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.
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.
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.
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.