Just as Ed Lee and Jean Quan are beginning their terms as mayor, another Bay Area Asian-American mayor, Ed Balico of Hercules, is now out. After being presented with an effort to recall him and other members of the Hercules city council, he resigned, citing the need to be with family and work on his wastewater treatment business. Hercules city officials have been accused of nepotism, corruption, and financial mismanagement by recall proponents. Hercules has seen its redevelopment funds used by a developer for travel expenses. Charlie Long, a Hercules city manager, was fired for “insubordination,” which seems to stem from his refusal to obey Balico’s request to keep quiet about Hercules’ financial problems. There are additional charges of mismanagement, as you can see from the testimony of this city employee at a Hercules city council meeting. The web site PublicCEO suggests that the malfeasance associated with Hercules is on par with that of the city of Bell.
It a shame that as the city governments all the U.S. are reeling from the bad economy, city officials like Balico are making things worse as they enrich themselves. Even more shameful is that some Balico supporters are trying to play the race card saying that he was singled out as a minority. The other councilman people being recalled, Joanne Ward and Donald Kuehne, are white, and the recall leadership has minority members.