Category Archives: Benicia City Council

Important City Council meeting Tues. 2/27/18

From an email sent by Ralph Dennis, Chair, Progressive Democrats of Benicia  [NOTE: Council agenda and reports can be viewed here.]

Sorry for short notice, but please be advised – important to attend tonight if possible!

An important discussion will take place on Tuesday evening, Feb. 27 at City Council that could impact the focus, content, or direction of the “Five Strategic Goals/Issues” that the City of Benicia adopted a few years ago. Some, perhaps many, of you were involved in those earlier discussions that led to the past City Council’s adoption of the Five Strategic Goals and responsible for the fact that we have them as part of City government.

City Council is in the process of implementing a Priority Based Budgeting process, a tool to identify and prioritize programs and projects, and allocating budget revenues consistent with the priorities established. On Tuesday, February 27th, City Council will discuss a Staff Report that recommends City Council confirm its Five Strategic Goals and their continued use. 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

Concern has been expressed that some Council members, and some community members, who may be less supportive of one or more of these five goals, will use the discussion tomorrow night as a means to change or eliminate one or more of these goals. It is important to remember that these goals are inter-related and dependent upon each other for success. Removal of one, for example, would impact the ability of achieving goals of the others.

A presence at the City Council from those who support these goals would go a long way toward reminding City Council that these Five Strategic Goals, as presently stated, are sufficient for implementation of priority based budgeting at this time. If there is to be a discussion of the Five Goals, it should be done in a forum where the community has adequate notice and the opportunity for input and discussion. Please come to make an appearance if you can. And, note, the meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow night, NOT the usual starting time of 7:00.

Ralph E. Dennis
Chair, Progressive Democrats of Benicia

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How Benicia Valero Crude By Rail was defeated

Reflections by Roger Straw, Benicia CA, November 18, 2016

We Won!  3 (or 10 or 12, or 40?) factors…

What happened in Benicia was amazing. It’s well worth our time as community activists and organizers to reflect a bit on how David went up against Goliath and won.  (Continued…)

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More bad Valero flaring on Monday 5/15 sends 30 to hospital

Repost from the Vallejo Times-Herald

Residual Valero Benicia flaring reportedly sends 30 to hospital on Monday

By Katy St. Clair, 05/17/17, 5:15 PM PDT

BENICIA >> A residual flaring at the Valero Refinery on mid-day Monday reportedly sent 30 employees of the Industrial Park to the emergency room, a business owner said.

“I’m not happy about it at all,” said Dunlap Manufacturing head of operations Jasmin Powell, addressing the Benicia City Council on Tuesday night. “A cloud of smoke hit us between 1:30 and 4 (p.m.). I had to send everybody home.”

Dunlop Manufacturing is an Industrial Park anchor business that makes effects units and other accessories for musicians.

Valero has been intermittently flaring since a power failure on May 5, which initiated evacuations of the Industrial Park and a shelter-in-place at two elementary schools.

“We were affected severely … and we didn’t get any notice about anything going on beforehand,” Powell said. “And no one’s talking about it now,” she said.

“I did not know about this, Jasmin,” said Mayor Elizabeth Patterson.

While some on social media have been reporting flaring since the initial May 5 incident at Valero, no further evacuations or shelter-in-place orders have been announced.

Benicia Fire Chief Jim Lydon said that he wasn’t made aware of the situation on Monday until hearing about it around 4 p.m., but that Valero had given him “no notification” that day.

“I went to the refinery in an effort to gather information, and by then, whatever had been released from the scrubber unit was basically dissipated,” he said.

Lydon said he notified the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and Solano County Environmental Health, “Who both began follow up.”

Lydon said that Valero received an other “public nuisance” citation for Monday’s emissions, but the air district could not confirm this.

Valero has not responded to Times-Herald inquiries, and no one from Valero was at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

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