Wednesday, October 20, 2021

10.19.21 Meeting Summary

Last night the Council did not have any action items or public hearings.  We did hear a presentation by the Contra Costa County District Attorney, Diana Becton, regarding the operations of the District Attorney's office.  I appreciated her taking the time to visit with us to share the work that she and her office does throughout the county. 

There were a number of questions asked of DA Becton regarding the treatment of and prosecution of crimes, and how the DA's office prioritizes its resources.  Myself and Councilmember Diaz expressed concerns about the treatment of lower level crimes, conveying that the lack of prosecution is frustrating to those in the community and especially to those that are victims of these crimes.

One key thing that was missing was data.  While we were presented with information regarding the number of felonies and misdemeanors that were filed, what was not available was the number of incidents referred to the DA's office that were not filed.  The system that tracks cases was not able to produce this type of data, or any aggregate level data that could give greater insight and transparency into the actions of the office.  DA Becton did state that a system to provide that type of data was in the works and she was hoping it would be available sometime in the future.

DA Becton did share information about programs she is seeking to implement, like neighborhood community courts for low level offenses that may help alleviate the burden that high volumes of cases places on our court system.  

Monday, October 18, 2021

Upcoming Council Meeting 10.19.21

At our next meeting there are not any action items or public hearings.  There will be however, a presentation by the Contra Costa County District Attorney, Diana Becton.  The presentation will cover an overview of the District Attorney's office, various programs that they operate, and information about their budget and personnel.

As with any agendized item, there is an opportunity for the public and the Council to ask questions of the presenters.  If you wanted to ask the DA any question, this is a good opportunity to do so.  

In addition to our meeting on 10.19.21, there is also going to be an online Community Workshop about the City's Housing Element.  The Housing Element is the document that determines how zoning should be to accommodate the required number of units that the state has mandated we provide for.  We are required to update our housing element every eight years and this outreach is one of the steps in the update process.  Information about the event can be found here:

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

10.5.21 Meeting Summary

Last night the Council met to discuss a couple significant items.  The matters were relatively straightforward and the meeting completed fairly quickly.
  • We adopted a resolution to update Development and Wetland Mitigation Fees.  These are a set of fees and procedures by which developers pay a fee in an effort to provide a coordinated approach to permitting, conservation, and protection of sensitive species, their habitats, and other natural resources within eastern Contra Costa County.  These fees have an automatic riser each year in between audits.  Information from audits which are conducted every 3-5 years is used to adjust fees going forward until the next audit period.  After the audit the new fee rates need to be approved which is what we did last night.

  • We adopted a resolution to allow for video and teleconference council meetings.  Under new law in CA, we need to make findings at least every 30 days regarding the necessity of virtual meetings.  Given the recommendations by the County Health Officer, we will continue meeting virtually until that recommendation changes.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Upcoming Council Meeting 10.5.21

There are a couple significant items that we will be discussing at tomorrow's meeting.  Was occupied this weekend so I wasn't able to get out the update until now.
  • An increase for Development and Wetland Mitigation Fees.  These are fees levied against development projects to fund conservation efforts in Contra Costa County.

  • Discussion regarding the continuation of allowing video and teleconference meetings.  The executive order that allowed this to proceed thus far has expired.  A new rule has been passed at the state to continue to allow these teleconference and video meetings to continue, with a few added requirements such as periodic certification of the necessity of such meetings.
If you have thoughts or questions about the above please let me know.