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Vacaville Has Vice Mayor Controversy

steve hardy

Ian Thompson at the Daily Republic, is reporting that the Vacaville City Council has it’s own Vice Mayor controversy as Mayor Steve Hardy made the decision to cut the term of office of the vice mayor from two years to one year. Residents then accused the mayor of violating the Brown Act.

Why is this relevant to East County? Well on Tuesday night, City of Oakley Councilman Randy Pope requested that the council  re-consider taking back its original Mayor and Vice Mayor vote and hold a re-vote. This was after Kevin Romick (5-0) and Carol Rios (3-2) were voted in as Mayor and Vice Mayor which essentially skipped Randy Pope from serving as Vice Mayor.

Prior to any action occurring,  legal stepped it and suggested it be put off so no Brown Act violations would occur. The City of Oakley will decide to take any action at their next meeting on January 22.

In the City of Vacaville’s case,  according to the article, two residents accused Hardy of violating the Brown Act on Dec. 11 when the mayor changed the term of vice mayor’s term of office from two to one years without adequately stating on the meeting agenda that the action was being considered.

The Brown Act guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of governmental agencies.

“It should have been on the agenda,” said resident Linda Bruzzone. “The term of office should not have been set on the nomination of an individual.”

Hardy’s move did not violate the Brown Act, according to Vacaville City Attorney Jerry Hobrecht, who said there was no set term of office for vice mayor laid out by law or city ordinance.

“It has just been a custom or practice,” Hobrecht said.

For the full article, visit the Daily Republic.

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1 Response »

  1. Almost as bad as Brentwood!

    I heard the city council was no longer going to tolerate his antics. Didn’t take long…Looks like Blob Taylor stepped in it again.

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/east-county-times/ci_22349263/brentwood-leaders-examine-use-city-equipment-by-public

    Brentwood leaders to examine use of city equipment by public officials
    By Paula King Contra Costa Timescontracostatimes.com
    Posted: 01/10/2013 01:59:34 PM PST
    January 10, 2013 10:37 PM GMTUpdated: 01/10/2013 02:37:57 PM PST

    BRENTWOOD — In response to Mayor Bob Taylor posting campaign signs on a city vehicle at a public event during election season, his fellow City Council members are looking to clarify the legality and ethics regarding elected officials using city equipment.

    Due to the vagueness of the city’s current policies and penalties for this type of usage, the council decided to form a committee that will examine rules, procedures and penalties surrounding violations and later plan to create an ethics policy.

    Councilman Erick Stonebarger, who requested that the council investigate this matter, questioned whether the recent campaign incident violated election law, the ethics training required of the council or just common sense. The city’s current policies do not include clear language for council violations, Brentwood City Attorney Damien Brower said.

    “We had what I think is a violation of using city equipment to campaign,” Stonebarger said at Tuesday night’s meeting.

    Similarly, Councilman Joel Bryant stressed the need for clear policies and expectations of the council as public servants. He also expressed concern about the council’s lack of an ethics policy.

    “We need something to protect us going forward,” Bryant said. “I think that any governing body that doesn’t have an ethics policy is looking at real problems.”

    According to Brower, council members are required by state law to take part in two hours of ethics training every two years. He added that, since 2006, every council member has taken or will take the training in the next few weeks.

    Councilman Steve Barr said that disciplining each other is a difficult council discussion, but it is imperative that public officials be self-governed and act in a highly professional manner. He reinforced the need for a disciplinary policy in regard to the use of city equipment.

    “We lose a lot of rights as public officials,” Barr said. “We do need to hold ourselves to a minimum standard and I would like to see it higher.”

    Taylor did not comment during the discussion on the incident but did vote in favor of the motion. On Wednesday morning, Taylor noted that he immediately removed the signs when told that he was out of compliance.

    “Guidelines are always good,” he said.

    Stonebarger and Bryant will serve on the new council subcommittee. Stonebarger said that the incident put the city staff, police department and community in “a terrible position.”

    “You need to have those boundaries in place to hold people accountable,” he said.

    Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or pking@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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