked like Harvey had qualified for six of the eight races he pulled papers on – the $1,000,000 total cost estimate seemed pretty sure. That is until the issue of conflicting compatibility between EBMUD and EBRP came into play. The Registrar of Voters would have needed to step in and do a determination of whether or not those elections could proceed forward – EBMUD and EBRP are closely intertwined in their operations. There’s no telling how expensive making a determination could have been.

    However, because Harvey failed to follow instructions – he only obtained 40 signatures on his EBRP papers instead of 50 (Harvey told me this personally) he was disqualified from the EBRP contest. This took place after noon on Monday August 13th. So, that did change the potential cost to the taxpayers of Alameda County to somewhere between $500, 000 and $750,000 – again depending on the number of votes cast in each separate contest. I have not included the Eden Health District and Hayward Unified in the cost guess to taxpayers because there are so many candidates in those races that one more doesn’t change their over all cost – it still is on the number of votes case in each contest.

    As far as running for a number offices – there was a time when there was a person who ran for and won seats on Cabot College and Eden Health. As I remember, that person filed candidate statements in both races and won. Because there was no compatibility issues, there was no concern. And that person followed the instructions exactly.

    With regards to the contest Harvey intends to pursue – he told me the same as reported in the story – he was aiming for Mark Williams. However, those are only words – there has been no press release, no candidate statement, no nothing to validate. Therefore, he is pursuing five races (instead of the six he actually produced papers on).

    Finally, EBMUD Ward 7 – it costs $1,000 to file a candidate statement – that’s all. I had that budgeted and paid gladly because it showed my commitment to the voters of the Ward. Eight years ago, I had an opponent who filed a candidate statement and showed his commitment to the contest. It was a vigorous contest with issues well-discussed. It should be noted that it costs nothing to take out papers or file papers that are completed in accordance with the instructions – IF there is no candidate statement.

    Thank you again for following this story – I trust the foregoing fills the gaps.

    Frank Mellon

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  8. Nicholas,

    I will reach out to you on your campaign Gmail account. Give me a call when you have a moment after you get the email.

    Sorry to have confused you. My post was to Steve Tavares and was not addressed to you. I was hoping to get a sense of what political spectrum you are coming from and what you thought of Nate. He is the person who will handle all of the things that you want done in the Unincorporated Areas like Fairview.

    I applaud your efforts to participate in the electoral process. You are taking on 5 separate positions and covering a very disparate group of opponents and issues with well funded silos with clever enfilades that are usually debilitating.

    My first question was what you think of Nate Miley. Steve did not say. Ron
    Cohen and the Anonymous Trolls are from the Trump Republican Party or are Libertarians, if you can get a straight coherent line from them.

    Nate is your solution to getting your sidewalks done in the Unincorporated Area through the PWA. I would be happy to assist you with the strategy to get this done.

    Lisa Brunner and William McGee are an interesting pair in that dysfunctional board swamp known as the Hayward School Board. You will need to get a position together if you are really serious about the school board. I am sure you have attended enough meetings to know how poorly the board and the district work together with the teachers. Perhaps you and Todd can form some sort of a cabal to wend your way in to the Board.

    Mark Williams is a known quantity. You will need a lot of luck and money to displace him. He has a lot of allies. I look forward to hearing from you about your success with him.

    Frank Mellon from EBMUD is the only real incumbent you will have a tough time beating. He is well entrenched within the district and is owned by most special interests. He is easily defeated with money.

    Mike Justice and Bob Clark are both approved by Nate. They will be hard for you to take down, unless you have put together a strong platform and can campaign this door to door. That one you may win without a lot of money.

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  9. Bull crap, Williams when be elected, just like most of those crooks on AcTransit are always re-elected

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  10. Hi theomordha, this is Nicholas Harvey. I’m confused what you mean with regard to “You left out mention of Nicholas’s impressions of the assistance provided by Nate Miley” — can you please clarify? There is a sidewalk coming in on East Avenue between E St and Camino Vista; however, it does not fill in adjacent connector streets like Hansen and Windfeldt which have ~200ft and ~80ft gaps in sidewalk respectively. These streets are very important for kids walking to the elementary school, church, pre-school, and community center.

    Please feel free to reach out at HarveyforHayward@gmail.com — thanks for your engagement and I look forward to answering any questions you have.

    Nick

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  11. Steve,

    Thank you for adding Nicholas Harvey to your list of would be elected representatives standing in the November election. You left out mention of Nicholas’s impressions of the assistance provided by Nate Miley. So where would Nicolas place himself in the political spectrum of Hayward.

    Again, thank you so much. We hear so little about Fairview.

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