July 3, 2020 - The city council agenda has been released and it has many topics listed that would be of importance to most residents. There are "side letters" to the Memorandum of Understanding's ("MOU") for all of the nine employee bargaining groups (employee unions). It appears that 8 of the 9 groups have "met and conferred" with the city manager to try and reduce costs to the city. However, the one noteworthy item should be that the Police Officers Association ("POA") has apparently refused the requests of the city to meet and confer. That is something that residents should pay attention to. As you may remember the POA and the Firefighters Union ("FFA") both partnered up to support a sales tax increase in March 2020 (learn more at www.nowctax.xom). That was Measure WC and before the signatures to place that measure on the ballot were counted, the city council approved huge raises and a lavish MOU for both unions under the apparent assumption the tax was a guaranteed income stream. Each union received a 12% pay increase in October and November of 2019 and would have stood to receive the additional pay and benefits, if Measure WC had passed. Now, we see the POA is refusing to even meet and confer under good faith to try and help the city out of a fiscal emergency.
UPDATE: We have posted comments from a resident, Steve Bennett, when he addressed the exact item we are pointing out here. Click Here to view the video.
We also were made of aware of a small and likely unnoticed change in the way that the public would be able to submit emailed public comments. It appears that between the June 23, 2020 Special Council Meeting and the July 7, 2020 Regular City Council Meeting the city decided to remove the ability for the public to email comments to be read aloud by the city clerk during the council meeting. We have created a graphic that shows the difference in the wording on the agenda packet cover pages for those two meetings. You can also view the original cover pages on the city website to verify the info for yourself. Click Here for the "Agendas and Meetings" page of the city website.
UPDATE: We have posted comments from a resident, Brian Jobst , which were emailed into the city clerk for reading. He explains the small change in his comments. Click Here to view the video.
UPDATE: During the council meeting, Mayor Wu very quickly decided to not continue with the new rule of not reading public comments received by email. We called is a "mistake" and changed course very quickly. Usually when this type of "mistake" happens it is more that the mistake was caught and not that of true remorse. Click Here to view Mayor Wu's comments.