In a bizarre twist, Oakley Councilman Randy Pope requested a re-vote for Mayor and Vice Mayor which was approved 4-0 during last night’s city council meeting. The re-vote will occur at the next city council meeting.
Before I get into the meeting details, I must say that I was disappointed that there was no update provided on the delay in the Carpaccios opening which is now 2-months behind schedule, nothing on La Costa’s opening, the Neroly Road Construction which is now behind schedule, and the Main Street Road Construction which is also behind schedule. The City should be doing a better job explaining to the residents of Oakley what is going on instead of sweeping it under the rug for no one to see.
Pope Request Mayor/Vice Mayor Re-vote
During the last council meeting, Kevin Romick was appointed Mayor by a 5-0 vote while Carol Rios was appointed Vice Mayor by a way of 3-2 vote which ended Oakley’s 13-years of a simple rotation of the positions. Although Pope did not state anything at the time of the vote, he requested that he was entitled to call for a re-vote by law since he was nominated. He urged the council to reconsider the decision to have Romick and Rios continue to serve in their positions on the council.
Pope explained that he was the only one to ever get “bypassed” at a chance to be Vice Mayor and likely followed by Mayor and how he deserved his turn. He stated that he wanted the public to know this was the first time anyone had been skipped and urged the council to continue the tradition of a true rotation.
“I was taken completely by surprise and I am trying not to take it personal,” said Pope
He explained that Kevin Romick and Carol Rios both had benefited in the past from a rotation and had their turn on multiple occasions. He even shared that one candidate (didn’t name the candidate) approached him stating how Carol Rios should have been skipped in the rotation.He defended the rotation but shared the irony that he “was the one that got blocked”.
He then moved for reconsideration where Doug Hardcaslte seconded.
This re-vote request was unexpected and not on the agenda, so the attorney advised them to move it to the next meeting–later that night, Doug Hardcastle had a discussion item to discuss creating a potential policy for annual selection of the Mayor and Vice Mayor.
I’ll admit this move by Randy Pope took guts, but it’s incredibly ridiculous as the council had already voted and is time to move forward. Pope failed to give a valid reason why he should be Vice Mayor other than the fact he felt entitled to it being “his turn”.
I would hope that the votes cast by Romick and Burgis to go along with the consideration is just humoring Pope to keep the peace for a few weeks because I highly doubt the Romick and Rios would vote to remove themselves from Mayor and Vice Mayor.
Simply put, this is a major case of sour grapes–period! He didn’t get the vote he thought he deserved so he is throwing a fit like my 5-year old often does. Instead of being about Oakley best interest, Pope is making it all about him and “his chance” at Vice Mayor at the express of the City of Oakley and his fellow council. He essentially threw Romick and Rios under the bus which probably wasn’t a good idea.
I’ll say this right now that if either Burgis, Rios or Romick switch their votes, it would be a major embarrassment to the City and shows they can be bullied by someone who didn’t get their way.
The truth is, Romick and Rios are the only two on the council who deserve the position of mayor and vice mayor at this time. They earned it. Pope has not earned anything and has been ineffective on the council. He served on 1 committee last year and was removed from HCP and had to drop Ironhouse Sanitary District liaison due to his schedule.
Going a step further, Doug Hardcastle would make a better Vice Mayor at this time because he has done more for Oakley during his time at Ironhouse than Pope has done on the council. Diane Burgis, same thing with her work with the Friends of Marsh Creek and her work with many stakeholders in Oakley and surrounding communities.
The point here is one should earn the role and title of Mayor and Vice Mayor, Pope hasn’t earned it at this time and shouldn’t be rewarded with “a turn”. To save the City of Oakley a major embarrassment, we can only hope the council keeps the positions as originally voted on. This is just another case as to why Randy Pope should be un-elected in 2014 because its not about Oakley in his eyes, its always about him.
On a side note, Doug Hardcaslte may be onto something with creating a policy for this if they get out of the kumbaya mentality. If they can create a policy that the position of mayor and vice mayor is to be appointed off hard work and dedication to improving Oakley instead of just showing up to a city council meeting, then I am all for it.
Library Folks Claim Widespread Support
During public comments, the Friends of the Oakley Library claimed their 500-surveys and online survey presented “overwhelming” support for the Library to move to the former CentroMart building. The problem is they did not reveal the results with facts and numbers. While I have no opinion of the project at this time because the project details/implementation plan are not entirely finalized, it should be noted the survey was asked in a way that ensured a favorable outcome.
While they may claim widespread support, my own internal survey of around 50 people is contrasting their claim. The biggest reasons against the parcel tax for a library is they do not want another tax or prefer to pay for public safety/fire first. The group will be providing an update at the next council meeting.
Item 5.1: ABAG Appeal to be filed
Kudos go out to the entire council as they voted 4-0 to file an appeal. Councilman Pope had the best rhetoric stating how this unelected Board of Bureaucrats are taking away local control and deciding how Cities should address the housing needs. Pope even suggested withholding fees as a form to protest or leave ABAG altogether.
Under the current requirements, Oakley will have to re-zone for an additional low income housing in which appears to be an additional 16-acres from somewhere within the city. The appeal will need to be filed by Feb. 18. This one-size fit all solution on housing is ridiculous if you ask me.
Item 5.2: Contra Costa Transportation Authority Citizens Advisory Committee
I’ll just come flat out and say the council got this one completely wrong as the best applicant was not chosen. The committee appointed Michael Dupray who wasn’t even in attendance and instead conference called in for the interview—this is the same guy who posted a video of him killing two chickens by cutting off their heads on his Facebook page on Dec. 31.
Mr. Dupray stated he was interested in a better transportation system to get around the Bay Area while he thought the committee’s purpose is to advise the planners on what the general public wants done.
The council passed on Ana Marie Bustos who has a solid track record of working on citizen committees while also being appointed by two-governors to work on the Contra Costa County Fair Board. She explained how her 20-years of financial experience could be an asset to the committee based on how money is an issue in Transportation. She also presented herself the best of all the candidates in being direct with her answers and thoughtful.
My Rankings were as follows after taking in applications/interviews:
- Ana Marie Bustos
- Michael Dupray
- Randi Adler
- Dale Smith
What was interesting is when they revealed the councils ballots, city staff only stated Michael Dupray was No. 1 and Ana Marie Bustos was No 2. They didn’t reveal the votes nor did they highlight the overall scoring—when I asked for a copy, they would not let me see the scorecards at that time.
I received the scoring this morning which the winner was the lowest score.
- Michael Dupray – 7
- Ana Marie Bustos – 8
- Dale Smith – 10
- Randi Adler – 15
Item 5.3: Commemorative Pin Design Contest
While I was not a fan of this contest as I still think it was a complete waste of time, I applaud the council for getting this right in selecting the pin that best represents Oakley. Councilwoman Burgis made a solid suggestion of changing the text from “Water and Wine” to “Vineyards on the Delta”. Randy Pope raised the solid point that the color of “Oakley” should be tweaked to better be seen on a pin. The winner will get $250 while the council will give recognition to the top three finishers in the contest.
2013 Committee Assignments
Politics aside, committee assignments are best served by appointing those with experience and strengths to certain committees. This did not occur last night. Specifically, Doug Hardcastle and Diane Burgis received the short end of the stick as neither were appointed to their respective committee where they could thrive–instead, they were placed as alternates.
Diane Burgis should have been a slam dunk for the HCP Committee as her expertise is in environmental issues such as the Delta. Keep in mind, Randy Pope was removed from HCP last year. I don’t even have to justify this decision because of all the awards councilwoman Burgis has received for her work with Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed. An valid explanation of this choice would be interesting.
Doug Hardcastle appeared he would have been a slam dunk for Ironhouse / special district considering his time at Ironhouse and clear understanding of special districts. Again, keep in mind that Randy Pope removed himself from Ironhouse because he could no longer attend the meetings. I realize I went after Doug Hardcastle hard during election season, but that was election season, he has a clean slate right now and his expertise should actually be utilized. Him serving as an alternate is somewhat silly–he should have been the appointment and the explanation of this choice would be interesting
In terms of the Ironhouse Sanitary District, Susan Morgan was doing a fantastic job in reporting what had been transpiring. Her notes I have no doubt made the District a bit more honest and alerted the public to what had transpired. At the very least, she could have continued to serve as the Council Liaison.
Here is a look at the committee assignments for 2013:
- Ad Hoc Downtown Planning Work Group
- Habitat Conservation Plan Executive Committee/HCP Conservancy, Alternate
- Oakley Inter-Agency Committee (Public Schools Liaison)
- You, Me, We = Oakley
- Special Districts Liaison ISD (Ironhouse sanitary District) and DWD Alternate
- Oakley Inter-Agency Committee (Public Schools Liaison)
- TRANSPLAN (PC Rep)
- You, Me, We = Oakley
- Habitat Conservation Plan Executive Committee/HCP Conservancy
- Special Districts Liaison ISD (Ironhouse sanitary District) and DWD
- Ad Hoc Ag Conservation Committee
- TRANSPLAN, ECCRFFA/St. Route 4 Bypass Authority/EPAC (Alternate)
- Tri Delta Transit
- East Bay Division of the League, Voting
- ABAG, Alternate
- Contra Costa County Mayor’s Conference
- Delta 6
- League of California Cities, Alternate
- TRANSPLAN, ECCRFFA/St. Route 4 Bypass Authority/EPAC
- AD Hoc Ag Conservation Committee
- Tri Delta Transit
- Contra Costa County Mayors Conference
- Delta 6
- League of California Cities, Voting
The next City Council Meeting will occur on January 22, 2013.