The City of Pleasant Hill’s Weekly Update

December 21, 2013 18:00 pm · 21 comments


Click on the photo above to read the weekly update from the City of Pleasant Hill.


1 Dorothy Englund December 21, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Another nice Contra Costa Times article by Lisa White about the City Attorney’s response to Ms. Fouts’ Brown Act Complaint. They’re circling the wagons at City Hall :O

2 things that make me go hummm December 22, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Is Pleasant Hill unfriendly to motorcycles?
I saw a parade of lights on motorcycles go by on crescent drive last night…Looked like they could not find any motorcycle parking…they pulled up on the crib with plenty of room.. Just outside that pasta restaurant…And onlookers were taking photos of them and all the lights…Either a security guard or a PHPD …told them they had to go…so much for the holliday spirit in PH…
So do they have parking for motorcycles?

3 Circling wagons December 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

They should be. They are guilty and should be removed from office.

4 Wendy Lack December 22, 2013 at 11:57 AM

@ Dorothy Englund #1:

I’m not sure “circling the wagons” quite covers it. Today’s CCT article makes it seem more like City officials are digging deeper the hole they’ve dug for themselves. (See:

Surprise, surprise: City Attorney Janet Coleson, whose job it is to defend City interests and avoid litigation, refuses to lift a finger to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by her bosses saying, in effect, “move along, folks, there’s nothing to see here.” Just like Mayor Flaherty, Vice-Mayor Carlson and Councilmember Harris, the City Attorney knows how to count to 3 to preserve her firm’s legal services contract with the City.

City Attorney Coleson has a clear conflict of interest in this matter. You don’t have to be an attorney to know Coleson is not a neutral investigator, thus is unqualified to do factfinding and evaluate allegations of wrongdoing against her bosses. It’s odd the firm she works for didn’t farm out this inquiry to another attorney, to at least acknowledge the reality of Coleson’s conflict and offer the public some semblance of neutrality.

The public expects and deserves to know the truth. This isn’t just a little political disagreement “with the outcome of the process” as Vice-Mayor Carlson believes. This looks like an abuse of power and betrayal of the public trust.

Will the County District Attorney investigate? Mary Fouts’ statements in the CCT article make it sound as though she’s not going to let this matter drop. It seems the DA’s Office should investigate, particularly in the event the City receives more complaints.

It’s been over 40 years since Watergate taught us that cover ups can be worse than the crime. Many are too young to fully understand the lessons of Watergate and all of its impacts and implications. Looks like some Pleasant Hill officials are choosing to re-learn this lesson the hard way — through first-hand experience.

“It would seem that the Watergate story from beginning to end could be used as a primer on the American political system.”
~ Journalist/author Bob Woodward

“Until we have a better relationship between private performance and the public truth, as was demonstrated with Watergate, we as the public are absolutely right to remain suspicious, contemptuous even, of the secrecy and the misinformation which is the digest of our news.”
~ Author John le Carre

I hope the Contra Costa Times stays on this story, as it’s apparent the City is trying in the worst way to make it go away. What’s clear thus far is that the City’s actions are not what you’d expect from innocent people who have nothing to hide.

5 Bella December 22, 2013 at 12:28 PM

The article was a good one. It reminded me that Jack Weir was willing to leave the council mid-term to go for the County Clerk-Recorder position when his brother retired.

Wasn’t he mad when Karen Mitchoff did the same thing?

6 Mary Fouts December 22, 2013 at 1:50 PM

To: things that make me go hummm #2
Kindly correct me if I am mistaken, but I assume you meant to say that the mororcycles pulled up onto the sidewalk, over the curb, and parked on the sidewalk. I am a bicycle only rider due to a seizure disorder, but in my “prior life” I was both a car driver and a motorcyle rider (HD Custom 1200). While some locations will tolerate motocycle parking on public sidewalks – particularly if it is for a short time only – most will not. It is against the law to do so. WC traffic officers for sure will ticket; not sure about PH traffic officers. On some private locations – for instance near Lunardis Market in WC – I notice a motorocyle or 2 parked in a covered walkway during rainiy weather, and no one seems to mind. I did not witness the event, but I will say that most likely the number of motorcycles forced enforcement of no sidewalk parking. And yes, I do use a parking meter to secure my bicycle on the sidewalk in places where a bike rack is not available. But unfortunately motorcycles are way, way bigger. I do however agree that there are very limited motorcycle parking spots through the PH/WC downtown areas.

7 Johnny Cochran December 22, 2013 at 3:48 PM

For the sake of argument: all the 3 council members need do is refuse to give a statement or Council member “A” talked to Council member “B”. Then either Council member “A” or “B” talked with Council member “C”. No quorum, no meeting, no Brown Act violation or they stick to their published statements that they didn’t meet at all. Much like the Save the Dome this is going no where fast.

8 Lack watch December 22, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Wendy Lack needs to go away. She is made a bad name for herself as a busybody who gets more wrong than right. More often than not she is the one blogging on the links she supplies. It comes as no surprise that she is in the same club (CCTPA) as. Weir.
Now that her Batman (Kris Hunt) moved away we are stuck with Robin who only lays rotten eggs.
If the issue has the name Wendy Lack attached to it, you might wish to ignore it. Lack is a self proclaimed town crier.
She really needs to get a life…and that is putting it lightly.

9 How did Edi Birsan's motion go in Concord, to avoid this same mess? December 22, 2013 at 5:28 PM


10 Dorothy Englund December 22, 2013 at 5:37 PM

@Bella #5
The Mitchoff situation was entirely different. Mitchoff knew she was going to run for County Board of Supervisors when she ran for City Council. And, the special interests who supported her made sure she was immediately elected Vice Mayor and then Mayor – a nice boost to her political “resume.”

Jack didn’t use Pleasant Hill City Council as a stepping stone to another political position. Karen did.

You most likely received your flawed talking point from Michael Harris or Tim Flaherty. Next time, try to come up with something original and pertinent to the issue. These three men failed to comply with the letter and spirit of the Brown Act.

@Johnny Cochran
Crawl back into your hole, er, I mean your grave. This isn’t a murder trial. It’s a civil matter and a preponderance of the evidence is all it takes. The video of the meeting alone should meet that criteria.

11 Dorothy Englund December 22, 2013 at 6:04 PM

@Lack Watch
If you can come up with something Ms. Lack has gotten wrong, you might have an argument. If not, keep looking until you find something to support your position.

12 Bella December 22, 2013 at 6:51 PM

@Dorothy Englund #10

Haha! I was waiting for you to come up with a defense of Jack Weir and you did not disappoint! It’s sad that you spent most of your post condemning Karen Mitchoff instead of telling us how what Jack Weir did was different.

You obviously don’t care for Karen Mitchoff so you use that bias to paint your own picture and come off as a little paranoid in the process. It sounds like you are saying that everyone besides you has an agenda. Perspective is an interesting thing.

Weir’s disappointment at not becoming Mayor is interesting considering he would have happily left the city council to become Clerk-Recorder. Is it accurate to say that he voluntarily submitted his name for that position? Why was he willing to leave the city council and move to a county-wide elected position if not for some kind of political goal? That’s a question I wouldn’t mind having the answer to. I think that’s an original and pertinent question, don’t you? I actually can’t wait to hear how you spin it.

For the record, not everyone who disagrees with you is an idiot or is doing Michael Harris or Tim Flaherty’s bidding. Please believe that there are plenty of people in PH who just don’t care for Weir. Or Harris. Or Flaherty. Or politics for that matter. You see what you want to see in the video of the meeting. It sure doesn’t look like a clear cut violation of the Brown Act to me. It looks awkward, but not illegal.

You are obviously intelligent but you always seem to be on the forefront of adversarial situations. Maybe you should just kick back with a nice cup of chamomile tea and enjoy the holidays. I wish that for you.

13 Dorothy Englund December 22, 2013 at 7:51 PM

@Bella #10
Um, why don’t you use your real name. No one can take anything you say seriously if you don’t.

And, again, you are drifting off topic. The issue is whether or not Harris, Carlson, and Flaherty violated the Brown Act. It is clear they all knew what was going to happen with the Mayor election before it happened. Each of them knew exactly how the other two would vote.

For the record, I don’t think anyone is doing Harris’ or Flaherty’s bidding. I think they are doing somebody else’s bidding and so is Carlson.

And, yes, I will enjoy that cup of tea – right after I put the finishing touches on my Brown Act Complaint.

14 Johnny Cochran December 23, 2013 at 9:22 AM

@ Dorothy Englund, sorry old woman if the truth hurts and you’ll be with me in dirt soon enough.

15 @ Dorothy Englund December 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM

The reason why smart people don’t use their real names is PERSEC. With a name a scrot is halfway to stealing your identity or finding out where you live through public records like the Assessor’s Office. OH and once again, no quorum; no Brown Act violation. It’s perfectly legal for council members to meet and discuss City business so long at there isn’t a quorum (less than 3) or special meeting. Government Code 54952.2(c)(1). I reiterate: Going no where fast.

16 Dorothy Englund December 23, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Have you ever heard of a serial meeting or a quorum reaching a consensus or even finding out how the other two members (assuming three is a quorum) are voting?

I hand-delivered an eight-page complaint to City Hall at 4:00 this afternoon. It’s going somewhere, believe me.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

17 @ Dorothy December 23, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Merry Christmas Everyone? I honestly feel sad for you if that’s how you get your jollies.

18 PH resident December 23, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Eight pages???

19 Good for you, Dorothy December 23, 2013 at 10:52 PM

You’re speaking for many who feel there was a violation. I personally hope it warrants an investigation and brings legal action.

20 Another PH Resident December 23, 2013 at 11:33 PM

What is the end game? Jail time for council members who didn’t want Jack as Mayor? Will Jack get to be Mayor then?

This is a waste of time that will draw resources away from getting things done in our city.

21 Dorothy Englund December 24, 2013 at 7:37 AM

#PH resident-
Yes, eight pages. That includes seventeen pieces of “evidence,” and eight recommendations to cure or correct the illegally taken action.

Thanks! I know many, many residents in Pleasant Hill feel the same way we do. Unfortunately, I think this is one of those times when public officials completely underestimated the public reaction.

Just like the OJ Simpson trial, it doesn’t really matter if a jury finds them guilty. What matters is the court of public opinion. If Harris, Carlson, and Flaherty have nothing to hide, they should welcome an investigation. But, of course, we know that isn’t going to happen.

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