Raj’s Other Relevant Council Votes

Council These are the other votes that Raj made as a Councilmember that we feel are worth noting here. Obviously, I’m focusing on those votes where Raj and I voted differently.

1/14/13 – A vote is taken to rank the six Council candidates to fill the appointment. Raj Salwan comes out on top. I actually made the motion to appoint Raj which passes 3-1.

2/19/13 – Staff suggests removing the Historical Architectural Review Board. Historian Al Minard asks Council not to do this. The vote is 3-2 to deny staff recommendation. Salwan voted to dissolve HARB along with Bill Harrison. (I voted to keep HARB.)

4/16/13 – The Human Service Grant Fund was to assign $389,038 to several non-profit agencies. The Human Relations Commission had suggested that an additional $70,000 be allocated to Abode Services and SAVE.  I spoke in favor of giving the extra money. A motion was made to only give half of that additional amount. I was the lone vote against it. Raj voted to give less than the recommended money to Abode and SAVE. (This was used against me in an attack ad in 2020 saying I voted against funding for SAVE when the fact is that I advocated for giving them more than was actually given them.)

(Raj was not on the Council between December 2014 and December 2016.)

1/10/17 – Another appointment is needed as Councilmember Mei becomes Mayor Mei. Votes are generally split 2-2 with Bacon/Mei on one said and Jones/Salwan on the other. After much bank and forth a vote is taking to appoint David Bonaccorsi. The vote is 3-1 in favor. Raj voted no.

4/4/17 – Bonaccorsi makes a referral to increase the Planning Commissioners salary to $200 a meeting with no monthly cap. Raj is the sole no vote. It’s incredible that someone worth over $100 million won’t authorize a small raise for our esteemed Planning Commissioners.

6/6/17 – Council votes on redistricting maps. On one proposed map Glenmoor is split so that Councilmembers Jones and Bonaccorsi are in separate districts. I considered this gerrymandering. Mayor Mei and I vote against this map. It is approved 3-2 with Salwan voting yes.

6/20/17 – In a discussion of commerical linkage fees on commercial property (similar to affordable housing fees on new residential property), I agree with the speakers from Abode Services, East Bay Housing Organization and others that advocated for an adoption of significant commerical linkage fees. Salwan doesn’t advocated for these fees.

7/11/17 – In discussing my referral on rent stabilization and just cause eviction I argue for significant changes to our rental ordinance. Salwan agrees with the Chamber of Commerce speaker advocating for nothing more than modest reforms to our RRIDRO program.

9/5/17 – Discussion of bids related to the Warm Springs BART West Access Bridge and Plaza Project. This is one of the more important votes that Councilmember Salwan has to recuse himself from due to his extensive properly holdings in the Warm Springs area.

9/19/17 – Referral related to rent stabilization. Numerous speakers from the community want a stronger rental ordinance. Lobbyists for landlords and other real estate interests speak in favor of staff recommendation. I made a motion to consider stronger rent control measures. My motion doesn’t even get a second.

11/7/17 – After many community members raised concerns of ‘mega homes’. Council considers an ordinance regarding residential zoning standards. However, at least a dozen speakers note that these changes don’t address the problem and could still result in changes that alter the character of a neighborhood. I am the lone vote in approving this ordinance.

6/2/18 -Councilmember salaries increase with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This was a vote on a routine increase to the Councilmember’s salary to almost $27,000 a year. Councilmembers work hard and deserve to be compensated for their time. Once again Salwan, who is worth over $100 million, decides that Council should not get an increase and votes no. It has been noted elsewhere on this site that voting on citywide issues related to development fees and rental ordinances have a direct influence on the Councilmember Salwan’s financial interests.

7/3/18 – I made a referral to allow marijuana delivery within the City of Fremont. Final vote is 3-2 against with Salwan voting no and my voting yes.

9/11/18 – Many members of the public continue to express concern about ‘mega-homes’. Staff comes back with more changes to the Fremont Municipal code regarding two-story homes and the preservation of neighborhood character. At least a dozen members of the public say this change doesn’t address the problem. Salwan votes yes. I am the lone no vote suggesting that more needs to be done.

10/2/18 – On the second reading of the above ordinance, many members of the public continue speaking against the ordinance saying it doesn’t address the problem. However, the ordinance is approved with Salwan voting yes and my being the lone no vote again.

12/18/18 – Despite being the Mayor able to make appointments to various commissions, Mayor Mei did not have a majority to do so and had her recommendations voted down. After the 2018 election she had a majority that would approve her appointments. Mayor Mei was fully within her rights to appoint the people she wanted to. Salwan voted against two of her appointments to the Planning Commission and one appointment to the Human Relations Commission.

2/5/19 – Council considers eight staff-recommended changes to the rent review ordinance. Several speakers advocate for renters and approve of the changes. Bill Mulgrew of the Rental Housing Association (a landlord lobbying group) advocates that only staff recommendations 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8 be considered. Councilmember Salwan makes a motion that only items 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8 be implemented. The motion is approved with only Councilmember Kassan and myself voting no.

3/5/19 – Proposal is made to exempt employees from non-profits to the minimum wage ordinance. Salwan votes yes. Councilmember Kassan and myself are the only no votes.

3/5/19 – Additional appointments are proposed by Mayor Mei. Salwan votes against a Planning Commissioner and Human Relations Commissioner.

7/16/19 – Discussion of the Irvington BART Station Area Plan. Councilmembers provide comment on the plan. As with Warm Springs, Councilmember Salwan is not legally allowed to vote or comment on this very important issue due to personal property holdings.

7/16/19 – Proposal to add a Tobacco Retail License to the ordinance on tobacco retailers. Many community residents speak in favor of this. A number of retail operators express opposition. Salwan and two others vote no. Bacon, Kassan and Mei vote yes. However, Councilmember Shao is absent so the vote is a tie and the motion does not pass. This was revisited in the meeting. The fee proposed for the Tobacco Retail License was removed and other changes were made. With these changes, there was unanimous approval.

11/12/19 – Discussion of Councilmember Kassan’s referral to have the City’s investments follow ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria. Salwan votes against this. Only Councilmember Kassan and myself vote in favor. 

3/27/20 -Special meeting on COVID to impose regulations on evictions of small-scale commercial tenants due to COVID-19. Salwan recuses himself. Oddly, he does not recuse himself on other issues regarding rental properties. Note that he owns significant commercial and residential properties within the City of Fremont.

5/5/20 – A referral was made by Councilmember Jones to defer the implementation of the minimum wage ordinance in response to COVID. Councilmember Salwan recuses himself. Oddly, he did not recuse himself on the minimum wage ordinance itself.

10/13/20 – I made a referral to have the Council support Proposition 15 which would have reformed the original Proposition 13 to have commercial properties pay more taxes. This referral was made as a result of numerious requests to have us support this measure. Councilmember Salwan chose to recuse himself on this issue due to his extensive commercial property holdings.

11/10/20 – Amtrak proposed the South Bay Connect Project to have certain train traffic going through Niles and the middle of Fremont. Oddly, Council decided to formally oppose this project. Councilmembers Kassan and myself were the only no votes.

(I was no longer on the Council as of December 2020.