Wednesday, October 17, 2018

October 16 City Council Meeting

For the third meeting in a row there were to public hearings or action items on the agenda. The one item of note was that although Councilmember Diaz was absent, he did communicate that he wants to put the parolee housing issue back on the agenda for discussion, focusing on buffer distances and private vs. public parks.  Though he wants to wait until 2019, after the election.

This is incremental progress.  We know that Councilmembers Catalano and Pierce have stated they are not interested in making further changes, and Mr. Wolfe has stated he believes the current ordinance is the best we can do.  Councilmember Shuey also believes the current ordinance is the most that is defensible.  This means that even if Diaz is able to raise the issue at a future meeting, the chance of anything changing is incredibly slim, unless myself and Brian are able to join the Council after this election.

All four candidates were present and given 3 minutes to make a candidate statement.  Below is the transcript of my statement:
I am an active CPA in private industry, the treasurer of my small HOA, and I’ve been a Clayton resident for over 9 years. My family moved to Clayton to raise our kids. We came for the great schools, safe neighborhoods, and small town feel and charm. Back then we had a two year old and a newborn. Today we are proud parents of an 11, 9, and 5 year old all attending the great schools in Clayton.

And while I don't have experience as a member of local government, I do have quite a bit of experience auditing local government. What I bring to the table is experienced decision making throughout my career. I started as a governmental auditor working for a private CPA firm. My focus was on local governments like Contra Costa County, Pleasanton, Napa County, Stockton, Modesto, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, among others. Throughout my career I’ve been a Senior Manager of Accounting, Assistant Controller, and Controller at various entities from software to healthcare to insurance – always managing large dispersed teams responsible for executing enterprise vision in highly regulated environments.

You may think, that if Clayton is already wonderful, why do you want to change things? That’s the thing, I don’t want to change things. I want to preserve all the wonderful qualities of Clayton that brought me, and so many other young families here. When things are going well, I think most people are content to let them continue, as am I. It’s when things aren’t going well that folks like me need to step up and speak out. And that time is now - many of the great qualities of the city have been at risk in recent years.

Past accomplishments do not excuse current problematic actions. With a general disinterest in engaging with those who disagree and labeling them as a “vocal minority”, Mr. Shuey and Mr. Wolfe do not represent what Clayton wants.

Mr. Shuey – with his 30% frequent absentee rate this term, and consistent unanimous voting record, doesn’t represent the diverse views of the residents of Clayton. His longstanding support of selling the city, including the open downtown lot where all of our events and festivals are held, to put in a memory care facility, is not what the residents of Clayton want.

Mr. Wolfe will tout his experience on the planning commission, but in just over two years that Commission has cancelled over 65% of their meetings. The mere 17 meetings that Mr. Wolfe did attend does not indicate the executive leadership that is expected of a Council position. Mr. Wolfe also wants to develop downtown and sell the city owned property. This is not what the residents of Clayton want.

So what do I want to do that is different than the current direction the Council is going? A few key things:
  • Clayton should not be for sale. If elected I would re-evaluate whether we should relinquish control of city owned land by selling our assets. 
  • Clayton should protect all of its residents. If elected I would pursue updating the parolee housing ordinance that recently passed that left out significant portions of the city. 
  • Clayton should not have high density 3 story housing in its downtown. If elected I would begin the process of updating the downtown specific plan to meet the changing needs of Clayton residents today. 
  • Clayton should not restrict free speech. If elected I would amend the unconstitutional sign ordinance that has now been abandoned to ensure compliance with our constitutional rights. 
If you agree with these efforts, then voting for myself and Brian Buddell is the best way to see these things come to fruition. This is what it looks like when candidates speak clearly and plainly about what they want.

We can do a lot better and it’s time for a change.