Photo’s from Jim Frazier and the Oakley Press
Tuesday night’s Special Meeting of the Oakley City Council was a bittersweet ending to Jim Frazier’s term as mayor where the community celebrated his many accomplishments prior to turning over the reins of the City to Kevin Romick.
While I admit I do not know Mr. Frazier as well as many others in the community, but I have witnessed firsthand his love of the community and non-stop work ethic. He works tirelessly to improve the city, promote the city in positive light, and works religiously to help people in need.
He truly does live up to the Oakley motto of “Oakley First”.
I have found his work ethic and positive outlook to be contagious in the short period of time I’ve discussed city issues with him. His outlook on the city almost consumes you to want to work with him on ways to further improve the city and be part of the public process which Oakley needs more citizens participating and providing input.
In my every first meeting with Mr. Frazier at his Walk and Talk with the Mayor, I took him to task over the mortgage deal and other minor issues and he didn’t crumble. He politely challenged me in my way of thinking while I hope I did the same in return—at the end of the day, I think the exchange made us both better and stronger people.
Although conversation about city politics is sometimes difficult and feelings can get hurt, he takes a different approach. Rather than get defensive and belittle someone, he takes an issue head on while working to find a real solution instead of a band aid fix. Never once did he belittle me nor show me any disrespect as he listened with an open mind even when we disagreed.
It is my hope that in the future, that I could also have a similar impact on the community and help make Oakley a better place for all—even if it’s not on a political level. With all that he has done in the last year, it’s no wonder Tuesday night was a celebration of his hard work and dedication to the city.
Mayor Romick started the meeting saying he was appreciative of all the work Mr. Frazier did behind the scenes and shared how Mr. Frazier served the community with pride, dedication, and distinction.
“I want to thank you for a job well done. A lot of the work you did behind the scenes that not a lot of people saw,” said Romick.
Councilwoman Pat Anderson explained that one word described the former mayor and that is “tireless” because of all the hard work and long hours he put into the community. She explained how hard it is to be mayor and the time commitment that is required to be effective.
The mayor received Proclamations from the following:
- City of Oakley – Mayor Romick
- Office of Assembly member Joan Buchanan
- Office of Supervisor Mary Nejedly-Piepho
- Office of Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Comments made by the outgoing mayor were sincere and full of emotion as he found a way to balance family and the duty required of him.
“This position really does make an effect on family life. It consumes you and has a tendency to wrap you up and you just want to do more,” explained Frazier. “It’s been a pleasure representing the city of Oakley as your mayor… We’ve worked hard. We’ve made some big accomplishments this year.”
Frazier is proud of his accomplishments over the last year but also knows there is more to accomplish as he remains on the city council for one more year and is now in the midst of a campaign for Assembly District 11 where he hopes to have a greater positive influence on a lot more people.
In alphabetical order, here is a list 12 major accomplishments of the last year—one for each month he was mayor.
This will be the first of its kind in East County which will be set up a crocket park. The structure will feature slides, climbers, bridges and ramps, and interactive panels all easily accessed by special-needs children. The ribbon cutting is expected to occur on Jan. 14, 2012.
Caltrans Relinquishment of Highway 4/Main Street
Although this will occur under Mayor Romick, Jim Frazier was instrumental in negotiating with Caltrans over the last couple of years. Oakley will officially have control of this road in February of 2012. What is important about this is that it now allows Oakley to move forward with its downtown plans.
Development Fee Reduction
In order to get the economy jump started and get citizens back to work, Mayor Frazier worked to lower Development fee by nearly 40%. Since the reduction, permits have been pulled and a renewed interest in further developing Oakley has occurred.
Friends of Oakley
As Mayor, the mayor was able to leverage the Friends of Oakley into providing many fundraisers for the community and help raise money for the citizens in need.
HALO & Old Fire Station 93
The Homeless Animals’ Lifeline Organization (HALO) originally wanted a home in another building in Oakley, but the Mayor worked with staff and the council to propose the old Fire Station 93 as a new home for the organization. He even worked to gather funding from the local community. HALO had its Open House in early December.
Highway 4 Widening
As part of East Contra Costa transportation agency (TRANSPLAN), Mayor Frazier helped secure $50 million from the state to widen the Highway 4 Bypass, and an additional $160 million in federal funding for the Highway 4/160 connector.
Mayor Frazier went out to raise funds in order to bring La Clincia to Oakley which took four-years to complete the process. La Clinica facility, which offers an array of health care services to those carrying little or no insurance. It also brings a Dr. back to the community.
Mayors Conferences (Contra Costa County)
As Mayor, he had the opportunity to represent Oakley at the monthly conference to discuss local issues and work on policy that benefited the community.
Mayors Walk & Talks
In order to be more accessible to the community, Mayor Frazier initiated this bi-monthly walk in order to discuss community issues and get feedback from concerned citizens along Marsh Creek Trail.
Sand Creek Funding
As part of the Highway 4 Bypass Authority, Jim Frazier was able to secure $25 million in Corridor Mobility Improvement Account money that will help reduce gridlock at Sand Creek Road intersection and turn it into an interchange.
Senate Bill 536
Although this Bill has been around for a few years, Mr. Frazier worked with State Senator Mark DeSaulnier which was co-authored by Assembly Member Joan Buchanan to finally have the governor sign SB 536 which brings an additional $3 million per year injected into a modest $12 million annual operating budget for Oakley. That is a pretty big influx of funding.
Regional Transportation Mitigation Fee Reduction ECCRFAFA
He worked to adopt a resolution that became official Dec. 12 which reduces the portion of fees charged by the City by approximately 50%. This will help fund 27 regional projects over a period of years. ECCRFFA charged one of the largest fees, $18,710 for a single family dwelling unit at the time and now charges around $9,000. By lowering these fees, it helps put people to work.