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Oakley City Council Recap: August 14 Meeting

Below is a recap of last nights City Council Meeting which saw Councilman Randy Pope take an opposite position from the Council on multiple occasions while bunting heads with  Police Chief Bani Kollo for the purchase of two motorcycles. The decision on ChipIT Recylcing was confirmed and they will soon be forced to shut down while the city also discussed the ordinance for barking dogs.

City Council Candidates Randi Alder, Diane Burgis, and Doug Hardcastle were in attendance observing the meeting.

Pope Undermines Chief Kollo

This was the awkward part of the meeting as this item was pulled from the agenda based on Councilman Pope and Chief Kollo having conflicting  information on the purchase of two police motorcycles over a matter of about $3,000 each.  This simply could have been taken care of prior to the meeting and pulled without it turning into the discussion that transpired. Instead, Popes action was an attempt to  simply try and look smarter than Chief Kollo while undermining him in the procurement process.  With the agenda coming out last Friday, Mr. Pope had over 72-hours to speak with the Chief about this purchase and did not need to play politics on something as petty as purchasing two motorcycles which the officers have been without for a few months.

In speaking with the Chief after the meeting, he thought Councilman Pope had valid points, but their research simply differs and can use the next-two weeks to verify information and get on the same page. Councilman Pope had stated during the meeting he spoke to the chief right before the meeting.

According to the staff report,

The BMW is “purpose-built” from the factory for police service. BMW comes from the dealer with all police equipment installed including the wiring pigtail for our interoperable radio. No other motorcycle currently available is purpose-built. All BMW service/ warranty/repair issues for the motorcycle and the police equipment is handled through/by the BMW dealership and in addition to the motorcycle itself, all additional police equipment is warranted.

Harley Davidson and Honda do not offer a purpose-built motorcycle and, although Kawasaki did for a short time recently, they are not currently available due to electrical issues and the State of California terminated their contract after determining Kawasaki was unable to deliver the purpose built motorcycles pursuant to contract specifications.

Buying a purpose-built motorcycle offers a great advantage to the old approach of purchasing and outfitting them using multiple vendors. Under the older method, after the vehicles are purchased, they are sent to a separate vendor for police equipment installation. This becomes costly not only in time, but also a problem when the motorcycle manufacturer and the police equipment installation vendor disagree about who is responsible for repairs.

Staff has experienced continual problems with equipment failure on our existing motorcycles, repeated trips to and from the Harley dealership and the police equipment vendor based on compatibility issues and differing opinions regarding equipment failure diagnosis. Staff’s opinion is that we can avoid many of these situations by going to a purpose built motorcycle with a single responsible vendor.

Based on the research we have done for the past several months, we are aware of no other available purpose-built motorcycle with the advantages offered by BMW. Staff is confident that the 2012 BMW R 1200 RT -P Police Motorcycles are the best decision for the city at this time.

The existing Harley Davidson would be traded in (Staff found the local BMW dealer to value our existing motorcycle higher than the Harley Davidson and Kawasaki dealer).

Staff has been unable to find an existing State Contract or competitively-bid contract by another public agency for a purpose-built motorcycle that meets the City’s needs. In lieu of initiating a competitive bid process, the Oakley Municipal Code# 3.6.01 0 allows the City Council to waive the competitive bid process and authorize staff to negotiate and purchase vehicles when approved by a four-fifths vote.

Fiscal Impacts
The built motorcycle costs are approximately $25,000 each, plus tax and license. The funds will come from the existing FY 12/13 Vehicle Replacement Fund.

Recommendations
That the City Council adopt the attached Resolution waiving the competitive bid process authorizing Staff to negotiate and purchase two 2012 BMW R 1200 RT-Police motorcycles at a price not to exceed $25,000 each plus tax and license at the local BMW Dealer, TriValley Mota in Livermore.

Former HALO Volunteers Make Plea

Tamera Reed, Treasure Carlson and Jake Minez from HALO spoke during public comments to urge the City to look into the lease agreement for HALO stating Item 26 & 29 of the Lease is not being met.  S

CHIP-IT Recylcing to be Shut Down

This was an interesting discussion item because it’s a business essentially operating without the proper permits and the City voted 3-1 with Randy Pope voting no.

The City will issue a cease and desist order which would mean the business has 30-days to shut down. Although, Attorney Derrick Cole did the City no favors by offering legal advice to Mr. Berardini by stating he could file an appeal. It was found out last night that even after the meeting in May, the company continued business as usual by continuing to operate in an illegal fashion based off regulations.

After Mr. Cole informed the council of what process would occur if the council votes in favor of their findings, the council shot back at both City Staff and Mr. Berardini.

“Were we that unclear on that day in May,” stated Councilman Jim Frazier. “Have we not started the process to shut down the business.”

Councilman Pope tried to play mediator by asking if there had been any progress made outside of the council. It was stated my the city attorney that Mr. Berardini was still weighing all of his options. Mr. Berardini asked for the advice of the council and what he should do while he is filing new permits.

City Manager Bryan Montgomery stated, “stop use immediately and then go through the proper application process.” He also added that he saw an ad for an employment opportunity and stated he would hate to see someone leave a job and come work for a business that was technically illegal.

Mr. Berardini shot back, “Wouldn’t it be more detrimental to have many layoffs?” He asked if there was a way it could remain open during certain circumstances.

The attorney stated that is a gray area because it was never technically legal under the county.

Councilman Frazier stated that the city is not to blame.

“The original owner damaged you, not the city. Your beef is with the previous owner. We are simply trying to work within the parameters of the law.

Councilman Anderson stated the city had been watching to see what type of materials the company was recycling and it was business as usual.

Pat Anderson added to Mr. Berardini, “You should have bucked up and reduce services during this time and you didn’t.”

“There has been a disregard for the dust flying around, a concern for surrounding agriculture and environment next door. I am really sorry it took this long. It’s not fair to anybody and moving forward, it just needs to stop,” stated Councilman Frazier.

Randy Pope explained his position was the City should not shut down a business in Oakley and should be allowed to continue… as long as they return to the original use while the process plays itself out.

Councilwoman Anderson came back with this comes back to our resident with 500 chickens and how just because the County did not enforce the law, doesn’t mean we should ignore it.

“Just because the county did not do their job, doesn’t mean that is an excuse to let it continue,” said Anderson.

Staff Report

At the May 22, 2012 City Council meeting, the Council held a public hearing concerning whether the Chip-it Recycling operation, located at 175 Sandy Lane, is a lawful nonconforming use. Following extensive testimony, the Council closed the public hearing, deliberated, and tentatively decided that Chip-it had not presented evidence to establish that status. The Council directed the City Attorney to prepare findings to support its tentative decision and continued the Chip-it hearing to the July 10, 2012 meeting to formally consider adoption of such findings. The July 10 agenda item was continued, however, because of the unavailability of Chip-it’s principal representative, Joe Bernardini, due to the birth of a child. The matter was continued for consideration on August 14, 2012.

Attached for the Council’s consideration at the August 14 meeting are findings consistent with the direction that Council gave on May 22. The City Attorney requests that the Council deliberate regarding these findings and, following deliberations, adopt the findings.

Assuming the Council formalizes its tentative decision concerning Chip-it, the City Attorney believes it would thereafter be necessary to enforce the Council’s decision that Chip-it is not operating in conformance with the City Zoning Code. To do this, the City Attorney recommends that proceedings be commenced to declare Chip-it a nuisance per se under Chapter 1.06 of the Oakley Municipal Code. Following receipt of such notice, Chip-it would be required to cease operations within 30 days’ receipt of a notice of violation. Should abatement not occur within the time permitted, the City could commence a civil action to enforce the Zoning Code and seek injunctive relief.

My thoughts on this one are simple. Shut it down based off the findings and environmental problems. I believe Councilman Frazier and Andersons comments were spot on (video will be up in a few days) while Mayor Kevin Romick should have taken a formal position rather than simply providing a vote for shutting them  down. While I am not a fan of closing down a business and I feel bad for this,  the rules are the rules and Mr. Pope was playing politics instead of using good judgement–but this is par for the course for him.

Barking Dogs Debated

Although the City of Oakley could not take action, a work session occurred that essentially streamlines the process for police officers to deal with barking dogs where Chief Kollo explains dogs are very difficult to handle based. The new proposal will essentially allow the police department to use more discretion and not force officers to stay at a residence for 30-minutes.

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20 Responses »

  1. Seriously undermined? Is it a council members job to question or to just rubber stamp everything that comes in front of them? Maybe the writer should be a little bit more objective, and not allow personal feeling to get in the way. More top shelf equipment for the city to purchase for the Sheriff’s department.

  2. This one is a bit biased Mike, but I do like the fact you made a suggestion to Mr. Pope not to belittle the chief like that. Clearly Mike is not a Randy Pope fan.

  3. Gee if someone is telling you that the Police Dept has been without motors for a couple of months, I wonder who was doing traffic enforcement LAST week on East Cypress Road. Could have sworn it was Officer DuPree (sp?) And your point that this undermined the Police Services Manager????? (remember that is the title that the SO uses for this position)Sorry but I disagree with you big time. I would rather questions were done in public than behind closed doors so that I know that my elected official is doing his job. Maybe its finally time for the City to take some control of its police dept.

    • Sorry for the confusion. The item was pulled from the agenda with the staff findings available in the staff report, nothing was being hidden and was done in public–you can see for yourself on the Oakley website. The point I was making was since it was going to be pulled from the agenda there would be two additional weeks to discuss “which bikes are best” for the price and availability of the manufacturer. This was apparently a factor in the decision. The discussion that occurred last night was not appropriate since the item was pulled. That discussion would be reserved for debate during the next meeting.

      I never said there should not be a public debate because their should be, but this was a case of a Councilman doing his own research based off his own preference as an Oakland cop as opposed to realizing Oakley officers testing many bikes and picking what they wanted based on availability. and price Simply pull it, compare data Mr. Pope and Chief Kollo have, and then decide on a course of action to be debated in public. So yes, Mr. Pope did undermine the Chief based on his actions of the meeting because his tact was wrong.

      • You get a little bit of credibility based on this explanation, but still think you went a bit extreme on this one. I think you are stuck on procedure instead of holding public officials accountable.

      • Mike,

        Ok I will somewhat agree with you. But I don’t see an issue with a councilman doing his own research. Why is that so bad? So what if he is a trained experienced motor officer. Maybe if we had his experience and knowledge to begin with, we would not have 2 motors that are so screwed up that they want to dump them way before they should need to be replaced. (remember that during bad weather-rain, wind, fog, cold temps., these bikes are NOT used).

        When these bikes were purchased, warning were given that it was a bad idea to buy Harley’s and that they were very very labor intensive. Then they took them to someone that was not very experienced in the police equipment business and it went down hill from there. But, NO they had to have Harley’s So here we are a few years down the road and they want to spend $50,000 to replace them (of course less the trade in). there are lots of questions that should be asked before spending this money to buy BMW. But its going to take someone that is knowledge about law enforcement and motors to ask the right questions. And at this time, that would be Randy Pope. I would rather people in the know be part of the process instead of just rubber stamping whatever the SO asks for.

        And I still feel that its time for the council/city to start taking some control at the PD. Look at all the equipment that has been purchased and just sits. Where is the commercial enforcement equipment? Sitting in the F250? The F250 that just sits in the parking lot. That’s how much equipment that just sits. How about the traffic trailers? One of them cost $16,000 and it just sits there. The other two came from grants. Again they just sit
        there. The Impact team equipment cost several thousand, I heard $8,000. Was it something that was really needed? Its useful equipment but how many times has it been used and does it justify the costs?

      • @Barbara,

        One thing I left out as I think about it more. Both the Chief and Pope are getting their information from the same agencies, just different people which is the problem. Both are right, I just think Pope handled it wrong.

        As for the equipment, I would rather have equipment/vehicles sitting in a yard for when we need it as opposed to not having the equipment/vehicles in an emergency. Not gonna side with the Chief on this one.

  4. Yeah I’m not buying you explanation. Quite simply the council member had a conversation with the “chief” that showed contrary information he had obtained himself. I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t want a council that accepts everything they get as fact and never bothers to check it, nor do I see that as undermining anything. As you clearly said this conversation happened before the council meeting, probably even before the item was officially pulled from the agenda. I’m no expert but my understanding is that if a agenda item is going to be pulled the day of the meeting it is still on the agenda until it is announced in public (at the meeting usually) that the item is being pulled, tabled, removed or canceled, whichever term is applicable to the situation.

  5. Not a Randy Pope fan and I am 50-50 on this one in terms of undermining the Chief. That may be a bit strong if Pope found information. I trust the Chief to know what his officers need and if it’s not that much more expensive for the bikes he wants then Mr. Pope should back off since I am sure the Chief did his reseach and is not gonig to go rouge on us.

    I think the message is being lost that this item was pulled so therefor the process was not followed and that falls on the Mayor running the meeting. Blame Romick! In saying that, Burk has an opinion and we may not agree with him 100% of the time. He is pretty spot on most of the time.

    • I told Mike that when I disagreed with him I would let him know. Most of the time I agree with him but on this we are looking at the issue from different angles.

      But this is Mike’s blog and his opinions

  6. Burke = foot in mouth. You should issue a public apology to Councilman Pope!

  7. I trust Mike’s judgement on this one. He is talking about process so he is technically right, Tim’s comment is correct, blame Mayor Romick! Barbara, I like your comments on fire and agree with you most of the time, but its odd you are questioning the police on their vehicle purchases. What gives?

  8. Onto a different topic, Burks article is better recap than the Times did on Chip-It.

  9. I’m curious does Oakley have one or two Harley’s? I know there were two at one time, and had heard a rumor that one got laid down awhile back. I have only seen one on the streets recently. If I am not mistaken those are 2006 or 2007 Harley’s so tops they are 6 years old, they should last a bit longer than that. Yeah I know there are issues but I think we really need to look at what it would cost to correct the problems and get them working properly, instead of throwing in the towel and starting over. Yes Harley’s seem to need more maintenance than some motors, but they should also last more than 6 years.

  10. Purty shure this guy ca’t get his head any ferther up Frazier’s but!

  11. @Frank–I am all for public safety and totally understand the need purchase/replace equipment. I want them to have the best ready when they need it. Because our patrol cars are used 24/7, they rack up the miles and damage quickly. And lets face it, the job is very very hard on cars. My husband was in a code 3 crash and totaled a brand new car with less than 300 miles. So I never question the replacement of patrol cars. Shot guns will last forever if taken care of. Lidar equipment breaks and needs replacement. New technology comes out and it is needed, buy it. Paz units-never can have enough. Vests–buy the best ones on the market.

    But I do have issues with spending money foolishly. Purchasing enforcement equipment and just letting it sit in the parking lot is a waste of resources. Sending officers to training at our expense and that training is never put to use is a waste of resources. And after speaking to a couple of friends that ride police motors, I have some questions about buying new motors after only 5-6 years. I am not saying that we shouldn’t but I think I will be sending an email with my questions. Just because I am very curious.

  12. The Oakley Police Department has had a Traffic Safety Unit with two motorcycles for
    approximately four years. Our first motors were/are 2008 Harley Davidson Road Kings. One
    of those was totaled in a traffic collision in November 2011 (insurance reimbursement
    received) and it has not been replaced while staff has researched replacement options. The
    other motorcycle is still in service although it continues to need repair and continually
    requires expense to stay in service. The motors are on a depreciation schedule and were
    fully depreciated in 2011. It is staff’s opinion that we should replace both Harley Davidson
    motorcycles with 2012 BMW R 1200 RT-P Police motorcycles.

    The particular agenda was pulled from the consent calendar and opened for discussion. Mr. Pope presented his arguments in favor of the Kawasaki bikes. Chief Kollo presented his evidence disagreeing with Mr. Pope’s analysis. A vote was called for with a 3-1 in favor. In this case the purchase needed a four-fifths vote for approval. The item was continued until the next council meeting, Sept 11.

    Check this link regarding Kawasaki bikes – http://www.policemag.com/blog/vehicles/story/2012/08/kawasaki-shelves-concourse-14p-motorcycle.aspx

    • Kevin… correct me if I am wrong, but I believe Mr. Pope has now been proven to have been given “bad” information from his source about the bikes. Kawaski is no longer making the bikes available to the State.

  13. It would appear that is true. The first two paragraphs from the link provided above:

    “Kawasaki Motors Corp. has suspended its Concours 14P police motorcycle program, after determining that dealer modifications were causing a blown main fuse, increasing the risk of a crash.

    Kawasaki’s decision deals a blow to the cycle’s prospects for wider police adoption and curtails the return to the police motorcycle market of a company that produced the “CHiPS”-era KZ1000P.”

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  1. Romick: Councilman Pope Provided Misinformation | East County Today

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