Supervisor Diane Burgis-Oakley Needs Your Support

            A major concern exists in my perception regarding the library in Oakley. The downtown issue, including the library, is again causing us to lose focus on the highest priority needs of Oakley residents. The construction of the library was a part of the Montgomery plan for Oakley. The last election clearly indicated people were not enamored with Montgomery, or his plans for downtown Oakley. However, there are those who stand tall in defense of the Montgomery direction.

            Supervisor Diane Burgis has been a part of the Montgomery plan since its inception. Her support commenced when she sat of the Oakley City Council dais. She strongly supports the concept of building an Oakley Library on the County O’Hara Ave property, which will certainly be a cause for higher taxes to build. In my perception, it is the wrong location for the edifice. A better location would to put it in the location where a three hundred space parking lot is being built for the train platform.

            Supervisor Burgis supported the building of the parking lot. She also, because of her affiliation with the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) supports the train platform, which is now costing eight million dollars just to design. (SJJPA is responsible for placing the train platform in the middle of downtown.)

            However, Supervisor Burgis will not pay the county fair-share for the expansion of Bethel Island Rd or Cypress Rd. That expansion is being funded by the City of Oakley for the emergency benefit of Oakley Residents who reside in the Summer Lakes area. The road expansion will also ensure safety of Bethel Island residents, as well as other county residents in the area.

            Supervisor Burgis also will not consider funding an extension of Bethel Island Road to Delta Road, which would be another escape route in times of disaster for residents in the area. In addition, Supervisor Burgis is demanding 2.7 million dollars from the City of Oakley for the reconstruction of the Bethel Island Road bridge. I cannot find how this benefits Oakley residents, but the demand for such a payment exists.

            My thoughts we need to put aside these “dream things” and concentrate on the safety of residents on the East Side of Oakley. Following the completion on those safety necessities, which are needed yesterday, we can come back to studying the Montgomery concept of downtown. Supervisor Burgis could support us in those efforts also.      

George Fuller, MPA, MA

City Councilmember, City of Oakley

Will Contra Costa County DA Diana Becton Prosecute Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe for DUI – Unlikely!!

On March 20, 2022, the Mayor of Antioch, Lamar Thorpe, was arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI). The agency responsible for prosecuting the life-threatening transgression is the Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton. Will she prosecute the case, highly unlikely.

Becton has repeatedly demonstrated she prefers to empower privilege. Examples of such are allowing Joe Canciamilla, former Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder, to serve a sentence to jail for one year under “house arrest” in a luxury home by the ocean in Kauai. Mr. Canciamilla was convicted of nine counts of perjury and grand theft for the personal use of campaign funds, felonies in the State of California.

Another example is Becton having a lavish backyard wedding at her home during the Summer of 2020. The wedding was at the height of the Pandemic when such events were canceled, even in churches, because of COVID-19. Hundreds, if not thousands, of young couples in Contra Costa withdrew their wedding plans during this time or performed virtual ceremonies. Becton demonstrated she perceived herself as an elite and privileged, above the law regarding such restrictions. So, my thoughts are Becton will perceive Thorpe as an elite and privileged person and excuse his indiscretion.

Contra Costa County needs Mary Knox to be the new district attorney.

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

Laurel Plaza is on the Oakley City Council Agenda – Again

Laurel Plaza is on the City Council agenda again. This go-around is Quick Quack Car Wash – the one with the rubber yellow rubber ducky mascot. As with Mcdonald’s, I am opposed to such a business at the location. The car wash would be across from Laurel Elementary School. The traffic generated by the business would endanger children attending school at the site. The constant noise from the car wash would certainly impede daily instruction all day. The residents in the surrounding area would be forced to endure an ongoing noise situation for the remainder of the time they remained in their residences without moving. It does not fit the neighborhood, nor the goals of Oakley, so yes, I will vote no.

Please let other council members know of any concerns you have with the business. Tuesday night, April 12, 2022, the meeting is set at 6:30 PM, City Hall, 3231 Main Street, Oakley. Below are URLs regarding pertinent documents regarding the agenda issue.

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

End the Laurel Road Bottleneck – Now!

Laurel Road, East of O’Hara Av, is an embarrassment to the City in my mind. The location, which I believe every resident in Oakley that drives has encountered at one time or another. The two-lane road becomes one as drivers head East on the road. As traffic increases post-pandemic and the ongoing development in the City builds Oakley’s population, Laurel Road has become a nightmare to navigate any hour of the day. The City of Oakley needs to correct the bottleneck.

There has been one shooting (fortunately, no one was injured) on Laurel Road adjacent to the ball fields. Although I do not know the particulars, I would imagine it involved road rage brought on by navigating a dangerous driving situation. People living in the development South of the intersection of Laurel Road and the ballfield entrance continually provide hair-raising tales of racing on Laurel Road and the extreme difficulty they have exiting the complex because of the traffic.

This Thursday, March 31, 2022, the City will be discussing its strategic plan objectives. Attending this meeting and voicing your concerns would be a substantial step forward in widening Laurel Road to four lanes. We would have to do it by eminent domain, in my perception. The person who owns the land obviously has privilege. Consequently, City Hall has allowed the embarrassment to fester and, in my opinion, will enable it to continue in its current state if the community does not take proactive action.

The meeting will be at the City of Oakley Recreation Center, 1250 O’Hara Av, Oakley, again this Thursday, March 31, 2022, starting at 6:30 PM.

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

Mary Knox for Contra Costa County District Attorney

In my perception, Mary Knox’s candidacy for Contra Costa District Attorney is such a benefit for the City of Oakley. The City of Oakley has issues that need investigation by the District Attorney. Most of the residents of Oakley now realize that Bryan Montgomery’s administrative practices as City Manager were “sketchy at best.”

We need to clearly understand the damage he did to the City, starting with the “infamous home loan” the City Council gave him. Diana Becton, our current District Attorney, “doesn’t have it” to hold Montgomery accountable, along with any associates that may have supported the nefarious actions of Montgomery. I see Mary Knox as the person with the integrity to conduct such an investigation.

George Fuller
     City Councilmember, City of Oakley, CA 

All People in the City of Oakley are Entitled to Social Justice, Social Equity, and Inclusion

A lack of social justice, social equity, and inclusion is the best summary I perceive of the Oakley’s City Staff recommendations for affordable housing locations. Tuesday night, March 22, 2022, the Oakley City Council will discuss designating areas in the City to be available for affordable housing units. Four of the seven locations involve Brownstone, where the residents recently defied Seeno Developers by having one of the Seeno developments shot down. The result is affordable housing development locations surrounding the residents.

The new district five will have three sizeable affordable housing locations designated. The Southeast area of town will have four affordable housing units. The Southeast part of the City has a lower median income rate than the rest of Oakley. District five has the greatest diversity of marginalized demographic groups than the remaining districts in Oakley. The white population in district five is 42% white, 35% Latinx, 15% African-American, and 5% Asian. The remaining districts have greater than 50% white. Districts two and four, where the new council members will emerge, have designated no recent affordable housing locations.

I have attached the report of the proposed locations, a map of the districts, and the census data of the districts. If the measure passes Tuesday night, I will immediately ask, following the November election, that it come back to the dais for a review. I have called for social justice, social equity, and inclusion in Oakley. The agenda item is a reason why I have done so.

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

No to Abdicating Oakley City Council Responsibilities

Oakley City Staff has asked for ministerial approval of all trash rate increases for Oakley residents, including the approval of the refuse company that Oakley contracts with to remove discards from the community. The acceptance of the request means that the City Manager could approve refuse collection fees without City Council approval and add them to a Master Fee Schedule for Oakley. The request was made in response to an agenda item on this Tuesday’s agenda to allow Mount Diablo Resource Recovery (MDRR) a 23%+ fee increase over five years.

The request has caught the attention of those in City Hall. Fortunately, the Council has a say regarding the approval of the request. As to the fee request, I will have to review the item further and listen to the presentation before making a decision as to the fee increase. However, I will unequivocally vote no if the provision that allows the City Manager to approve rate increases without Council approval remains on motion to approve fee increases. Below is a URL to the Oakley staff report. The ministerial approval section is on the last page, last paragraph. The section is highlighted in blue.

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

Oakley don’t need no stinkin’ drive-thrus

Below is an article regarding a Chick-fil-A in Santa Barbara which has become a public nuisance because of its drive-thru. I can imagine this happening to the proposed drive-thru for McDonald’s across from Laurel Elementary School in Oakley. Oakley don’t need no stinkin’ public nuisance drive-thru.

            March 22, 2022, at 6:30 PM, in Oakley City Hall, 3231 Main Street, Oakley, the City Council will finalize a vote to deny McDonald’s at Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to operate the drive-thru. Your support is needed to ensure the vote continues to ban McDonald’s a permit.

            I am sure the Montgoemeryites (Bryan Montgomery supporters) have placed councilmembers, Williams and Higgins, under tremendous pressure to change their votes. Please give them your support. Being present to voice your opposition would be significant!! Also, I imagine the Montgomeryites will be attending the meeting. Emailing your views on the drive-thru will go a long way if you cannot attend.

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

An Opportunity to Oakley to Move Into 21st Century Civil Rights

Oakley’s Strategic Planning Meeting is tonight at 6:30 PM, Oakley Recreation Center, 1250 O’Hara Ave, Oakley. The council will be voting on a new mission statement that reads:

            “The City will create a resilient future that fosters and attracts a vibrant and evolving community that welcomes and values all people.”

            I will be moving to amend the mission statement to read:

            “The City will create a resilient future that fosters and attracts a vibrant and evolving community that welcomes and values all people without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, or sexual orientation.”

            Please join in participating in the meeting, voicing your concerns by email or in-person attendance.

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