Mayor & City Council
The Mayor and City Council serve as the governing body over city administration providing direction to City staff on policies that aim to ensure for responsiveness, effective and high quality service delivery to our residents. For 12 months of the year (with only two small breaks in the summer and winter), the Mayor and City Council manage the City's legislative agenda, ultimately setting City Council local municipal policies, passing local ordinances, voting on funding appropriations and developing an overall vision for the City. In Union City, the Mayor is elected at large, meaning that they represent the entire community, and the Council members are elected by district.
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The City Council adopted Council Norms in January 2021 as a commitment to operate effectively as a policy team under a common set of guidelines. In February 2023, the City Council reviewed and affirmed its existing applicability, as well as updated the Council Norms to better reflect citywide governance among other amendments.
Meet Your Mayor & City Council
- Mayor Dutra-Vernaci
- Councilmember Singh, District 1
- Councilmember Patino, District 2
- Vice Mayor Wang, District 3
- Councilmember Sakakihara, District 4
Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci
Carol Dutra-Vernaci is in her third term as Union City Mayor. She made history on December 11, 2012 when she was sworn in as the first woman mayor of Union City. Being elected mayor capped more than two decades of volunteering and public service. She is a third generation Union City resident; growing up in Decoto and now living in Alvarado. She is a graduate of James Logan High School, Class of 1972, and alumna of California State University Hayward with a degree in Psychology and Taxation education.
Mayor Carol continues to serve as a member and Past-President of several local nonprofits in the fields of education, health care, youth activities, animal welfare, and the Lions Club of Union City, as well as the Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Carol’s city service started in 1988 and includes: member of the original Redevelopment Advisory Committee representing businesses, Planning Commissioner, then in 1997 was elected to the city council where she served for thirteen years.
Carol brings more than thirty years of business experience to the role of mayor. As an Enrolled Agent, she has owned and operated her income tax business in Union City since 1986.
As councilmember, she served on the county Housing Authority and the League of California Cities Policy Committees and is a Past-President of the Leagues East Bay Division. Carol went through C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Training) and advocated for residents to prepare for earthquakes. She was the city C.E.R.T. Coordinator for two years before being elected mayor. As mayor, Carol heads the city Disaster Council.
As councilmember, Carol was a member of the Union City team that won the “All-America City” title by the National Civic League. As Mayor, she had the slogan used for the competition; “Many Hands, One Heart” put up in the City Hall lobby.
As mayor, she has and continues to represent Union City and the region on local, county, state, and national organizations in the areas of Economic Development, Communications, Energy, Housing and Transportation. Carol is known region wide as a major advocate for improvements in the Dumbarton Corridor and specifically for Dumbarton Rail. She has developed strong relationships on all levels. As a “connector” she has always maintained a focus on strengthening the local community and using her relationships on all levels for the betterment of Union City.
As a participant in the Mayors Institute on City Design, she engaged with leading design and development experts to work on critical planning and design challenges facing Union City. Carol is one of 40 Mayors selected from around the country participating in the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative’s U.S. Cities Recovery Leadership Program. She and the other Mayors are exploring approaches and actions to emerging challenges created by the COVID-19 crisis including crisis budgeting and fiscal recovery and working towards a recovery that is socially, racially, and economically equitable.
Councilmember Gary Singh, District 1
Gary Singh is currently serving his second term as Councilmember, for District 1 in Union City. He was first elected to the Union City Council in 2016. Previously, he was a member of the Union City Planning Commission, from 2006 to 2014. Gary is a small business owner and has been a member of the community for over 25 years.
Gary has been an active Board Member of the Union City Friends of Sister Cities, 2010-Present. He was also a member of the Union City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, 2009-2011. Gary is also active in many other charitable organizations, including the Union City Youth and Family Services (UCYFS) and Alameda County At Risk Youth Program.
Councilmember Jaime Patiño, District 2
Jaime is a lifetime resident of Union City. He grew up in the Decoto District and is raising his 17 year-old daughter there as a single parent. His entire life, he has attended schools in the New Haven Unified School District, graduating from James Logan High School in 1989. Jaime was a member of the first Forensics Team at Logan, coached by Tommie Lindsey. Jaime earned Associates Degrees in Business Administration and Administration of Justice from Chabot College. He later received his BA in Political Science from CSU Hayward and an MBA from CSU East Bay. He also has Certificates in Human Resource Management and Project Management from CSU East Bay Extension.
While on the Union City Human Relations Commission (HRC) from 2011-2018, Jaime was Chair from 2013-2016. He is proud to have co-authored the City's Compassionate City Resolution during this time. He also served on the Itliong/Vera Cruz Renaming Committee, the Union City Police Department Strategic Plan Steering Committee, and the General Plan Advisory Committee.
Since 2014, Jaime has been a Union City Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member, responding to events such as the SCU Lightning Complex Fire Base Camp in 2020.
His other public service commitments included being on the Centro de Servicios Board of Directors from 2016-2018, the oldest community service organization in Southern Alameda County providing emergency food, legal aid, and other services. He still frequently volunteers there.
Jaime remains on the Board of Directors for Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center (TVHC) since 2013, currently as Treasurer/Finance Chair. TVHC has a $53 Million annual budget and 270 employees, providing quality healthcare to those in need regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.
Currently employed as a Finance Manager for a national healthcare corporation, Jaime handles multi-million-dollar contracts daily and ensures access to quality care for its members. Jaime has also negotiated Housing Navigation Center contracts for members that have Medi-Cal as their primary insurance.
As a Councilmember since 2018, he serves on the Board of Directors for East Bay Community Energy (EBCE) and is the Vice Chair for the Marketing, Regulatory, and Legislative Subcommittee (Chair – 2022) and sits on the Branding and CEO Compensation Ad Hoc Committees. Jaime was also a Board Director for StopWaste (2018-2022) and Second Vice President of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (2022).
He represents Union City on the League of California Cities, as a member of the Latino Caucus, the Governance Transparency & Labor Relations Policy Committee, and as a Board Director.
Jaime’s other professional affiliations include the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) and the National League of Cities (NLC), where he sits on the Community and Economic Development Committee (Vice Chair – 2021-2022). He is also a Board Director for Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO), a Latino Advocacy Group within the NLC, serving as its Second Vice President. Part of his work included a historic visit to Puerto Rico in June 2022 to hear the concerns and priorities of officials in over 40 municipalities.
Vice Mayor Jeff Wang, District 3
Dr. Jeff Wang has been a resident of Union City for the past 26 years. Jeff is a well-known San Francisco Bay Area educator at major educational institutions with thirty years of experience. Jeff, an immigrant from China, empathizes the plight of immigrant families in dealing with the American educational system. Jeff supports families using mainstream and social media to help recent immigrants navigate and understand the complex educational system. He believes it is part of his “American Dream” to help those searching for their place in American society, as it was offered to him.
Jeff has dedicated his life to raising a family and is active in Union City’s quality of life initiatives. Cognizant of the large minority immigrant population in Union City, Jeff strives to advocate for the city to meet all the needs of its residents with affordable housing, business-friendly businesses, and a safer environment in our schools and parks. Jeff believes the city is a better place to live, work, and play when its citizens are fully engaged in the decision-making of its government.
Jeff received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Wisconsin in 1989. He is a scientist who uses mathematics, calculations, chemistry, biology, and a series of theories to understand the complex workings of the universe and the interactions between matter and energy. He has taught at several major universities including Brown University, University of Iowa, Brigham Young University, Stanford University, University of California extensions and local community colleges. Jeff also worked in the field of cybersecurity.
Jeff is an entrepreneur having built companies that help students improve their academic skills in science and math. His educational businesses allowed students, including those from low-income communities, to improve and overcome academic deficiencies.
Jeff served on the New Haven Unified School Board as a trustee from 2016 to 2020. Jeff promoted the establishment of Spanish and Mandarin language immersion programs in the Searles and Guy Emanuele Elementary Schools. Jeff’s mission on the school board was to build a better educational environment to increase student achievement.
Jeff served on various organizations both civic and grassroots:
- Past President, HuaRen Rotary Club
- County Commissioner, Alameda County’s Parks, Recreation and Historical Commission
- Vice-Chair, Silicon Valley Chinese Technology and Business Association
Jeff used his professional background, business acumen, and philanthropic principles to address the needs and issues caused by COVID-19 during the shelter-in-place. He helped organize tutoring programs for students to help fellow classmates that were experiencing challenges with the remote, online learning. He also assisted and supported food security programs for many Union City families. Jeff participated in food drives that served senior citizens. Jeff also raised funds to purchase gloves and masks that were donated to local police and firefighters.
Councilmember Scott Sakakihara, District 4
Scott Sakakihara was elected to the City Council in 2022. He previously served on the Union City Planning Commission as an alternate starting in 2017 and then as a full member until his election to City Council. Scott is a resident of District 4 and grew up in Union City, attending Pioneer Elementary, Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School (then Alvarado Middle School), and James Logan High School. Scott is the Council representative on the Housing Authority of Alameda County, the Union City Parks & Recreation Commission, the New Haven Unified School District Joint Sub-Committee, and the City of Union City Audit Subcommittee and is the alternate representative on the Alameda County Transportation Commission, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority (ACWMA), and the ACWMA Programs & Administration Committee.
Scott serves as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Navy Reserves and is the Finance Chief of Staff at a software company. He is a member of the Union City Lions Club and Saint Paul United Methodist Church. Earlier in his career, he interned with Congressman Pete Stark (representing Union City) in 2009 and served on a Japanese American Citizens League Fellowship in the office of Congresswoman Mazie Hirono and in the Obama White House.
Scott graduated from the University of California San Diego with a B.A. in Political Science and Harvard Law School with honors and is a member of the State Bar of California. He and his wife Melinda have two children and live on Regents Boulevard.