The Oakley City Council for the opening of the new year does have a full agenda. Item 5.1 does cause me concern. The item intends to lay a foundation for the city council to negotiate salaries with the city manager and city attorney. Discussing contracts with those two positions is a significant responsibility of the council. The task should be a team collaboration. The resolution debate on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, during the council meeting is one where the mayor and vice-mayor would act as an ad hoc committee and meet with the city manager and city attorney to negotiate their contracts. The two council members would initially meet with the city council to get direction for the negotiations, then meet with the person involved.
The proposed process is alien to my experience. The ad hoc committee would complete the negotiations, and the item would appear on the city council budget. I have difficulty with the arrangement because the two council members do not discuss the negotiations with the other team members, basically blocking them from further talks with the two city employees. Usually, the negotiator returns to the council with what the two concerned managers have presented, and the ad hoc committee receives further direction.
From my perspective, it is disrespectful to all concerned that the process excludes the council from ongoing negotiations. The disrespect is exceptionally poignant for the newly elected council members who should be merging into the council team rather than being deliberately excluded from the ongoing negotiations. The process is a dinosaur from the Montgomery era, where Bryan Montgomery easily manipulated council direction. I will be asking for an amendment to have the ad hoc committee meet with the council to report on each negotiation session in which they participated.
George Fuller, MPA, MA City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA