City of Benicia Agenda for April 4: staff recommends protocol for select speakers

By Roger Straw, March 28, 2016

Benicia, California

Today the City of Benicia posted the much anticipated AGENDA and STAFF REPORT for the April 4th City Council hearing on Valero Crude by Rail proposal.

Great news for our friends who are official representatives of Davis, Sacramento, Berkeley and elsewhere: the staff report recommends elected officials and agency representatives be allowed to speak first.

Public Comment:

This project has generated a large amount of public interest, and staff would like to describe more fully the process going forward so as to give the public clear information and the opportunity to speak on the project.

Although it does not seem possible to come up with a completely “fair” way to hear speakers, and since having speakers sign up ahead of time did not work as well as hoped at the Planning Commission Meeting, staff recommends that the Council use an approach similar to the approached used by the San Luis Obsipo County Planning Commission for the Phillips 66 hearing. Under this approach, elected officials and agency representatives such as state elected representatives or their staff, mayors, council members, board of supervisors members and their staff would be allowed to speak first. After these people speak, the general public including spokespersons for various groups may speak.

Benicia staff maintains its strong recommendation that the City Council overturn the Planning Commission’s decision and approve Valero’s dirty and dangerous proposal. Additional information can be found in the staff report AND in the FULL AGENDA PACKET.