COWncil Roundup – July 22nd, 2008

July 29, 2008

The COWncil rocketed through a short agenda on Tuesday – perhaps hoping to get to their long August vacation – catch the mini-meeting here on Mootube. Prior to the meeting, the COWncil had yet another of the closed sessions that seem to be frequent lately. This one was complete with a limousine and driver waiting outside, perhaps for some bigwig with quiet business before the COWncil? As always, Mayor Romines had “nothing to report” out of the closed session. It makes one wonder what is going on?

Before the meeting proper, two items of note: Mayor Romines finally announced in open session that Hope had resigned effective June 26th. His announcement was curiously devoid of any explanation whatsoever, the oddity of which we’ve commented on before.

After the non-informative announcement from Mayor Romines, the COWncil delivered a plaque and a thank you – not, of course, to Hope, but rather to the Fleishhacker family. The family has allowed a trail easement on their property, Green Gables, expanding the ever-increasing network of trails in Woodside. The plaque itself, presented on behalf of the Trails Committee, will be posted near the trail on their estate.

The consent calendar had two items pulled off of it for a short discussion – COWncilman Burow had a few questions for Town Manager Susan George about item 6, the response to the 2007-08 Grand Jury Report and recommendations regarding requirements of reporting requirements for non-pension post-employment benefits and COWncilwoman Deborah Gordon was curious about several items in regard to the completion of Barkley Field. After Susan answered their questions, all the items on the Consent Calendar were passed.

The COWncil then moved on to a discussion of the Town Manager’s report going over the last few months of business, which proceeded quickly. According to Susan George, we now have a “great new working relationship with the County Parks” Director, which should help Woodside in future discussions of the fate of Wunderlich and Huddart Parks. The COWncil expressed interest in this given the recent troubles regarding the County’s Final Environmental Impact Report regarding our parks. Hopefully things with the County parks will be a little smoother going forward.

Carroll Ann Hodges wanted to know when The Woodsider would resume publication. Susan George informed the COWncil that a member of the Woodside Staff was the volunteer editor, and once she returned from her August vacation, publication would resume. COWncilmember Hodges suggested giving the job to Kevin Bryant, her assistant, in order to give her less work – to which George said she only puts in the fifteen minutes her “From the Desk of the Town Manager” column takes her.

Also during this portion of the meeting the Glen’s new sign was paraded in front of the COWncil – actually the subject of a (very) local election run on the Town’s website, the large and colorful new sign replaces one damaged by a cherry-picker sometime ago.

As we mentioned in our previous Roundup, the COWncil had not approved a voting delegate to the League of California Cities meeting because (a) no one wanted to go, and (b) the list of issues being addressed at the meeting won’t be published until the middle of the COWncil’s August vacation. Mayor Romines was eventually nominated, by COWncilmember Hodges – she piped up, “I move we designate our Mayor!” to which Romines dismissively said, “That’s fine.” So as of now we don’t know if the Mayor will actually go or not, or if an alternate might go, or if no one will represent Woodside.

The COWncil postponed issue 14, an appeal of a code violation for 3573 Tripp Road, until some uncertain future date. New members for the Bicycle and Open Space Committees were then approved unanimously. To wrap up, Dave Burow said he wanted a report on Sudden Oak Death from Susan George, which prompted the observation from Carroll Ann Hodges that Huddart Park is now full of dead trees and a COWment from Dave Tanner that there is a lot of ineffectual spraying going on by people who don’t know what they’re doing.

Perhaps a new record, the COWncil completed its public business in 32 minutes – and then returned to its closed session.

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