Appointment to Oversight Board Turns Ugly as Mayor and Councilman Compete for Seat

Both Mayor Dave Glass and Councilman Mike Healy wanted to represent the city on the oversight board that will vote on critical infrastructure projects, including Rainier

City appointments are often yawn-inducing affairs that few take interest in.

That is, unless it’s an appointment to the agency that will decide on what road and infrastructure projects can move forward following the dissolution of redevelopment agencies.

On Monday night, sparks flew between Mayor Dave Glass and Councilman Mike Healy who both want to represent Petaluma on the county oversight board that will replace the city’s redevelopment agency.

The board will consider redevelopment projects that have already been at least partially obligated, including the Rainier undercrossing and interchange. According to supporters, the project can still be financed, but many others say it's .

According to legislation created following the , mayors can appoint two people from their city to serve on the oversight board. But because Petaluma is a charter city, the council got to decide on the nomination. Healy nominated himself, telling Glass he was not going to vote for him because the two had disagreed in the past over redevelopment and that there was "no way of sugar coating the issue."

"I signed the ballot arguments in favor of Measure S in 2004, you and (former Councilwoman) Janice Cader-Thompson signed the ballot arguments against Measure S," Healy said, referring to the ballot measure which authorized the city to proceed with the Rainier project and which was approved by 72 percent of Petaluma voters. "So we just have a different perspective on this issue." 

Mayor Glass and other council members often emphasize their collegiality on the dais, but none could be found on this particular topic on Monday, with the vote split 4-3 along the council's previous ideological lines.

Council members Mike Harris, Chris Albertson and Gabe Kearney voted for Healy (Healy also voted for himself), while Vice Mayor Tiffany Renee and Teresa Barrett voted for Glass, who also voted for himself.

The result prompted an angry response from the mayor who said that he felt that he should be the one to represent the city on vital infrastructure projects.

“I’m offended because I’ve leveled with the community…and I think it’s a cheap shot to say that I am not qualified for the position,” Glass said. “I’m not pulling any punches here, but I don’t think making Rainier happen is possible. I’ve studied finance all my life, I've worked in redevelopment for 22 years and I don't think it's possible.”

After the vote, Glass told Healy that he wished that “voters keep you accountable for all your decisions,” to which Healy replied “Thank you. I hope that they do too.”

Vice Mayor Renee was also visibly upset at the vote, saying that the successor agency was “not just about Rainier, but about many other things. The mayor should be able to appoint who he wants to and for the council to overstep that authority is disgusting.”

The second person selected to represent Petaluma on the redevelopment oversight board is Scott Duiven, a senior planner with the city. The council voted 7-0 to approve his appointment. 

Do you think the mayor should represent the city on the oversight board that will be created to replace the redevelopment agency? 

SP March 20, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Glass is heavy handed and wants to run a dictatorship. Had it been most any other Mayor, I think that the Mayor should have that right. However, in this case, I could not be more thrilled to know that Glass is not that guy. His counterpart Renee thinking it is "disgusting" is a joke, she is merely bitter that she didn't get her way. These are the same people that restrict traffic with road diets and think that potholes are cute. How the heck are we supposed to move through the city? Go get 'em Healy. At least we know you will be out there trying!
George Barich March 20, 2012 at 03:39 PM
This successor agency has nothing to do with the Ranier project at all. That's a red herring argument. This is about money, big money, future campaign contributions, and other perks that are going to come with fighting for old redevelopment projects that private firms, outside consultants, and city workers are going to profit from. Follow the money. This isn't about Petaluma, the common good or any of the other liberal nonsense Glass enjoys dribbling about. It's about raw political power. Glass may fight hard for continuing to suck the state dry with redevelopment projects the city doesn't want or really need at the cost of a bankrupt state and our public school system, etc.. But who wouldn't like to be in a position to have your toes licked and wield this kind of power? I do think it is a bit ironic to see a guy who will tell local business people who disagree with him online in intelligent dialogue to be removed from their email list which brings new meaning to being a public servant. Good story Patch.
Barry Kruse March 20, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Glass seriously thinks he's leveled with the community? He has certainly been upfront about his anti-development biases. Is that the same thing? Does he also believe he's impartial and objective? I get so tired of a former muni bond salesman claiming to be a finance expert. He keeps chanting that Rainier is not possible. Where is his analysis to back that up? How did all the other crosstown connectors in this country ever get built? What makes Rainier so different?
Ptown March 20, 2012 at 07:41 PM
If Healy lost, at least he would of been respectful. Glass = immature, bully, sore loser.
Kathy Schmidt March 20, 2012 at 09:36 PM
I think Healy is an intelligent, resourceful, and open-minded public servant. He'll do a good job on the oversight committee.
Chad M. March 20, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I'm happy to see Healy put his foot down. The people of Petaluma want this cross town connector, and the Mayor has no intentions of pursuing it. If the tables were turned and Healy was mayor, do you think Renee would have been "disgusted"?
Joan Bunn March 20, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Can anyone here answer the following questions? Where will the money ($86 million) come from to pay for the widening of Highway 101 through Petaluma? This has to happen first to raise the freeway for the Rainier undercrossing. And once this happens, where will the money ($64 million) come from to pay for the Rainer undercrossing?
Petaluma Seer March 20, 2012 at 11:52 PM
How unfortunate that Mr. Healy has a desperate need to keep the fairytale myth of Rainier, in an effort not to save face, due to his prior campaign promises. Perhaps he is just saving face, a mere political move, knowing he will be outvoted, in reality, on this oversight board, in any attempt to keep those coveted funds of 7.5 mill. of taxpayers hard earned $$$$$$ being wasted on blind political whims. That money was just for a design, not a build. Being an attorney, he enjoys litigation. If he insists on the blind myth of Rainier anything, and pushes forward a vote of an approval of the Deer Creek Village's current EIR, without the study of the possibility of either/or Rainier Crosstown Connector or Interchange, he assures himself and this city multiple lawsuits. He will be in his element of delight... LAWSUITS. He will inadvertantly bring great Financial Harm to the DCV Developers, and much time and $$$$ lost in this City for stubborn belief, in the MYTH of Rainier. I am feeling sorry for the developers as someone they thought to be an ally will surely bring about great devastation for them, on this sticking point. As long as this myth is kept alive, future development in Petaluma is at peril. The Fat Lady has sung, and the curtain is down on Rainier. Accept it. Let's pick up what marbles we have left and move on and achieve real progress in this city. Wake up Mr. Healy! Taxpayers cannot afford your elite political games. Our elected Mayor, a man of Finance, knows this.
Petaluma Seer March 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM
My point is he is "Not saving Face" but rather drawing more attention to the fact that he ran on a campaign of Rainier". Everyone knows even the Oversight board cannot manufacture enough money to cover all the needs of this city with what is left $$ wise. Leaving homeless and schools at risk for any road to serve a shopping development and to save face for an ambitious politician, will be a hard fight to win, no matter how stubborn and aggressive that politician may be. Further, that to give an approval for the EIR, without a study of a No Rainier possibility brings the developer multiple lawsuits and deprives the developer of his right of definitive plans, and less concessions for the land set aside for the Myth of Rainier. Healy is a Wolf in Sheeps clothing if he pushes that blind EIR into approval at it's current state. From his move of jumping into the Oversight board, it appears that is where he is headed. We shall see. And yes, our elected official, our Mayor, Mr. Glass, a lifelong trusted Financial Businessman knows best. We deserve Mr. Glass at the helm. I respect Attorneys. However, the Attorneys sandbox is in Court. You do the Math.
Petaluma Seer March 21, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Intelligent point Joan. Petaluma has a focus deficiency of "no funds set aside to widen 101 through Petaluma", although the other cities before and after us on 101 have. We have a Council Majority fiddling over a couple of mythfull roads while the burning task at hand is entirely neglected, that of funds for our portion of 101 to be in place. They hope Petalumans will not realize this by distracting us with posturing of mythical road projects. Cal Trans is coming and we are ill prepared. Do you smell smoke?
Ptown March 21, 2012 at 01:28 AM
It's okay the monies not here yet, Rainier will be built. The sky is falling excuse about everything is getting old, thanks council for beginning to vote with common sense. Like a breath of fresh air.
Petaluma Seer March 21, 2012 at 01:56 AM
You must also believe in the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus. Nice, however perhaps, on a practical matter you can tell us WHERE the $64,000,000,000 will come from?? Do you have a large Sugar Daddy??? Or Mommy? Ignorance is bliss. So was blind trust of our Banks, Mortgage Bankers, and Wall Street, ....need I go on?
Petaluma Seer March 21, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Yes, you may live to see the heavy hand, or shall I say sad environmental and economic foot print of Healy yet. Hell, we all want a crosstown connector! We also all want Steak and Caviar before, every night, with Champagne. What part of no funding don't you get? What part of being lied to you don't you get? The concept of "Telling a lie, tell a big lie, over and over again, until people believe it", don't several of you get? The same trap is why so many have suffered at the hands of mortgage bankers, wall street, etc. Wake up people! Time has marched on! It is hard to let go of one's home, one's job, one's nest egg, one's failed dreams. it is time Mr. Healy let this pipe dream go so this City can heal itself! Stop blindly following politicians! It is personal with Mr. Healy, to put himself in front of a financial expert when it comes to finances. You don't call a doctor if your house's water main breaks, you call a plumber. Only an arrogant doctor would impose himself, unless he had a private agenda.
The Fool March 21, 2012 at 04:57 AM
Most frustrating to me is the idea that someone who is seen as "ideological" is bad, whereas someone more "pragmatic" is good. We may not agree on everything Glass stands for, but the bottom line is that he has a vision, an "idea." Healy does what comes "practiced," voting for development at every turn. And a majority of Petaluma supports him because that's the way we are practiced in thinking. Even if, as is the case here, such thinking is magical.
Petaluma Seer March 21, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Voting for development at every turn is neither bad nor good, but rather a habititual way of being. Habits are due to neuron pathways, firing habitually, until ruts. Being able to pull one's self out of the box, out of the rut, when change neccesitates, is where agility and strength lies. To navigate this Cities financials requires a skill of agility. Not in relying on old patterns. The old patterns have not worked for us. That is why we lost the redevelopment funds. Our govenor is, I believe, a former Jesuit. They think out of the box, and create abrupt changes when those around them are stuck in a rut of things such as old party lines politics, and incapable of doing anything other than, familiar "business as usual". Holding onto that which one has lost only delays healing and moving forward. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Petaluma must collect it's sensibilities and cut its losses.
Petaluma Seer March 21, 2012 at 05:24 AM
In any event, Ned Ludd, well said. Namaste.
Petaluma Seer March 21, 2012 at 05:30 AM
I have seen your letters of the Council eve. that was postphoned, both from you directly and an exact duplicate, sent by Ms. Pellegrini's office, supporting the Deer Creek Village shopping proposal. Your agenda is clear.
Petaluma Seer March 21, 2012 at 05:40 AM
In other words you support Healy because you want what you believe will best support a shopping center, next to the mythical Rainier. Consider the developer has the right to know if Rainier will ever be funded, so they can make decisions of what they can do with that part of the plot of land they have reserved for it. During one hearing of the DCV, Mr. Healy suggested the city pay the developers for that part. Rather than recklessly spending more taxpayer funds to a developer, how about just giving them the truth of the myth of Rainier, so they can use their land in a permanent way? Why should the city have to negotiate something that is not necessary?
Chad M. March 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
It's pretty annoying when one person feels the need to take over the comment board and critique every person's comments. You must be REALLY important...
George Barich March 21, 2012 at 05:13 PM
I personally don't mind when people are passionate, intelligent and speak their minds on these message boards excessively, as long as they are civil and stay on point. Unlike some, I don't mind the ranting. America has come to a crossroad regarding government spending and people are becoming quite polarized. I get more annoyed with people who are silent and expecting some miracle or simply don't care. People who stand up and speak out rarely feel important. They often feel frustrated and are exercising their right to speak up without being shot. Let's enjoy it and respect while we can, shall we? I had a planning commissioner tell me to f__k off and die, then de-friended me because I took issue with a quote from JFK on his facebook wall and explained myself intelligently why the quote was simply not one of my favorites. It's getting rough out there and people are losing their minds.
Petaluma Seer March 21, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Chad M, comment boards are for dialogue. It is how we learn from each other. If we were standing next to each other it would not be such a big deal. This topic is what is important. The restructuring of the funding affects the infrastructure of that which is in most need in the city. That infrastucture affects many citizens in dire need. It is important that those citizens needs come first, like our children's educations, and the needs of the homeless. The rest of us would like to see our taxes go to those issues, which is worthy of our expenditure. I think you stated it well Mr. Barich. Sorry to hear you were treated poorly from a Commissioner.


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