Oakley City Councilmember Meadows Aye for Mayor, Vice-Mayor Pope No

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:

https://youtu.be/9hibLBjiaGs

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 

Today is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Statement by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine on the U.N. International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3, 2021

Since 1992, the United Nations has designated December 3 as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, aiming to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of individuals with disabilities. On this day, AERA and the field of education research join in affirming our deep commitment to supporting those in our communities who live with disabilities, to celebrating their contributions, and to recognizing the benefits that come from the full integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of society and life.

AERA is committed to inclusion and we value the contributions that individuals with disabilities bring to our research community. We also understand the challenges and barriers for people who live with disabilities in accessing educational opportunities in the United States and worldwide.

The global crisis brought by the COVID pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in education and many other aspects of society, for those from underserved and under-supported populations. People with disabilities are one of the most excluded groups in society and are among those who have been affected the most during the pandemic. Even before the COVID crisis, they were less likely to access education and to participate in their communities.

AERA is steadfast in our support for inclusivity and the active participation of persons with disabilities not only in the scholarly enterprise but throughout all of society. We call on the wider research community to join us in celebrating the contributions of those with disabilities and advancing scholarship and evidence that examines barriers, challenges, and opportunities for these individuals and that informs best practices and policies for supporting them.

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About AERA
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This release can be found online.

American Educational Research Association

1430 K Street, NW

Suite 1200

Washington, DC 20005
(202) 238-320

George Fuller, MPA, MA
   City Councilmember
      City of Oakley, CA 

Will Oakley City Councilmember Meadows Voice be Heard?

            Councilmember Aaron Meadows’ family has resided in Oakley for six generations. Councilmember Meadows has lived in Oakley his entire life. He is a successful business person in the community. Councilmember Meadows dedicates himself to the well-being of Oakley residents and works countless hours to enhance the lives of the residents. Councilmember Meadows is well-educated, intelligent, and adept.

            During the governance meeting of the Oakley City Council on November 4, 2021, Councilmember Meadows made a passionate plea for other council members to hear him. He called for a strategic plan meeting so the three new council members could provide input in deciding a positive future for Oakley. A URL to his words is below.

            My concern is two people on the dais, Williams, and Pope, are dominating the conversation on the dais with the intent of creating a muckraking discourse during the meeting. I fear that Williams and Pope have marginalized councilmember Meadow’s voice, and his wise words will be silenced by the two.

URL to Councilmember Meadows words of wisdom:

George Fuller, MPA, MA
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Oakley Vice-Mayor Pope Demands Unilateral Power to Remove Colleagues from the Dais

Vice-Mayor Randy Pope called for legal methods to remove a colleague, and he did so on November 4, 2021. Vice-Mayor Pope asked for information on procedures to remove an Oakley Councilmember from the dais if he disagreed with the colleague. Vice-Mayor Pope would do so, bypassing the Oakley electorate in the process. Below is a URL to a video of his comments. He calls for the accountability of the city council members. Yes, if he disagrees with a council member, that council member is removed. The removal would become more urgent if the errant council member reported misconduct concerning Vice-Mayor Pope on social media. However, Vice-Mayor Pope will determine who will be removed or not. Vice-Mayor Pope believed it was ethical and moral for him to degrade then-Mayor Alaura during a council meeting when she attempted to deliver a resolution in favor of LGBTQ month on May 28, 2019. Pope has sworn to uphold the United States and California constitutions. He did not believe same-sex unions to be constitutional despite a United States Supreme Court decision that says otherwise. Vice-Mayor Pope habitually denigrates unhoused persons, saying he would put them on a bus and forcibly remove them from Oakley if he was able to do so. Vice-Mayor Pope does not believe it to be a constitutional issue that all people be secure in their person. Vice-Mayor Pope thinks it should be lawful for him to forcibly remove people from Oakley without judicial review if he does not like them. A meeting of the Oakley Governance Council is tomorrow night, November 16, 2021, at 6:30 P.M. Now is the time to contact council members to voice your concerns about the governance of Oakley, or, better yet, attend the meeting to be held in the council chambers.

URL to the video:

https://youtu.be/c6tGinMdw9E

George Fuller, MPA, MA
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Oakley City Council Governance Meeting November 4, 2021

The URL for the link to Oakley’s governance meeting held on November 4, 2021, is below. It is the meeting where Vice-Mayor Pope and Councilmember Williams call for censorship of councilmembers’ social media posts. Please be forewarned. It is “some time” to download, and is two hours in length.

http://archive-media.granicus.com:443/OnDemand/oakley/oakley_2cad3fe6-dc95-4fe7-932c-95756030f479.mp4

George Fuller, MPA, MA

City Councilmember, City of Oakley

Oakley Needs to Elect an At-Large Mayor

Oakley needs to elect an at-large mayor. During the Tuesday City Council meeting, the resolution to enable such an election can happen. The current system of selecting the mayor is flawed and does not allow the community to hold the mayor accountable for their actions. December of every year, the council voted to appoint the mayor. A prearranged rotation schedule determines the selection. A standard for selection is in place. The Oakley Municipal Code describes the norm, and a URL to a copy of the item appears below. However, the council has not been diligent in holding the person to be selected to the standard. Oakley residents are keenly aware that the results of that non-accountability have been unpleasant. Tuesday evening, the City Council will vote on the issue of creating councilmanic voting districts. The choice is to have four voting districts and the mayor elected by the at-large community. The four-district concept is the one I favor, with the community holding the mayor accountable in the voting booth. The other option is to have five voting districts, with the council members selecting the mayor. In my perception, the appointment process has not served the City of Oakley well. This December, I will not be voting to appoint Vice-Mayor Pope as mayor despite his being next in the rotation for the position. There are a plethora of reasons I believe Vice-Mayor Pope has failed to meet the bar of the prescribed standards of holding the mayoral position. I will nominate Councilmember Meadows for the mayor position and nominate Mayor Higgins to assume the duties of vice-mayor. Now would be the time to commit to attending the Oakley City Council meeting this Tuesday, November 9, 2021, to voice your opinion on the matter. If one cannot attend the meeting contacting Oakley City Councilmembers of your position regarding the matter would be helpful.

https://fullerforoakley.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/mayor-standards.docx

George Fuller, MPA, MA
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Oakley’s Vice-Mayor Randy Pope and Councilmember Anissa Williams Conspire to Censor Councilmember’s Free Expression.

Oakley Vice-Mayor and one Oakley City Councilmember call for censorship of councilmember’s free speech. Oakley Vice Mayor Randy Pope and City Councilmember Anissa Williams, during the council governance meeting of November 4, 2021, called for censoring councilmembers who use Nextdoor or other forms of social media. The two elected officials clearly stated they wanted to control social media posts by their colleagues, including abridging the right of a council member to discuss an issue pending council debate before that debate occurs. I have attached the PowerPoint presentation of Ellen M. Cross of Strategy Drivers, Inc., which delineates the situation I have just described.

https://fullerforoakley.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/ppt-cross.pptx

George Fuller, MPA, MA
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Documents from the November 4, 2021, Oakley City Council Governance Meeting

Documents – November 4, 2021, Oakley Governance City Council Meeting. On November 4, 2021, during the Oakley City Governance City Council Meeting, I presented a Nextdoor document regarding a post by City Councilmember Anissa Williams describing a “meeting” where she is “going to get things straight” regarding social media posts by City Councilmembers. The pertinent part of the post is in blue, highlighting found on the post’s third, fourth, and fifth pages. Also attached is a copy of the post I made on my website, fullerforoakley.net, regarding my question asking the location of $20,000,000 of the City Money. Then-Mayor Romick, and Councilmember Alaura, were free to respond to the question, which was put forth on September 29, 2020, during the council election. Councilmember mentioned the September 29, 2020, post many times during the November 4, 2021, meeting.

https://fullerforoakley.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Oakley-city-council-20^J000^J000.docx

https://fullerforoakley.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Williams-nextdoorpost-aug-11-2021-1.pdf

George Fuller, MPA, MA

City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA

A Public Official Needs to be Public

Public Officials do need to be public. Social media is a viable means of communication for public officials, as long as it is public in its use. An elected individual has the opportunity to have forthright communication with their constituents, in a public forum. However, there are constraints to social media as to the Brown Act, among other requirements as to public business discussions. In my perspective, an elected official who takes a public forum, such as FB, and creates a privacy page as a method to circumvent the Brown Act would be dishonest, unethical, and cowardly action. An elected official needs to keep all social media postings public.

George Fuller, MPA, MA
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

Is the Oakley City Council Attempting to Censor Its Members?

Interim City Manager Joshua McMurray has asked Ellen M. Cross of Strategy Drivers, Inc. to moderate a discussion of protocols of how the City Council can work effectively with City Staff. Yes, establishing working relationships with City staff is always a high priority. However, a non-negotiable item for me is ensuring ongoing, unencumbered communication with community members, including the unencumbered use of social media. The community has a need, and a right, to know what is happening in City Hall, in an unblemished manner. The meeting is open to the public and public comments, and it is taking place on November 4, 2021, at 6:30 PM. Now is the time to contact City Council members to voice your concerns, either in person or via email.

George Fuller, MPA, MA
    City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA