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Oakley Made Right Call to Bypass Pope as Vice Mayor

After the celebrations and proclamations of out-going council members Pat Anderson and Jim Frazier were completed, the newest Oakley City Council decided that the positions of mayor and vice mayor of Oakley would remain the same which kicked the trend of rotating the positions between the council.  This was a wonderful choice considering the alternative.

This was the appropriate move considering history would suggest  Councilman Randy Popes would be next in line for vice mayor. However, considering his actions, or lack of actions, over past two years while serving on the council, the council made the best choice for Oakley considering he has been a disaster.  The truth is, it’s difficult to serve in the capacity of mayor and vice mayor when one has not formed the relationships while serving on committees. He has also accomplished very little if anything during his first two years and that trend will likely continue. It also now sets a precedence  that if one do not put in the effort, the position will no longer rotate—and that is a great thing as it now has to be earned.

I could see a situation where next year either newcomer Diane Burgis or Doug Hardcastle would again bypass Mr. Pope as vice mayor.  As you will see in the recap below, I can appreciate Ms. Rios being honest about her situation and allowing someone else to serve in a greater capacity.

It also shows the council will break a trend if it benefits the residents as Romick, Rios and Burgis decided against the same old rotation. I can appreciate Councilwoman Burgis politely suggesting Mr. Pope had not been on committees or has been unavailable to residents due to his work schedule.  It’s a valid statement which apparently Romick and Rios agreed with as Popes nomination by Hardcastle was rejected while Rios was approved 3-2.

This vote was very telling of how ineffective Mr. Pope has been during his tenure on the council. For Oakley, the council made the best possible decision possible to leave the positions of Mayor and Vice Mayor unchanged.  For Pope, it appears he has two years remaining where he will be a lame duck.

Here is my council recap

Burgis, Hardcastle, Romick Take Oath of Office

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With election season over, its always special to see new council members sworn in to serve the next four years. Last night, Mayor Kevin Romick took the oath of office for the third time while newcomers Diane Burgis and Doug Hardcastle were also sworn in.

Mayor & Vice Mayor Nominations

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Vice Mayor Rios started out the discussion by stating she was nominating Kevin Romick to serve a second year in a row as Mayor since she was having a “family issue” with her husband having surgery and needing care. She stated she would rather be mayor next year in her final year on the council—it appears she will not be seeking re-election after that.  Motion to approve Kevin Romick as Oakley’s first back-to-back mayor was approved 5-0.

After that, it’s where things got really interesting as Burgis asked Rios if her situation would allow her to serve as vice mayor and give it the attention it needs—she replied it wouldn’t be a problem.  It appeared Burgis was going to make a motion to nominate Rios as vice mayor but yielded to Hardcastle.

Hardcastle stated he thought it should be Randy Pope and then nominated him.  Burgis put out the elephant in the room suggesting Pope has not been available to serve on any committees the past year due to is schedule. She asked Pope about his schedule where he suggested his schedule had changed again and he got a good draw (shift) stating it would not be a problem.  Hardcastles motion went forward to nominate Pope as vice mayor after Rios seconded it. The vote failed by 2-2 with Romick and Rios voting against Pope with Burgis abstaining from the vote.

Burgis then nominated Rios for vice mayor and was approved by a 3-2 vote with Hardcastle and Pope voting against Rios.  With that, it appears Pope may be the first councilperson never to serve as vice mayor or mayor of Oakley.

Power Plant Resolution Approved

The City Council voted 5-0 to support a Resolution Reaffirming Support of the Oakley Generating Station which was an appropriate move given the newly seated councilmembers.

Unfortunately, Oakley resident Paul Seger decided to oppose the move suggesting that Burgis would have a conflict of interest due to her position on the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed and that she would have a financial gain by voting in support of the power plant.  This clearly is an untrue accusation and misguided as no money has been given to the organization.  The sad part is this all occurred before any vote even took place—basically making an accusation before an action could occur.

Mr. Seger went on to discuss environmental and health concerns of the new plant. He further accused Hardcastle and Burgis of not being involved in the process and suggested they should not vote on the resolution.  Oakley’s legal counsel corrected Mr. Seger on his assumption of a potential conflict of interest.

Kudos go out to Greg Lamberg of Radback Energy for correcting Mr. Seger on the potential conflict of interests, stated the environmental and health issues have already been studied and given the approval

Next Meeting

The next council meeting will occur on January 8, 2013.

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11 Responses »

  1. Isn’t it amazing that two people can see things completely different. I see this as the power remains the same and the newbies are already to scared to step out of line and change things! Like i said 20 times before, the same 3 or 4 people run everything in this county!

  2. I would hope Mr. Pope files a lawsuit agianst the City of Oakley so that this can get reversed and he be able to serve his rightful place as vice mayor followed by mayor. Mr. Burkholder, you have once again proven to be the Oakley idiot with your stupid opinions.

    • File a lawsuit agains the city over a council vote? Who is the idiot now???? Go away troll!

    • “Rightful” place? He has no RIGHT to the position, he has to earn it (the support of the other counsel members) and be voted in… he doesn’t get it just because he lasted long enough, he as to have done something as a counsel member to EARN the honor of being VIce Mayor. And as for you calling Mr. Burkholder an idiot just because he expressed an opinion contrary to yours…now who’s the idiot?

  3. Calling Mr. Pope a lame duck is probably not appropriate when he has 2 years remaining where things can change without Frazier or Anderson blocking him. I was shocked last night that he was passed but I can see why given his history. While Mr. Burkholder has poor rhetoric in this piece towards Pope, but it doesn’t make him wrong. The council did get it right, but at what cost? If Carol Rios has family stuff going on, she should have lost her spot if the council had a stronger bench behind her. Now that this is over, lets hpoe the council can work together going forward to bring in business to the city.

  4. This blog is garbage. Randy Pope got screwed and this appears to be a set up. Plain and simple. Burgis abstained from a vote, she should have voted yes or no. No trust in the city council will continue for another four years.

  5. I am glad things went down the way they did but titles do not matter as a vote as mayor or vice mayor count the same as a council person.

  6. No probably with Pope being passed. He likely deserved it.

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