Councilmember Lara Delaney, in the recent City Council meeting, April 19, again showed her lack of respect for other councilmembers and the public. This is a pattern of hers that should concern all.
Before I go on, I make a suggestion. Those who do not watch council meetings aired live on TV, may wish
to before next year’s election to determine who is really fit to serve. Videos can also be watched after the meetings on the City website.
Below are four recent instances of Ms. Delaney unconscionable outbursts that call into question her fitness to serve.
In the referenced council meeting, Delaney inappropriately criticized Councilperson Debbie McKillop for her intent to vote on an issue. Ms. Delaney expressed her dismay and made it appear that such a vote would be a conflict of interest and an integrity issue on the part of Ms. McKillop.
In fact, McKillop had done exactly what she should have. She had requested advice from the City Attorney who received a ruling from the State (FPPC.) It had ruled that there was no conflict of interest.
Delaney, by bringing up the subject before any comments by Ms. McKillop at the meeting showed she knew McKillop planned to vote. If Ms. Delaney was so concerned about the ethics, she should have discussed the issue privately before the meeting.
One can only surmise Delaney’s motivation for public admonishment. Next year, she will be facing McKillop in a council election that will no doubt draw additional opposition. Delaney, was only grandstanding and effectively campaigning at the council meeting by belittling her colleague.
This is not the first incident of Delaney’s recent questionable actions in council meetings. Last year when there was discussion about the Measure D verbiage to be published, Councilmember Mark Ross suggested edits to the work which the Mayor and Delaney had developed. She rudely snapped at Ross saying if he did not like the wording, then why was he not on the committee to create it. Ross was merely trying to strengthen the verbiage when she lost control and publicly condemned him.
Her attack on him was unprofessional and an attempt to undermine him shortly before the 2016 City Council race in which she had endorsed a candidate opposing him.
Then in December, when Avila-Faris was at her last council meeting, every councilmember commented on her service, with the obvious exception of Delaney. Other Councilmembers were visibly uncomfortable with the conduct.
There is no question that Delaney and Avila-Faris had confrontations during the four years they served together. Delaney
effectively criticized Avila-Faris around Martinez and most of us (me included) accepted her comments that the fault was that of Avila-Faris.
However, the public conduct that Delaney has recently been exuding brings into question who was really the antagonist. We of course are not to be privy to the conversations in council’s closed sessions. That being said, the above public information of her assaults on three councilmembers places into question who is really stirring trouble on the council, especially in closed session.
Delaney should be aware that her voice carries and her loud attack on McKillop in the closed session following the April 19 public council meeting could be heard outside. This outbreak and the above mentioned improper behavior is very troublesome.
Finally, Delaney would be wise to temper her behavior and comments. Her comportment demeans the position she serves and is offensive to councilmembers and the those of us she serves.
– Roger Walker