Your City Council—Live: City Keeps State of Emergency Declaration, Ivy League Connection Introductions

Hercules Patch reported live from the Tuesday, May 24, City Council meeting. Read the report as the meeting happened, and read from the bottom up to get the story in chronological order.


1. Conduct Discussion And Provide Direction To Staff Regarding County Redistricting NO ACTION TAKEN

2. Conduct Discussion of Contra Costa County Grand Jury Report No. 1104 – Elected Board Membership NO ACTION TAKEN

City must respond to repot by July 25.


Joseph Loo, "I was never aware that council members were paid a salary…and also benefits. Public officials are for public service, not public employment. The laid-off employees will have to support their families…you should step up to the plate to and resolve that no council members will be paid salaries."

Hector Rubio, Chair of the Citizens Advisory Finance Ad Hoc Committee, gave presentation on financial standing of the city and RDA.

3. Conduct Discussion And Possible Support of SB 286 – Redevelopment Reform ITEM PULLED


1. Adopt A Resolution Terminating The Declaration Of A Local Emergency In The City Of Hercules (Carson Slide Area) [not terminated]


Joseph Loo, "Is the city doing enough (to help with the Carson Street landslide)? The hillside is still shifting and moving. During the recent rain storms...the hillside...became a matter of urgency. Currently, our HOA is at odds with the city. It is claiming that the city is also responsible for fixing the hillside. The city approved original grating on the hillside (years ago). These are strong words from our HOA...the hillside...continues to threaten houses next to it."

Deltorchio, recommends not ending Hercules' emergency declaration.


The Consent Calendar consists of items that are considered to be routine and are recommended for approval. These items may be acted upon and approved by one motion of the City Council. However, individual items may be removed from the Consent Calendar, for discussion, by individual Council Members wishing to consider the matter separately.

1. Reject Claim Filed By Amina Herbert

2. Reject Claim Filed By Joyce Russell

*Both claims were for a pothole on Willow Avenue.

3. Adopt a Resolution Directing the Filing of Annual Engineer’s Reports for City of Hercules Landscaping and Lighting Assessment District No. 83-2, Victoria by the Bay Landscaping and Lighting Assessment District No. 2002-1, Hercules Village Landscaping and Lighting Assessment District No. 2002-2, Baywood Landscaping and Lighting Assessment District No. 2004-1, and Bayside Landscaping and Lighting Assessment District No. 2005-1 Pursuant to Landscaping and Lighting Act of 1972.


Ken Morrison, I never hear much of a response from the City Council (to public comments). We don’t know if you’re responding to these comments at all…I would like answers to…The Red Barn payments that were stopped…What happened? I think something should have happened now.

What about the employee layoffs…what departments were affected?

Gerard Parsons (spelling), Talks about John Swett School District, specifically the high school in Crockett, which, he says, has many great qualities and is in the process of being improved.

Susan Keefe, Here to talk about the flyer. "If we were looking for a reason to recall, we got it… I’ve been up here regarding having subcommittee meetings with no agendas, meetings…you have done a great job in explaining why we need to recall you."

Dan Romero, Thanked the community of Hercules…”for being so kind and open and asking those important questions.”

About a flier that was put out by City Council candidates Joanne Ward and Donald Kuehne… “I thought it was awfully odd that the two council members would talk about two city managers and paint them as the bad guys” when they hired them. The candidates were a part of those Brown Act violations… “They were not doing their jobs.”


7:50 p.m. Introduction of the Hercules Education Foundation to raise funds to assist and enhance educational opportunities for students attending public school in Hercules. Looking to expand and fund raise. The foundation might pick up the city's canceled golf tournament this year.

Meetings for the foundation are the fourth Wednesday at 7 p.m. HerculesEducationFoundation.org

7:17 p.m. Introduction Of West Contra Costa Unified School District’s 2011 Ivy League Connection Participants.

Fifth year of the program; 35 students are part of the Ivy League Connection this year and will travel to Ivy League schools over the summer. Students will go to Columbia, Cornell, Brown universities and others.

Students Participating in Ivy League Connection

Eric Wang, Hercules High, Constitutional Law at Columbia… “It’s going to be a once in a lifetime experience…I would like to thank the board and everyone for supporting us…Hercules High School has a lot of talent…we can compete with just about everyone.”

Beilul Naizghi, Hercules High, American Presidential Powers at Columbia…second year…she went to Cornell for the Hotel Course. I know first hand how (amazing) the Ivy League Connection is…I’m really looking forward to my trip.

Erin Kuehne, Hercules High, DNA Biotechnology at Brown… “Being brought up in Hercules…I thought I could compete with these other students (from other schools) and I did. …meet new people.”

7:15 p.m., Mayor Joanne Ward reads an "inspirational message" from Theodore Roosevelt.

7:11 p.m., The council has emerged from closed session. One reportable action: Added one item to closed session agenda. Got a full price offer for an RDA-owned property at $229,000. The vote on (accepting) the offer was 4-0.

7:04 p.m., The Council Chambers are about half full.

Glenn Abraham May 26, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Gayle, I don't remember that meeting, but I do remember another at which, for no particular reason, Kris Valstad launched into an extemporaneous speech that went on and on (and on) about the Glory That Is Sakamoto. Something about how lucky we were to have somebody so great as Sakamoto, how other cities would love to lure him away. Over the years, the Viking spouted a lot of nonsense, but I remember that particular harangue particularly well. I must have radar for irony. Or morbid humor.
Glenn Abraham May 26, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Yep, I remember that interview of Oliva and his door. Yes, he (effectively) said that the Councilmembers were all involved, but, hey, who can take Oliva seriously as an honest source? But then again, after all of these revelations, revelations of which Ward and Kuehne have been aware for years...who can take Ward and Kuehne seriously as an honest source? As you know, I once saw Joanne Ward as a nice and honest lady who was led astray; her continued public denial, in the face of a mountain of truth, makes me really wonder about that "honest" part.
Glenn Abraham May 26, 2011 at 06:27 PM
Lyn: I don't know if Erin Kuehne is related to Don Kuehne, but if she is, I know of absolutely no reason to think that she might be comparable to Taylor Oliva. Taylor Oliva (perhaps unknowingly, perhaps knowingly) was an active participant in Nelson Oliva's schemes. My guess is that Erin Kuehne is simply, and admirably, a student who did exceptionally well, and deserves to be applauded for that. If Don Kuehne is her father, that says nothing negative about her; and, although Don Kuehne is not exactly my favorite person right now, Don Kuehne is no Nelson Oliva. I think we might want to leave Erin Kuehne, and any other Kuehne not named Don, out of this. Don Kuehne's reputation is definitely in play, but that's because of decisions made and actions taken by him.
Giorgio C. May 27, 2011 at 01:06 AM
Go Erin Kuehne !(and the others). I hope my daughter follows in her footsteps. She should be very proud of herself.
John Loudermilk May 27, 2011 at 01:38 AM
All of the young people should be very proud of their accomplishments. They are on the right path and will be our future. Bravo!


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