Tuesday, December 15, 2020

12.15.20 Meeting Summary

Tonight the Council took action on several items:
  • We were going to consider executing a consulting contract with Climatec to assess areas throughout the city where there may be opportunity for various energy conservation improvements.  Our intent was to piggyback off of the contract negotiations being conducted by the City of Concord.  By doing this, we leverage the legwork done by our neighboring city while engaging with vendors to do similar work at the same rates.  The City of Concord had some delays in their contract negotiation so we tabled this matter until such time that Concord finalizes their agreement with Climatec.
  • We agreed to submit a grant application for $250K to go towards park infrastructure.
  • We gave direction to staff to submit plans under a different park grant previously approved to replace certain playground equipment and play surfaces at the Community Park that is in need of infrastructure improvements.
  • We awarded a consulting agreement to MIG to facilitate community engagement in regard to the open city owned downtown lot.  The firm will be doing a multi channel approach to community engagement in order to form a recommendation on what should be done with the space.
  • We approved the 2021 Council Committee assignments chosen by the Mayor.  I raised a concern that the committee assignments should be made up of Councilmembers, and only in the event that there is no Councilmember willing or able to serve on a given committee should the selection then be advanced to the public.  These committees are ways that elected representatives who are accountable to the people engage in external functions representing the city.  Mayor Wolfe disagreed and proceeded with his selection of former Councilmember Haydon.  The vote was 4-1 with myself voting no.

Public comment was lively at tonight's meeting. Several people commented about the mayoral selection at the previous meeting. Councilmember Diaz read into the record nearly 30 letters from residents who requested it. Their comments reflected substantial dissatisfaction with the  mayoral selection from the prior Council meeting.

In my Council report, I made the following statement:

There has been quite a bit of discussion recently about the mayoral vote that occurred at the last meeting. I want to thank the people who have called and written to show their support for myself, and a respect for the process that the Council has adhered to over the last several decades. Apparently this view was not held by a majority on this Council. In explaining his decision, Mr. Cloven stated that he would not reward any person who supported the campaign of his opponents.

Well, I supported Frank Gavidia. His views and my own aligned on many issues that impact the people of Clayton. Frank fell short of earning a place on this Council. Even still, I applaud his willingness to step up and try to represent those who were concerned about the direction this Council has been going in recent years. And because I supported Frank, Mr. Cloven would not support me, and in turn, all the other nearly three thousand people that supported Frank.

Even though members of this Council have stated they want to heal the divide in this community, I suspect these actions will serve to only galvanize this divide and that is unfortunate.

There has been rumblings about re-doing the mayoral selection. While I appreciate the support, I think it best for this community that we move past this. My fellow Councilmembers have made their choice, and notwithstanding the abandonment of protocol, Mr. Wolfe is serving as our Mayor. Regardless, I will continue to do what I have done since joining this Council in representing the interests of our community, seeking and welcoming input from everyone, and clearly communicating the actions of our city.

I also requested two items be added to future agendas:
  1. To discuss changing our municipal code to require any residential development greater than 10 units to require architectural drawings and renderings at multiple street level angles from various distances, and aerial renderings within context of the surrounding area.

  2. To discuss changing the order of the agenda such that public comment be taken earlier before the consent calendar in order to make engaging in discussion by the public more accessible.  Currently public comment comes after the consent calendar and council reports and recognitions.  Often times these can take an hour or more, and often occur at irregular intervals and people interested in making comments may get discouraged having to wait before they are invited to speak.