Democracy ends in Vacaville The Reporter


The democratic course of got here to a screeching halt at Tuesday nights Vacaville Metropolis Council assembly, as Mayor Ron Rowlett pushed via his private agenda towards the cries of dozens of residents and two metropolis council members.

Rowlett positioned two key agenda gadgets close to the top of a grueling five-and-a-half-hour assembly. The primary, Agenda merchandise 9D got here up for dialogue at 2:57 hours into the assembly, referring to how future agenda gadgets can be positioned on the agenda.

Councilmembers Sullivan and Harris voiced help for an merchandise that could possibly be positioned on the agenda with the request of a single or not less than two council members. On the earlier metropolis council assembly, Nolan Sullivan famous that within the two years he has been serving on town council, he has but to get one single merchandise on the agenda. Rowlett made it clear he wished a majority vote from the council to let any merchandise attain his agenda.

Opinions from the general public had been heard, with each voice requesting {that a} request from just one or two council members ought to be required to get an merchandise on the agenda to uphold the democratic course of. Towards the desire of the general public voices and two of his council members, Rowlett ensured his majority-rule place remained intact when the standard 3-2 vote ended.

I say ordinary, as a result of after sitting in on dozens of metropolis council conferences, the sample is evident. Rowlett decides what he needs and Mashburn and Beatty comply with his lead. Whereas Councilmembers Sullivan and Harris examine the problems, come to the conferences ready to remark and suggest a lot wanted options to our metropoliss severest issues, I’ve but to listen to Beatty (who was appointed by the mayor, not elected) do or say something at a metropolis council assembly besides aye when Rowlett requires a vote on a difficulty he needs handed.

The new difficulty of the night, Agenda merchandise 9E, got here up at practically 4 hours into the assembly, which addressed how a metropolis council chair would get replaced when vacated earlier than the time period expires.

Since Mr. Mashburn was elected to the Solan County Board of Supervisors in March of this yr, and his at massive metropolis council chair can be vacated when 6 districts had been created, Rowlett may have adopted a decision to create equality in illustration of all districts, and have Mashburns soon-to-be vacated and antiquated at-large council chair changed with a district-representative chair for District 2. This might have been included in our Nov. Three election, and remove the price of a particular election or emptiness appointment.

As an alternative, Rowlett handed a decision in Might to put aside the particular election course of and have the mayor, himself, appoint the vacated council members chair, primarily making a state of affairs the place all districts now have metropolis council representatives who reside within the district they symbolize besides these residents who reside in District 2.

Once more, Councilmembers Sullivan and Harris voiced robust opinion that the substitute for Mashburns seat ought to come from District 2 and that the choice on how it might be stuffed ought to be left to the newly elected metropolis council that can take workplace in January.

Though within the earlier metropolis council assembly, Rowlett deferred the continuation of the citizens OPEB advisory committee to subsequent yrs metropolis council, he reversed his place on this difficulty.

An avalanche of residents, principally residing in District 2, referred to as to voice their help for a council member substitute being a resident of their district and to let the brand new metropolis council in January make this determination.

Towards the needs of two eloquent metropolis council members, and 532 residents from District 2 who petitioned for the correct to decide on their very own consultant, Rowlett determined a particular election for an at-large member can be finest for town. The price of a particular election is $580,000. Sure, your mayor simply pushed via an edict to spend over a half million {dollars} on a particular election subsequent yr, for a consultant the residents may have voted on in November with none further price.

District 2 has solely 10,881 registered voters, and a District 2 solely particular election can be 80% cheaper than an at-large council seat election of all 58,000 registered voters in Vacaville. Though Mashburns discover of emptiness was delivered Nov. 4, his precise emptiness as acknowledged in his letter, doesn’t happen till Dec. 31, so there isn’t any rush to push this via now.

A number of residents referred to as in passionately asking Rowlett to let the brand new metropolis council resolve, but with a single brush he labeled all of these residents the vocal minority. Then, peppering his dialogue with transparency, motioned to make the decision himself for a particular election.

The democratic course of led to Vacaville that night.

This yrs OPEB advisory committee made a number of suggestions to cut back Vacavilles monumental unfunded legal responsibility, which has our metropolis ranked within the backside 10% of all California cities when it comes to monetary well being. Not one of the committees suggestions for monetary enchancment had been acted upon by the mayor.

However please, dont take my phrase for this. Go to towns web site and take heed to the Nov. 10 metropolis council assembly your self. You may quick ahead to those essential points and brace your self for what you’ll hear.

Our prayers are with the newly elected metropolis council members who take workplace in January and who will hopefully reclaim and really symbolize the voice of the folks one thing the mayor has lengthy since deserted.

Danny Wells/Vacaville



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