Walnut Creek Mayor Pro Tem Kish Rajan said the Shadelands Advisory Committee process is operating in a way to protect the community interest.
Rajan, responding to criticism about his role in the Shadelands Advisory Committee in , suggested the barbs are unfair to the volunteer committee members.
"I have said consistently that this process is an effort to define a potential development that could blend the property owner's (Safeway's) interests with the interests and needs of the community," wrote Rajan in an email. "We would not have insisted upon a specific plan process, with an advisory committee, if we didn't want to protect the community interest."
"I am very grateful to the citizen members of the Advisory Committee who have stepped up and volunteered," Rajan went on. "These citizen Committee members are strongly and thoughtfully advocating for the neighborhoods and the community at large. Through their efforts, along with the outstanding general public input we are getting, we are shaping a plan that I believe will be balanced, thoughtful and worthy of our community."
Wedel criticized the "seeming lack of community emphasis in this supposedly community-driven process" in a March 15 letter to the editor.
It is "absurd" to suggest committee members are simply advocating for Safeway, Rajan said. "While I am comfortable being the subject of criticism (as it is what one signs up for when seeking elective office), it is patently unfair to question the motives and the sincerity of the Advisory Committee members," said Rajan. "Should anyone have concerns about this, I would welcome them to attend any of our upcoming meetings to see for themselves. I am certain they would be impressed. "
Wedel, owner of a small computer business, ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2010.