Breakfast with the Mayor at Land Home Financial

Past Event Tags: Breakfast with the Mayor.


Debbi Galvan and Margaret Smethers of Land Home Financial Services played host to the October 2013 Breakfast with the Mayor. Land Home is located in Brentwood, but many of the properties they finance are in Oakley, which is also where Margaret lives. (Due to the problematic jobs-housing ratio in Oakley, most Oakley residents do not work inside city limits.)

Also in attendance were Helen Raoufian from Travis Credit Union (November 2013’s mayor breakfast host), Oakley Chamber office manager Lynn Stahli, Roger Strauss of SDG Architects, Tom Williams from Ironhouse Sanitary District (host of the October 2013 Oakley Chamber Mixer), and Shirley Darling and Sallie Goetsch from the Oakley Chamber board.

As always, the Oakley Chamber provided breakfast (egg casserole with sausage, and donuts) and the mayor’s Diet Pepsi, while Land Home provided coffee and orange juice.

Oakley mayor (and blogger) Kevin Romick provided attendees with an update on what’s going on in the City of Oakley. Note that as most cities get little or no federal funding, the government shutdown in Washington has not affected the City’s operations.

City Engineer Steps Down

Jason Vogan, the city engineer and public works director–and the longest-serving City employee–is moving to a private sector job. The City is advertising for a new engineer, possibly a contract rather than an employee position. To be considered as Jason’s replacement, you must submit a compelling cover letter and a comprehensive resume that includes salary history. Interested candidates should apply via email to The final filing date for this position is by 2:00pm on October 31, 2013.

Door-to-door Sales Permits

Though not many people are aware of it, the City of Oakley requires all door-to-door salespeople to obtain a permit from City Hall. Permits include photos and are valid only for a set period of time. The next time one of those maddening Kirby salespeople comes to your door, ask to see a permit. If you post a “no soliciting” sign on your door, you can call Code Enforcement (925-625-7000)  to report door-to-door salespeople, with or without permits.

There are exceptions to the permit requirement. Government agents, real estate agents, delivery people, political campaigners, fundraisers for charities, and those delivering informational (non-marketing) literature are still allowed to knock on your door–though a political candidate who ignores a “no soliciting” sign is not likely to garner that household’s votes.

Ferries and Freeways

The proposed State Route 239 from Brentwood to Tracy (called TriLink because it connects three counties) is still in the initial study phase, which is expected to last until 2015. The project is estimated to cost $75 million.

Meanwhile, the City of Antioch was late to the party in petitioning the Water Emergency Transport Association (WETA) for a ferry to help with emergency evacuation. Although Antioch has the best deep-water harbor available of the possible locations for such a ferry, fog can make it difficult to move a ferry all the way to or from the San Francisco Bay. You can read more about the proposed Antioch/Pittsburg/Martinez ferry route on the WETA website.

Downtown Oakley Construction

The fountain of controversy is now operational–most of the time. It’s shut off after 10 PM at night, and it shuts off automatically in high winds, to avoid drenching the people sitting outdoors at La Costa. City employees have to check the chemical balance and clean the filters each day. In order to make the fountain safe for children to play in, and to help with mosquito abatement (since the water is still at night), the water is chlorinated. You can splash in the fountain, but don’t drink from it.

Republic of Cake is busy making modifications to its new location next to Carpaccio, and plans to open by Thanksgiving. In addition to the gourmet cupcakes you can already find at their Orinda location, they will be selling “‘Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches’ made with our very own Cookies on either side of Clover Stornetta Organic Ice Cream.”

Ace Hardware is moving ahead with its plans for the building at the back of Oakley Plaza. Meanwhile, the Halloween Outlet is doing great business in the old CentrOmart building, but will vacate at the end of November to allow DG Market to begin construction.

Oakley Generating Station

The Oakley Generating Station, which will bring $3 million into the City of Oakley’s general fund annually, is in the midst of the last of several lawsuits attempting to block its construction. The suit should be concluded by the end of November.

Be Fruitful and Multiply

Oakley residents are doing their best to help increase the population to meet the target number of 50,000 desired by large retailers: there are more children under 18 per capita in Oakley than in any other city in the Bay Area.

Housing and Real Estate

All houses on the north side of Cypress Road are in a flood zone, which means they require levees and pumps, and the sewer pipes require special construction. That, in turn, leads to fees levied on the properties, increasing the house prices. Although paid via the property tax bill, these fees are not taxes in the strict sense: they cover a service and are only levied for a certain number of years. (Taxes are forever.) Houses in this development can be difficult to sell because of the fees, which is a challenge for Land Home and the realtors they work with.

EC2 Collaborative

EC2 The Collaborative will be holding another summit about attracting industry to the Wilbur Corridor, this time in conjunction with the Northern Waterfront Development Initiative, which aims to develop the waterfront from Hercules to Oakley. EC2 is an effort by the Cities, County, Chambers and Special Districts in East Contra Costa. It’s vision is “to create a shared identity among East Contra Costa communities that aligns regional priorities that support economic vitality and a high quality of life.” This year’s summit will be at Prewett Family Park and Center in Antioch from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on November 6th. (When we have more details, we’ll post them here on the Oakley Chamber site.) You can read about last September’s summit here.

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