City Council Focuses on Defining Benicia’s Strategic Goals; Public Input Vital
March 5, 2018
Benicia City Manager Lorie Tinfow recently announced two concurrent activities during March that could impact the focus, content, or direction of the “Five Strategic Goals/Issues” that the City of Benicia adopted several years ago. This process is incredibly important as our City leaders set goals and priorities.
Some, perhaps many, of PDB’s members were involved in earlier discussions that led to the past City Council’s historic adoption of Five Strategic Goals. These five issues are:
Protecting Community Health and Safety
Protecting and Enhancing the Environment
Strengthening Economic and Fiscal Conditions
Preserving and Enhancing Infrastructure
Maintain and Enhance a high Quality of Life
These five goals were confirmed by City Council during its February 27, 2018 meeting. The next phase is implementing a Priority Based Budgeting process to identify and prioritize programs and projects, and allocate budget revenues consistent with the priorities established.
The City has launched a community survey to define each of the five goals. Starting tomorrow afternoon, Monday, March 5, please visit Benicia Town Hall and submit your survey responses. The survey will be available through the month until March 30.
The City will also be holding two community meetings to share more information about PBB and provide an alternative way to complete the survey. Meeting details will be announced soon. Additionally, the City will be sharing information with each of our boards and commissions during the month of March and reaching out to business organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce for an opportunity to present to their members.
First, City Council will be participating in a goal-setting workshop on March 9 and 10, held at the Community Center. Day one will start at 12:00 noon and focus on developing and strengthening working relationships between Council members and the City Manger. Day Two will start at 9:00 AM and involve the City’s executive staff with Council in developing a set of high priority projects and initiatives that will become our work plan for next year. Both days are open to the public.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 7:00 pm
Benicia Public Library, Dona Benicia Room
150 East L Street, Benicia, CA
Our March public meeting was held at the Benicia Library, 150 East L St., in the Dona Benicia Room, on March 13th, at 7:00 p.m. Our featured speaker was Delaine Eastin, 2018 candidate for Governor in California.
Delaine is a former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, following eight years in the State Assembly and six years on the Union City (Alameda County) City Council. In the June 6 Gubernatorial Primary, Delaine’s principal opposition is expected to be: Democrats Gavin Newsom, current Lt. Governor, Antonio Villaraigosa, former mayor of Los Angeles, and John Chiang, current CA State Treasurer; and, Republican candidates Travis Allen, Assemblyman and John Cox, a businessman.
Delaine is the only woman to have held the office of California State Superintendent of Public Instruction. According to her bio sheet, she was responsible for initiatives which focused on wiring schools for technology and stronger technical/vocational training for students. She also successfully sued the governor for withholding funds from K-12 schools, and joined the successful lawsuit against Proposition 187, which among other things would have used teachers as immigration agents.
Air District to discuss implementation of additional air monitoring for cities near refineries
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) will hold a workshop in Benicia at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall, 1155 First St., from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on March 5. The workshop in Benicia is the fourth in a series of workshops that earlier stopped in Richmond, Martinez, and Vallejo.
According to the Air District, Regulation 12-Rule-15 was adopted in 2016 to implement additional air monitoring in communities located near refineries. The purpose of the workshop is provide the public “an opportunity to learn about current and upcoming monitoring at or near refineries, ask questions to Air District staff, (and) share information about their communities and their ideas about future monitoring efforts.”
While the Air District says its current regional ambient air monitoring system has over 30 air quality monitoring stations, PDB notes that none are located within Benicia’s environs. Other than a monitor located on one of Valero’s stacks, the only other Benicia air monitor is located at Ruszel Woodworks, installed by the Ruszels themselves.