I hope you are all staying well during this challenging time. Please keep up with our latest city news and COVID-19 announcements on our city website (ci.clayton.ca.us) and our new Clayton pages on both Facebook and Nextdoor.
City Hall is closed to the public. Most city staff is working remotely, with only essential workers in City Hall. Staff will continue to take telephone calls during regular office hours, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 925-673-7300. Staff is also monitoring messages.
The Police Department is at full strength, keeping our community safe as always. Many thanks to them and all of our small, but dedicated city staff.
Two new staff members
After several months with interim staff in key positions, we want to welcome a new finance manager and a new Community Development director. We are thrilled to have them both.
Paul Rodrigues, our new finance manager, was born in Castro Valley and moved to Humboldt County at a young age. He attended Humboldt State, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration/accounting in 1985.
Rodrigues has worked in both the private and public sector, most recently as the finance manager for the Humboldt Community Services District. His passion is adoption advocacy, and he is active on several adoption and foster care non-profit boards.
He is an avid fan of the Oakland A’s and is looking forward to attending more games now that he and his wife Debbie are soon to be Bay Area residents. They are excited to be moving to the Bay Area and for Paul to be undertaking a new challenge in Clayton.
Helping build community
Community Development director Mathew Feske comes to the city of Clayton with 18 years of experience and knowledge in local governments. Throughout his career in local government, Feske has been active in the communities he works for to further the vision of the residents and community leaders.
He is known for creative problem solving and innovative thinking. His dedication to solving organizational and community-wide issues has been a cornerstone of his career, building trust among his co-workers, clients, and community members and leaders.
Feske and his family have lived the last six years in Southern California and are happy to be back in the Bay Area. He is well-known as “Coach” in the world of youth soccer, but his proudest title is “Dad.” He and his family will live near Clayton and participate in church, education, sports and community activities.
Looking at CEMEX Quarry plans
At the April 7 City Council meeting, held virtually, we agreed to send a letter to the county responding to the request by CEMEX Quarry to make some significant changes to its reclamation plan for after the mining ends in approximately 50 years. While the quarry is located outside the city limits, it’s within Clayton’s “sphere of influence.”
The county is in the initial stages of scoping for the Draft EIR for that reclamation plan. Our planning staff has already contributed feedback, but the council wanted to be sure the county understands the tremendous impact the quarry has on our community – now and in the future.
Many residents have commented to us about the draft reclamation plans and about the day-to-day operations. We want to be sure their concerns are heard and considered.
The county won’t make final decisions for more than a year, so there will be several opportunities for community input. We have invited the county to host some of those meetings locally so residents have better access to the process.
For more information on the quarry’s plans, see the CEMEX website at cemexclaytonquarry.com/reclamation-plan/. To see copies of the comment letters from our planning staff and the City Council, visit ci.clayton.ca.us/community-development/planning/regional-planning/.
Pride Flag to Fly
At our meeting on April 21, we approved recognizing June as Pride month. We will be approving a proclamation of recognition at our May 5 meeting, and we will be adding the Pride flag during June to our flagpoles at City Hall, the Library and The Grove Park. We also approved revisions to the permit parking program for the Regency Drive and Rialto neighborhoods.
Update on community events
In consideration of the safety of all residents, the Clayton Business & Community Association has canceled the Art & Wine festival, the VFW has canceled our Memorial Day program and the Clayton Historical Society has postponed the annual Gardens Tour.
Further, we are canceling, or postponing, all Concerts in the Grove scheduled for May, June and July 4th. While the remaining schedule depends on the duration of the current shelter at home precautions, we hope to be able to reschedule these concerts for later in the season or, alternatively, bring these bands back next season. We are even considering scheduling double-header concerts or sequential weeks later in the season, if we can hold the concerts safely. As we know more about our schedule, we will post updates on the city’s website, Facebook and NextDoor, and here in the Pioneer.
Given the governor’s orders, it is unlikely we will be able to complete the season, but we will take a “wait and see” position until we know more. We know how much the concerts bring to our community, but everyone’s health comes first. I will post updates as we get closer to events after July 4.
Because of the uncertainty, and because our local business sponsors have been financially burdened by the Covid-19 pandemic closures, we will not be soliciting banner sponsorships for the concerts this year. Fortunately, as is our practice, and thanks to our generous sponsors and audiences, we raised enough funds last season to completely pay for this season.
We all hope to be able to gather again later this season to enjoy some great bands. Until then, enjoy the spring weather, turn on some favorite tunes and dance around your living room, or rock out in your garden. Stay safe everyone.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions of concerns.
Julie Pierce is mayor of Clayton and chair of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority .She is a past president of the Association of Bay Area Governments and serves on the executive committee where she represents Contra Costa cities.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions of concerns at email@example.com.