A vacancy on the Hayward City Council has been filled by the third-highest vote-getter in the November election.
The Hayward City Council on Jan. 9 voted, 5-0-1, to appoint city planning commissioner Dan Goldstein to fill a two-year vacancy on the council that opened up after councilmember Mark Salinas was elected the city’s mayor in November.
“I am overwhelmed with joy,” Goldstein said, thanking his supporters and the council.
Most of the councilmembers agreed that Goldstein was the right person to fill the role because he has been active in the city and could easily join the council and hit the ground running. They also pointed to the fact that he received 7,247 votes, coming in third in a field of eight candidates despite losing out to Syrop and Julie Roche, who received 8,183 and 11,863 votes, respectively.
“I need to do the right thing,” councilmember Francisco Zermeno said, “and in my mind, today, the right thing is to listen to the over 7,000 people who voted for Dan Goldstein,”
However, councilmember George Syrop, who abstained from the vote, said he felt that the appointment should be considered its own race since 45 people applied for the position, five of whom were interviewed by the council during the Monday night meeting — Goldstein, chair of the city community services commission Artavia Berry, lifelong Hayward resident Ray Bonilla, county legislative aide Austin Bruckner and city planning commissioner Aidan Ali-Sullivan.
“I, personally, see this appointment process as a separate race with an entirely new batch of candidates and that’s what’s informing my decision-making process,” Syrop said.
The city was spoiled for choice, but Syrop said he felt Berry was the best candidate after seeing her leadership with the Russell City Reparative Justice Project, which is trying to determine appropriate restitution for the city of Hayward to give the descendants of Russell City residents who were forcibly displaced when the community was annexed into the city and redeveloped.
“I think it’s really setting a precedent for how cities can approach healing and restitution,” Syrop said.
Bonilla was also nominated, but neither he nor Berry garnered the four votes needed for the appointment.