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Barich's First 100 Days in Office

Barich tries keeping up with Obama on change in the right direction.

12-08: Barich begins to hold regular office hours on Monday nights from 5:pm to 8:pm.

12-08: Barich purchases an A-board sign at his own expense to advertise when he is in his office inviting citizens to come in to meet with a council member face to face.

12-08: Barich saves the city thousands of dollars by heading off a personal injury lawsuit against the city. Barich speaks with local citizen, injured as a result of falling through the ground at a public park due to hundreds of gofer holes. Citizen gets no assistance from City Hall. Citizen calls Barich complaining about city inaction and unresponsiveness.... Barich convinces citizen that he will make honest efforts to rectify the numerous "situations" in the park so no one else gets injured on his watch. Citizen withholds lawsuit against city waiting for city to address the problem. Barich emails the city about the problem and provide photographs to document the situation. Barich gets no city help on park improvements to date as city contends their is no money to address the problem, however there is sufficienct city insurance in place. Citizen's patience is running thin.

12-10-08: Barich pleads with council and staff to balance the budget and stop spending down city reserves further to avert a financial crisis. City does nothing and wants to take a wait and see position for the moment. City takes Christmas break and closes City Hall for two weeks while economy worsens as Barich predicted.

12-10-08: Barich appoints Tim Ritter to the Cotati Planning Commission. Ritter is the first registered Republican to take a high seat in Cotati city government in recent memory.

1-2-09: Barich goes on police ride-along with Cotati Police Officer, and when asked how to solve the city financial crisis, Barich suggests a voluntary accross the board pay cut by all city employees. Word travels fast within City Hall, as predicted.

1-14-09: Barich denounces County Supervisor's Kern's letter to Pres. Obama, (signed by Cotati Mayor Pat Gilardi) for a large slice of the proposed federal tax and spend bailout package as being a letter full of misinformation and deception. During the public meeting, Barich promises the council that he will write a letter to Obama in response to save the city further embarrassment. No comment from the council.

1-20-09: At the mayor's request, Barich attends a three day conference in Sacramento on the inner workings of city government, city leadership training, team building, city planning, ethics training, etc.

1-28-09: Barich sends personal Letter to Obama before U.S. Congress debates the issue while there was still time to act in defense of the country. Read full text in original PDF file. Click here. City Council reviews a sample city council version of the letter for possible signature support and refuses to support the letter in any way. Letter is distributed to other council members throughout the state and is met with mixed reviews. Many council members from around the country use this letter as a "call to arms" and write similar letters of their own to Obama on behalf of their constituents. As a result, Obama's federal Stimulus is watered down with regard to bailout funds to cities and counties as a result of public outrage to the Ultimate Doom's Day Weapon of Mass Economic Destruction.

2-1-09: Barich refuses to cash his first city paycheck as a sign of good faith to the city employees to take steps to ease the city's financial crisis. City employees, hearing about Barich's intentions in early December 2008, oddly enough, offer the city a 5% reduction in salaries to ease the city's financial situation.

2-11-09: Barich votes with Guardino and Coleman (3 to 2 vote) to accept the proposed city budget cuts by the City Manager and Finance Director. Before the vote, Barich stated his reservation that the cuts were not deep enough, that the city had wasted valuable time since December to come up with a solid plan to balance the budget, and the cuts were too little and too late to avoid a financial meltdown later in the year.

3-12-09:  Barich begins working on the most ambitious project to hold city leaders to a new standard of conduct and ethics .   After doing some research on this issue from other cities and attempting to raise the bar to new heights, Barich begins drafting a new "Code of Excellence" for city leaders and members of the public which will be completely voluntary.   Citizens who promise to adhere to the new policy will be eligible for the prestigious, Cotati Citizenship Award of Merit which will be handed out by Barich at a yearly dinner and awards celebration in Cotati.