Moving service a true tribute to our veterans

By Keith Haydon on June 4, 2018

Haydon, Keith mayor for websiteClayton’s annual Memorial Day Observance was another sign that summer is coming.

We are grateful that this memorial ceremony is annually organized and sponsored by the Clayton Veterans of Foreign War, Post 1525. This year, the large crowd was looking for shade on the hottest day of the year so far.

We were treated to another excellent program with patriotic music and speeches. Chuck Kohler, a Pearl Harbor survivor, gave a moving talk about honor, service and his memory of that eventful day. His first-hand recollections really captured the crowd’s attention. Use this_Chuck Kohler for website

New maintenance supervisor: Our city organization experienced a changing of the guard in the Maintenance Department last month with the retirement of Mark Janney. The maintenance supervisor ended his 28-year career with the city on May 17. Janney plans to relocate for his retirement, and his smiling face and warm personality will be missed.

Assuming the helm is Jim Warburton, who worked in a similar capacity for Lathrop for four years. He also worked for Antioch as a park supervisor for 11 years and in other park maintenance and landscaping roles for seven years. Prior to this stint, Warburton served as a lead gardener for Contra Costa County – maintaining landscaping and irrigation systems and budgets for 23 county sites. We look forward to him putting those extensive skills to work for the benefit of our Clayton community.

The city’s nitty-gritty

I want to continue with the overview I promised describing how the local government of Clayton is organized and functions. Next up is a description of the makeup and responsibilities of the five-member City Council.

City Council members are elected to overlapping four-year terms every two years, with the council annually selecting one of its members to serve as mayor. The council’s authority includes approval of the city’s annual budget and setting employee compensation, the levying and collection of appropriate taxes, liabilities and disbursements, and enacting policies and local laws (ordinances) governing and regulating the municipal services in Clayton.

The council also serves as the board of directors for the Oakhurst Geologic Hazard Abatement District, a separate special district that monitors and manages that geological hazard abatement area within the city – using assessment revenues received from the real property owners.

In addition, the City Council reviews and rules on revisions to the city’s General Plan, Specific Plans and Zoning Codes by ordinance, as well as related proposals for certain land development within the city, upon recommendations from the Planning Commission and Community Development Department – with input from Clayton residents via the public hearing process. Council members also appoint citizen members to the Planning Commission and the Trails and Landscape Committee.

Each member of the City Council has a number of assignments to represent your city’s interests in standing and ad-hoc committees and liaisons within the city, county and region. These include the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (CCCTA), the East Bay Division of the League of California Cities, the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy, the Central Contra Costa County Transportation Partnership and Cooperation (TRANSPAC) Committee, Contra Costa County Mayors’ Conference, Clayton Library Foundation, the Clayton Trails and Landscape (TLC) Committee, and subcommittees for Council Budget and Audit, Downtown Activities and Economic Development.

As this list indicates, they perform quite a bit of work on behalf of the city, working closely with the city manager, beyond the Tuesday meetings twice a month. We each have a busy, broad range of duties and responsibilities as the primary management and policy-making body overseeing the operation of the city.

I look forward to sharing more information with you about Clayton items and activities in upcoming months. See you out on the trails, and as always, feel free to send comments to me at

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