Oakley Continues to Step Forward with New Library

A community discussion of Oakley’s forthcoming downtown library is on tomorrow night’s November 14, 2023, City Council agenda. An architectural firm is bringing forth a conceptual design of the location and how we can build such a much-needed structure “with no new taxes.” I invite community residents to attend or contact the council members in your district with their ideas for the forthcoming project.

I have attached a copy of the Staff Report.

George Fuller, Ed.D. 
      City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Absolutely No New Taxes for Oakley Residents!!

No new taxes for Oakley residents. The California Legislature is at it again. This time, they want to place a ten-billion-dollar bond fund on the ballot to raise money for affordable housing. The legislation is titled AB 1657. A statewide vote will determine if the state issues bonds to accumulate the funds and that the money will be distributed to counties and cities to build affordable housing.

            The bonds will be financed through various forms of taxation to cover the repayment cost. The money will eventually be allocated from the general fund. We all know that the State Senate and Assembly have no qualms about configuring various measures to increase taxes for such repayment plans.

            The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) pushes the legislation and encourages cities throughout the state to support it. Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arreguin began discussing the bill in 2022, saying it was a way to reallocate affordable housing to be built “where land is available” (in other words, East Contra Costa County, Solano County, among others). Mayor Arreguin said Berkeley should not have to build many affordable housing units as RHNA required predominantly low-income housing. It was more equitable to create such units in areas such as Oakley, thus dropping the number of units allocated to be built in Oakley.

            The bill, introduced by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, who represents Berkeley, Richmond, and other cities in the West Contra Costa County area, does contain a provision that allows the legislature to alter the RHNA numbers. Sections 5406(a)(b)(c) enable the legislature to make changes to affordable housing laws “at will.” I have listed a link to AB1657 below and highlighted the sections above.

            In short, I perceive AB1657 as an “end run” around cities such as Oakley and Brentwood by Mayor Arreguin and other cities in the East Bay coastal areas. This is the time to contact your council members and encourage them to oppose the bill.

            The City Council meeting to consider the item is this Tuesday night, October 10, 2023, at 6:30 p.m.

George Fuller, Ed.D.
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA

Oakley Sets New Direction for 55 Acre Park

The 55 Acre Park is on the agenda for the Oakley City Council meeting on September 26, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. It is a work session to determine the community direction for the park’s design. The work session includes the community survey results regarding two alternatives for the use of the park. One involves multiple-use fields for soccer and baseball, with artificial turf.

            The other alternative is to open up the area for recreation, allowing public access to the river in the process. Camping facilities would be afforded, along with kayaking. Access to multiple hiking trails in the vicinity occurs with alternative two.

            The enhancement of the environmental quality of the Marsh Creek area would occur with alternative two. Below is an article by Judith Prieve of the East Bay Times detailing the growth of the Marsh Creek Restoration Project and its value to the community.

            Please do plan to attend. The meeting will occur at Oakley City Hall, 3231 Main Street, starting at 6:30 p.m. If you cannot participate in the discussion, please forward an email to be available for council members to read, indicating your position regarding the park.

            Below is a copy of the City Staff report regarding the issue and a copy of the second community survey regarding the park. Also, there is a link to access visual renderings of the two proposals.


A Large Step Forward for Disabled Workers in Oakley, and America

Oakley City Manager Joshua McMurray, Oakley Administrative Services Department Director Jeri Tejeda, and the law firm of Libert Cassidy Whitmore of San Francisco deserve recognition for innovative, inclusive dedication to the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Recently, Oakley (CA) advertised hiring several people for open positions. The City affirmed its commitment to diversity and inclusion in its workforce by posting the below phase.

            The City will engage in a timely, good faith interactive process to identify reasonable accommodations to enable qualified individuals to perform the essential job functions.

            The phase replaced the words:

            Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

            Those of us in the disabled community are encouraged by the change in the rhetoric when discussing workplace accommodations for disabled employees. The discourse is welcoming, friendly, encouraging, and accepting of disabled people in the workforce.

All three of the persons and entities listed above were involved in the change.

George Fuller, Ed.D.
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Are There Councilmembers on the Oakley City Council Moving Back to the Montgomery Gaslight Phase?

There is a concern regarding shade construction at the Koda Dog Park. I mentioned that the original funding for the shade structure to be built for the park occurred during the June 14, 2022, city council meeting. I am concerned that the shade was not created even though it was supposed to be up this past Summer.

            Three council members (Shaw, Meadows, and Williams) told someone in an organization that purports itself a reliable news source that approval of the park shade happened mid-June 2023. The action at the time was to reaffirm the June 14, 2022, approval.

            A significant concern for me is I see City Hall members moving back into the “gaslighting atmosphere” used by prior councils and former City Manager Bryan Montgomery to deceive the public and keep people silent. I do hope we do not return to those Montgomery Days.

I have provided links to the June 14, 2022, city council minutes and highlighted the shade approval.

I have also provided a link below to the projects approved on June 14, 2022; I highlighted the shade structure approval.

I have provided a copy of the article that appeared in a self-proclaimed news source—notice no byline.

George Fuller, Ed.D.
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

The City of Oakley Owes an Apology to the Dog Owners Who Use Koda Dog Park

The City of Oakley owes the dog owners who use the Koda Dog Park an apology. The dog park was to have shade areas installed mid-July, as promised publicly by City Manager Joshua McMurray. Unfortunately, that did not happen Consequently the dogs, and people, were subjected to the perilous heat we experienced this Summer without adequate protection from the Sun. 

Funds for shade protection in the Koda Dog Park were initially approved when the park was approved by a previous council. People in City Hall deny this, and the tape evidence is gone. Fortunately, there are documents that say otherwise. Over two years ago I began requesting the construction of shade areas for the dog park. Finally, last year, funds were approved. In June of this year, during a council meeting, it was announced the construction of the shade would begin mid-July this year. That obviously has not happened. Mr. McMurray has offered to set another date, but at this juncture, I no longer have confidence in any date proposed. 

I must apologize to the Koda Dog Park users. My Spring and Summer have been filled with activities regarding completion of my Doctor of Education in Special Education Degree from the University of San Francisco. My available time became constricted and I relied on the word of City Hall that shade was going up. I will ensure from this date forward, while I am a member of the Oakley City Council, that I will personally inspect proposed building sites to ensure the needs of Oakley residents are being met. 

I offer special apologies for the dog owner whose dog exhibited heat stroke symptoms while at the dog park. Shade should have been available to prevent this from happening. 

George Fuller, Ed.D.
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Oakley Acknowledges Indigenous People of the Sacramento Delta

During the Oakley City Council meeting of August 8, 2023, Wyatt Moore of the East Bay Regional Parks District gave a fascinating presentation regarding the indigenous people of the Delta area. I have attached a link to the presentation, which is approximately eight minutes, so that people may watch the demonstration.

I appreciate Jimmy Ramirez, an Oakley Planning Commissioner, for speaking in favor of acknowledging the indigenous people of Oakley’s past in 55 Acre Park. I endorse the effort.

I am also grateful for our City Manager, Joshua McMurray, ‘s extraordinary efforts in arranging Mr. Moore’s council attendance.


George Fuller, Ed.D.
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Oakley Police Department Deserves Kudos

I have a quick request to ask residents to email a note of support to the council commending the members of the Oakley Police Department for their professional service to our community. Our law enforcement family members have been working diligently to provide proactive law enforcement, including curtailing the illegal fireworks in our city. They deserve a “pat on the back.” Please forward the message before 6:30 pm tomorrow, August 8, 2023.

The email address to send communication for the city council is:

Online Public Comment Card

Below is a copy of a link to discourse and rhetoric during the last council meeting that did create some ire within me. It is approximately twenty-five minutes in length.


People can also email comments to the Oakley City Clerk at:


George Fuller, Ed.D.
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Oakley PD Does Not Need to Be Micromanged by City Councilmembers From the Dais

I congratulate the professional response to the July 4th fireworks activity that most know about. In Oakley, the Oakley police officers forfeited the 4th evening with their families to curtail the use of fireworks in the city. The night of the 4th, city residents heard fireworks in our town, nothing new. The illegal use of fireworks on the 4th of July has occurred over multiple decades in communities nationwide. However, my perception is that compared with past unlawful activity, there has been a drastic reduction in the volatility of fireworks on the 4th of July in Oakley.

On July 11, 2023, Oakley Police Chief Paul Beard presented a summary of the enforcement efforts to the Oakley City Council. He noted that in 2021, fireworks exploded from April through October of that year. That situation did not occur this year thanks to the efforts of the Oakley police department. The Chief reported that, in his professional opinion, the illegal use of fireworks declined significantly this year. I agree with him. Unfortunately, Councilmembers Shaw and Williams disagreed with him, in my perspective.

Both indicated that fireworks had been to them personally and were upset that it occurred near their homes. Councilmember Shaw began micromanaging the Chief, saying the department should deploy drones to hunt down violators and cite. Councilmember Shaw called for more officers assigned to firework enforcement, taking them away from other criminal suppression efforts.

I was particularly vexed when Councilmember Shaw directed the Chief to “escalate” the enforcement of illegal fireworks ordinances until all fireworks disappeared from Oakley. Politicians telling chiefs of police to escalate enforcement towards certain groups is a danger in my mind. BIPOC communities continually remind us some communities expect their police to “keep those people in line.” BIPOC communities are not the only groups affected by directions from a dais to escalate enforcement against certain groups. Migrants from Oklahoma during the depression felt the sting, as have people living “on the wrong side of the tracks.”

Fortunately, Oakley has a professional police chief. He stated he will continue to work towards curtailing fireworks in the City and has over eleven months to plan for the next July 4. In the process, he will continue to provide sound law enforcement in the City, with diversity, equity, and inclusion of all members of our City.

In the interim, I would like to ask that residents in the City forward an email for the next council meeting, set for August 8, letting the city council members on the dais know that they support and appreciate the Oakley Police Department and their Chief. Better yet, it would be nice for people to come to the meeting at 6:30 pm and thank them in person from the podium. A link to the video of the council discussion is below. It is approximately 25 minutes in length.

George Fuller, Ed.D.
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA

People Need to be Heard, Not Argued With!

Kudos to those who attended the 55-Acre Park gathering at Oakley City Hall. The event took place on Wednesday evening, July 19. The purpose of the meeting was to ascertain public sentiments as to their desires and needs regarding the layout of the design of the Park. The thoughts of many attendees were recorded—many thanks for the public information.               I was distraught, dismayed, and distressed that Councilmember Anissa Williams and Councilmember Shannon Shaw, along with resident Kevin Romick, accosted attendees to persuade them to accept their concept for the design of the Park. All three spent a considerable amount of time explaining their druthers. All three badgered attendees to accept their wishes for the Park, which, in many ways, was entirely different from what many of the residents preferred.              

The meeting intended to listen to the people of Oakley. I am not sure all the Oakley City Government members in the council chamber were listening to the residents’ wants.               Fortunately, the consulting firm presenting the meeting and taking notes could discern what the residents desired and respond accordingly.  

Below is a link to a survey the City conducts regarding the 55-Acre Park. Please respond to it by August 11. The survey aims to learn more from residents concerning the design concepts. All possibilities are still open. If a format is not satisfactory to you, please make a notation on the survey. For example, many people were the playing fields moved into the community with greater access for all residents.   Below is also a link to a video of the meeting.



George Fuller, Ed.D.
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA