Friday, May 29, 2020

Upcoming Council Meeting 6.10.20 [edited to reflect new date]

There are several significant items on the agenda for the next meeting.  They are as follows:

- Review a draft FY21 Budget.  I'm still looking through the details so don't have comment yet.

- Approve a 10 year plan for pavement preservation projects.  Adopting this plan doesn't lock in the streets involved in repaving or in what order.  What it does is satisfy the requirement to have a plan in place to be eligible for certain funds to cover the repair work.  Ultimately when selecting streets, the strategy employed includes:
  • The selection of streets need to balance both preventative maintenance needs and street restoration and reconstruction needs as recommended by StreetSaver®
  • Utilize the StreetSaver® database and reporting tools to project the effectiveness of future annual pavement preservation projects.
  • Coordinate streets selection with other roadway and utility projects to be both cost effective and to minimize the possibility of damage to newly preserved roadways from future roadway and utility projects. 
  • Consider paving needs throughout the City in making recommendations on the selection of streets for any annual pavement preservation project.
  • Whenever feasible, leverage anticipated sales tax revenue in obtaining local, state and federal grants for roadway pavement, preventative maintenance and restoration.
- Transfer road funds previously designated for Pine Hollow Road work to general neighborhood improvement of streets in several areas.  The transfer is being initiated because the Pine Hollow Rd work has been delayed in order to better coordinate the efforts with the City of Concord as both cities share jurisdiction over different parts of this street.  The proposed streets for the next round of neighborhood improvement are:
  • North Mitchell Canyon Road
  • Caulfield Court
  • Kenston Drive
  • Tiffin Drive
  • Chardonnay Circle
  • Peacock Creek Drive 
  • Pebble Beach Drive
  • Mount Dell Drive
  • Herriman Court
  • Fleming Drive
  • El Molino Drive
  • Capistrano Court
- An ordinance to adopt 2019 California Fire Code with certain changes. Clayton gets fire protection services from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, which is overseen by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.  This ordinance would adopt the changes to the fire code already adopted by the District.

- Discussion of next steps in hiring an interim and permanent City manager due to resignation of the City Manager.

- I will also be asking for a future agenda item for the City to take a position requesting the County to loosen the Shelter in Place rules currently in place.  This can be by proclamation, or by communication directly to the County Health Officer and Board of Supervisors.  Specifically we should urge the Health Officer to remember that the original intent of flattening the curve was to avoid overwhelming the health care system, not to wait for a vaccine or reduce the number of cases to zero.  The population of individuals occupying hospitals in Contra Costa County related to COVID-19 is not sufficient to maintain current Shelter in Place orders.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

5.26.20 Meeting Summary

Tonight was a Special Meeting and there was only one thing on the agenda, and that had to do with parking near the Regency Gate entrance to Mt. Diablo. 

While we left alone the rules currently in place, in an effort to mitigate the parking issues, we did decide to open up the lower half of the parking lot at the Clayton Community Park adjacent to the middle school.  This will happen on Friday.  In addition, the designated parking lot at the Mitchell Canyon Staging Area will also reopen starting this Friday.  Hopefully those things will help alleviate some of the parking congestion until such time as we can adopt a new program at Mountaire Parkway.

Since the Shelter in Place, there had been a significant increase in vehicular traffic and parking on both sides of Regency Gate, both on Regency Dr. and Mountaire Parkway.  At our April meeting, we extended both the hours that the preferential parking program on Regency operated, and the effective areas - capturing the bottom of Regency Dr. where previously there was unrestricted parking.

We recently received a request and petition to expand the preferential parking program to Mountaire Cir.  It was signed by all residents in the proposed permit area, however that area covered only 6 houses.  Because any program would need to have appropriate street signs, if we were to move forward the installation of poles would take some time.  Also, with the Shelter in Place rules, City Hall is closed to the public so it would be more difficult for residents to actually acquire permits.  Any preferential parking program would need a fair amount of lead time.

Because of the spillover that would almost certainly occur, I recommended that the residents of that neighborhood organize together and propose a greater area.  If there is widespread support for such a program I'd support it.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Upcoming Meeting 5.26.20

We will be having a special meeting via Zoom this Tuesday, 5.26.20 at 7pm.  Access the meeting here:

The one item on the agenda is related to parking at the end of Mountaire Parkway and Regency Dr.  We will discuss both expanding and modifying the preferential parking program.

If you have any thoughts or questions on this item, please let me know.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

5.19.20 Meeting Summary

Tonight the Council took only one significant item and that was to clarify the duties of the Trails and Landscape Committee (TLC).   The TLC was formed in conjunction with a special parcel tax approved by the voters of Clayton. This parcel tax funds maintenance of public roadway landscaping, open space and trail system improvements within the City of Clayton. As part of the approval of this tax, the TLC was formed in order to provide oversight of these parcel tax revenues and the associated expenditures.

Recently there had been questions about the roles and responsibilities of the TLC so I had requested a discussion and clarification.  We first discussed this at our 2.18.20 meeting at which time we formed an ad-hoc committee of myself and Councilmember Catalano to take a first pass at clarifying the language.

Overall my goal was to make the guidelines for the TLC more broad – to give them latitude to make suggestions as they saw fit. Councilmember Catalano and I both offered our input and the draft was brought before the full council to finalize the changes and resolve any differences we may have had.

I wanted to ensure that in our policies we recognized the importance of the TLC, and that we solicited their input.  Ultimately we cleaned up the language, and made it more clear as to what was expected and required.  I think all were in agreement and I think the result is favorable.

In addition, we took as a future agenda item a discussion about parking at the end of Mountaire Parkway.  Residents have submitted a petition to have a preferential parking program and we decided to schedule a special meeting for 5.26.20 to discuss it.

There are also three spots on the Planning Commission that are up for appointment at the end of June.  The application deadline in June 10.  More info here:

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Upcoming Council Meeting 5.19.20

We will be meeting via Zoom which can be accessed here.  There is only one significant item on the agenda for the next meeting, and that is to clarify the duties of the Trails and Landscape Committee (TLC). 

The TLC was formed in conjunction with a special parcel tax approved by the voters of Clayton.  This parcel tax funds maintenance of public roadway landscaping, open space and trail system improvements within the City of Clayton.  As part of the approval of this tax, the TLC was formed in order to provide oversight of these parcel tax revenues and the associated expenditures.

There has been some questions regarding the duties of the TLC.  This agenda item is intended to provide clarity.

If you have any thoughts or questions about this item, please comment or contact me and I'll do my best to respond or find out more and report back.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

How are you doing Clayton businesses?

I’m interested in hearing about your experiences during this Shelter in Place. From owners to employees, how has it affected you and what are you doing in these unprecedented times?

As we can see with the latest activity around TLC Grooming - being closed, then open again - many of the County orders are not clear. The impact of this lack of clarity and inconsistency is borne by many of our Clayton businesses - whether they can open or not, what rules need to be followed, or not. I’m interested in hearing what is going on with your businesses so please, share with me by posting here, or by messaging me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

5.5.20 Meeting Summary

Tonight the Council met via Zoom and took a few actions:

  • Extended the local declaration of emergency indefinitely due to COVID-19.  This may allow us in the future to apply and receive certain types of emergency funding.
  • Issued a proclamation declaring June to be LGBTQ Pride Month
  • Directed staff to fly the Rainbow Flag at three locations: City Hall, the Grove Park, and in front of the Library during the month of June
Prior to this meeting, I heard from quite a few people who were opposed to flying the Rainbow Flag.  Many of the people I spoke with have been supporters, and they wanted to let me know their view and they disagreed with me.  I respect that.  I think it is a reasonable position to take to say that the city should not engage in speech such as this, and that only the U.S. and CA flags should be flown by the city.  

Many of the points raised in opposition were along the lines of singling out representation of one group, and how that we should not be doing that.  I also understand this view.

If we are to be inclusive, I am totally supportive of that.  If flying the Rainbow Flag helps folks in some way that is meaningful to them, then that is great.   I know there are other matters that our residents would like to raise awareness for and I'd be supportive of a great many of those items as well.   Councilmember Diaz raised one he'd be interested in towards the latter part of the year.  

Choosing to raise a flag is what is considered government speech.  The government enjoys first amendment rights to speak as they so choose, and by collective action the Council can do so.  

If on the other hand we allowed a public process to control which flags or what types of speech were to be allowed, then other rules would apply as it would be considered a type of public forum.  If that were so, then we could not restrict flags based on content and objectionable flags may go through the process and we wouldn't have a good way to deny them.  This is why we cannot open this process to a public vote.  Of course, any Councilmember can request any flag, and the question can be posed to the full council.

In that spirit, if there are other matters that the community finds important and wishes to raise awareness for, I'd be glad to advance those ideas at a future session. Before calling for the raising of a flag, my personal criteria would be that I not find it objectionable (flags of other governments perhaps, confederate flag, etc.), and that there be zero monetary cost to the city (flag would have to be donated), and some baseline level of support.

Inclusivity is not just about one particular matter and we can demonstrate that by flying other flags as well, based on the desires of our community. If there is a lot of interest, I can start a poll. Let me know what you think or reach out with ideas.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Upcoming Council Meeting 5.5.20

We will be meeting via Zoom which can be accessed here.  There are a couple significant items on the agenda for the next meeting:

  • Continuation of the Local Emergency Declaration regarding COVID-19
  • A proclamation declaring June LGBT Pride Month
  • Directing staff to fly the Rainbow Flag at 3 locations in Clayton (City Hall, Library, Grove Park)

There will also be a closed session regarding pending litigation.

If you have any thoughts or questions about either of these items please comment or contact me and I'll do my best to respond or find out more and report back.