The City Council has toughened Fremont's smoking restrictions, voting to ban smoking in outdoor areas within 25 feet of building entrances and windows.
Other changes to the city's smoking ordinance include banning tobacco-product vending machines and redefining a retail tobacco store as a business in which 75 percent of the gross sales receipts are from the sale of tobacco or smoking products.
The new ordinance also requires landlords of multiunit rental homes to disclose smoking areas and smoking complaint policies to prospective tenants. In addition, it declares secondhand smoke a nuisance and allows a tenant or property owner to bring a civil nuisance action without having to prove damages.
For more information, visit www.fremont.gov/smokingordinance.
Nominations filed for Oakland police post
As expected, the city and opposing attorneys filed separate slates of candidates Friday to fill a court-appointed position that will hold significant power over Oakland's police force.
The nominations were filed under seal with U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson, who will ultimately select a compliance director for Oakland's police department.
The director will have authority to spend city funds and overrule top commanders in order to get police fully compliant with a court-sanctioned reform effort agreed to in the wake of the decade-old
Henderson can choose one of the candidates proposed, select someone else or order both sides to once again try to agree on a consensus pick. Neither side would say Friday how many candidates it recommended.
Henderson had a federal magistrate oversee negotiations aimed at reaching consensus on a candidate, but no agreement could be reached by Friday's deadline.
The compliance director will be responsible for getting the department to fully implement reforms that were supposed to be completed five years ago.
"After weeks of hard work vetting candidates, the city is looking forward to Judge Henderson's decision," said Mayor Jean Quan's spokesman, Sean Maher. "We're eager to get the compliance director in place and really accelerate the effort to full compliance."
Kaplan tapped for Coliseum authority
Pat Kernighan's first week as City Council president has not gone well for Councilwoman Desley Brooks.
On Wednesday, Kernighan booted Brooks off the council's powerful Rules and Legislation Committee. The next day, Kernighan announced that she was seeking to drop Brooks from the board that oversees the Oakland Coliseum complex.
The full council will vote later this month on Kernighan's proposal to install Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan and Councilman Larry Reid as the council's two representatives on the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority. Reid would be replacing former Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, who had served on the Coliseum board since its inception.
As council president, Kernighan gets to make appointments. Brooks' two-year term on the Coliseum authority is set to expire this month. The two have a frosty relationship and have occasionally clashed at council meetings over the past year.
Brooks said Kaplan's appointment was a reward for supporting Kernighan's bid for the council presidency. She made a similar accusation earlier this week concerning Councilman Noel Gallo's appointment to chair the council's Public Safety Committee.
The Coliseum board, which also includes representatives from Alameda County, is expected to be busy this year considering proposals for a new Raiders stadium and new leases for both the A's and Raiders.
Brooks, who spearheaded changing the Coliseum's management firm last year, said the city would have benefited from keeping her on the board.
"There are a lot of nuanced issues that are extremely important," Brooks said. "It is clear that (Kaplan) is not aware of those issues. So we are in a compromised issue from the city's perspective."
Kaplan didn't request the appointment but is excited to serve, her spokesman, Jason Overman, said.
Kernighan declined to address Brooks' accusation of horse-trading.
"In making appointments, my job is to find the person who will best serve the city in a particular role," she wrote in an email. "That is why I appointed Councilmember Kaplan to the (authority)."
Newark schools get armed police officer
The City Council on Thursday approved a plan to assign an armed officer to patrol a pair of Newark schools on a part-time basis, restoring a service dropped about three years ago because of budget cuts.
Working under the title of School Liaison Officer, the officer will provide law enforcement services at Newark Junior High School and the MacGregor Alternative Education Center for an average of four hours per day, four days per week during the school year, officials said.
According to an agreement between the city of Newark and the Newark Unified School District, the officer's services will begin Feb. 3 and continue through June 30, 2016.
David Marken, Newark's superintendent of schools, has said that hiring the officer has been in the works for months and is not connected to the massacre last month in Newtown, Conn.