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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? 

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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