VALLEJO – Concerned community members and the families of men killed by Vallejo police are scheduled to show up ahead of Tuesday’s Vallejo City Council meeting and demand action.
Organizers want the city to “vigorously pursue” the firing of Vallejo police Det. Jarrett Tonn and are asking the council to support the creation of a police commission and inspector general position as a way to reform the beleaguered police department.
A “Skelly” hearing is a mandatory review hearing for public employees facing discipline. Fox sustained Vallejo police’s findings that Tonn failed to activate his body camera and engaged in poor performance before shooting Monterrosa but found that those violations did not warrant termination. While the city can still technically proceed with the termination, despite the Skelly officer’s findings, it would likely lose during arbitration.
The council directed city staff to come back in July with the needed documents to place the measure on the November ballot, despite learning last month that residents distrust their city government so much that a proposed sales tax hike to pay for infrastructure repair and other general city services would likely fail.
Funds from a general tax would be deposited in the city’s general fund and could be spent for any purpose. It would require a simple majority of city voters, 50% plus one, to pass, while a special tax that would dedicate funds exclusively for a certain purpose like street repair would require approval by two-thirds of voters.
The council also directed staff to place a second non-binding measure on the ballot asking residents how they would like to see the tax money spent, but city staff is recommending against the non-binding measure.
“Unfortunately, in other cities, such as the case with Redding and Paso Robles, in recent years the placement of two measures on the ballot can be confusing for voters, which resulted in an outcome of a ‘yes’ vote on the advisory measure and a ‘no’ vote on the base funding measure itself, rendering the outcome moot,” City Manager Mike Malone wrote in a report to the council.
The polling firm told the council in June that a unique situation happened when participants were asked about whether they supported a special tax for road repairs. Initially, 69% of participants said they would support such a measure — just above the two-thirds threshold — but that dropped to 66% when a hypothetical positive statement about the special tax was read to the participants. Finally, that number dropped to 47% when the negative statement was read to participants.
The cost of placing this measure on the November ballot is estimated to cost the city about $100,000, which includes the $16,669 cost quoted by the Registrar of Voters, as well as cost for voter information, Malone explained in the same staff report. The money will be paid from the fiscal year 20222-23 general fund. If approved, the tax would become effective April 1, 2023.
City hall was snakebitten when a general sales tax measure placed on the ballot during the November 2020 election failed as 50.57% of voters rejected the proposed tax hike, which the city said would have been spent on “retention of jobs and businesses, fire services, emergency response, crime prevention, youth services, homelessness services, law enforcement training, transparency and accountability, and public safety and maintenance.”
Council asked to approve settlement with Syar Industries, Inc. regarding Blue Rock Springs redevelopment
The council will be asked to approve a settlement with Syar Industries, Inc. over the future of a housing subdivision and redevelopment of the Blue Rock Springs Golf Course along Columbus Parkway.
Syar filed a legal claim against the city after negotiations failed over the proposed density and location of homes near the Lake Herman Quarry operated by Syar. The quarry includes an asphalt plant, active quarry pit, a rock processing plant, a concrete batch plant, and other related operations.
The proposal included redeveloping the city-owned property with a new 18-hole golf course, a new clubhouse, and a new residential subdivision consisting of 615 residential units over 92 acres fronting two sides of Columbus Parkway.
Syar expressed concern that the housing on the eastside of Columbus would interfere with their operations. As negotiations failed between the two sides, Syar sponsored an initiative to block development of the area.
Settlement terms include Syar supporting the golf course expansion, withdrawing its initiative, waiving all legal claims against the city and donating $1 million worth of materials to the developer, Blue Rock Springs, LLC.
The developer has agreed to move all residential development to the west side of Columbus as a half-mile buffer zone between the quarry and the residential development. The golf course, clubhouse and some of the residential housing would be grandfathered into the buffer zone that would limit residential and commercial uses “to address Syar’s concerns with Quarry operations and the proximity to the proposed project activities,” Hayes wrote.
Before coming to work in Vallejo, Nebb worked for Walter & Pistole, where she served as senior assistant city attorney for the cities of Novato and Martinez, according to her then-bio on the firm’s site.
Nebb’s base annual salary was over $204,000, with her combined total pay, including benefits, reaching $324,000 last year, according to Transparent California, a website which tracks California government worker salaries.