SPECIAL MEETING OF CITY COUNCIL ON JANUARY 31st WILL FOCUS ON FILLING THE OPEN COUNCIL SEAT
This is a critical meeting which will determine who, if anyone, will fill the vacant seat on the council. This meeting will try to solve a short-term problem, the current vacancy, but leaves open the long-term problem – there is no defined process for filling vacancies, and recent practice does not reflect the will of the voters.
There is an easy short-term solution to the problem: appoint Jason Davies. There are 6,719 reasons to appoint Mr. Davies, and at least 22 more than anyone else on the list – the votes of Petalumans. The current plan is for the Council to vet applicants based on Council defined questions. Voters have no say in what was asked and what criteria will be used to make the decision.
The long term solution: amend the city charter to reflect the will of the voters and put in place a reasoned process for filling vacancies.
Petaluma Tomorrow will spearhead a change to the charter, which will champion the role of voters and provide a reasoned and a consistent process for filling vacancies in the future.
While the voters are excluded from the process, we can at least see information about those who applied by clicking on applicants.
MASTERFUL LEADERSHIP BY MAYOR DAVID GLASS
The January 24th Council meeting was a test of whether the new City Council could agree on critical issues or would be condemned to consistent deadlock. Fortunately, the masterful leadership of Mayor David Glass resulted in agreement regarding the appointment to commissions, including the coveted SCTA.
Glass, reintroduced, with minor revisions, the win/win recommendation for appointments he presented at the January 3rd meeting. Those recommendations were rejected by the HAH coalition when Council Member Harris was not appointed as Director of the SCTA. The Mayor reiterated that the recommendation maximized the requests of everyone. He also made clear that he genuinely desired but did not need the cooperation of the HAH coalition. The Mayor commented that, he could and would be willing to stick with appointments as they were at last year, and fill open appointments at a future meeting. Under this scenario not only would Council Member Harris not be appointed as Director to the SCTA but also several requests of others (including those of Healy and Albertson) would not be possible.
Mayor Glass’s leadership triumphed. His success reflected a genuine attempt at cooperation on his, Barrett’s and Renee’s part, combined with a clear understanding on the part of HAH that getting almost everything you want is better than getting not much of what you want. It is also likely that the pro developer coalition saw political disadvantage in continuing their obstructionism on this issue.