A note to remind Oakley citizens that I will support Councilman Aaron Meadows for mayor during the December 14, 2021, council meeting. Councilmember Meadows, a sixth-generation resident of Oakley, has demonstrated the knowledge and leadership ability to continue moving the City of Oakley in a new direction. Vice-Mayor Randy Pope would be the next Councilmember in the rotation schedule. However, I do not believe he has met the expected standards of the City Council for appointment to the position. A copy of the Mayoral standards is below.
The reasons for not supporting Mayor Pope for Mayor are as follows: 1. His act of humiliating towards then-Mayor Alaura when she attempted, on May 28, 2019, to issue a proclamation supporting LGBTQ month in June 2019. Vice-Mayor displayed what many believe was disgraceful conduct, trying to stop then-Mayor Alaura from delivering the declaration and marginalizing people in same-sex relationships in the process. The issue was not a matter of personal preference as to relationships, but an issue of upholding the United States Constitution and California Constitution, which Vice-Mayor Pope had sworn to do, not only as a City Councilmember but also a member of the Oakland Police Department. The Supreme Court of the United States has sanctioned same-sex unions in the United States, and elected officials publicly swear to uphold those decisions.
Further complicating the issue is then-Mayor Alaura is the spouse of a police officer, more specifically an Oakland Police Sergeant. It was egregious in many people’s minds that a fellow police sergeant, a police sergeant in the same department, would attempt to humiliate a colleague’s spouse from the same department publicly.
The Oakland Police Department, Internal Affairs Division, is investigating Vice-Mayor Pope’s actions during the incident, Number 21-0991. A URL to the incident is:
2. Upon former City Manager Bryan Montgomery’s departure Vice-Mayor Pope met with Mr. Montgomery and City Attorney Derek Cole, along with Mayor Sue Higgins. The group selected an Interim City Manager. Vice-Mayor Pope, along with Mayor Higgins, did not inform the entire council of Mr. Montgomery’s departure nor seek the direction of the whole council on how to proceed with the negotiations.
3. Shortly after selecting an Interim City Manager Vice-Mayor Pope, along with Mayor Higgins, negotiated a pay increase for the City Attorney without first informing the council that they intended to do so without the council approval, nor seek direction from the entire council on how to proceed. Now would be the opportune time to council members of your ideas and concerns regarding the forthcoming Mayor selection.
Standards for the Selection for Oakley City Mayor Standards for the selection of the City of Oakley
Mayor 2.1.005 Appointment of Mayor and Vice Mayor. a. Each year during the month of December, the City Council shall appoint one of its members as Mayor. The member selected to be Mayor typically will be the member who is serving as Vice Mayor, unless the Vice Mayor is unavailable to be appointed as Mayor due to failure to be re-elected, insufficient time to dedicate to the office, or other reasons. b. Each year during the month of December, the City Council shall appoint one of its members as Vice Mayor. The person selected as Vice Mayor shall have been a member of the Council for at least one year prior to the appointment as Vice Mayor. c. Neither the Mayor nor the Vice Mayor serves a term of office, but rather serves in those capacities at the pleasure of the majority of the City Council. d. It is the intent of this section to establish a rotation process so that each Council member shall have the opportunity to become either Vice Mayor or Mayor, or both. e. The City Clerk shall establish and keep a “rotation schedule” regarding the City Council members. The member with the most continuous time of service on the Council who has not previously served as Vice Mayor and is not selected Mayor will be selected as Vice Mayor. If two or more members have equal time of continuous service, the member who received the highest number of votes at his/her election shall be selected. The other members with equal time of continuous service will have their rank on the rotation schedule determined by the number of votes that they received at their election, with the member having the higher number of votes receiving higher ranking. f. When the Mayor completes his/her service as Mayor, he/she shall revert to the bottom of the rotation schedule. g. If a member was appointed to the City Council, he/she shall be placed at the bottom of the rotation schedule when appointed, and shall continue up the rotation schedule thereafter in the same manner as the other members. h. If a member voluntarily declines appointment as either Mayor or Vice Mayor, he/she shall then rotate to the bottom of the schedule. i. The City Council may decline to appoint a member to serve as Mayor or as Vice Mayor if a majority of the City Council determines that the person has experienced or exhibited any of the following: 1) A violation of law or City policy, or has been or is being investigated for a violation of law or of policy; 2) Intemperate, rude or disparaging remarks or conduct toward the public, staff or City Council; 3) Lack of leadership or communications skills; 4) Excessive absenteeism as a Council member; 5) Any other conduct that would be considered to be unprofessional or unbecoming of the position of Mayor or Vice Mayor; 6) Determination that the person does not have the available time to assume the additional duties of Mayor or Vice Mayor. (Sec. 1, Ordinance No. 01-13, adopted February 26, 2013)
George Fuller, MPA, MA Councilmember City of Oakley, CA