Councilman Pope Ignores Civic Duty on Oakley Watchdog

I find it ironic that when false rumors and misinformation are being brought to the attention of an Oakley Councilman, rather than step in and educate resident’s on concerns being raised that one would chose to turn his head and look the other way.  Simply put, this is irresponsible behavior.

Last night, I alerted Councilman Randy Pope via email of the rabble rousing being brought up in the Oakley Watchdog Group regarding two issues that include the 500 Survey’s sent to residents, and the Facebook account held by city staff called Val E. Oak.  Here is a copy of the exchange:

Mike B: Hi Randy, Hope all is well. I think it may be time to simmer down some of the folks in the Watchdog from the crazy rumors going on. I think it’s a good opportunity for you to educate some of them on what is going on. Thoughts?

Randy Pope: If you think it so, you should do it.

Mike B.: It would mean more coming from you.

Randy Pope: Some might disagree.

I am disgusted by Mr. Pope’s blatant lack of interest to try and resolve concerns of residents on the very group he helped create and currently serves as an administrator.  That is correct, Mr. Pope is an administrator to the very group who claims they watch over the City of Oakley and the Council—how does that work?

Mr. Pope gets to watch over himself?

The truth is, many of the same people who complain within this group are residents who continue to complain at City Council meetings with anti-Oakley behavior while Mr. Pope continues to remain silent.

It’s almost as if he wants the rabble rousers to continue to cause problems for the other council members because he has become “Mr. Irreverent” on the council.  The end result is this does a disservice to the City of Oakley and the people who voted him into office. More importantly, it bogs down on the City Manager and takes away staff time having to reply to rumors as they spread.

As a councilman, when he sees information being twisted, it’s his responsibility as an elected official to step in and try and correct, inform, or set up a meeting to talk about an issue. The job of a councilman is to seek solutions, not continue to throw fuel on the fire by doing nothing.

The problem is actually multiplied and conflicted because these rumors are coming from the very group he watches over as an administrator while also serving on the City Council—clearly, a conflict of interest that needs to be dealt with.

500 Survey Rumors

According to some in the Watchdog (residents shall remain nameless), there is a conspiracy about the purpose of a survey, the money being spent , immigration concerns, whether this was random or targeted, and why is it sent through Oakley Disposal. There is also a comical claim that this survey makes the city looks paranoid.

Would it hurt Mr. Pope to acknowledge the fact the City has been doing this for over 10 years? Or provide information that 500 residents were created at random by a computer? Maybe Mr. Pope could have educated the residents that the reason the immigration and You, Me, We = Oakley questions were included was because of the $94,000 grant the city received for the program?  As for cost, the city was responsible in sending them with the way they did actually saved money. I applaud them for saving money.

The reality is, there is nothing suspicious going on—it’s a simple 4-page survey. If people are concerned, email the city rather than complain about it via Facebook.  Upon seeing the survey and having many questions, I sent questions to the City and I got a response from Nancy Marquez within a few hours. It’s not that difficult.

As for the cost, do people really want a survey to go out to every single resident? Its common sense that just a small sample size be sent out in order to reduce the cost of a survey.

Val E. Oak Complaints

According to some in the Watchdog (residents again shall remain nameless), they are unhappy with the fact the city actually trying to reach out to them through the Val E. Oak Facebook account. Believe it or not, there is now a bogus conspiracy going on about this account.

Here is a sample of the exchange:

Resident: Just received an email offering to set up a meeting with the program coordinator so that I can learn about this program {You, Me, We = Oakley}. Thanks but no thanks. Looked into Welcome America, spoke with some people in Redwood City and haven’t changed my mind.

My Response: when someone is polite and offers to provide you information and you decline, it shows your ignorance.

Resident: My Ignorance is that I actually thought Val E. Oak was a real person not a mascot/fake. I would like to know who is in control of that page and who sent me that email? Couldn’t do it in their own name? Had to hide behind a TREE? sad very sad.

It really boggles my mind that people can be upset with the city making an effort to reach out to them. If I had concerns about something and I saw the city was reaching out to me, regardless of the form they choose, I’d be appreciative. I would not belittle then by complaining about it shows just how angry they are as a person.

Rather than complain, a couple of residents could have simply requested to please have someone from the City contact them under their real name so you are not discussing the issue over Facebook, which is understandable. All this does is make staff hesitant from even attempting to educate its citizens in the future.

The reality is who cares who within the city is using the account!  The city is being proactive and should be applauded in trying to reach out to residents. Simply because some do not like it, does not make it a giant conspiracy against the city residents.

Would it hurt for Mr. Pope to engage these citizens to explain that the city is only reaching out to them and to put the conspiracy talk to rest once and for all?

In the Future

I would encourage Mr. Pope to become engaged to correct rumors and misinformation from spreading rather than to continue to let it occur under his Watchdog Group. The councilman should think long and hard about being a councilman vs. administrator as this is the tool he helped create that is now belittling the City he serves.

As a councilman, Mr. Pope sometimes does not get to choose his battles and I urge him to make a choice on which purpose he wants to continue to serve. He needs to pick the Watchdog Group or Oakley!

No longer should he perform both tasks because of the obvious conflict.


About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
This entry was posted in Around Oakley, City Council, Contra Costa County, East County. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Councilman Pope Ignores Civic Duty on Oakley Watchdog

  1. Valerie says:

    This is so Very Sad The Watchdog group seems very Prejudice to the people of The Oakley Community.Randy Pope is the admin on this group.Is he the one stirring the pot? I sure hope not.I have not seen Randy Pope do anything in Our Community and its Sad to say I endorsed him and feel very let down

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