Dec 10, 2008, (date of swearing in):
- Discussion of Term Limits for City Council Members.
- Discussion of Rolling Back Water and Sewer Rates
January 14, 2009:
- Discussion of the city's water shut off policy for non-payment where children, the disabled, and the elderly are severely impacted as a public health and welfare issue.
- Discussion of adding a third city council meeting per month, on the first Wednesday of the month, to meet the growing number of items that need to be agendized. This would provide relief from city meetings going on too late into the night and early morning.
- Discussion of Re-opening "Citizen Business" at the end of the meeting for those citizens who come late to the city council meetings and wish to speak. Re-opening "Citizen Business" at the end of the meeting for one minute to anyone to allow final comment and give the citizen the last word.
January 28, 2009:
- Discussion on a city ordinance to ban the use Styrofoam food containers and packing material.
- Consider taking up the issue of a two tier water billing system proposed by citizen Tony Adler
- Consider establishing a standing committee for better relations between the Rancho Adobe Fire District and the city.
February 11, 2009:
- Consider putting together a city procedure of some kind to get feedback from citizens on how City Hall is performing and assess "customer service", or whether their issues are being resolved. Barich suggested the cheapest method of contacting citizens directly is to put a sign-in sheet in every city office for everyone who walks in to register in with a name, date, phone number or email address, along with brief description of the purpose of their visit. This would allow city council members to review the list each week, spot check the list, and make personal phone calls to the community to solicit feedback if necessary. The information gathered could also be used to help the City Council with the performance review of the City Manager who is in charge of running the city.
- Consider a massive public outreach program, conducted by volunteers, to gather citizen email addresses from people who want to be on a city's email list. Those citizens will then receive periodic emails regarding public meetings, workshops, special events, emergency notices, city activities, and call for volunteers.
February 25, 2009:
- Discussion of why Cotati Code Enforcement is simply falling off the City's
radar. The City Manager has stated that there is simply no money for routine
code enforcement because of cut backs in city staff. Barich asked that this has
caused a Code Enforcement Crisis and what city leaders plan to do about it.
- Discuss why citizen complaint letters are no longer shared with city leaders nor included in their meeting packets as was done years ago. For years, all letters to City Hall, including thank you and complaint letters..., were in the city council meeting packets to be reviewed by city leaders. But no longer is this being done. Where is the transparency and where have all the letters gone? Where are the checks and balances to insure no citizen is left behind?
- Dicussion of the current state of Helen Putnam Park and to review it's current condition and ability to serve the needs of the citizenry, and any potential Health and Safety concerns that may exist. On March 11, 2009, the city leaders directed staff to report back and asked city staff to work with Barich to prepare a report.
- A Discussion of previous requests by city council members, and citizens, to ask staff to provide an analysis of what the city finances would look like if the city adopted an across the board salary reduction of 15% and 20% respectfully.
March 25, 2009:
- A Discussion of cablecasting and televising all city council meetings in addition to merely web-casting them. Current city staff has been watering down the idea that the meetings should merely be web-casted sometime in the future. This was not what the $36,000.00 held in trust from the cable company was intended for.
- A discussion that a general complaint form should be readily available on the city website to fill in, email, or print out for citizens to use to lodge a complaint in writing so council members as well as staff can review them.
April 8, 2009:
- A discussion on increasing city volunteers as described in the city's personnel manual where clear direction is given on the use of volunteers to meet the city's needs.
- A full discussion on the validity of the City Manager's recent written report on the state of Helen Putnam Park, ongoing citizen complaints about the park, and what city leaders plan to do about the situation other than file away the report.
- A discussion of whether or not to keep funding the Cotati Chamber of Commerce since it routinely violates its own charter to act as a non-political entity by ongoing public demands that city officials to resign from office.
May 27, 2009:
- In response to recent news that our city's debt has nearly double in the last few weeks, a discussion of whether or not to eliminate all salary and benefits to city leaders for the foreseeable future in an act of good faith and do our part to stem off the possibility of impending bankruptcy.
June 24, 2009:
- Add "Citizen Business" to the end of every public meeting for those citizens who come to the meetings late, or wish to add a short comment at the end of the evening.
- Discuss the future of the Planning Department ( Community Development Department ) and see what money can be saved by the possible elimination of the department and outsource planning services that could save the city as much as a quarter million dollars a year.
July 22, 2009:
- Full council discussion on the apparent problem of selective enforcement of Cotati city ordinances, and what we can do about ongoing citizen complaints that laws are not being fairly and equally enforcement or simply ignored altogether.