Claycord – Talk About Local Politics

January 6, 2017 19:00 pm · 24 comments


This special post is “Talk About LOCAL Politics”.

Please use this post to talk about LOCAL politics, and keep state and national politics out of this thread.

Thank you, and be kind to each other.

1 Dorothy January 6, 2017 at 11:10 PM

Will the local politicians, winners and losers, PLEASE arrange to have all the rest of your election signs removed? Big ones as well as small ones are still up in various areas.

2 Sandra January 7, 2017 at 2:20 PM

I agree with Dorothy..I thought there were fines for those being up after the elections??

3 Nick January 7, 2017 at 9:52 PM

I couldn’t care less about political signs. I don’t worry about things like that. I don’t pay any attention to the signs prior to the election, yet alone afterwards.

4 Elwood January 7, 2017 at 10:58 PM

@ Nick #3

The signs are eyesores and blight.

5 Nick January 8, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Worrying about political signs falls under don’t sweat the small stuff. Learn to focus on things you can control.

One fifth of the people in public are eyesores.

6 Mary Fouts January 8, 2017 at 4:42 PM

To PH City Councilmembers: The Geary Rd Improvement Project was supposed to alleviate south PH from flooding. But yet again, I am sand bagging my south PH home today. And fancy this: not one of you elected officials was at a PH sandbag station (checked them all), helping to fill bags today, when I was filling bags for my home.

Quite frankly, you all stink. And I’m puttin’ it kindly.

PH deserves better for elected representatives.

7 annon. January 10, 2017 at 8:28 AM

changes to marijuana growing and selling on tonights city council agenda. How many have read this and approve?

8 Dr. Jellyfinger January 10, 2017 at 9:11 AM

@ 7 ~ Which city are you referring to?
I’ve already cleared an acre & prepped the soil… irrigation is all set up & I’ve even built a guard tow… I mean “housing” for a migrant laborer.
I’ve gone all Oliver Douglas over this gig!
Just waiting for the green light.

9 KAD January 11, 2017 at 3:24 PM

Did anyone brave the storm and go to the RAB meeting last night? If so, did I miss out on anything much? Any news on the publication of the Final EIS?

10 Hope Johnson January 11, 2017 at 4:22 PM

Navy estimated releasing updated EIS this summer, finally including answers to the questions submitted by the public two years ago. They said there were a good number of revisions to the draft EIS so they are not sure if this second document will be a final or a revised draft.

11 KAD January 11, 2017 at 6:15 PM

Thank you Hope. I watched the City Council meeting last night that did not end until almost 1:00 in the morning. There was a benched letter you dropped off regarding the open City Council seat. Mind telling us what it said?

12 annon. January 12, 2017 at 9:46 AM

This will put off turning land over to Concord reuse, interesting what new document will address. This may go longer than the city wanted or the open space alliance. I may be wrong but I think that puts a hold on the Navy turning over that land for open space until the final draft.

13 KAD January 12, 2017 at 11:36 AM

annon #12. You are correct. EIS must be finished first.

14 Hope Johnson January 12, 2017 at 12:37 PM


I was at most of the Council meeting but did not speak. Earlier in the day, I had sent an email to the city that staff’s recommendation on the process to select a councilmember to replace Grayson violated the Brown Act. Council cannot pare down the list of applicants by secret ballot. It has to be done and disclosed in an open meeting. They ended up changing the process from the original recommendation. The public will have an opportunity to weigh in on which applicants are selected for in person interviews. Here is my email:

Concord City Councilmembers and City Manager:

It was recently brought to my attention that Section 54953(c) of the Brown Act prohibits the Council from voting by secret ballot (“No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.”)

According to the Attorney General’s opinion, this means items not covered under Brown Act closed meeting exceptions must be conducted in an open, public meeting. Casting secret ballots deprives the public of the right to witness the decision-making process and submit public comment.

Please take notice that the staff report on the Council agenda for this evening regarding the selection process for appointing a councilmember to the seat vacated by Tim Gtayson is not in compliance with this provision of the Brown Act. The Council’s initial choices of which applicants to interview from among the paper applications must be submitted in an open meeting rather than directly to the City Clerk outside of such a meeting as staff is recommending. The choices of each Councilmember must then be disclosed at that same meeting.

In a similar instance in January 2010, the Big Bear City Community Services District Board had to rescind and reschedule its election of board president for failing to disclose the board members’ written votes during the meeting. The Brown Act requires the same public meeting and disclosure for preliminary selection steps.

The initial selection process for which applicants to interview for CNWS Redevelopment CAC was also done by secret ballot, likely in violation of the Brown Act.

Please amend the staff recommendation on the selection process to appoint a councilmember to comply with the Brown Act by having the choices for interviews submitted and disclosed during a noticed public meeting. The public has the right to participate in the preliminary selection steps.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Hope Johnson
Concord Resident

15 Hope Johnson January 12, 2017 at 12:38 PM

I also sent Concord an email about the appointment of Helix to the CNWS CAC. The vote to change the CAC from 11 members to 12 should have been noticed rather than lumped in with choosing members that had been interviewed. The City Attorney said they expect to respond. Here is my email:

Dear City Councilmembers:

Please be advised of a potential violation of the Brown Act during the meeting of the Concord City Council on November 29, 2016, that may jeopardize the finality of an action taken by the Council. A copy of this email will also be faxed to the City Clerk to meet legal service requirements.

During its meeting on November 29, 2016, the Council, sitting as the Local Reuse Authority (referred to here as “Council” for brevity), formally voted to appoint Dan Helix to an emeritus position with voting rights on the Community Advisory Committee (‘CAC”) for the redevelopment of the Naval Weapons Station.

The action taken violates the Brown Act because there was not adequate notice to the public on the posted agenda for the meeting that the matter acted upon would be discussed and the Council made no finding of fact that urgent action was necessary on a matter unforeseen at the time the agenda was posted.

The Brown Act requires notifying the public with a “brief description” of each item to be discussed or acted upon. The agenda description and supporting documents failed to provide the public with notice that the Council would consider changing the makeup and number of members of the CAC. The Council’s formal vote on July 12, 2016, provided that the CAC would consist of no more than 11 members and three alternates. No provision for an “emeritus” position was included. The November 29, 2016, agenda in question described only appointing 11 members and three alternates, and was inadequate in that it was misleading as to the full scope of the Council’s intended plan to change the previously established structure of the CAC.

Interested members of the public have been deprived of the opportunity to comment on adding a twelfth voting member to the CAC. The insufficient agenda description lowered the guard of those most likely to be concerned about the ramifications of a twelfth voting member and the selection of that member. The agenda was specific to appointing 14 people selected from those listed on the supporting documents. No reference was made to amending the established structure prior to the public comment period, leaving the public unaware of the need to address that issue. The public cannot be expected to have anticipated the structure change when the description combined with the supporting documents clearly and repeatedly delineate a body consisting of no more than 11 members and three alternates.

Adding a voting emeritus position substantially affects the CAC beyond the described appointment of formally established seats. For example, a twelfth member leaves the CAC vulnerable to tie votes and breaks the general protocol that most appointed committees consist of an odd number of seats. In addition, the selection of Dan Helix is one of some controversy because he was involved in the cancellation of the final meeting of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station CAC, an action that also deprived members of the public from commenting on the former CAC’s final recommendations. The public deserves an opportunity to comment on the change to the established structure of the new CAC, which is substantively different from appointing members to previous established seats.

Pursuant to the remedies provided in the Brown Act, I respectfully request the Council, sitting as the Local Reuse Authority, cure and correct the illegally taken action by rescinding the vote to appoint Dan Helix to an emeritus position with voting rights during a properly noticed public meeting, and placing the item on a future agenda with proper notice accompanied by the full opportunity for informed comment by members of the public.

As provided by Section 54960.1, you have 30 days from the receipt of this demand to either cure or correct the challenged action or inform me of your decision not to do so.

Respectfully yours,

Hope Johnson
Concord Resident

16 Kenji January 12, 2017 at 12:43 PM

Thanks for putting scrutiny on those points, Hope. I wasn’t able to stay for the Council appointment item, but I am going to watch the video. Offhand I think I agree with you that making even a preliminary selection off the public record is not okay.

17 AlwaysBePositive January 12, 2017 at 1:39 PM

Walnut Creek Women’s March
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Civic Park
11 a.m. rally
12 noon march.

Join thousands of Americans across the country to let the P-e know that he does not have a mandate to do whatever he wants. Stand together!

18 So.... January 12, 2017 at 2:37 PM

Do you think Bonilla is our next councilmember?

19 Silva January 12, 2017 at 7:23 PM

Thank you Hope!

20 KAD January 12, 2017 at 8:02 PM

Thank you Hope for keeping them honest.

21 annon. January 13, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Thank You Hope, I know it takes time to research all the rules and regulations we need to keep pressing them on how things are being done on the city council. I remember the first group that decided the plan of CNWS, had Ed James sitting on the group, I asked the city clerk and she said even though he was no longer working as a City manager for Concord, he wanted to be part of the vision. I do not like the way they are taking application for a new council member, we had viable candidates that put up money to run for office and the member should be chosen from that group.

22 KAD January 13, 2017 at 12:24 PM

annon. #24. I totally agree with you. The City Council opening should be filled by someone who ran for that office.

23 KAD January 13, 2017 at 12:25 PM

Well, that should have said annon.#21, not #24. Sorry.

24 lars Anderson January 13, 2017 at 3:46 PM

The “appointment process” for the new city council person in Concord is a charade. Tim McGallian already has the appointment, I am hearing that all over town. The reason he is getting it because the Concord Police Officer Association, the Police Chief, and the local garbage company are supporting him. Because the current council members, except Birsan, take orders from the garbage company and the POA, it’s a done deal. In Concord you have something akin to a 19th century political machine, the machine is the Concord POA and the local garbage company. You even have a “secret political boss” – like Artie Samish who ruled the California legislature in the 30’s – a political consultant who “screens” all the candidates – making sure they will be doormats for the POA and the local garbage company. So it’s a mistake for anybody to assume that the current council members – Leone or Hoffmiester, or the most recent door-mat stooge for the machine – Carlyn Obringer – have any appointment powers at all, they do what they are told by their overlords. I myself would like to see an independent person, a candidate that will do what’s best for the city – but fat chance that will happen with people like Leone, Hoffmiester, and Obringer serving on the council If MCGallian get’s appointed you will see what we’ve been seeing the last 20 years, and all we’ve seen in Concord is more and more money flowing into the police department to fight a crime wave that is non-existant. Residents will see no new library, no thriving arts scene or enhanced recreation opportunities – all you are going to get out of this group – Leone, Hoffmiester, McGallian, and Obringer is higher and higher wages at Concord PD (The PD just got a 8.5% raise, in an economy where a 3% raises is considered high), more bloat, more managers at the police department, and more crime fighting junk – new tasers, the latest motorcycles, and SWAT team vehicles. Yes, that’s what you will get by putting another cop groupie – McGallian, to go along with the three we already have Leone, Hoffmiester, and Obringer.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: