Peter Cloven

Clayton mayor urges thoughtful dialogue on issues

Peter ClovenCLAYTON, CA (June 14, 2022) — In a recent city-commissioned, ARPA-funded poll, 94% of Claytonians were satisfied to extremely satisfied with the quality of life in Clayton. Another 5% were neutral, and 1% were dissatisfied.

Similarly, 92% were satisfied with our police services, and 88% were satisfied with our parks and recreational amenities.

Those results are a testimony to prior City Councils and their efforts over the years to create the city that we live in and love.

Recently, some dissatisfied individuals have attempted to create lively discussions about weeds and divisions in an effort to stoke the rhetoric going into the November election. I have learned that you can give some people everything they desire to appease them, but they will still be unhappy. Yes, we should address legitimate concerns, yet it heartens me to know that 94% of residents are very satisfied with our city.


There are challenges with weed growth in Clayton every spring. The city maintenance staff is well aware of the weed issues this year (as well as last year due to the pandemic). Excessive weed growth has been especially challenging for the past couple of years, since Clayton has prohibited the use of Roundup (and its primary ingredient, glyphosate).

The city’s current replacement for Roundup is an herbicide that is four times the cost and not as effective. Therefore, more effort is required to remove most weeds (e.g., need to be hand-pulled or trimmed), which puts a strain on our small staff.

City staff is diligently working on the weed challenges in city rights-of-way and parks on a scheduled, sequential basis to address areas of most significant visual concern. Due to staffing challenges (medical issues and COVID), the city continues to seek temporary workers and crews to help address these issues within reason and budget. However, it is noteworthy that, like everything else, costs for hourly labor are much higher than in prior years, and finding laborers is challenging.

At the initiative of Vice Mayor Holly Tillman, nine newly appointed residents have joined the Trails & Landscape Commission. I am impressed with this committee’s diversity of experience and dedication to addressing our city’s landscaping needs. Committee members have been walking our trails, viewing our medians and communicating landscaping challenges with our public works staff. They are a forward-thinking group that is focusing on developing an asset/sustainability plan for the future of Clayton.

Lastly, perceived divisions in Clayton are endemic to the national rhetoric that swept across the land in the past six years. The challenge continues to be that people are no longer talking with, but at one another and are accepting “labels” provided by others without ever having gotten to know their neighbors to create real dialogue.

Civil discourse

While Clayton faces current and future challenges in both finance and housing, your City Council is working diligently to maintain that high level of satisfaction for years to come. Yes, we may disagree on the methodology and solutions, but that civil discourse is an essential part of the dialogue that allows us to come to the best long-term decisions for the future of our city.

As always, to all Claytonians, if you have any questions, suggestions or solutions to any of our future challenges, I welcome the opportunity to talk to you. Please stay connected and engaged. Reach out to me anytime via email or telephone, and I will get back to you. It is in respectful, thoughtful dialogue that we can find answers to the challenges that face us.

Contact Mayor Peter Cloven at or 925-673-7320.