CLAYTON, CA (Jan. 23, 2022) — I am honored and humbled to represent Clayton as your mayor for 2022. Little did I know that when I took the City Council oath of office in December 2020, I would be representing you in this capacity so soon.
I want to tip my hat in appreciation to Mayor CW Wolfe for being the example of civility and respect during the first “all-virtual” term of a Clayton mayor. He was and continues to be a great representative of our city.
Continuing in his footsteps, I vow to be an example of the traits integrated into our city motto’s “Do the Right Thing” – kindness, self-discipline, respect, integrity, courage, responsibility and inclusion. These are the values we aspire to and instill in our children.
As such, I urge neighbors to be kind to one another and seek common ground in conversations of dispute. While we may have different opinions/solutions, we all desire the same things in terms of safety and harmony in our little town.
As we look toward a return to in-person City Council meetings (as the county allows), I hope this will quell any negative energy and personal attacks as we meet on the same level and look at each other squarely in the eyes during a civil conversation. This allows for constructive dialogue and positive outcomes.
No doubt that 2021 was challenging, however, we did meet, or make progress toward, many of the goals we set for the year. While small businesses fought to continue to serve Clayton citizens during the pandemic, the City Council recognized those challenges and unanimously directed the immediate distribution of the first tranche of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to eligible small businesses ($5,000) and individuals ($1,500).
Those who applied have received the first group of checks. Fewer businesses and individuals applied than anticipated, leaving some funds still available. An application is on the city webpage, www.claytonca.gov.
The council is reviewing possible “hero pay” for city employees (staff and police officers), and we will continue to discuss the best ways to use future ARPA funding as it becomes available in 2022.
Like all California cities, Clayton has immediate challenges this year. We must zone for 570 residential units as part of our Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). That number is substantial and has the potential to seriously impact our city as we know it.
I personally request all interested citizens to creatively help us comply with state mandates and envision our future to keep the small town, western charm and character that we all know and love.
Clayton also needs to address financial challenges that could put our balance sheet into the red in just a couple of years. It requires immediate actions in terms of decreased spending (e.g., reduction in services) or increased revenues (e.g., tax increases). At a future council meeting, we will review our long-term financial forecasting to assess whether a parcel tax or some other measures should be included on the upcoming November ballot. I hope you will attend.
Together we can face these challenges, and I thank you all for your confidence in me. I will endeavor to serve you to the best of my ability.
Contact Mayor Peter Cloven at email@example.com or 925-673-7320.