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Lawson Asks Silva To Take Mayoral Reins Next Year

Kristina Lawson was in line to be mayor in 2013, but has asked instead that councilwoman Cindy Silva take the gavel.

Assuming the City Council approves the motion at a meeting this year, Cindy Silva, who served as Walnut Creek mayor in 2011, will once again wield the gavel in 2013.

The council rotates the mayoral seat, and it went from Silva to the current mayor, Bob Simmons, who just won reelection to the council. It was due to go to Kish Rajan next, but in September he accepted a job as the first director of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development in Sacramento, and though he was on the ballot, did not choose to seek reelection. The mayor pro tem, or next in line, was Gary Skrel, who chose not to seek reelection this year. 

That meant Kristina Lawson, who was due to take the gavel herself in 2014, got pushed up the line to be mayor in 2013. But at the last council meeting on Nov. 5, she asked Silva to take the mayorship "for a variety of reasons." Lawson expanded on that for Walnut Creek Patch two days later.

"It's not that I can’t do it or don’t want to do it," she said. "I was three back in that rotation. There is no one specific reason, but I asked to be kept in the spot that I had been planning for. Cindy's in a good position to lead us through the initial phase of our work plan, given her work on the Blue Ribbon Task Force. I’ll be serving as her mayor pro-tem." 

That means, barring any more surprises, resignations, or musical council chairs, Lawson will wield the gavel in 2014.

obiwan November 13, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I understand that a newly elected, never-before-serving Council member might not want to assume the responsibilities of Mayor in his/her first year. But if Lawson serves this year, then wouldn't Haskew, then Wedel be next up in the rotation? I had sort of hoped that we'd have a chance to vote Cindy out of office before her next term as mayor came up.
Julie Jepsen-Grant November 13, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Hmm, this year is The Year of the Dragon, can anyone tell me what next year is? Obiwan, you know 'hope' is not a strategy. :-D
Jojo Potato November 13, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Since Cindy engineered the election and got all her buds in, then I guess she's going to take over too. Too bad we can't have any independent council members. So what's on the agenda? I suspect hotel and stuff on the tire store property at Locust and Mt. Diablo. I wonder how high they can push the height limits there?
Kristin November 13, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Tsk Tsk.... to those who commented above. We have hard working council members who have done much to improve our fantastic community. If you don't like what you see, maybe you should run yourself instead of bad mouthing those who give so much of themselves. Kristin
Julie Jepsen-Grant November 14, 2012 at 04:20 AM
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Seuss or Baruch
One more time with feeling November 14, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Since this is such a "fantastic community"- the reason we choose to live here over 30 years ago - what improvements are truly *needed*? Let us review the last 10 years: Veteran's Hall torn down. Citizens do not approve downtown library bond. State does not grant library construction funds. Citizens do not approve downtown library bond. After advising the City Council that we cannot afford the library, Mike Parness "leaves". Citizens do not approve downtown library bond. State does not grant library construction funds. Gary Pokorney "leaves". He also told the City Council we could not afford the library, but pushes ahead with it. Heather Farm Park road (San Carlos Drive) redone for no particular reason; Ygnacio Valley Road maintenance deferred. Library is built using around $40 million General fund and Emergency fund - after nearly threatening a long time WC family with imminent domain (and backing down) and $5 million raised by about 20 contributors to the Library Foundation. City slides toward financial ruin. 30+ city employees laid off. Police Officers and staff cut. Jumpy houses at city parks eliminated. $26 million pools project considered. Parents forced to plead and beg council for school crossing guards. Blue Ribbon Task force told to not recommend service reductions, only option is recommendation to raise taxes. Unnecessary, unfunded Economic Development Director hired - first public comment is to raise taxes. ... continued...
One more time with feeling November 14, 2012 at 05:29 AM
... continued... WCPD School outreach (DARE/Character Counts; "Every Fifteen Minutes") eliminated. Library Foundation tells City to "step up" and fund $1 million more (on top of the current $500k the city already budgets) to keep the new library running. WCPD Traffic team eliminated. Heather Farm Park "Movies Under the Stars" eliminated. Library coffee shop opens over two years after the library opens at a remodel cost to the city of over $300,000. Unnecessary "islands" added to Heather Farm Park unnatural pond. Unnecessary plans for Civic Park "remodel" to display art readied. Bocce Ball courts proposed. Friday and Saturday night "bar officer" assignments eliminated. City Hall first floor lobby front desk closed Fridays. Council member Rajan takes State job and quits mayoral rotation assignment, Lawson (next in line) "asks" Silva to be mayor again. Chief "retires" three years into a five year agreement. Veteran's Hall is still an empty lot. I am not anti-Library. I am anti-overspending. We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Improvement? Try again.
michael frederick November 14, 2012 at 07:39 AM
Kristin, I'd put it to you this way. During Neiman Marcus, I went before council and asked them to please not tar Walnut Creek and their office by disenfranchising thousands of people who signed a petition. I was followed at the microphone by one of Regalia's cronies, Phyllis Ceaser: "I like art." Super. Council went on to achieve a Superior Court verdict of "arbitrary and capricious" because "I like art" was more compelling than "I like decent government." Anyway, the point is -- Phyllis' only sense of WC is that she likes art, as you like library. Both of your little hobbies enjoy publicly funded organization. Unfortunately, we don't have a Walnut Creek Commission or a Decent Government Commission to organize and promote the things I like. It is rather naive to suggest that any Joe can run against "Cindy." Joe is running against an infrastructure of city organized hogs, brought together under one tent, who are dedicated to maintaining their place at the public trough. This is the "power of incumbency" Grove mentioned. Amidst such an environment, the fact you library advocates couldn't pass your plan against ad hoc public opposition is impressive. That you went ahead, anyway -- more so. I just sent my last kid to college. I may well move back into the city limits and take you up on your offer, depending upon how Cindy and Justin fare this year. Until then, I'll enjoy conversing with others whose perspective is broader than "I like Cindy."
Julie Jepsen-Grant November 14, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Kristin, "Maybe I should run myself" You are starting to sound like Bob. I applied for the Bicycle Transportation committee and The Blue Ribbon Task Force. I wasn't chosen for either. Why would I waste people's money to run for council? I guess I wouldn't make a great council member, I don't like wasting other people's money.
obiwan November 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I applied for the Citizen's Advisory Committee for the West Downtown Specific Plan and wasn't chosen. I may apply again for Planning Commission, but I get so infuriated by the questionnaire (which is clearly intended to illicit a comment that the "potential social and economic benefits" of a project always outweigh any public concerns) that I never seem to complete the application.
michael frederick November 14, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Julie and Obiwan, You are not alone. Anyone with WC experience, sensibility, or compassion that might compete with "I'm not from this city, have no appreciation for it -- let's raze it, redevelop it, and apply the proceeds to art and library" is personna non grata. In short, there is a strong bias in favor of WC ignorant people who buy into this build the cr*p out of it and apply the proceeds to buy support. "...improve our fantastic community": By whose yardstick? It certainly isn't by Walnut Creek's. It is in WC's interest to promote WC, including the people who've spent a lifetime here -- not stiff arm their participation, in favor of foreign redevelopment whores and special interest concerns, who are prioritized precisely because THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE ENOUGH WALNUT CREEK KNOWLEDGE to participate on Patch, much less govern!!!! Instead, they trot out their whiny surrogates to attack those who can comment. It's all they have to offer. Regalia: "I'm Walnut Creek's institutional memory." Ms. Regalia spear-headed the effort to raze WC's most historic building for shopping. She didn't have a word to say on the subject. This wasn't because she didn't want to -- SHE COULDN'T. "I like Gwen" doesn't excuse the fact Gwen is too locally ignorant to even comment upon what types of improvements would be viewed as improvements by constituents. Ditto library elitists pursuing their vision, from heaven only knows where ... but, not from Walnut Creek.
SR November 16, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Kristin of the Library Foundation I wonder? Me thinks you are happy since Silva will double down on failure and throw more money to pay the salaries of county employees at the library when measure q funds run out. All we have to do is get rid of a few more city employees repairing the streets, patrolling our neighborhoods, cleaning the parks and planners trying to deal with all the growth.
Julie Jepsen-Grant November 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Bicycle 'Advisory' Committee, not 'Transportation'. Speaking of advisory, please slow down on the bike paths. And make sure to stop at all stop signs. I have seen so much on these trails. Be safe.
Kristin November 19, 2012 at 12:11 AM
SR, you know what happens when you ASSUME. I think most of you need a little cheese with that wine! Leaders make change, not always liked by all, but they do make decisions. Julie, I think you keep trying to get on the task force of your choosing. Keep putting it out there and the opportunity will present itself.
michael frederick November 19, 2012 at 09:30 AM
Kristin, Your juvenile commentary and advice to Julie reflect a self-confidence, yet ignorance, that only originates at Chamber of Commerce wine and cheese socials. You'd know wine and cheese! There is another name for the "West Downtown" committee that Obiwan applied to. It is called "Stow's Addition" because Stow added it to Walnut Creek. The name of my family business, coincidentally, is Stow Partners. I applied and was rejected, also. Grow up, sweetheart: Council appointments aren't on merit! I don't object to library or art spending -- if WC residents are informed and decide to do it. I object to commercial interests partnering with PUBLICLY funded groups of know-nothings to sell, to the indifferent and infirm amongst us, that an inarticulate CPA is just the visionary WC needs ... in order to COVERTLY secure public funding. My mom is the most apolitical person I know. It surprised me when she mentioned watching the Chamber debate. Her unsolicited commentary on Ms. Haskew: "Yikes." My mom is well into her eighties. This says something about your Team Silva's ability to "win" at Walnut Creek expense. Personally, I'm proud to be on Team WC and can't understand why anyone would want their kids hanging around Team Silva. My commentary isn't a partisan struggle against you and your goofy buddies ... although you wish it were, so you'd be relevant. It's just about decency and Walnut Creek. I feel the two are connected and enjoy promoting both.
Kristin November 19, 2012 at 07:09 PM
As you know I really meant WHINE and boy you highlight it so well. I have no knowledge of Chamber Wine & Cheese socials. I have never said who I support as an individual. I have only commented these people work hard and if you don't like it make some changes instead of just complaining about it. You can find an excuse for anything. I am done with these dialog....
One more time with feeling November 19, 2012 at 10:35 PM
If you are the Executive Director of the Library Foundation, please correctly use grammar & punctuation. You are "done with these dialog [sic]...." http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/period?s=t Definition #10 or #11. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ellipsis?s=t&ld=1118 Definition #2 No personal attack, just trying to help. Oscar Wilde's quote is, "When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me." You are saying you are an... never mind. (This is an example of correct ellipsis and period use.) No one said "these people" don't work hard. They put lots of effort into certain projects that don't support Walnut Creek voters. The Contra Costa County Library downtown Walnut Creek branch (CCLdWCb) construction bonds failed twice. That new, very expensive looking, "Library Cafe" sign in front of the CCLdWCb - was that part of the over $300,000 unbudgeted City expense to build-out the 2.5 year late cafe opening or did the Foundation raise funds? I presume you attended the 11/10 "Murder/Mystery" fundraiser. No cheese with that w/hine (and desserts)? http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_21845913/walnut-creek-news-briefs-vets-stories-wanted-howe Perhaps that was not Chamber sponsored... But no cheese here? http://www.diablomag.com/Diablo-Magazine/Faces/Faces-2008/Buena-Vida-at-Va-de-Vi/ ... or here? http://www.diablomag.com/Diablo-Magazine/Faces/Faces-2010/Walnut-Creek-Library-039s-Authors-Under-the-Stars-gala/ "... no knowledge..." Really?
michael frederick November 20, 2012 at 09:47 AM
"Anonymous" Kristin -- with no connection to Team Silva or Library ;), We are making "change" -- we're uncovering fraudulent misrepresentations by City Hall and its surrogates, "Anonymous Kristin." As you can see, the conversation is robust and widening. This is precisely why, as a partisan know-nothing, you felt compelled to dive in! As to council work habits, I don't work alongside them and will have to take your word for it.
Julie Jepsen-Grant November 20, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Thank you for speaking in my defense, Mr. Michael Frederick. I knew I liked you. You had me at 'two beagles'.
Julie Jepsen-Grant November 20, 2012 at 01:14 PM
What do you really mean by this? 'Julie, I think you keep trying to get on the task force of your choosing. Keep putting it out there and the opportunity will present itself.' The chamber socials are called B.A.S.H. and they are monthly events.
Julie Jepsen-Grant November 20, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Sorry, I believe B.A.S.H. stands for Business and Social Hour.

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