Martinez City Council – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:44:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 ‘DeLaney’s unprofessional behavior’ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/28/delaneys-unprofessional-behavior/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/28/delaneys-unprofessional-behavior/#comments Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:38:43 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=7216 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 …

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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.

Example One:

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.

Example Two:

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.

Example Three:

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.

Point Four:

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

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Campbell: ‘When is enough, enough’ on Pine Meadow? https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/10/campbell-when-is-enough-enough-on-pine-meadow/ Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:16:35 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6734 Dear Editor, I have closely followed the Pine Meadow Golf Course development. I follow Friends of Pine Meadow Facebook and articles and letters in the local newspapers and on social media. I am now aware to the omissions and selected material presented by Friends of Pine Meadow on social media.  In January, the City Council …

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Dear Editor,

I have closely followed the Pine Meadow Golf Course development. I follow Friends of Pine Meadow Facebook and articles and letters in the local newspapers and on social media. I am now aware to the omissions and selected material presented by Friends of Pine Meadow on social media.  In January, the City Council found that decades ago, the property was improperly/illegally zoned Permanent Open Space. I trust the decision of the Council and believe it was an informed, deliberate decision to correct a mistake of decades ago.

Why are Friends of Pine Meadow asking that the Council decision be rescinded and studied further? When is enough, enough? I have seen nothing that shows the owners presented false, untrue information. In fact the presentation to the Council shows everything the owner’s daughter has argued from the beginning is TRUE. But, to me the most important fact of all was that in March 1974, there was a City- wide election that voted down the proposal to purchase Pine Meadow for open space. I believe when the citizens voted “No” to purchasing the property for open space, then that should stand. I find Friends of Pine Meadow, in discounting or giving no importance to the vote of the people, arrogant and insulting at the very least.

The owners and developer have met everything required of them by the city. I attended community meetings on this development and it was obvious that they solicited from the public as much comment as possible. No one’s free speech was stifled; to the contrary it was encouraged. What more do you want out of them? Let them build the beautiful subdivision they proposed (though I really like the idea of Senior Housing).

I view the request to rescind the Council’s decision nothing but harassment. How much more do you expect of the family and developer? Move on to other causes Friends of Pine Meadow – enough!

– Kathie Campbell

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‘Why is council not respecting will of people?’ https://martineztribune.com/2017/02/10/why-is-council-not-respecting-will-of-people/ Fri, 10 Feb 2017 17:53:46 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6535 In the November 2016 election Martinez voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 64 (Legalizing Recreational Cannabis). According to the County Election Department, the Martinez vote was 63 percent to 37 percent to approve the proposition. So why is the City Council not respecting the loud voice of their constituents? The Council is moving forward with restrictions that …

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In the November 2016 election Martinez voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 64 (Legalizing Recreational Cannabis). According to the County Election Department, the Martinez vote was 63 percent to 37 percent to approve the proposition.

So why is the City Council not respecting the loud voice of their constituents? The Council is moving forward with restrictions that their constituents overwhelming[ly] said they are not in favor of?  Are they deaf to the will of the people?

Why is the City Council turning down new job creation and a new revenue source for the city? The measure allows for cities to ask voters for approval of extra local taxes on the sale of cannabis. The city of Santa Ana, California, (along with 18 other California cities), has done this and expects to collect $1.5 million a year. The measure also allows cities that welcome the cannabis industry to have the opportunity to compete for grants (100s of millions [of] dollars a year) for local government, schools, public safety agencies, and non-profits. These grants will be for substance abuse, to off-set enforcement costs, etc.

Cannabis outlets in Martinez would help interfere with the ongoing black market sales of cannabis and help to free up law enforcement to focus on more urgent public safety issues. The proposition will also limit which chemicals/pesticides that can be used when growing cannabis, resulting in a much safer product for the consumer.

If the Martinez City Council feels local restrictions are needed, they should put these restrictions to the vote of the citizens. The citizens voted for this Proposition and the City Council should not disrespect their will. Where is our great city headed if our elected officials disregard the will of its constituents?

– Mike Fleming

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City moves forward with dredging plan https://martineztribune.com/2017/02/03/city-moves-forward-with-dredging-plan/ Fri, 03 Feb 2017 21:05:50 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6458 MARTINEZ, Calif. – City Council approved Wednesday a resolution to allocate funds to hire a consultant for a marina dredge design and study. A water depth survey of the marina was recently completed which defined the locations and amounts of siltation that has occurred in the marina since its last dredging four years ago. As …

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MARTINEZ, Calif. – City Council approved Wednesday a resolution to allocate funds to hire a consultant for a marina dredge design and study.

A water depth survey of the marina was recently completed which defined the locations and amounts of siltation that has occurred in the marina since its last dredging four years ago. As suspected, the survey showed the marina heavily impacted by silt deposits.

The high-use portions of the marina were divided into five areas based on priority, with the highest priority areas including the marina entrance and fairway to the launch ramp, along with improved boat access to “B” Dock and the eastern half of “C” Dock. The next highest priority areas include improved access to all of “C” Dock and the eastern half of “D” Dock with approximately 50 additional boat slips.

Staff recommended that council allocate funds to hire Anchor QEA for the design, permitting and project management of a dredging episode to take place later this year. The company has successfully completed previous projects “in a timely and professional manner,” the staff report stated.

Council approved a budget of $200,000 for the design phase of the dredging, which will come from the Assigned Infrastructure Fund Balance Reserve. Anchor QEA’s contract is capped at $157,000, with $13,000  allocated for City-led project management and $30,000 for permits.

The dredging is expected to cost between $723,345 and $971,111, depending upon the areas the final study reveals should be dredged.

Council also directed staff to look further into possible repair of the sea wall to prevent continued siltation of the marina.

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Lessons at the City level … https://martineztribune.com/2017/01/27/lessons-at-the-city-level/ Fri, 27 Jan 2017 18:24:53 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6423 By E. CLARK Martinez Tribune LAST WEEK’S (Jan. 18) City Council meeting was brutal, lasting till nearly 2 a.m. As the hours ticked on, I became so frustrated by what I perceived to be a total waste of time that I actually called out “Time?” after one man decided his alloted three minutes during public …

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By E. CLARK
Martinez Tribune

LAST WEEK’S (Jan. 18) City Council meeting was brutal, lasting till nearly 2 a.m. As the hours ticked on, I became so frustrated by what I perceived to be a total waste of time that I actually called out “Time?” after one man decided his alloted three minutes during public comment wasn’t quite enough.

Looking at the agenda again today, I see the actual language posted is: “In consideration of others wishing to speak, members of the public are kindly requested to limit their comments to three minutes on any one item.” Well, that’s nice, but not very effective if council wants to get through their agenda. It’s also not very clear. Does it mean Joe Schmoe can talk for three minutes about one topic, then skip on to another topic for three minutes? That language should probably be changed before some loudmouth challenges it.

I’ve also noticed that sometimes the mayor speaks up and tells people they’ve gone over their alloted time, but that “rule” isn’t always enforced. I understand the council wanting to be polite and not wanting to interrupt people but, gosh, why have a buzzer if we’re not going to hold people to their three minute allotment? Additionally, quieting some who go over their three minutes while allowing others to drone on can appear prejudice.

I have to admit imagining a big trap door behind the public lectern and when anyone decides to go over their three minutes, the mayor could pull a lever and send those folks straight to the basement. I think more people would run for mayor if they had that opportunity!

But seriously, council, why not enforce the three-minute “rule?”

MANY THANKS to State Farm Insurance Agent Matt Rinn, who so generously sponsored the Tribune Athlete of the Week this month. The Tribune has been looking forward to adding that feature to our paper for quite some time, and we sure appreciate Matt stepping forward and allowing us to do so. If you’re looking for a new agent or you’re in need of a new policy, call Matt at (925) 671-0222.

THE RUMORED sale of the Shell Martinez Refinery has some in town abuzz. According to the Reuters news agency, the German global bank and financial services company, Deutshe Bank, has been charged with finding a buyer for the refinery. Reuters said the reason for the move is Shell’s desire to shed lower-profit operations such as its Martinez outfit.

It’s too early to tell how a sale might affect our city and the 700-plus workers currently employed by the refinery. One can only hope whatever company takes over the property will manage it properly and continue to give back to the community as Shell has done, if even in a small way.

While an editorial in another publication is pushing the idea of the City purchasing the refinery, let’s get real – that is not going to happen. It’s a nice idea, but not a feasible one. If the City can’t afford Pine Meadow, they sure can’t afford the refinery, which would likely sell for well over $500 million. If it does sell, it’ll go to another company that performs operations similar to Shell, and the City will hopefully continue to collect approximately $400,000 a year in property tax revenue.

Honestly, I worry more about health and safety concerns when it comes to the refineries. I don’t want to meet with a large earthquake anywhere, but especially not in Martinez. I know Shell says its equipment, even those rusty looking pipes weaved throughout the entire facility, are up to code and retrofitted for earthquake safety, but I wouldn’t trust it come an 8.5 magnitude quake. Or even a 6 pointer, if it were centered underneath our city.

With little access out of downtown and no solid plan for emergency exit via the bay, we’d sure be in a fix if anything happened at the refinery. Let’s hope if it does sell, the new owner will do their best to ensure a safe operation.

PINE MEADOW Golf Course, oh boy. What an issue. The single-minded will of some to keep the private property designated as open space has caused an awful lot of heartache here in Martinez. It’s divided friends and neighbors, and confused an awful lot of us. As Harry Truman said, “Intense feeling too often obscures the truth.” An intense feeling and desire to keep that land green seemed to obscure the fact that the land belonged to somebody, and that somebody wasn’t “Friends of Pine Meadow.”

In the end, it all came down to record keeping, or the lack thereof. The City really dropped the ball regarding the Pine Meadow open space designation, and for the past 10 years couldn’t give the property owner a clear understanding of how her land became open space. City staff also dropped the ball Jan. 18, when they only wrote one resolution – the one they recommended to council. Since it wasn’t the option the majority of council chose, we were all left to lolly-gag while they put something together. Let’s hope they learned a lesson.

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Platt, Thomson: ‘(We) believe this council decision is wrong’ https://martineztribune.com/2017/01/27/platt-thomson-we-believe-this-council-decision-is-wrong/ Fri, 27 Jan 2017 17:56:55 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6421 Dear Editor, The Martinez City Council voted 4-1 to rewrite history at their Jan. 18 meeting. Pine Meadow is no longer Open Space. It is now deemed residential. Never mind that our General Plan has listed it as Open Space for 43 years. The Council disregarded the Staff determination that Pine Meadow has been Open …

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Dear Editor,

The Martinez City Council voted 4-1 to rewrite history at their Jan. 18 meeting. Pine Meadow is no longer Open Space. It is now deemed residential. Never mind that our General Plan has listed it as Open Space for 43 years.

The Council disregarded the Staff determination that Pine Meadow has been Open Space since 1973. The Staff report carefully laid out the history and showed a clear case supporting that conclusion. (The map from the 1973 General Plan that clearly shows Pine Meadow as Open Space and the Staff Report are on our website – www.friendsofpinemeadow.org.)

Instead, the Council took the side of DeNova and Christine Dean. The Council decided that designating Pine Meadow as open space 43 years ago was an error – after seeing a 106-slide PowerPoint presentation that relied heavily on supposition, hearsay evidence and recollections of events of 40-plus years ago.

The Mayor said a Council vote had to be taken that night (it was after midnight before the vote was taken), so no Staff rebuttal to the 106 slides was possible. Nor was it possible for Councilmembers or the public to study or analyze the 106 slides or the other information presented. This was a true rush to judgment.

The Council also decided to disregard a State Supreme Court Ruling released in December that ruled against the revision of General Plan open space in an almost identical case. This act may have important implications for the City.

Rewriting history is a serious matter, and Friends of Pine Meadow believes this Council decision is wrong. Also, Councilmember Delaney voted against the resolution.

The next City Council meeting when the “Rewrite History” resolution will get its second reading at the City Council meeting on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.

If you are concerned about the Council rewriting history or about Pine Meadow, join us there.

– Tim Platt and Mark Thomson for Friends of Pine Meadow

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Council wades through heavy agenda https://martineztribune.com/2017/01/27/council-wades-through-heavy-agenda/ Fri, 27 Jan 2017 17:07:06 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6389 MARTINEZ, Calif. – The Martinez City Council worked its way through an agenda heavy with important items Wednesday, Jan. 18. Included on the agenda was a presentation about energy alternatives for the city, a public hearing on the Pine Meadow Golf Course land, and the adoption of new garbage collection rates, among other items. After …

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MARTINEZ, Calif. – The Martinez City Council worked its way through an agenda heavy with important items Wednesday, Jan. 18. Included on the agenda was a presentation about energy alternatives for the city, a public hearing on the Pine Meadow Golf Course land, and the adoption of new garbage collection rates, among other items.

After congratulating the newest Community Emergency Response Team graduates, council heard from Jason Crapo of the Contra Costa County Department of Conservation and Development. Crapo and County Consultant Seth Brouge gave a basic outline about the possibility of Martinez and other cities in the county switching from PG&E services to the Community Choice Energy (CCE) program. CCE refers to a process authorized by the State that allows cities and counties to become default electricity providers for customers within their communities.

County Consultant Seth Brouge also reviewed the highlights of the technical study. Both Crapo and Brouge said the county would be taking public comments through Jan. 1, and that representatives of CCE would return to the council in March or April to hear the council’s thoughts. In the meantime, they said a public workshop would be held at the Veterans Memorial Building, 400 Hartz Ave., Danville, at 6 p.m. Jan. 26.

Exploration of the CCE program has been in the works since October 2015 after the County Board of Supervisors authorized staff to conduct outreach and explore the formation of a CCE partnership. The full draft study is available at www.cccounty.us/cce.

Council then heard a presentation about potential fee increases at Hidden Lakes Soccer Field. Council voted unanimously to increase the hourly usage fees from $16.50 per hour to $45 per hour for resident youth groups, and $65 an hour for resident adult groups. Non-residents are subject to an additional $10 fee. The new rates fall more in line with area fields with similar amenities.

Council then moved on to a public hearing on an appeal regarding the vesting tentative map for the land formerly known as Pine Meadow Golf Course. The argument centered over whether the land was truly open space, or whether it could be opened up to residential development by property owners Christine Coward Dean and DeNova Homes.

After hearing testimony from Dean about her near 10 year search for information on how the land was designated as open space back in the 1970s, council heard from DeNova Homes’ Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Dana Tsubota. Tsubota presented to council a history of the property and its zoning, uncovering that the property designation had actually been subject to a vote about 40 years ago in which residents voted against Measure O, which would have compensated the Coward Dean family for the land and officially designated it for a park or other open space/recreational use. In addition, Tsubota provided testimony from former City staff and others involved in the history of the property who voluntarily testified against Pine Meadows’ designation as open space. Holes in the City records were also brought to light, and the credibility of the land use map was challenged.

Council voted 5-4 to amend the land use to R-1-7500, opening it to potential development.

Council then adopted a resolution to amend agreements between the City and waste disposal company Allied Waste/Republic Services. Effective March 1, residential, commercial and industrial waste collection rates will be raised by 9 percent.

Chief of Police Manjit Sappal then discussed a possible recommendation to direct City staff to draft a contract for services with the City of Pleasant Hill and the Contra Costa County Division of Health, Housing and Homeless Services, to provide homeless outreach in Martinez and Pleasant Hill.

This was followed by a unanimous decision to proclaim the existence of a local emergency due to damages left by recent storms. If approved by County and State authorities, the proclamation could provide the city with up to $400,000 to go towards cleanup.

The meeting adjourned just before 2 a.m.

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Proposed initiative seeks open space designations on private, public lands https://martineztribune.com/2017/01/06/proposed-initiative-seeks-open-space-designations-on-private-public-lands/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/01/06/proposed-initiative-seeks-open-space-designations-on-private-public-lands/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2017 17:29:31 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6244 MARTINEZ, Calif. – With the new year comes a new challenge for the City of Martinez – this time in the form of a proposed initiative measure to amend the City’s General Plan. The paperwork, submitted by “Friends of Pine Meadow” founder Tim Platt, proposes that all lands currently designated as open space, or lands …

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MARTINEZ, Calif. – With the new year comes a new challenge for the City of Martinez – this time in the form of a proposed initiative measure to amend the City’s General Plan.

The paperwork, submitted by “Friends of Pine Meadow” founder Tim Platt, proposes that all lands currently designated as open space, or lands with similar use designations in the General Plan remain as open space, or for park or outdoor recreation use only. This would include both private and public lands.

The title and summary for the initiative measure specifically proposes that privately owned lands designated as Open Space/Conservation Use, be restricted regarding residential use. Dwellings, roads and parking areas would be restricted to less than two percent of the entire land area. Lands within the Alhambra Creek Watershed would be restricted to one dwelling unit per acre, and those outside the watershed restricted to two dwelling units per acre. The same would hold true for the Franklin Hills sub-area.

The paperwork also proposes that there would be no change to the amendment without an election.

Councilwoman Lara DeLaney expressed concern over the proposal during the Dec. 21, 2016, City Council meeting. The proposal had been submitted earlier in the day.

“I’m very concerned about what the impact of this may be on our plans for the marina and marina development, and [I’m] just concerned about the impacts on property that is privately held but may be designated Open Space at this time,” she said during council comments near the end of the meeting. DeLaney asked City staff what the procedure is for considering initiative measures that could potentially be put before voters.

Senior Assistant City Attorney Veronica Nebb said the City would study the proponents of the measure and  ultimately order a report to analyze what the effects of the measure would be. That report would become public, she said, but would only be ordered after proponents of the measure turn in verified signatures from Martinez voters declaring they want the proposed initiative to move forward.

“So that report will take place before you call an election, or have the opportunity to call an election,” Nebb said. “There’s research to be done.”

Councilman Mark Ross said the same question was asked of City staff during the closed session of the meeting. Ross asked if council could receive an expedited report on the proposed initiative.

“A little bit of balance goes into [the question of] when do we pull the trigger on starting to look into the fine grain detail of the measuring itself,” Nebb said. “We have this other timeline ticking in the background of the statutory requirements of the bill that transferred the marina to the City,” she added.

That bill, specifically SB-1424, transferred control of the marina from the State to the City – a move in the right direction concerning possible marina improvements. But with that bill comes a deadline to adopt a Land Use Plan for the marina.

It’s yet unknown what effect the proposed initiative would have on that Land Use Plan, or whether the proposed initiative will be put before Martinez voters.

Read to full Title and Summary here: title-and-summary-for-initiative-measure-re-open-space-overlay-12-21-16

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City Council meeting canceled https://martineztribune.com/2016/12/30/city-council-meeting-canceled/ Fri, 30 Dec 2016 17:08:29 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6184 MARTINEZ, Calif. – The City of Martinez has given notice that the regular meeting of Martinez City Council originally scheduled for Jan. 4, 2017, has been canceled. The next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 18, in Council Chambers at City Hall, 525 Henrietta St., Martinez. The public is welcome to attend and …

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MARTINEZ, Calif. – The City of Martinez has given notice that the regular meeting of Martinez City Council originally scheduled for Jan. 4, 2017, has been canceled. The next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 18, in Council Chambers at City Hall, 525 Henrietta St., Martinez.

The public is welcome to attend and speak during Public Comment. Comment on agendized items should be reserved till the item is called upon.

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New elect sworn in; Avila Farias retires term https://martineztribune.com/2016/12/09/new-elect-sworn-in-avila-farias-retires-term/ Fri, 09 Dec 2016 17:37:24 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=5999 MARTINEZ, Calif. – Every chair was filled during the Wednesday meeting of the Martinez City Council, despite the absence of any pressing items on the agenda. Those in attendance were there to witness the swearing in ceremonies of new elects, and to support an outgoing councilmember. Following brief public comments, council certified the results of …

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Mayor Rob Schroder (at left) presents Councilmember AnaMarie Avila Farias with an engraved crystal vase as her children look on. Avila Farias received the vase during the Dec. 7, 2016, meeting of the Martinez City Council, in recognition of her public service. The evening marked Avila Farias’ last time on the dais, this term, as a retiring councilmember. (E. CLARK / Martinez Tribune)
Mayor Rob Schroder presents Councilmember AnaMarie Avila Farias with an engraved crystal vase as her children look on. Avila Farias received the vase during the Dec. 7, 2016, meeting of the Martinez City Council, in recognition of her public service. The evening marked Avila Farias’ last time on the dais, this term, as a retiring councilmember. (E. CLARK / Martinez Tribune)

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Every chair was filled during the Wednesday meeting of the Martinez City Council, despite the absence of any pressing items on the agenda. Those in attendance were there to witness the swearing in ceremonies of new elects, and to support an outgoing councilmember.

Following brief public comments, council certified the results of the Nov. 8 election and thanked retiring councilmember AnaMarie Avila Farias for her years of public service to the city of Martinez.

“It’s not really a goodbye … it’s simply a new chapter to be able to give in a different way,” Avila Farias said of her departure from the dais. “I walk off this dais today very confident that we have really strong leadership in place, internally. I mention ‘internally’ because … it’s not us (the council) up here doing all the heavy lifting – it’s our City staff. We have a great team here and it’s been an honor working with them the last 20 years in different capacities, and I look forward to continuing to be connected to the City. … We’ve accomplished a lot. We have a lot to be proud of.”

Mayor Rob Schroder issued a proclamation declaring Dec. 7, 2016, “AnaMarie Avila Farias Day,” also gifting her, on behalf of the City, an engraved crystal vase. Deputy City Clerk Mercy Cabral then presented Avila Farias with flowers, and commendations from the mayor and councilmembers Mark Ross and Debbie McKillop were made.

Returning City Clerk Richard (Gary) Hernandez was then sworn in, followed by the swearing in of returning City Treasurer Carolyn Robinson, incoming Councilmember Noralea Gipner, and returning Councilmember Mark Ross.

This was followed by a “changing of the guard,” so to speak, as Avila Farias left the dais and Gipner took her place.

“I feel honored to be given this trust. I absolutely love Martinez from the bottom of my heart, and I’m thrilled to be in this position to do good for all of us,” Gipner said.

Before closing the meeting, the mayor made note of the successful passage of Martinez road tax Measure D. He also noted that East Bay Regional Park District will rename Martinez Regional Shoreline after Ted and Kathy Radke, conservationists that helped preserve Alhambra Creek and the shoreline.

City Council is adjourned until Dec. 14. The public portion of the meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 525 Henrietta St., Martinez.

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