TRANSCRIPT: City Council hearing of March 15

By Roger Straw, March 29, 2016

Benicia, California

Today the City of Benicia posted a written TRANSCRIPT of the City Council’s March 15 meeting.

The document is not indexed, and 389 pages long – but it is searchable text.

Page 43 – Council begins deliberations on Valero’s appeal on page 43 of the PDF with a few procedural questions.

Page 46-68 – A public comment by Karen Berndt arises on page 46.  Council member Tom Campbell raises questions about the process on p. 49 and with one more comment from a member of the public, going through page 58.  After which there are ex parte disclosures, and on page 63, we get to City Planner Amy Million’s introductions and procedural questions, and and FINALLY, on page 68, the STAFF PRESENTATION.

Page 90 – The ESA Consultants’ presentation begins on p. 90.

Page 109-144 – City Attorney McLaughlin introduces and praises Contract Attorney Brad Hogin on page 109, asking everyone to refrain from “abusing” him.  Mr. Hogin begins on page 110.  On page 137, Mr. Hogin begins his review of the San Luis Obispo Phillips 66 oil train project – a review that has since been characterized as misleading and contrary to fact.

Page 144 – On page 144 Ms. Million begins a description of the Appeal process and a defense of staff’s recommendation to overturn the Planning Commission’s unanimous decision.

Page 154 – Planning Commission Chair Donald Dean begins his presentation on page 154.

Page 182 – Planning Director Christina Ratcliffe adds a final staff presentation beginning on page 182, in which she notes the differences between the Planning Commission and staff, and again outlines the Council’s options.

Page 184-201 – Valero’s Don Cuffel begins his presentation at the bottom of page 184.  Valero’s attorney John Flynn begins his remarks on page 194, and concludes with the request to delay procedings on pages 200-201.

Page 201-389 – Council questions begin on page 201, focusing for quite some time on the surprise delay request by Valero.

(It is beyond the scope of this article to index the lengthy question-answer period, which continues to the end of the meeting, on page 389.)