News Updates

Candidate Forums in Newark for November 4th Election

posted Nov 9, 2011, 7:35 AM by   [ updated Oct 1, 2014, 12:26 PM ]

The League of Women Voters of Fremont, Newark and Union City is hosting several candidates forums in Newark on Tuesday, September 30 at the Newark Council Chamber.

  • Newark Mayor 7:00 to 7:30: Al Nagy and Ray Rodriguez
  • Newark Council 7:40 to 8:30: Mike Bucci, Jane Dane, Michael Hannon, Francie Preciado, Elizabeth Reid-Gonzalez, David Rogowski, Mark Gonzales
  • Newark Unified School District 8:40 to 9: 30: Elizabeth Brazil, Tom Huynh, Nancy Thomas, Christopher Wecks

Questions for the candidates may be submitted online to or at the forum. Watch later at

Newark To Elect New Leaders On Nov. 8

posted Nov 7, 2011, 7:34 AM by

Also up for a vote, a $63 million school bond measure.
By Nika Megino

Changes are coming once Newark voters head out to the polls on Tuesday.

Mayor David Smith has governed Newark as mayor for 33 years, but his May 18 announcement that he would not seek re-election paved the way for a new leader.

Three individuals are seeking to fill Smith’s seat: (Click each of their names to see their answers to Patch’s Election Questionnaire.)

Ana Apodaca, a 38-year-old Newark native who works as a community and governmental relations manager for a healthcare organization and has served on the city council since 2005.
Apodaca's Top Three Priorities: Public Safety; Economic Development and Job Creation; and Improving Communication Between City Hall and Newark residents.

Al Nagy, a 70-year-old Newark resident of 43 years who works as a project manager for Menlo-Park based SRI International and has served on the city council since 1980.
Nagy's Top Three Priorities: Public Safety, which involves four components; Fiscal Management; and Quality of Life

Ray J. Rodriguez, a 65-year-old Newark resident of 38 years owns an insurance agency in Newark and has served on Newark Unified School District’s Board of Education since 1996.
Rodriguez's Top Three Priorities: Safety by addressing youth violence and break-ins, generating revenue by focusing on businesses, supporting performing arts/music and building a center for the arts.

The mayor seat is not the only one for grabs. Two council seats are open – and only councilman Luis Freitas is seeking re-election. Councilman Alberto Huezo announced his decision to not seek re-election in July.

Here are the five individuals running for city council: (Click each candidate's name for more information about each candidate.)
Rick Bensco, a resident of Newark for 15 years and a former small business owner.
Mike Bucci, a resident of Newark for 25 years and a journey millwright.
Sucy Collazo, a resident of Newark for 40 years and an owner of Mexico Tortilla Factory in Newark.
Jack Dane, a resident of Newark for 46 years and a tax adviser.
Luis Freitas, a resident of Newark for 35 years and the owner of Bay Valley Construction & Cabinets.

Learn more about the candidates by reading their candidate statements here and reading about their candidate finance statements here.

Also on the ballot is Measure G – a proposed school $63 million bond measure.

The bond measure’s text states that the bonds will go toward updating “aging classrooms, libraries, and science labs to meet earthquake/fire/safety standards; improve access for students with disabilities; remove asbestos, lead and hazardous materials; and improve energy/operational efficiency to maximize funding for instructional programs.”

For more information on Measure G, click here.

Polls will be open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. in five locations.

Click here to see a map of polling places. Find out where to vote by visiting the Alameda County Registrar of Voters website by clicking here.

For a full list of election coverage, click here.

Newark Patch will have live election results on Tuesday.

Meeting the Great People of Newark!!

posted Nov 4, 2011, 8:34 AM by

Jack Dane and Rick Bensco spent Thursday afternoon making the rounds throughout local neighborhoods to pass out flyers and meet the good people of Newark face to face. Responses from those the pair met were generally well received and both candidates were extremely pleased with the many nice citizens to whom they had spoken. Both Jack and Rick hope to get out again in the few remaining days and meet as many people as possible. Be on the lookout for them and have your questions ready.

Election 2011: Everything To Know Before You Vote

posted Nov 4, 2011, 8:13 AM by   [ updated Nov 4, 2011, 8:25 AM ]

Newark Patch - Meet Jack Dane

posted Nov 2, 2011, 3:26 PM by

City Council Candidate: Jack Dane

Jack Dane is a candidate for Newark City Council.

We sent an e-mail questionnaire to every candidate running in the local November election. Here are the answers we received from Jack Dane, a candidate for city council who has lived in Newark for 46 years.

Q. What is the primary reason you are running for this office?

A. I can help Newark in these troubled times.

Q. What will be your top three priorities if you get elected?

A. Fiscal Discipline, Gang suppression, Increase tax base.

Q. What sets you apart from the other candidates?

A. I am semi-retired, so I have the time necessary to devote to city business and needs. As a tax preparer, I have dealt with many individuals, families and small business owners. I understand their concerns about how their tax dollars are spent.

Q. What date were you born and where?

A. June 7, 1931.

Q. What is your spouse’s or domestic partner’s name, if any?

A. Theresa Ruth Rose Dane

Q. What are the names and ages of your children, if any?

A. Deborah (59), Jacqueline (58), Michael (56), Delinda (54), Brian (52), Albert (39), Douglas(29), Travis(27).

Q. List the schools and colleges you attended, the degrees you attained and when.

A. Chabot Community College AA Electronics, 1975; Mission Valley Regional Occupational Program Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, 2007

Q. Provide details about any military service (branch, date, honors).

A. None.

Q. Have you held an elected or appointed public office?

A. No.

Q. Have you run unsuccessfully for an elected public office?

A. Yes.

Q. About how much money do you expect your campaign to spend on this election?

A. Less than $1,000.

Q. Have you or a business you owned or had principal interest in ever filed bankruptcy?

A. No.

Q. How do you plan on building the City of Newark’s relationship with businesses? With the Newark Unified School District?

A.  Meet with business owners and NUSD Board members.

Q. List your past and/or present involvement with city or school organizations.

A. Active in PTA.

Q. As an adult, have you been convicted or charged with a crime other than a minor traffic violation? If so, please explain and include dates and locations.

A. None whatsoever.

Q. Where do you work and what is your job title?

A. H&R Block. Senior Tax Advisor 5, Small Business Tax Expert

Q. Do you have a website where people can learn more about your campaign?


Poll: Who Should Be Elected To The City Council?

posted Nov 2, 2011, 3:22 PM by   [ updated Nov 2, 2011, 3:34 PM ]

On Nov. 8, Newark will elect two individuals to sit on the council.

Two seats are open on the city council and voters will have a chance to vote on who will be

The five candidates recently answered a questionnaire that Patch sent out to them. Click on the candidates' names to learn more about their backgrounds and their reasons behind seeking a seat on the council.
Rick Bensco
Mike Bucci
Sucy Collazo
Jack Dane
Luis Freitas

Which candidate has impressed you the most?

Cast your vote here

Heating up down the home stretch!

posted Oct 28, 2011, 9:04 AM by

Things are really heating up in the tight race for Newark Mayor and two local city council seats as the candidates head down the home stretch. Local media has offered the views of several candidates often only touching the surface of each candidate’s campaign platform. In a recent article in one of the local newspapers, the newspaper stated that none of the candidates offered viable opposition to the incumbent, therefore the incumbent should stay. Additionally, it was stated that all of the remaining city council candidates were newcomers to Newark. All of the city council candidates have many years living and working in the city of Newark, Jack Dane 46 plus years, Bensco 15 years, Bucci 20 years, and Sucy over 40 years. If the Argus meant new to running for city council this is true for everyone except Jack Dane, who has run previously. All have put in extensive time with the city of Newark though, as concerned citizens, parents, and local businessmen.  In some of the online comments sections of the local media, several people have made brazen comments that seem to contradict their previously stated views as well. One brash individual appeared to rail against one candidate for several weeks, then in another comment made an about face to endorse the very same candidate. We as concerned voters need to research each candidate’s views with due diligence and make informed decisions based on our research and not on the often misstated facts and innuendo of some uninformed media outlets. Let's do the work and find the best candidate and get out and vote on Nov. 8.

AC Transit Meeting in Newark Tonight! Public Invited

posted Oct 26, 2011, 12:07 PM by   [ updated Oct 26, 2011, 12:12 PM ]

Directors to Hold Their Meeting in The Community

Press Releases

Board Takes Its Business to Newark Riders/Public...Jack Dane will be there...Will you?

In an effort to increase public input and make its meeting more accessible, next week the AC Transit Board of Directors will convene its regularly scheduled meeting in Newark.

On Wednesday, October 26, 2011, the directors will meet in the Newark City Council Chambers instead of its usual meeting place at the AC Transit headquarters in downtown Oakland.

The change of venue will give southern Alameda County bus riders and the general public an opportunity to more easily attend and participate in a board meeting.

“As a board, we think it is essential to come to where our riders are because we understand that they cannot always come to us,’’ said Board President Elsa Ortiz. “It’s important for us to see and feel the communities we serve. And it is important for the residents to be able to meet us, to ask questions face-to-face, and to expect to look into our eyes for our answers. It’s the way the process is supposed to be.”

The meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Newark City Council Chambers, 37101 Newark Boulevard. 

As it is at all board meetings, attendees may comment on any item on the agenda by signing up to speak when they arrive. Additionally, during “Public Comment” at the beginning of the meeting, the public may also speak about items not on the agenda.

The meeting agenda will be posted to the AC Transit website on Friday, October 21, 2011 (see “Board meetings” on the homepage).

Among other things, the board is expected to consider an update on service and operations in southern Alameda County; a report on the District’s Automated Vehicle Annunciation (talking buses); a report on Intra-Vehicle Text Message Signage; and the possible adoption of the 2012 state and federal advocacy programs.

Your Vote Counts!!!

posted Oct 26, 2011, 8:20 AM by

Jack has been very busy with his campaign for one of the two city council spots. In addition to keeping up with the daily activities of his tax preparation business, he has stayed abreast of Newark's busy political schedule, attending the planning commission meeting last night. Additionally he will be present for tonight's AC Transit meeting in Newark. Keeping up with and attending Newark's busy business agenda is just one way Jack Dane has maintained his connection with local government. Jack will carry this inimitable spirit forward into his term as Newark's newest city council when elected to office. To the good citizens of Newark...your vote does count, so please get out and vote come Tuesday Nov. 8. 

Police Chief, City Attorney Ask for Emergency Ban on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

posted Oct 26, 2011, 8:00 AM by   [ updated Oct 26, 2011, 8:01 AM ]

City council will look at an emergency ordinance Thursday night, along with appeals from N.B.D. Collective and Alpha Rising Inc. Meanwhile, other Bay Area leaders
By Dixie Jordan

Newark's City Council may take a hard line on medical marijuana dispensaries when it meets Thursday.

Police Chief James Leal and City Attorney Gary Galliano are urging council members to adopt an emergency ordinance that would prohibit the establishment and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Newark.

At the same time, they are asking the council to approve a first reading of an ordinance that would impose the same ban on a long-term, non-urgent basis.

The council is also expected to uphold the Newark Planning Commission's denial of a conditional use permit and planned unit development for The N.B.D. Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary operating at 7180 Thornton Ave. Roberts & Elliott, attorneys for the collective, filed an appeal of the planning commission's decision on Oct. 18.

And in yet another cannabis-related action, council members are likely to uphold a decision by City Manager John Becker and City Clerk Sheila Harrington to deny a business license to Alpha Rising Inc. for a medical marijuana dispensary at 7200 Jarvis Ave. City staff said Alpha Rising Inc. appears to be operating illegally.

"A very recent development has occurred that closes the door on other regulatory options," says the report from Galliano and Leal urging the new ordinances.

"On October 4, 2011, in a case binding on cities throughout California, the Court of Appeal held that an ordinance adopted by the City of Long Beach to regulate medical marijuana dispesaries was preempted by federal law and, therefore, was void ... The court held that the Long Beach ordinance, which establishes a scheme for the city to permit the sale and distribution of marijuana, 'authorizes individuals to engage in conduct the federal [Controlled Subtances] Act forbids,' and stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of Congress's objectives."

However, some state and local officials are calling for a reform of the federal government's policy on medical marijuana.

In a Tuesday rally in San Francisco, attended by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, Fairfax Mayor Larry Bragman and San Francisco Supervisor David Campos, officials pointed to California's Compassionate Use Act, approved by voters as Proposition 215 in 1996, which allows seriously ill patients to use marijuana with a doctor's permission.

The officials are calling on the federal government to change course after the U.S. Department of Justice announced earlier this month that it would be boosting criminal and civil enforcement efforts to shut down large-scale commercial marijuana enterprises.

The N.B.D. Collective has been embroiled for months in both criminal and civil troubles with the city and state. The California Department of Justice and Newark police searched the pot clinic in June as part of a multi-city raid, and the owners were charged with numerous felonies.

Also Thursday night, the council will be asked to declare recent vandalism to public lighting at Sportsfield Park an emergency. The declaration, which requires a four-fifths vote, would let the city proceed with repairs immediately, without going through a competitive bidding process.

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