CLAYTON, CA (Jan. 19, 2023) — I am grateful that the residents of Clayton elected me again to represent them for the next four years here on the council and my fellow councilmembers chose me to represent Clayton as its mayor this year. Clayton is such a special community with a great many residents who are actively involved and engaged. I have spoken to so many people who appreciate transparency and clear communication. I will continue to update residents as best I can as we move forward.
As we start the new year, I look ahead to quite a bit of change at the City of Clayton. We have several open positions including city manager and finance director. When these roles are filled, they are sure to bring new ideas energy to city hall. Recently we hired our new police chief, Richard McEachin.
McEachin started his career here in Clayton and has advanced in different roles throughout the state. Most recently he served as police chief in Dos Palos. I am excited to see what his leadership will bring to the police department.
At our Jan. 17 meeting, we appointed Ron Bernal as interim city manager to serve while we continue our search to replace the current city manager who is leaving at the beginning of February. Mr. Bernal has extensive experience in local government most recently retiring from the City of Antioch as their city manager. As interim city manager, Mr. Bernal will be able to manage day to day operations while we continue our search for a candidate to take on the permanent role. There is also change at the city council. Councilmember Kim Trupiano began her term of office last month and I look forward to the exciting ideas she will bring to the table.
Even with all of this change, city operations continue. As of this writing, we are on target to submit to the state for approval our updated housing element in compliance with state requirements. Clayton was assigned 570 additional housing units it needed to zone for across all income levels. With diligent work from city staff, our planning commission, and input from the public, we will meet this requirement.
As a result of the winter storms, there have been several instances of fallen trees, debris in roadways, and localized flooding. City staff including our maintenance department and police have been working diligently to respond as needed and have done an excellent job.
Clayton’s mid-year budget review will be coming up soon and it will serve as a data point to assess the financial health of the city. While our initial budget projections reflected a deficit this year and, in the future, it is clear we need to continue to gather information to allow us to make informed decisions going forward. The city will need to prioritize resources and time in order to deliver services in the most efficient manner possible. I look forward to serving as mayor this year, and while there may be difficult choices ahead, we will make them together and I am confident the city will persevere as we address our immediate staffing and budget challenges.
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