After back-and-forth deliberation, CEO and former Union City councilman Richard Valle was appointed Monday morning to take over the Alameda County District 2 supervisor seat left vacant by Nadia Lockyer.
The decision was made during a special Board of Supervisors meeting where Valle was also sworn in.
“It’s a great victory for a lot of people,” Valle told Union City Patch following the appointment. Representatives from business, labor and other communities throughout the district — which encompasses Hayward, Newark and Union City as well as the northern part of Fremont and part of Sunol —spoke to endorse Valle at past Board of Supervisors meetings.
Valle’s appointment came after the four county supervisors were between Valle and Newark Vice Mayor Ana Apodaca last Tuesday. But Supervisors Keith Carson and Scott Haggerty, who had voted for Apodaca, switched their votes Monday morning and supported Valle.
Carson said after Monday’s brief meeting that he and Haggerty had changed their positions because if the board hadn't acted by June 19, it would have been up to Gov. Jerry Brown to fill the vacancy, and they thought the decision should be made locally.
"It was very, very clear to Scott and myself that the board probably wouldn't change its position and the governor would have to make the appointment," Carson said.
He said he and Haggerty voted for Valle "because we didn't want to prolong the division within the county."
Valle will begin his new duties immediately, reporting for work Tuesday morning.
Among his first priorities is creating a community cabinet combining various community leaders and representatives to discuss policy, youth violence and other key issues and how to address them, Valle told Patch.
As a Union City councilman for 13 years and community leader, youth violence prevention was among Valle’s main concerns. At Tri-CED, he employs many at-risk youth both through Union City’s Youth and Family Services outreach program and independently.
Valle was among eight candidates — including Union City Mayor Mark Green — who initially applied for the District 2 seat, which was left vacant by Lockyer after only 15 months in office.
Lockyer, the wife of California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, after a highly covered bout of drug addiction, an extramarital affair and an alleged, unfounded assault in which she claimed her ex-lover attacked her.
In her resignation letter, Lockyer, 41 said she wasn't able to be a good mother to her child and represent her 325,000 constituents in District 2 "while also trudging the waters of early recovery from addiction and the aftermath of interpersonal violence."
Valle’s appointment as supervisor, however, will only last until the end of the year. District 2 voters will decide in November on who should serve the final two
years of the four-year term.
Valle was also running for mayor of Union City, but said he will pull out of the race now that he has been appointed supervisor. That leaves former City Council member Carol Dutra-Vernaci the only other resident currently campaigning for mayor.
"There's greater potential for more resources, greater potential for the greater good of the city as opposed to what a mayor can or can’t do," Valle said last month.
Valle said he will begin collecting his “Valle for Mayor” signs and asking supporters to place “Valle for Supervisor” signs in its place.
“Our campaign has to start right away for the November election,” he said.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.