Wednesday, June 17, 2020

6.16.20 Meeting Summary

Tonight there were a few significant actions taken:
  • Interview and appointment of three Planning Commissioners - There were four candidates for three spots.  I supported the incumbent Frank Gavidia, and a new applicant who had decades of architectural experience.  I did not support two of the other incumbents, Bassam Altwal and Terri Denslow, as I felt their demeanor unsuitable to represent the city.  Councilmember Diaz felt similarly. 

    Conditionally calling for the resignation of our police chief who was enforcing a curfew instituted  by Mayor Pierce without consultation from the the City Council, as well as being a self described member of Antifa, does not appear to be the right fit for a city representative. Antifa is a group that at times uses violence to achieve political ends, something that I could not condone.

    Previously when the Council was discussing Parolee Housing businesses and various available restrictions on those businesses, several ideas were offered from the community and from Council.  At the next meeting, Ms. Denslow came to the podium and likened that discussion to the enactment of Jim Crow laws, literacy tests, and poll taxes - implying that myself, the Council, and those that would oppose parolee housing businesses, were racists.  Casual implications of racism may be de rigueur, but it does nothing to advance discourse.  If we are to have meaningful conversation on race, characterizing disagreement as racism without basis is not the way forward and taints any potential for discussion.

    These reasons were not enough to prevent reappointment by Mayor Pierce and Councilmembers Catalano and Wolfe and all three incumbents were reappointed.  

  • Adopted resolutions to facilitate the upcoming November election for three city council seats.  This was a routine action but I did want to call out that the filing period for candidates begins July 13, and ends Aug 7.

  • Adopted a resolution temporarily reducing the sewer service fees paid by every residence in Clayton.  We contract with the City of Concord for sewer services and due to projected increases in fund balance, the City of Concord is reducing their rates.  We are following suit. 

  • Established a path forward for filling the vacant City Manager Position.  We will be holding closed session before next week's special meeting on 6.23.20.  We are also initiating a candidate search with the same recruitment firm previously used.