Council Member Jac Asher Seeks to Save Trees for Parkside Park Project

At the Oct 16th meeting Council Member Asher put an item on the agenda to save the Parkside Park Project trees. This is apparently in response to concerns raised by Adrian McGilly (mayors husband) at a previous meeting when he blasted the staff for not providing information to the City Council which may have caused the Council to save the existing mature trees. Asher put the item on the Agenda, seeking to have McGilly present information which would cause a reconsideration of the removal of the trees.  As the council member who put the item on the agenda, it is appropriate for her to allow a third party to make a presentation. Asher requested additional time for McGilly to speak and Vice-Mayor Brinkman said he can only have three minutes. Brinkman improperly denied Council Members Asher’s right to have McGilly make the presentation he prepared in advance to support of her agenda item.

Brinkman seemed upset with McGilly’s criticism of Staff and the approval process. At the end of 3 minutes, right in the middle of his presentation, Brinkman abruptly cut him off.and would not allow him to finish. Others in the audience attempted to cede their time, but Brinkman would not allow it. Finally Mayor West (having stepped down for the item) went up to the podium and completed the presentation. The disruption took away the focus of what McGilly had to say. He was the last person to speak, instead of being the first speaker, as Asher intended.

The below video takes you to the moment when McGilly begins his comments and it continues until the end of the item. The 2nd video below includes the full discussion of the item.

[Video not found]

McGilly questions the removal of mature public trees for a temporary parking lot, which is intended to become a public park. He stated the Council was not made aware the parking lot was temporary… Vice-Mayor Brinkman has followed her example  He was not going to allow McGilly to provide the specific details of his presentation, actual evidence, to illustrate one way the process was manipulated. It may not be accurate to say the Staff showed bias to eliminate the trees. It might be more accurate to say that no consideration was given to the trees. They just don’t matter.

Asher made a motion to redesign the “temporary” parking lot to save the tress,Atkin seconded, but it failed 2-2 West not voting on the item, Brinkman and Davis had the full power to block any change in direction. After the motion failed Brinkman suggested moving the trees to a third party location on San Pablo Ave. to be stored until they could later be returned to the project. Davis responded, with a smile, asking if that was a motion, she said we could create a “tree farm,” a temporary place to store trees on San Pablo Ave\  With no other alternative the Brinikman idea was approved unanimously. In the absence of three votes the status quo wojld prevail. The solution doesn’t seem prictical.  However, It gave false hope and brought resolve to the issue. The objective of ot interfering with the project was accomplished. Let’s wait and see if these trees are saved.?

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