Wednesday, September 30, 2020

I'm Supporting Frank Gavidia and I Need Your Help

I’m supporting Frank Gavidia for Clayton City Council. I don’t often ask, but please share and like this post.

I’ve gotten to know Frank over the years and through his work for Clayton as a Planning Commissioner. He has a pragmatic approach to problem solving and has similar priorities as I do. If Frank were to join the Council, I know that we could work together to advance the interests of our residents and improve community relations. To do this, I need your help and I’m asking for your support of Frank. His website can be found at and on facebook at I’m also asking that you take a few steps: Like and share this post. Like and share his facebook page. Tell your friends and neighbors here in Clayton your thoughts.

Frank is a long time Clayton resident, an active volunteer at MDSA Soccer, a small business owner, a United States Marine, and truly understands the role of elected leaders in representing the public interest. Frank has a strong analytical and financial background, and wants to give back to the community. He voted "No" on the Olivia Project while serving on the Planning Commission, has donated all of his stipends from that work, and isn’t accepting any campaign donations.

Two years ago, the people of Clayton did something they had never done before. An incumbent running for reelection lost and instead you elected me to represent you. At the time, 100% of the existing Council endorsed my opponents. Past Councilmembers spoke out against me. The Pioneer for the first time endorsed candidates during the election – not me. They said I was unqualified with a dismal lack of understanding of the city’s land use process.  I am hoping that over the last two years, I have both served the people of Clayton, and demonstrated what a different approach to community engagement can look like.

Unfortunately I am only one person on a Council of five. And while I feel I have been able to push forward with limited progress on certain issues important to the people of Clayton, there are still significant areas that we have not made progress on, and others where we have actually regressed. For example:
  • The city overall has become less transparent – Prior to 2019 the city used to publish actual usable minutes from meetings. Those minutes would capture the spirit of discussions that were being held. The Council decided to cease doing this move to “action” style minutes. No longer is the spirit of discussion captured. Instead, just a recording of the votes so residents would have to slog through hours of video to be aware of what actually transpired. This is another reason I write a summary of each meeting – to inform residents.
  • Parolee housing was not further restricted – Several requests to expand restricted areas, or even undertake effort to explore alternatives were rejected by this Council. Myself and Councilmember Diaz both tried to take alternative approaches, or at a minimum gather information and explore the possibility of alternate approaches. These efforts were rejected.
  • The city did not engage in the appropriate level of scrutiny of the Olivia project. Rather than apply rigor around our review, this Council voted to approve a project that the vast majority of our residents opposed. The people who voted in favor of the 3 story, 3 separate building high density buildings in our downtown could have required actual environmental review, but did not want to burden the developer and saw environmental review as only a delay. We deserved better.
  • The city expanded its requirements forcing builders to provide for below market housing. This council expanded the low income housing requirement over rental properties even though it was not required. For all the talk of state mandates, this action was not mandated but this Council did it anyways.
  • We are no closer to updating our downtown specific plan. The most contentious issue that the city is faced with, and there has been little to no progress on it. Instead we spend time and resources on symbolic gestures that while they are laudable, will not have the same far reaching and long lasting impact as addressing our downtown would.
That’s not to say there hasn’t been advances made. In the two years since the last election:
  • The city has made significant progress in improving traffic and pedestrian safety near our schools. I pushed for pedestrian safety enhancements including an additional crossing guard in front of Mt. Diablo Elementary which will be coming in the near future as soon as materials can be sourced.
  • Quality of life improvements at Regency and Rialto. Dramatically improved the quality of life for residents around Regency Gate by implementing a preferential parking program.
  • Updated our sign ordinance so it is no longer in violation of the 1st amendment. The Council previously attempted to restrict people’s ability to speak by limiting their ability to put up campaign signs, making it harder for new candidates to seek election. Even when forced to make a change, members of this Council expressed a desire to continue with these limits if it were legal. And more recently, a member of this Council continued to demonstrate a lack of respect for the 1st amendment by seeking to stop a person expressing something that they disagreed with.
  • Legalized the keeping of backyard chickens. As part of our rural character, these should never have been prohibited. In changing the city ordinances we conformed with the vast majority of other cities in the county.
  • Taken public policy positions regarding some of the most contentious housing bills in Sacramento. For the first time in a long time, the city took a position on key matters that would affect us. We should have been doing this for years, but this Council was uninterested in doing so, ceding that influence to councilmembers working behind the scenes on regional bodies like ABAG and MTC, not representing the interests of Clayton residents.
  • Restricted the use of glyphosate by the city. We recognized the potential harm and legal liability and ceased the use of this potentially harmful chemical.
If you like the things the city has been able to do over the past two years, and are dismayed at the lack of progress in other key areas as I’ve identified, then I need your help in voting for Frank Gavidia. Like me, he is a strong believer in clear and transparent communication. Frank has the courage of his convictions as demonstrated by his honorable service in the United States Marine Corp, and more recently with his vote against the poorly conceived high density three story, three separate apartment buildings in downtown.

As other candidates speak, be aware of trite phrases with no substance. The phrase “local control” is sufficiently vague that it could mean anything. Do candidates take concrete positions on issues and do they match the rhetoric they use. For new candidates, demand to know how they would be different than the incumbents. For current councilmembers, demand that people justify their voting record – have they represented your interests?

If you consider these things, I think you will see as I do that Frank deserves your vote.