With discussions ranging from trash to potholes, Saturday’s Vallejo City Council District 2 Candidates’ Forum at Christ Church still managed to fight their way to the inevitable centerpiece.
The beleaguered Vallejo Police Department.
Don Jordan, Garrett Toles and Cassandra James fielded questions from moderator Sharon Henry and members of the public, and it wasn’t long before the city’s complicated — and often volatile — relationship with its police force came to a head. highlighted. The candidate Diosdado JR Matulac was not present at the forum.
Toles said the police must stand against “the terror of their own community“. James added that communities need to engage and monitor the language used. James wants to work more with philanthropists and commercial businessmen, encouraging “increased sensitivity” towards them.
Jordan said human relations and political scrutiny “is happening right now.” He also faulted Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams for failing to prosecute police during his eight-year tenure. He added that he wanted to see an audit of police investigations.
James, who works in San Francisco, said she would focus on sharing experiences between cities and departments and, in the event of violence, would plan to meet with families in the area. She said it would create better partnerships within the community.
Regarding outsourcing, James said she meets with experts who feed people and know how to reduce alcohol consumption. Jordan said there was a “brain drain here like no other”.
Meanwhile, Toles indicated that people with disabilities cannot “get their hands on leaders,” and so the status quo is reinforced.
When asked what programs the candidates would provide for the entire community to keep them safe, Jordan said, “Train our town to do fillers. There is a shortage of jobs. »
James, who added that she wanted protection for undocumented migrants, said she favored the Common Ground model for policing. She said she didn’t want to add more division to the council, but “get things done”, seek a “compromise” and a “middle ground”. She emphasized that relationship building is her style.
Jordan highlighted a strong ability to listen, saying he focused on “quality of life issues.”
As for how things can be fixed, Jordan replied, “the streets, the trash and the police.” He added: “When Mare Island left, the honeypot left. Now money is afraid and we are afraid to break the chains.
Other key points of discussion included a “weak” city council and the 6-1 vote to give Vallejo city attorney Veronica Nebb a big five-year raise. Jordan reminded those present that a council member only makes $14,700 a year.
James said she supports the “strong mayor model because it gives you the power to make decisions – your mayor can be elected”. Jordan and Toles said they support the “hybrid model”.
Jordan said the mayor can fire a city manager or city attorney, but under Section 503 the mayor “cannot fire a cop” or city staff.
“Vallejo has a weak mayor,” Jordan said. “Not like San Francisco and other nearby towns.”
Toles added: “I think we should also become hybrid, in order to have shared power…we have (a couple in the lead), City Manager Malone, but after that we have problems.”
James said she wants city dashboard features to be made available to citizens and more city jobs to be available.
Housing and garbage collection were also discussed, with residents expressing concern that they only received garbage collection on Mondays and Tuesdays, despite the lack of Public Works staff, private citizens and landlords. companies, sometimes together, organized their own landfill disposal. , and residents were trying to fix potholes themselves.