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New Council Installed, Silva Is The New Mayor

Two newcomers and one incumbent took their seats Tuesday night, and Mayor Cindy Silva announced her monthly tours of Walnut Creek.

The latest version of the Walnut Creek City Council was put in place Tuesday night, including two new members and a new mayor.

Newcomers Loella Haskew and Justin Wedel both won seats in November, as did incumbent Bob Simmons. All three were sworn in by City Clerk Suzie Martinez as spouses, family members and well-wishers looked on.

Simmons then took the floor and thanked city staff for their efforts during his year as mayor.

“It’s generally been a pretty good year for Walnut Creek,” Simmons said. “We started four years ago in a deep economic abyss. The opening of Neiman Marcus nine months ago signaled the start of our emerging from the deepest recession in the last 80 years. We now have a downtown vacancy ate of less than five percent.”

He also noted the approval of several multi-family home projects, which he said would provide housing for people who can’t afford a single-family home, older people who want to stay in Walnut Creek but don’t want the upkeep of a larger home, and those who want to live in an urban environment.

He also gave a nod to the second-hand smoke ordinance now in the works, and the installation of two floating islands at Heather Farm Park.

With that, Simmons called for the selection of a new mayor. Kristina Lawson nominated councilwoman Cindy Silva, Haskew seconded and the vote was unanimous, followed closely by the selection of Lawson as Mayor Pro Tem.

Silva said 2013 will be a “challenging but exciting year.”

She said one of the challenges will be providing “sustainable funding for quality of life programs, from open space to libraries, to arts programs and services for children and seniors.”

Planning will soon begin on the 2014 celebration of Walnut Creek’s 100 year anniversary, an effort which Lawson will lead.

When a new mayor is selected, they announce a year-long special initiative. Silva announced her special program for the year, the Second Saturday Spotlight, which will feature tours of “hidden city assets” on the second Saturday of each month. The first one, on Jan. 12, will be a behind-the-scenes tour of the Lincoln exhibit at the Walnut Creek Library. Other events will include a backstage tour of the Lesher Theater, a visit to the city’s corporation yard, and other rarely-traveled locales. 

One more time with feeling December 13, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Dr. Bob, You reply to Triple Canopy and others who choose to not use their real names here - and yet I get singled out. OK. You can call me Joe G. Make you feel any better? Does it mean you or someone from the bully pulpit will answer any of these questions? Tearing down the library would be an even worse use of taxpayer funds now that it is built. I've already indicated that all I want is that the mistake be admitted, the taxpaying public be apologized to and the culprits leave city hall. I know I won't get all three - but any one of these will do. I thought for sure you would be at the "wayfaring sign meeting" where the city is preparing to spend over $200,000 on unnecessary signage rather than Public Safety, existing services and programs... We don't have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.
Jim December 13, 2012 at 04:46 AM
I agree with Bob that the library was very successful-for him! It's interesting to note that as city leaders continue to lay off employees and cut salaries/benefits to fund library operations the "advocacy" (i.e. library cheerleader and Simmons/Silva campiagn organizer) of folks like Bob has paid off. As most people know Walnut Creek is one of the only cities around that doesn't offer medical insurance to employees after they retire. At the same time Walnut Creek taxpayers paid much of Bob's wife's salary as head librarian. As a now retired county employee she recieves fully paid medical coverage for her and her husband. When she dies Bob will get it for free until he dies. Not unlike Mayor Simmons who gets his pay and benefits from the city as a council member (granted the amount is small) and a federal pension and social security-Triple Dipping! Sue Rainey is in the same boat. At the same time she was voting to cut OUR police officers to help fund the library she was enjoying free medical coverage from her retired husband's county and state service. Not to mention his 3 pensions. I say give Bob and others credit for working the system to their advanage so successfully while we and the city employees that serve us pay the bill.
michael frederick December 13, 2012 at 06:02 AM
Library Bob, It is "WC illiterate", not "illiterate." The poor reading comprehension skills you continually showcase here make you, undoubtedly, the poorest advertisement for reading imaginable. I can't imagine anyone wanting to take their kid to the library, so they rise to Library Bob's stature. PhD? I don't think anyone could pass high school with the reading skills you claim as an only means of defense.
michael frederick December 18, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Julie, I meant to respond earlier but, on top of the hectic nature of the season, I got tied up above ... I believe the correct answer to your first question looks something like this. The Library Foundation was presented as a broad-based group. It wasn't / isn't. Most of the donations it passed along to the city came from a handful of people, most of whom we can all probably recite by heart... While one has to acknowledge this small band put their money where their mouth is -- their hearts may(?) have been in the right place -- their heads clearly weren't and aren't. Their leveraging of public monies was as false as their claims of "broad based community support" ... They don't offer to raise $1.5M because they can't, unless via corporate sponsorships. I'm a big fan of utilizing the public better, particularly young people, as you suggest. I'd really like to see City Hall provide mentoring programs to prepare WC youth for good careers downtown, for instance. I'd feel much better about City Hall decisions, if I thought for one second anyone making them knew the street names three blocks from City Hall, had local family connections that discourage arbitrary, mercenary decision-making ... We have some of the best kids in the state and we obviously ought to employ them better, for everyone's benefit, particularly theirs.
Charles schwartzmunde December 21, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Bullying? Jeeez... you guys need a hug.

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