Thursday, June 8, 2023

My 6.6.23 Meeting Summary

Last night the Council meeting started at 6pm and went until about 2am.  There was quite a bit of information presented and discussed:

We received a presentation from Fire Chief Broshard from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District regarding an update on activities of the District.  There was a lot of useful information, some of which included discussion around changes to fire threat maps as well as a reminder for residents to stay vigilant in steps they could take to help protect against fire risk, and various alert systems available (  More information available at

- We received a presentation from the Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise Rotary Club regarding the activities of the Club, including an upcoming Inaugural Father's Day Run.  The Club has long held the annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast at Endeavor Hall, among other fundraising events in order to support their mission, including a recent donation to the City of Clayton to help fund the Clayton Community Park playground equipment refresh.  For more information about the 5k run:

- We received the Engineer's report on the Streetlight Assessment District and the proposed assessments for FY24.  We approved the assessment for FY 24 at the same rate as prior year.  This assessment remains flat each year as the City has not pursued an increase in assessments since inception.  While the annual cost of operating streetlights have gone up over time due to rising costs including inflation, with assessments not increasing this special district assessment district is and will continue to be in deficit and subsidized by the General Fund.

- We received the Engineer's report for the Diablo Estates at Clayton Benefit Assessment District and noticed a public hearing to levy the FY24 assessments.  This District operates like an HOA for a limited number of residents and this is an annual process to collect assessments for the following year.

- We had a first reading of an ordinance regarding speed limits in town.  Back in 2019 the City conducted a speed survey and based on the results it was recommended that we increase speed limits at that time.  Myself, and others on the Council were not in agreement with that recommendation and we declined to do so.  The law has since changed and now cities are allowed to preserve their existing speed limits in certain circumstances even if a speed survey would indicate otherwise.  To do so, we need to update our City ordinances to contain certain language and this is what we did last night.  There will be a second reading next meeting before the new ordinance takes effect.  As a result, no speed limit in town will be increasing which is a benefit to traffic and pedestrian safety.

- The GHAD Board also met to discuss the FY24 levy and budget.  Given the shortfalls in the GHAD that I have discussed previously, we discussed what strategic approach for the budget going forward.  The GHAD receives approximately $49K in assessment revenue each year.  Baseline expenses for administering the GHAD is approximately $28K.  There remains existing fund balance from historical legal settlements, but that figure is not large at approximately $76K.

The GHAD Board was presented with three budget approaches ranging from using current and prior funds on multiple inspections to conducting no activity and retaining all funds.  Ultimately we gave direction to the GHAD District Manager to prepare a budget that has some monitoring and inspection, with funds set aside for work necessary to pursue a local ballot measure for residents within the GHAD by mail.  Increasing the GHAD assessments is the only way that the GHAD will be able to be self sufficient and conduct the activities it was intended to do.  If we are unable to increase the assessments of the GHAD, then we will likely modify the actions that are conducted from the GHAD.  We will be discussing the logistics of a potential increase in assessments at a future meeting.

- We adjusted the salary schedules for certain leadership positions, and unleveled one existing position in order to be more competitive in recruitment and retention of talent.  While we recently brought on a new Finance Director, they left employment with the City unexpectedly without notice.  We continue to recruit for this position however it is likely that we increase our chance of attracting talent with this increased salary schedule.


We discussed the proposed FY24 budget which reflected a surplus in the General Fund of approximately $7K which was inclusive of a transfer from the Pension Rate Stabilization fund in the amount of $125K. Pension expense has increased significantly this year and this fund was established for this purpose. Largely this budget holds the line as the City has a number of complexities primarily around vacant and new staff, and it will take time to work through onboarding before a realistic steady state can be determined.

Several of the specific funds reflect a deficit as well.  Streetlights, Stormwater, LMD, the Grove, and the GHAD all reflect deficits to some degree.  For some of these (Streetlights, Stormwater), we will be repurposing Gas Tax revenues to cover eligible costs within these funds.  For others (LMD, GHAD) we will be rebuilding the budget with the available funds as a constraint so we can assess what that level of service delivery that will look like.

While the current General Fund budget for FY24 reflects a modest surplus of $7K, a few items will add context to this figure.  It does not include any impact of current contract negotiations with the City's Miscellaneous employee group - any increase in compensation will have an unfavorable impact on the General Fund.  It includes $40K of one time spend related to technology projects that have not yet been identified and will be carved out which will have a favorable impact to the General Fund.  It includes additional fee revenue of $36K for user charges, but it does not include any fees that may be earned for special events held in the City.  Any fees earned from special events will have a favorable impact to the General Fund.

When the FY23 budget was approved, it was done so with an approximately $127K deficit.  Based on current projections we will end FY23 with an operating surplus of approximately $408K - representing a favorable swing of $535K.  This is due to a combination of greater than expected revenues, staff vacancies, and other savings.  Much of the discussion leading up to the current budget being adopted was around structural deficits, with negative projections for every year available.  This negative outlook has been utilized to support a narrative that taxes need to be increased.  As we can see with the current fiscal year, this significant deficit did not materialize for a variety of reasons calling into question prior predictions. 


I will separate discussion of the Master Fee Schedule in its own post.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Upcoming Meeting 6.6.23

There are several significant items we will be discussing at our next meeting:

- We will start early at 6pm with a closed session to discuss labor negotiations with the City's Miscellaneous employees.

- We will receive a presentation on the proposed update to the City's master fee schedule.

- We will be adjusting certain salary ranges in order to be more competitive in recruitment.

- We will receive the City Engineer's report and proposed assessments regarding the Streetlight Assessment District.

- We will receive the City Engineer's report and declare an intent to levy and collect assessments for the Diablo Estates Benefit Assessment District for FY24.

- We will discuss an ordinance amending the Speed Limits section of the Clayton Municipal Code in order to preserve the existing speed limits.

- We will also be having a meeting of the GHAD in order to receive the annual report and set a future public hearing to consider the GHAD levy of assessments.

If you have any thoughts or questions on the above, please let me know.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Memorial Day at the Grove

At 10am this Monday, May 29 in the Grove Park, the VFW Post 1525 and its Auxiliary and Blue Star Moms will be holding a Memorial Day ceremony.

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend but want to thank the VFW for hosting this event.  Vice Mayor Diaz will be in attendance representing Clayton.  It is vital that we honor and remember those who sacrificed for our country and our freedom.

Monday, May 22, 2023

On City Events and Car Shows

At our last meeting there was a concern raised by Councilmember Cloven regarding the Classic Car Show series that the City has been sponsoring for many years.  Apparently there was confusion as to whether or not it was a City sponsored event, and if not, why did the Car Show not pay the same fees for use of City property as other privately sponsored events. 

Given the City is the one entering into contracts with vendors (2019 electronic draft, executed copy on file with the City), the City is the one soliciting donations and collecting receipts, it is clear that the Car Shows are City sponsored events.  In fact, here are the minutes from 2015 that show the discussion around the City taking on the event.  In addition, as it is a City sponsored event, the City is the one paying invoices.  All of this should have been known to Cloven, as he was the one who signed their checks last year.

The City does not charge itself for use of its own facilities.  The attempt to draw some kind of equivalency between a City sponsored event and a privately sponsored event is baseless.  It's unfortunate that rather than look for ideas on ways the City could balance its budget, time is spent on frivolous political theater.

While Cloven should have known all of this, I could see how members of the public may have misunderstood who was putting on the Classic Car Shows.  This is because historically in an effort to document the activities that would transpire, permits were pulled for certain City sponsored events. There is no requirement to pull permits or pay city fees for City sponsored events, but because it is important that the scope of each event is clear, the existing permitting process was used as a convenience.  Later this year the City will adopt a comprehensive City Events Policy to add clarity to the overall process. 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Thoughts on BBQ and Brews Cancellation

Recently the CBCA announced that they have cancelled their BBQ and Brews Festival for 2023. They stated in their announcement: 

"The driving factor behind the cancellation is the uncertainty of potential city fee increases, in conjunction with higher overall costs and expenses.

The CBCA has put Clayton on the map in the BBQ world and we have decided to focus our efforts and resources on 2024 to make more educated decisions regarding the venue and possible changes necessary to ensure a successful event."

This has been construed to mean that the cancellation is a result of the City is re-examining its fee structure.  While it is true that the City is in process of updating its master fee schedule, this cannot be the reason for the cancellation.  Once the event is booked, the fees for permits, closing streets, using parks, and using city services are locked in and currently that would utilize the existing fee schedule.  The current master fee schedule is on the front page of the City's website - there is zero uncertainty regarding what those fees are.  There may be several reasons why the CBCA decided to cancel their event, but citing the uncertainty of fees is unfounded.

Any organization can make an evaluation regarding whether or not an event will be worthwhile.  It is not the City that makes this determination nor is the City preventing any event from taking place using City resources.  As I described in my update on ongoing discussions with the CBCA earlier this year, after the updated Master Fee schedule is approved by the Council, we will continue discussions in order to pursue a new Master Use Agreement.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

My 5.16.23 Meeting Summary

Last night there were two significant items discussed:

- We received the annual reports for FY21 and FY22 from the Trails and Landscape Committee.  The reports had been delayed due to the Committee changing over during COVID and other staffing constraints.  The two annual reports reflected expenditures less than budget due to previous drought conditions and limited staffing during COVID.  While there remains a fund balance, much of that was projected to be used towards repair of the Cardinet Trail.  We will be discussing budget allocation for this work during the larger budget discussions throughout May and June.

- We discussed the status of the GHAD, its funding, and prioritization of work.  This is the culmination of many years of requests to determine the scope of work the GHAD should be performing, and what it should actually be doing given the resource constraints.  I wrote in greater detail about the first round of this discussion here:  

In summary, the GHAD receives approximately $50K in funding each year from assessments levied against the approximately 1400 properties in the district.  Required baseline expenses for administering the District including the cost of the levy itself are approximately $28K.  This leaves only $22K per year for all things that GHAD is responsible for.  Our GHAD General Manager indicated that it would take approximately $500K in revenues each year to adequately fund the GHAD for its activities and build a reasonable reserve.   The GHAD severely underfunded and as a result can only perform activities it can fund.

Unless the residents of the GHAD agree to an increase in assessments, this will continue to be the case and the GHAD will need to prioritize what it does, though with the current level of funding it will likely be minimal.  We asked the General Manager to come back with a few different budget proposals that contemplate prioritizing different activities and what that would entail.  That should come back later in June when we finalize the overall budget.

- There was also a meeting of the Budget and Audit Committee to go over the newly proposed master fee schedule.  The agenda with that information can be found here:  Next Monday (5/22) the Budget and Audit Committee will meet again to review the entire FY24 budget that should incorporate that information, as well as several other suggested changes from our last working session.  The lead up to this has been long, from working through investment policy, incorporating potential savings from Climatec, additional information from our solid was collection agreement, reviewing periodic pension cost fluctuation, as well as the previously mentioned Master Fee Schedule.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Upcoming Meeting 5.16.23

There are two significant items we will be discussing at our next meeting on 5.16.23:

- We will receive and discuss the FY 21 and FY22 annual report from the Trails and Landscape Committee.  This is the citizen oversight committee as provided by the parcel tax approved by voters in 2017.  Due to COVID related issues, the Committee faced challenges in meeting during some years so we are receiving multiple years of reports to catch us up.

- There will be a follow up meeting of the Oakhurst Geological Hazard Abatement District (GHAD) regarding the scope of services, cost for those services, and prioritization of activities given the limited funds of the GHAD.

If you have any thoughts or questions on the above please let me know.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

My 5.2.23 Meeting Summary

Last night the Council met and discussed a few significant topics:

- Both Councilmember Cloven and Tillman asked that Council guidelines be brought back for discussion specifically around how items are placed on the agenda, and how the Mayor is selected.  In response to this request, I drafted updates to the existing Council guidelines which were discussed during the meeting.  Other than non-substantive changes for formatting and wordsmithing, several redundant items and items that may present Brown Act challenges were removed.

Councilmember Cloven expressed a desire to require that prior to anything being added to the agenda it must be raised at a public meeting in order to inform the public on what is coming in the future.  While this idea may seem reasonable in concept, this adds additional bureaucracy and constrains efficient operation of the City.  The City complies with the requirement to have agendas publicly posted at least 72 hours prior to any meeting.  In addition, I post an update on this website, as well as other social media forums, previews of what will be discussed before each meeting so the public may be informed.  

It has always been the case that agenda items can be added at the discretion of the City Manager and the Mayor.  All past Mayors have been able to utilize this ability to facilitate the smooth operations of the city, including Councilmember Cloven.  For example, at my request for this meeting, we discussed the status of prior requests for future items (Agenda item 8. (b)).  This was thematically consistent with the guidelines discussion, and since some of the requests for future meetings had to do with guidelines, it made sense to revisit those at this meeting.  Through discussion with the City manager in the planning for this meeting, we realized that having this placed alongside the other items being discussed made sense so we did so.  I did not announce that we would be doing this at a prior meeting and there was no issue raised regarding it.  If we followed Cloven's desired rule, we would not have been allowed to do so and that is less efficient.

Councilmember Cloven also wanted the guidelines to be changed such that a Councilmember who is absent during a regularly scheduled meeting would have the power to table an item scheduled for discussion.  This approach is unrealistic and unworkable.  The development of an agenda item is a process that could involve several members of City staff  and may take a significant amount of time to prepare for.  Having a single Councilmember able to table an item because they are absent is contrary to the Rules of Order that we follow, and would allow items to be pushed from discussion all together.  Requests to table items can always be made and can be accommodated if appropriate, which is the status quo. 

Councilmember Cloven expressed an interest in restricting the possession of personal devices during meetings and suggested the City could provide laptops or other electronic devices in their stead.  We already have in our guidelines restrictions on use or receipt of digital communication regarding an agenda item during meetings.  The ability to refer to informational resources, personal notes, as well as being reachable by family regarding other real life events is far more important than the nannyism reflected in this request.  It is incumbent upon each Councilmember to comport themselves in a way that is consistent with what they believe is right.

Councilmember Tillman had previously asked that a discussion of how the Mayor is selected be had.  We went over the current practice and all were comfortable with what was in place already.

Ultimately the only substantive change that was made to Council guidelines was regarding future agenda requests.  In the updated guidelines, I made clear that staff does not prepare a detailed report until directed by the City Manager or the Council as a whole.  In the past, there may have been confusion regarding what actions are taken as a result of Council requests so this addition clarifies what should already be done in practice.  I also included in the guideline the requirement that a brief written summary of a request be provided to reduce the burden on staff preparing the agenda reports.

The guidelines were updated on a vote of 3-2 with Councilmembers Cloven and Tillman voting no.

- We then discussed the outstanding Council request items and pulled various items that had already been discussed, been mooted, or were not deemed a priority from the original requestor.

- We then talked about the need to do an overall evaluation of existing contracts the City has with various groups and directed this review be performed in conjunction with the work being done by the Budget/Audit Committee.

- There was a closed session discussing our Miscellaneous employees with no reportable action.

This was our last meeting with Ron Bernal as our Interim City Manager and I want to thank him for his willingness to step up and help the city while we have been searching for a full time replacement.  His knowledge and experience have made the transition much smoother than it could have been, and he has added a great deal of value to the city in the time that he has been here.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Upcoming Meeting 5.2.23

There are a few significant items we will be discussing at our next meeting:

- An update to the City's Investment Policy is included in the consent calendar.  This draft aligns the policy to focus on more periodic report outs, shorter duration investments, and clarifies the types of investments allowed focusing on risk mitigation.

- We will be discussing Council guidelines and procedures.  Previously both Councilmember Tillman and Cloven requested this item come back for discussion, regarding the mayoral selection, and how items are agendized, respectively.

- We will discuss the status of all prior requests that have been made by Councilmembers to determine if they are still applicable, need to be modified, and discuss overall priority

- We will discuss Councilmember Tillman's previous request to review existing vendor agreements.

If you have any thoughts or questions on the above, please let me know.

I also wanted to draw attention to a post I made last week regarding the status of the Oakhurst Geological Hazard Abatement District (GHAD) (  In it, I detail some of the current issues facing the GHAD with some historical perspective on what has already occurred.  We will likely be discussing this further at our 5.16.23 meeting.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

3.21.23 Oakhurst Geological Hazard Abatement District Meeting Summary

Normally I do not separate the summary for the Oakhurst Geological Hazard Abatement District (GHAD) meetings, the meeting we had in March had been a long time coming and there was quite a bit of useful information presented.  What we learned at our 3.21.23 meeting appeared to present a potential serious risk to certain areas within the GHAD.  All of the detail is in the agenda packet (  starting on page 165 of the PDF) and I won't reproduce it here. I wanted to highlight some key takeaways and share my thoughts.
  • The GHAD is distinct from the City of Clayton, though the Clayton City Council serves as the Board of the GHAD.
  • The GHAD assesses a levy on approximately 1,400 parcels within the City of Clayton, with different tiers based on the type of home (single family, multi-family, duet).  The purpose of this assessment is to fund the activities of the GHAD.
  • The total assessment has a Consumer Price Index (CPI) riser so that the assessment may increase each year by an amount correlated with CPI.  The current revenues the GHAD assessments yield is approximately $47K/year.  Most of this amount is consumed by various program administration activities, and less on any actual monitoring or maintenance.
  • The level of assessment was set pre-Prop 218.  Prop 218 made increasing the assessment subject to voter approval.
  • The duties of the GHAD are outlined in the Plan of Control document.  These duties include maintenance of drainage facilities (V-Ditches, etc.), inspection of drainage ditches for cracking, sliding, or other damage, debris removal, repairs, cleanout of drains, measurement of movement and water pressure using inclinometers and piezometers, evaluation of erosion control effectiveness, identification and locating of various geological hazards, etc.
  • The revenues the GHAD receives are substantially lower than what would be required for the GHAD to perform all of its required duties.
  • Over time, many measuring devices that are used to monitor and measure movement have been damaged or are no longer operable.
  • There are several areas where movement is highly likely, however due to lack of monitoring equipment, the GHAD does not have any information as to the magnitude or existence of such movement.
  • If there is significant geological movement, it has the potential to cause severe damage to nearby homes.
  • Our City Engineer, who also serves as the GHAD General Manager, engaged with a Certified Engineering Geologist and Geotechnical Engineer (BSK Associates) to perform evaluation of the area and to make recommendations.
Here is a timeline of the GHAD:

Now onto more detail:

First, this is the area that is covered by the GHAD:

The GHAD area is shaded above.  There are three distinct areas of the GHAD that are surrounded by dotted lines, and each has specific risks associated with those areas.

In the open spaces in the GHAD, there are several drainage facilities, including V-ditches, catch basins, and various ways to collect and route water away.  This is important as build up of water, or water running over the surface in large amounts over time can cause erosion, and can build up underground causing landslides of various magnitudes.

In several areas, the City has installed inclinometers.  These are devices that are bored deep into the ground at various depths.  They are set in place, and by measuring their relative position periodically, we can determine how much the earth is moving at a specific depth.  This is a key detection tool that is available to us.  If there is movement detected, then engineers can determine the best course of action in terms of mitigating slides and reducing risk of slides.

For many years, our Engineers and firms the city has hired to monitor these inclinometers have recommended that we install additional units to replace those that have become inoperable over time.  Many of these devices have not been measured since 2016, though the requirement is to be measured quarterly.  Because of the lack of available funding, replacement or additional measuring devices were not purchased or installed.

BSK examined the areas with the GHAD at different points in time.  First in Oct-22, again in Dec-22, and then again in Mar-23.  They were able to detect movement both before the large storms in December and January, and movement again afterwards.  BSK indicated that if there are heavy rains after periods of drought or lack of rain, that often accelerates movement.

Here are a few examples they found:

In the above picture, water has eroded its own pathway adjacent to the V-Ditch designed to capture that water.  This will be exacerbated over time and will increase risk of further slide activity.

In this picture, damage to a V-Ditch is apparent and repairs should be made. There were many examples of this type of damage.

In this picture, a catch basin was overrun with dirt and debris, possibly exacerbated by clogs in various drains or other debris preventing the flow of water.

There are several areas that need repair, else they will not function as intended and additional water flow has the potential to cause more damage.

This is a diagram of the Pebble Beach Dr. area.  On the left it shows the neighborhood map and a solid line.  The line represents an area that is displayed on the right which would be a cross section of the same area.  The font is small, but it shows locations of previously installed inclinometers, depths where they are no longer functional, and where others are recommended to be installed.  From this, we can see that underneath certain homes there exists the potential for movement, but the GHAD does not have the ability to monitor it.

In addition to the above specific examples, there are several areas where slides are visible at the surface.  It is clear that movement is occurring, but what is not clear is the magnitude.

When I first joined the Council (and the GHAD board), I read through the reports and even back then it was indicated that more work needed to be done.  In 2019, I requested that a detailed scope of work of the GHAD to be discussed, as well as the timing and funding of that work.  This information is the result of the years of requests and the report is thorough.  The above images are only a subset of what is shown in the full report.  There are areas that if there were slides or movement, they could impact many homes in the area.

I've asked staff to come back with answers to several questions, but the main ones are these:
  1. What is the one time costs necessary to bring the GHAD current on anything that was previously deferred?  That includes new inclinometers, piezometers, repairs, etc.
  2. What would be the ongoing operational costs necessary to conduct the required activities including monitoring and maintenance?
  3. What is a healthy reserve amount that the GHAD would need to maintain in order to address emergencies or situations as discovered by such monitoring?
After staff is able to come back with this information, the residents that live within the GHAD will have some decisions to make.  The current level of funding for the GHAD is clearly insufficient to support the activities that the GHAD requires.  If the GHAD funding is not increased, then it will be severely limited in the actions it will be able to make. Simply doing the analysis necessary to produce the report that this post is based on exceeds the funding available for the GHAD in a given year.  

On an ongoing basis, there is insufficient funds to even conduct the monitoring, much less install monitoring devices themselves.  Without knowing if any movement is occurring, it is impossible to craft a plan of action to mitigate impacts of such movement.  I did find this Pioneer article: ( published in May 2004 (page 14) that indicated the GHAD went to the voters three times in an attempt to raise assessments and each of the three times the increase did not pass.  I did a review of all voting records for Clayton from 1997-2004 (oldest date available online) and could find no record of any vote regarding GHAD assessments, however it could have occurred before this time or via some other means.  In any event, if the residents within the GHAD are interested in having the actions of the GHAD performed, they will almost certainly need to agree to fund it via GHAD assessments.  

I will share more as the City gathers information about the above details.  We plan to have the GHAD back on the agenda at our 5.16.23 meeting.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Upcoming Events!

There are a couple upcoming events that I'd like to share.  The first is Clayton Cleans Up ( on Saturday, April 22 from 9am-Noon.  This is a volunteer clean up even where people can help keep Clayton looking great!  Everyone meets at City Hall at the beginning to get any needed supplies and afterwards there is a barbecue!

On the weekend of April 29 and 30th, the CBCA is hosting the Art and Wine Festival (

Next month, the Concerts in the Grove series ( starts on May 13 and continues every other Saturday from 6-8:30pm.  There are a great line up of bands and various promotions offered by some of our local businesses.

In early June there will also be the 2nd annual Clayton Pride Parade:

Thursday, April 20, 2023

My 4.18.23 Meeting Summary

At our meeting on Tuesday we discussed and took action on several significant items:

- We approved an employment agreement with our new full time City Manager, Bret Prebula. Bret comes to us with a a wealth of relevant experience summarized below:

Bret has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and started his career in government 15 years ago as a Department Analyst with the County of Napa. Advancing quickly in his career, Bret next served as the Administrative Manager for the County of Napa Department of Corrections, handling a $20M budget and overseeing large Countywide Corrections capital projects.  Bret moved on to become a Principal Management Analyst in the Napa County Executive Office, as the budget and large development project lead developing the Country’s $250M General Fund budget and overseeing a large Airport Redevelopment effort. Bret transitioned to becoming the Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector managing a $700M investment portfolio before moving on to become the Finance and IT Director for the City of Napa.  Bret then moved to the City of Benicia as the Finance Director, revamping a failed ERP Project, creating and enhancing a variety of fiscal, and budget polices to improve the sustainable future of the City. Bret was then promoted to Assistant City Manager taking an even larger leadership role with the City of Benicia.

This concludes a hiring exercise that has occurred over the last several months and is critical in the efficient operations of the City and I look forward to his leadership as we move the City forward. 

- We received a report on efforts to curb speeding in the city, and an update about our overall enforcement strategy.  The City will be designating a dedicated traffic officer in an effort to increase enforcement over excessive speed.   As the volume of vehicular traffic increases post pandemic, excessive speed has become a growing challenge within the City.

Back in 2020, the City conducted a traffic survey as required by law to determine the average speed of vehicles at certain locations within the city.  We discussed the results at our 8.18.20 meeting (  The results of that survey indicated that we would need to increase posted speed limits in order for them to be enforceable.  Because increasing the speed limits was untenable, the Council at that time decided to not accept the speed survey because once posted limits are raised, they typically are never decreased.  

It turns out that was a very fortunate decision.  New law effective in 2023 changes the requirements for enforcing posted speed limits.  As long as we have a valid traffic survey that supported the posted limits, even if a new survey would indicate a higher speed limit was required, we are allowed to preserve the status quo speed limits in perpetuity.  This means that the posted speed limits in the City do not need to be increased, and once we take some administrative steps in our municipal code, the posted limits will be able to be enforced which should assist our overall strategy to reduce excessive speed in town.

- We approved appropriating ARPA reserves for a few key items, and asked staff to come back when they are ready with more robust project plans related to other things that have been requested.  What we directed staff to pursue were the following:  Tattle tale traffic lights (they help police identify when someone runs a red light), security cameras and secure access controls for City Hall and the Police Department building, a flat bed trailer to help move equipment within the city, and a Ditch Witch vacuum trailer that will change the way our maintenance crews repair irrigation breaks and clear clogged drains allowing them to be more efficient.

- We also discussed whether we would continue or expand the Clayton Cares program that provided direct assistance during COVID to businesses and individuals. While I sympathize with businesses that are currently struggling, the City is not in a position that it could continue to prop up businesses at this time.  COVID restrictions have been set aside or curtailed for a significant amount of time and one time direct assistance will not change the market dynamics that some businesses may be experiencing.  As I've been discussing over the last several years, the City faces financial headwinds that need to be addressed and our efforts will need to be focused on ensuring the continuing operations of the City that support all residents.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Upcoming Meeting 4.18.23

There are several significant items we will be discussing at our next meeting:

- There will be a presentation from the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association regarding the a proposed Mitchell Canyon Educational Center

- An employment agreement with a new full time City Manager and related salary schedules

- A discussion of traffic speed strategy

- Funding appropriation for certain one time expenditures in order to make city operations more efficient

- Discussion whether direct assistance through the Clayton Cares program should be expanded beyond what has already been provided

If you have any thoughts or questions on the above, please let me know.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

My 4.4.23 Meeting Summary

Last night the Council discussed several significant items:

- We met in closed session to discuss labor negotiations related to City Manager candidates.  There remains no reportable action however I am optimistic with the progress we are making.

- On the consent calendar was an updated investment policy.  It did not reflect the changes that were discussed at a previous Budget/Audit Committee meeting so we tabled this item to be brought back after it could be further modified.

- We agreed to entered into Phase II of our agreement with Climatec, contingent on the City securing funding for the project.  The project will include a number of energy and cost efficiency elements including: solar arrays that will power all of the City's buildings, in addition to providing shade structures for city vehicles; new lighting across our buildings, parks, and streets; new HVAC systems at Endeavor, the Library, and the Maintenance Building; Building automation systems controlling utility usage, EV charging stations at the Library, and irrigation control systems with master valve flow meters to shut off water flow in the event of a breakage.

All of these things combined will cost approximately $2M, with an overall savings of $4.7M over the life of the equipment.  At our last meeting, we approved the application to the California Energy Commission (CEC) for an energy efficiency loan.  The CEC credit facility is designed for local governments and is offered at a 1% interest rate.  While there are potentially other funding options, the CEC credit facility is the most favorable and we should hear back regarding our application sometime in May.

It was important to approve moving to Phase II as that allows the City to submit an application for the solar array.  Doing so now allows the city to take advantage of the current NEM 2.0 rules that are in place now, grandfathered for 20 years.  These rules provide a certain buyback rate from PG&E for energy generated via solar arrays.  Later this month, NEM 2.0 will be discontinued and going forward the buyback rate will be significantly lower.  Being able to take advantage of NEM 2.0 contributes approximately $500K in value to the city over the life of the project.

If we move forward, the this project will complete in approximately 1 year.

- We received a mid year budget update.  While the FY23 (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023) budget had a $127K deficit that was made up with reserves, at the mid year we are currently projecting higher than anticipated revenues of $82K, and reduced costs of $84K primarily from staff vacancies.  This is approximately $166K favorability as compared to the adopted budget.

Staff is currently working on the FY24 budget and will incorporate this information as they proceed.  I emphasized the importance of also preparing a more forward looking projection so we have better information from which to make more strategic spending decisions.

- We then discussed in greater detail requests from staff for one time items in order to make their work more efficient. While we had heard some of these before, staff was able to prioritize their requests and give more background as to the benefits each would provide.  These items ranged from online portals to facilitate management and payments for business licenses and facility rentals, to software for managing meeting agendas, to maintenance equipment that would alleviate a lot of the manual work that is done all over the city, to security enhancements to City Hall.

While it is true we need to think holistically about our spending priorities, there are things that were identified by staff that are consistent with the goals established in the prior year, and will yield a significant benefit to staff in terms of efficiency and risk mitigation.  This is also consistent with how we treated the Climatec agreement that I discussed above - incremental activities that will yield efficiencies.  

There was some hesitation regarding making spending decisions without a view towards other potential needs.  It will always be true that more information may be available at a later time, however this could lead to a type of analysis paralysis where no action is taken.  Rather than continue waiting, I think we should take those steps we know need to be done so we can continue making forward progress.

We did not take specific action on this last night as several of the items needed more analysis before proceeding.  I've asked staff to come back at our next meeting with those things that can be done immediately, and certain items that may require more analysis that the Council can then take action to direct how we move forward.

- We decided to cancel the first meeting in both July and September as has been our regular practice.  These align with the 4th of July and Labor Day holidays.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Upcoming Meeting 4.4.23

There are several significant items on the agenda at our next meeting:

- We will be discussing an update to the City’s investment policy. Key things being added are clarification of roles and responsibilities, tightening of available investment options, increased periodic reporting, and a refocus on the key investment objectives

- We will be discussing Phase II of the City’s agreement with Climatec. Up to this point, the city has not incurred any expense while Climatec has assessed the potential for savings across all of the City’s utility utilization. They are proposing an approximate $2M project encompassing solar installation, electric vehicle charging, LED lighting throughout the city, irrigation control units to mitigate the impact of water line breaks, and other building automation systems to reduce costs. There is also the potential of State credit facility for these types of projects at 1% interest making the overall project much more feasible. Ongoing savings would be approximately $4.7M over the life of the equipment.

- We will be discussing a mid year budget update. Current analysis shows greater revenues across multiple categories, and certain lower expenses due to staff vacancies.

- We will be discussing use of ARPA funds in conjunction with staff request items for increased operational efficiency.

- We will discuss the potential of cancelling any regular Council meetings due to scheduling during the summer.

If you have any thoughts or questions on the above, please let me know.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Updates on Fiscal Sustainability

When the Council adopted the fiscal year 2023 (year ending 6.30.23) budget at our 6.21.22 Council meeting, the City did so with a $127K operating budget deficit.  This deficit was covered by appropriating reserves from ARPA monies.

At our February Budget/Audit Committee meeting (2.27.23) staff updated its revenue projections for the City and determined that revenues would likely come in higher than anticipated by approximately $82K.  This is from a combination of sources, the largest of which is property taxes.  We are also seeing greater than anticipated revenues in vehicle license fees, sales tax, franchise fees, and interest earnings.  During this meeting staff did not consider savings from vacancies and certain increased returns from investments that are being shifted to higher yield products.  The Committee did request that each of these be included when the mid year budget review comes back to the full Council in early April where we will get a better understanding of the anticipated results of FY23.

These fluctuations emphasize the need to conduct robust analysis in order to gather information to base decisions upon.  Rather than focus on suggesting a parcel tax as a first resort, we need to dig deeper and understand the basis for any projection, the sensitivity of any projection, any levers available to us in order to impact the overall results, and test the projections against actual results.  Because the City was without a full time Finance Director for a period of time, some of this analysis needed to be tabled in order to focus on day to day operations.  Now that we have a full time Finance Director, we are beginning to do the analysis necessary to get a better handle on our financial situation.

Given the focus on fiscal sustainability, I wanted to provide a few updates regarding what the City has done recently, and what is still in progress:

Staff Quality of Life
Focus Time for Staff: I've mentioned previously that we have closed City Hall to the public on Wednesdays in order to provide staff dedicated time to focus.  This is a no cost action that provides a benefit to city staff and helps our overall efficiency.  We will also be considering certain wish list items as requested by staff that they could use in order to make work more efficient and make the work environment better.

Master Fee Schedule and Rate Study
We are currently engaged with a vendor to conduct a rate study that will for the first time include an "all-in" rate for all of the fees charged for specific services and use of facilities.  We haven't conducted a rate study in several years and we need to do so in order to ensure the City is being adequately recovering its costs.  We expect to adopt a new master fee schedule around the May time frame.

Energy - Street Lights and Infrastructure Investments
We formed an Energy Services and Infrastructure Renewal ad hoc committee consisting of myself and Councilmember Trupiano.  As part of this ad hoc committee, we met with our PG&E representatives for the first time in order to identify potential cost savings, infrastructure improvements, and potential rebates.  One thing that we were able to identify was the need to switch the rate plan for some of our street lights.  The city owns over 1,000 street light poles, and while historically we have replaced some of our older streetlights to LEDs, it turns out that we did not complete the steps necessary to adjust the billing rate for some of those lights and we have not been taking advantage of the cost savings.  The work to do this is in flight and we'll have a better idea of the cost savings as we progress.

Also part of the Energy Resiliency ad hoc committee, we have been working with Climatec, a vendor we engaged to assess potential savings across all of our energy uses including gas, water, and electricity.  Phase I of their work was the assessment and was done at no cost or obligation to the City.  In looking at the draft proposals for Phase II, this work has the potential to have significant benefits in terms of cost and energy use and I'm hopeful it will come to fruition.  Ahead of receiving a proposal for Phase II projects, the City is applying for a low interest California Energy Commission loan in order to secure financing for the work, should it make sense to proceed.  We will be discussing potential phase II projects at our upcoming meeting on 4.4.23.

Investment Policy and Swaps:
We've spent a significant amount of time looking at our overall investment portfolio.  At a little north of $12M, the returns on these funds has the potential to be meaningful to the City.  We typically invest in fixed income products as others products carry higher risks and a primary goal of our investments is the preservation of principal.  In looking at the detail of our holdings, it turns out that the previous strategy of fixed income five year laddering with CDs was problematic in a couple of ways. 

The City's Investment Policy controls the methods and procedures for the investment of public funds.  There are three primary objectives of the policy - Safety of Principal, Liquidity, and Return on Investments.  Part of the policy states that in order to mitigate certain risks, operating funds should be invested primarily in shorter term securities, and funds should be invested primarily in securities with an active secondary or resale market. This means that if we place an investment and the market turns unfavorably we should be able exit a position relatively easily without taking a significant haircut.  Some of these things didn't happen as well as they could have.

By engaging in a 5 year laddering strategy, we locked in rates that were historically low for a long time.  Because these were primarily in CDs, there is not a readily available market to exit these positions without realizing a significant loss.  We have engaged in a swap analysis to determine if there are positions it makes sense to exit and will do so if prudent.

Our investment policy also calls for a quarterly review, and we've asked our Custodian (UBS Bank) to participate so they can provide more timely updates.  To date, the Custodian has not participated in a status update with the Budget Committee so I'm looking forward to starting this process.

Interest and Liquidity:
In addition to the investments held in fixed income securities, the City has held a significant amount of  funds in both CAMP and LAIF funds, which are both highly liquid and designed for short term holdings for local governments.  The city has used these investment options in order to support operating liquidity.  Given the relatively high amounts held at CAMP and LAIF (approximately $2M), we were not taking advantage of higher yield securities for amounts over and above the City's liquidity needs.  As such, the City will be taking a portion of these balances that are known to be not necessary for liquidity purposes and immediately placing them in higher yield securities.  The City will be continuing analysis on our operating cash needs to determine if a greater portion these funds can be placed in higher yielding securities.

Service Contract Review:
We have a number of on demand contracts with various services providers ranging from filling pot holes to repairing sidewalks to replacing streetlights that are out.  We will be doing a review of each to make sure our vendors are performing as expected and for those that are coming due we will be conducting a competitive bidding process.


While no single effort will solve the fiscal challenges that we face, combined we are making progress.  These challenges did not start overnight and they will not be solved overnight either, but through persistent effort we will ensure that we are exploring all available levers we have to put us on track towards fiscal sustainability.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Let's Talk Parks and Playgrounds (Clayton Community Park and the Grove)

You might have noticed work going on at the Clayton Community Park recently and I wanted to share some information about what is happening.

Both play structures adjacent to the picnic areas are being replaced.  New all weather surfaces will also be installed.  The project should be completed within approximately 6 weeks, before the start of summer break.

The cost of the project is approximately $378K.  The funding of the project is coming from a variety of sources.  First, the City applied and received a prop 68 grant in the amount of $185K.  Next, the Clayton/Concord chapter of Rotary International made a generous commitment to donate $25K.  The remaining funds will come from what are known as Developer Impact Fees, those fees paid to the City in connection with private development.

When complete the new play structure will look like this:

The toddler area will look like this:

That's not all though.  At the Grove Park, the City was awarded approximately $250K in grant funds as well under a different grant program.  And while the overall structures at the Grove are not scheduled to be replaced, those funds will be used to replace some of the surfaces that are worn, the turf under the children's statue, new lighting and various electrical equipment, and replacement of various plumbing related items.  We will also be evaluating the condition of the roofs near the stage area of the gazebo, the picnic gazebo, and the restroom areas.  Depending on need, the scope of work could include replacement of damaged or worn park furniture as well.

Because of the timing however, this work is scheduled to begin in the later part of Fall so as not to interfere with various events happening downtown.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

My 3.22.23 Meeting Summary

Yesterday the Council met twice.  First in a Special Meeting where we had a closed session discussing potential full time City Manager candidates.  There was no reportable action, however I am optimistic regarding the ongoing process we are engaged in and hope to be able to share more information in the near future.

During our regular session, we discussed several significant items:

- First was an item from the Consent Calendar regarding the State mandated National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program (Storm Water Pollution Prevention).  The state requires that the City take certain steps to monitor and report on any water that is discharged into water conveyance systems, or anywhere that water drains to.  In connection with this program, there is a property tax assessment administered by the County on every parcel in Clayton.  The amount collected per parcel is $29/year and has been that amount since the year 2000.  There is no CPI riser on this assessment, and any increase requires a County wide vote.

Each year the amount collected for the Storm Water Assessment is approximately $128K.  The cost to administer the program, which includes County fees, inspection, monitoring, and associated permit fees consumes about 25% of the amount collected.  The remainder covers staff and engineering costs of the City who perform maintenance, cleaning, necessary equipment, management, and reporting.  Given that the revenues collected is flat and not increasing, and the costs to administer the program, including labor, is rising, it is certain that without additional funding the general fund will need to subsidize the activity necessary to meet the mandated state requirements.  We will be discussing more specific costs through our annual budgeting process.

- We then discussed the rental rates for Endeavor Hall.  We had previously gave direction to staff at our 2.21.23 meeting.  At that time, we gave direction to have a multi tiered billing schedule that would apply to Clayton based non-profits based on their annual gross revenues. For those non-profits with annual revenues under $10K, they could arrange to use Endeavor at no charge up to three times per year. For those non-profits with annual revenues between $10K and $150K, they could use Endeavor at the non-profit rate discounted 80%. For those non-profits with annual revenues greater than $150K, they could use Endeavor at the non-profit rate discounted 50%.

After previous discussion with representatives from the CBCA, I recommended that we modify the rate structure to collapse the higher two tiers into a single tier, and provide an 80% discount to Clayton based non-profits whose revenues exceed $10K/year.  I thought this was appropriate in recognition of the historic nature of Endeavor Hall, especially its significance in acting as a town center where many people can meet and gather.  In addition, this City facility held specific significance to the CBCA, and in a gesture of goodwill towards good faith discussions that the City will be having in the future, I was was glad to take this step toward that end.  

As such, we adopted an updated fee schedule for Endeavor Hall formalizing a two tier rate for Clayton based non-profits.  It is important to note that now, smaller Clayton based non-profits with annual revenues less than $10K, will have  formal recognition of their ability to utilize Endeavor Hall up to three times per year, at no charge.  It would be fantastic to see Endeavor become the regular meeting place of the many Clayton based groups that enhance the Clayton community.

- We then discussed updates to the Clayton municipal code regarding ADUs and JADUs.  State law has been updated over the last several years reducing the discretion that City's have over the requirements that can be imposed, as well as the approval process.  With this update, we conformed Clayton's municipal code to be in compliance with State law.  Thematically, the ordinance that we adopted makes it easier for homeowners to build ADUs on their property, provided that the ADU meets certain criteria primarily around overall size (1200 sqft or less) and lot coverage (no more than 55% for lots up to 7,000 sqft, on a sliding scale no greater than 35% for lots over 16,000 sqft).

- We then discussed authorizing the application for an energy efficiency loan through the State of California Energy Commission (CEC).  The CEC provides a credit facility whereby certain energy efficiency projects would qualify for funding at a 1% interest rate.  The funds from the state are pooled for all projects, and are provided on a first come first served basis.  If we are able to secure this funding, it would make larger scale energy projects more feasible for the City as 1% interest is lower than our cost of capital.  This application, even if successful, does not obligate the City to actually accept any funds, nor take any action at this time.  At our next meeting, we will be receiving a more detailed presentation from Climatec, a vendor we engaged to assess the viability of energy efficiency projects and decide how we want to proceed.

- We also had a GHAD meeting and I will provide a summary in my next post as the topic deserves it's own more thorough discussion.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Update on Ongoing Discussions with CBCA

Last week, representatives from the City of Clayton (City Council CBCA Ad Hoc and Interim City Manager) and the CBCA (President and Treasurer) met to discuss ways that the two organizations could move forward and continue to foster the partnership that has enhanced the Clayton community for so many years.

While this was an initial discussion, we did come to a conceptual concurrence on several key items:
  • We recognize the unique value downtown Clayton provides as a venue for CBCA events
  • We have a desire to continue having festivals in Clayton
  • We recognize the value CBCA and its volunteers brings to the community through charitable donations and service
  • We recognize that there are costs incurred by the City when events are held in town, and we are interested in ensuring that when CBCA events are held in Clayton, the City receives its fair share of cost recovery
Some of the items discussed included the magnitude of fees waived for permitting (park rental, temporary use permit, noise permit, special event permit, street closure fees, etc.) and overhead costs for staff time. Historically only direct charges (police and maintenance wages, but not overhead) were billed to the CBCA per the Master Use Agreement (the Agreement). This did not include other employment related costs borne by the City such as health benefits, PERS, worker's comp and other required insurance, indirect maintenance and upkeep, etc. We also discussed certain city property that has been utilized but not included in any historical billings.

There has been discussion in various fora regarding the viability of CBCA sponsored events in the absence of the Agreement - that somehow without the fee waivers and other items not billed, that CBCA sponsored events could not happen. To be clear, the termination of the Agreement doesn't preclude any CBCA sponsored events, and while the Agreement calls for 60 days notice prior to termination, the City provided nearly double that so as not to impact Art and Wine for which work is already in flight.

In the absence of the Agreement, the fees and costs billed revert to what is described in our City wide Master Fee Schedule and are based on actual costs incurred by the City. The CBCA continues to be welcome and encouraged to hold events in town.

In the coming months, the City will receive information for an updated master fee schedule and rate study. This information will be the basis for any costs established for the services and facilities provided by the City. From there we will continue discussions in order to pursue a new Master Use Agreement.

I understand there is a high level of community interest in how the City and the CBCA continue to work together. I look forward to sharing more information as we continue discussions and thank the community for their patience and support.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Upcoming Meeting 3.21.23

At our next meeting there are a few significant items we will be discussing:

- Rental rates at Endeavor Hall is coming back for adoption after discussion held at our 2.21.23 meeting.

- We will discuss an ordinance to conform our municipal codes with state law regarding ADUs and JADUs.

- We will discuss a resolution to authorize the application for a California Energy Commission financing arrangement. This type of credit facility is offered at a 1% interest rate on a first come first served basis.  Authorizing and submitting the application does not cost anything, and does not obligate us to actually take the funds even if approved.

- We will also be having a discussion regarding the Oakhurst Geological Hazard Abatement District (GHAD).   The overall scope of work, the available resources, and prioritization will be presented for a discussion.  This is something I've been requesting for several years so I'm glad to see it come back for discussion.

If you have any thoughts or questions on the above please let me know.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Special Meeting - Goal Setting 3.13.23

The Council met in a Special meeting on 3.13.23 to conduct a goal setting session. There were thee main areas of discussion:

- We received a presentation from Municipal Resource Group (MRG) who we engaged to conduct an organizational assessment of City staff.  
- We reviewed a staff request list from each department.
- We shared goals that each Councilmember had for the 2023 year

MRG identified several strengths and weaknesses of the organization.  They also made several  recommendations including the addition of 4 FTEs across multiple departments.  MRGs recommendations explicitly did not consider any fiscal impact to the organization.

Many of the strengths reflect the diligent work and professionalism of City staff.  Their focus is on providing excellent service to Clayton residents, they feel that they can accomplish their day to day work, and they feel supported by City management and the Council.  Another strength identified was areas where we have made strategic decisions to outsource certain services and functions where it made sense. This includes things like Engineering or Legal services that require specific expertise on an as needed basis, or police dispatch services through the City of Concord where we can leverage the infrastructure in place and take advantage of their larger size in keeping it up to date.  MRG also called out community volunteerism through organizations like the Clayton Business and Community Association as a strength, serving an essential role in community engagement.

The weaknesses identified by MRG were mainly around our small staff size.  Smaller staff sizes presents challenges for long term planning, managing vacancies and time off, training opportunities, unclear roles and responsibilities, and insufficient bandwidth to handle spikes in workload volumes, among other things.  MRG also identified the lack of technology based operational tools that would make work more efficient.  

To remedy this MRG made several recommendations most of which surrounded adding additional staff and releveling existing staff.  MRG also recommended that we continue contracting for certain outside services and conduct long range planning in terms of Information Technology and infrastructure.  MRG also recommended that roles and responsibilities for each position at City Hall be identified in order to evaluate if certain tasks could be consolidated, refined, or eliminated.

The staffing positions that MRG recommended were the addition of a full time Accountant, Associate Planner, Public Works Manager, and a Senior Maintenance Worker.  MRG also recommended that our Finance Director be releveled to an Administrative Services Director, and a Police Sergeant be releveled to a Police Lieutenant.

I appreciate the work from MRG and many of the findings have merit.  But this is not to say that the city is adopting these recommendations as a foundation for moving forward.  Certainly work can be made easier with the addition of more staff or more resources, but without consideration of any fiscal impacts the recommendations do not represent a realistic path forward, rather they are an idealistic approach as if money were no object.  It does serve as a data point among other data points to be used as we evaluate future actions.

MRG's full report can be found here: ( starting on page 28 of the agenda packet.

As of this week, we are now fully staffed (City Manager is Interim with interviews and hiring process proceeding on schedule) with the exception of the Assistant to the City Manager position which we've held off on recruiting for pending the placement of a permanent City Manager.  An early task of any incoming City Manager will be to evaluate the staff and make any needed organizational updates.

As part of our goal setting session conducted last year (3.21.22) one goal that was identified was to "have a discussion around bringing our staff tools and resourced up to modern standards".  At the time, I commented, "This is an important matter to be addressed, but why it was needed to be established as a goal as part of our annual goal setting session seemed odd to me.  The Mayor controls the Council agenda and this discussion item could have been placed on the agenda at any time."  

Unfortunately after that meeting, no meaningful action was taken to make progress on this goal - another example of opportunity squandered under prior leadership.

After becoming Mayor, I met with staff and requested that they prepare a list of items that they could use in order to make their work more efficient, or simply things that would improve quality of life.  Knowing that we are under financial constraints, being able to do more with less in certain areas would be a benefit both to staff directly, and to city operations.  The Council was able to ask staff questions about each of the items they identified and based on that discussion, many of the items that were described by staff are a low dollar investment with a higher return in terms of efficiency and quality of life.  There is no reason several of these items cannot be quickly advanced and it's unfortunate that the past Council did not see fit to do so.

This Council will rectify that and we will likely be discussing these requests at our meeting scheduled 4.4.23.  

We then moved on to discussing goals.  Fiscal sustainability was a common theme.  In no particular order, here were the ideas identified and captured:

Revenue Generating Ideas
Updated Fee Schedule
Apex IT Update
Address Financial Challenges
Landscape Maintenance District Vote
Address Finances to Fund Staff
Financial Stability
Staff Resources
GHAD Resources
Overview of On-Call Contracts
Council Relationship
Initiative to Fund Public Safety
Cannabis Initiative

Update General Plan

Due to time constraints, we tabled any adoption of these items as goals to a future meeting.  Vice Mayor Diaz's offering of exploring the potential of a cannabis dispensary has gotten a lot of attention but I am reserving judgment until we have time to discuss as a Council what we believe is best to adopt as goals.  

I've stated previously that my top priority is to achieve a fiscally sustainable budget and much of our activity this year will be focused around this effort.  This continues to be the case and in my next update I'll be sharing information on the actions taken thus far.