-Friends, family and former colleagues of the late Hercules Planning Commissioner and Mayor Joe Eddy McDonald packed Tuesday City Council meeting chambers in support of naming a stretch of Highway 4 after McDonald.
McDonald passed away last month of natural causes. His life accomplishments included working to safeguard a portion of Highway 4 after his adult daughter and niece, Kimaree McDonald and Tiffane Spencer, were killed in an auto accident on "Blood Alley," a notoriously dangerous part of the highway.
Unanimously, the council voted to urge State Legislature to consider renaming a section of Highway 4 at Franklin Canyon the Kimaree and Joe Eddy McDonald Memorial Highway.
-Also at Tuesday's meeting, the council discussed its policy on electronic communication among council members. "Emails are public records, and you can’t expect them to be confidential…emails are the property of the public and not officials…" said Councilwoman Myrna de Vera. The item was pushed to a later meeting for more discussion and possible action.
-As the meeting was coming to a close, Councilwoman de Vera announced that she received a letter from resident who accused Mayor Dan Romero of violating the Brown Act. The council voted with three "aye" votes coming from de Vera Vice Mayor John Delgado, Councilman Bill Wilkins; one "nay" from Councilman Gerard Boulanger; and one abstain from Mayor Dan Romero, the item will be brought back at the next council meeting.
CITY OF HERCULES INTRODUCTIONS/PRESENTATIONS
1. Adoption and presentation of a resolution of the City Council of the City of Hercules, Contra Costa County, Urging the state legislature to designate a portion of California State Route 4, from San Pablo Avenue at the Interstate 80 junction in the City of Hercules to the west end of California State Route 4 at Franklin Canyon as the Joe Eddy McDonald Memorial Highway. ADOPTED 5-0.
2. Presentation by Supervisor John Gioia and Supervisor Federal Glover in recognition of former council member and Mayor Joe Eddy McDonald.
Toni Leance, Speaks to Mayor Dan Romero, "You have systematically gone after this committee (legal ad hoc committee) because you thought the committee was (going against you)…Dan, if you have something to say to me, have the common decency to say it to my face. The legal ad hoc committee was singled out even though the finance ad hoc was conducting meetings in the same exact way….this was political theater…the damage that you’re doing to Hercules will live on in infamy..."
Sherry McCoy, "The tone and civility of meetings have been going down hill and that is very concerning….Hercules has always prided itself on respectful disagreement. (A city council that gives their authority to the city manager is not something this city’s wants repeated)."
Bill Kelly, Free Speech. "(Regarding public comment during council meetings) I’m very concerned about the three minute rule…it often seems to (come down to) who’s talking and what they’re saying…and it leads to the impression that some are favored over other. Either strictly enforce the rule, or abolish it."
Justin Jones, "The highest stakeholders in the community are the youth…the decisions we make today will effect us (for generations to come). There must be some civility... Try to get along, that’s all I want to see."
Charles Davidson, "Our city manager Steve Duran says, we have no dog in this fight (with regards to the )…I disagree…this fiscal emergency…challenge Catellus for their Enron-style accounting style. End the fiscal emergency now."
Tony Thurman, West Contra Costa Unified School District Board member, "We look forward to working very closely together (with Hercules)…we know that this is a very difficult time for cities and for school districts…we hope to work very closely with you this year. We’ve got some tight financial times ahead of us in terms of the state budget…"
Giorgio Consentino, Wants to know if any codes have been violated…in city council and city committee commission dealing. "We need to sort this out…"
CITY COUNCIL REPORTS AND RESOLUTIONS
1) Discuss and designate voting delegates and alternates for the League of California Cities Annual Conference to be held Sept. 5-7. COUNCIL DECIDED NOT TO PAY FEE AND SEND DELEGATE.
2) Discuss and provide direction to staff regarding appointments to the Measure O Oversight Board. NO ACTION TAKEN. MOVED FOR DISCUSSION AT LATER MEETING.
3) Conduct discussion regarding city council rules of procedures and consider the following amendments: MOVED FOR DISCUSSION AT LATER MEETING
a. Section 5 orders of business and agenda -- agenda item order and process for placement of items on city and council agendas.
b. Addition of section relative to the use of electronic communication resources.
Phil Simmons, Asks council to do business in public eye and not censure emails. "You should not use your power on the council to do that sort of duplicitous (interaction)."
Bill Kelly, "The purpose of the Brown Act is so that the peoples' business is (conducted) in public...We need to stop this malarkey about being so damn secretive...the people are here to help you, not fight you, we're not the enemy. We need to get less secretive and more open..."
CITY MANAGER REPORTS AND RESOLUTIONS
1) Adopt a resolution accepting a modification of conditions for acceptance of Measure J funding in the amount of $2.162 million from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority for the Acquisition of the Intermodal Transit Center site in accordance with the CCTA staff report recommended Option. PASSES 3-0.