The Oakley City Council has an “unorthodox” manner of approving its Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), at least in my mind. The projects are reviewed in the annual budget, which usually shows up quietly in late June. The construction projects for the next five years are reviewed and approved. Once approved, City CIP Policies call for City Hall to fund the projects. The project has no more public review, and the City goes forward with the project, even if the approval is four years old. Citizens are not allowed to review the project in “real-time” or to review the fiscal impact on the City.

Most cities I know, approve the direction for a City. When a construction project is approved, the city brings the project forward to public review and input in real-time. People get a say in their City projects according to their thoughts at the time of construction.

The City of Oakley City Council ties future City Council members’ hands by approving projects and funding them now. The procedure results in the train station construction. My read is most people do not support the station post-pandemic, but the Council seems intent on building it because it was approved and approved two-years, pre-pandemic.

The only way to change this behavior is to put three new people on the council dais on November 3.

Links to the Oakley CIP policies and the 2020-2021 CIP budget are below.

George Fuller, MPA, MA

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