, August 09, 2022

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Vallejo council to discuss community priorities during special meeting today

  •   3 min reads
Vallejo council to discuss community priorities during special meeting today
Vallejo City Hall.

VALLEJO – As the city of Vallejo attempts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, its city council has picked economic development as a top priority for the current fiscal year.

The Vallejo City Council is scheduled to meet to formally adopt its community goals and priorities during a special meeting this evening at 6 p.m. The goals were developed from an all-day session this past April.

The council identified police reform, finding affordable housing, and providing youth programs as top goals.

“Taken together, these goals work to support an organizational structure with a focus on economic development,” City Manager Mike Malone wrote in a staff report to the council. “Once adopted, these goals will be used to guide the organization and bring focus to the tasks and objectives for staff.”

Police reform goals include following recommendations from the OIR Group, establishing a police advisory commission, and locating a new home for Vallejo police.

The OIR Group, a third-party consultant tasked with investigating the culture within the department, offered 45 recommendations to reform the department.

Additional noted police reform efforts include creation of a police oversight model and a surveillance advisory board, tasked with monitoring the city’s use and possible purchase of surveillance technology. The surveillance board began meeting in April.

City Attorney Veronica Nebb said during last week’s council meeting that the body will be meeting in August to discuss creation of a new policy oversight model after several community meetings.

“We will be bringing forward the information that we gleaned from the community meetings, the information that we have gleaned from other jurisdictions on their individual models,” Nebb said, “and some of the information that we will have received on the pros and cons on what is working and what is not for council and community digestion.”

The council noted one of its goals is to find a new headquarters for the city’s police department.

In April, the council directed city staff to begin looking at the possibility of moving the department from its aging facilities as 111 Amador St. to the John F. Kennedy Library in downtown Vallejo. That decision was hailed as a major victory for opponents of the department’s planned move into 400 Mare Island Way, a two-story building on the city’s waterfront. Opponents argue the department shouldn’t be rewarded with a new headquarters while being investigated for its unusually high number of police shootings and killings.

Meanwhile, housing goals include creating an inclusionary housing ordinance, updating the city’s housing element, and a required document on how the city is planning to meet its housing needs. The council noted the need to retain current participation rate in the city’s housing program and increase the utilization rate of housing vouchers

The council also highlighted hiring a youth coordinator, developing a youth initiatives plan, and working on opening an early learning center.

Top projects under economic development include a plan to remove trash, illegal signs and unpermitted activities in town, and identifying development alternatives for surplus lands. The council is also asking staff to continue working on several development agreements, including Seka Hills, which the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation has proposed to demolish a dental office along the city’s waterfront and construct a new two-story building with a cultural center and high-end restaurant.

Other agreements include the redevelopment of Blue Rock Springs and the development of land along the city’s northern waterfront.

The council will also get an update on the status of the $25.7 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds the city received in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The special Vallejo City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., Tuesday inside the Vallejo City Hall Council Chambers at 555 Santa Clara St.

Members of the public will be able to participate in-person or remotely via Zoom.

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