Notes from MAC meeting Wed Feb 10 24m ago

Martha Booz from May Valley

Hello all,

As you may remember, I post my notes from the Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) meetings on Here are my notes from the MAC meeting last Wednesday, 2/10.

Only Sheriff Lt. Sean Yates and James Lyons from Supervisor Gioia’s office were present to make their monthly reports. There were about 12 people in the audience. (I didn’t count them.) CHP Officer John Pruitt was sick with that dreadful cold going around. Fire Battalion Chief Hunt wasn’t present either, nor was Sharla Sullivan from EBMUD.

Lt. Yates reports 721 service calls for January, with only 4 people available. There were 87 reports written, and 6 people were jailed.

There have been complaints about one or more Sheriff’s Dispatchers being rude and rushing through the calls. Lt. Yates pointed out that they have been working 18 hours shifts, and that they are even more short-handed than the Bay Station is. He requests that we try to figure out what is really important for the Dispatchers to handle, and to email him with other issues. His email is

Regarding the homeless, the Sheriffs have implemented different procedures now. They are addressing the little colony near the Library. He notices that people give them stuff to make their lives more comfortable, e.g. blankets and jackets. Nearby are shelter beds going empty. The homeless don’t want to go to a shelter because of the restrictions at the shelters—you have to be in by 7 pm, no alcohol or drugs, and no pets. Lt. Yates says the homeless don’t want to abide by those rules. In any case, he requests that the public not give them stuff or money.

Regarding the house being shot up, the guy who was the cause of it all has been interviewed, but no new information about why or what the cause of it was has come out. He has just refused to talk about it. As far as the shooting at the house and the shootings on the freeway being connected, the Sheriffs don’t know. They are definitely targeted events, not just random shootings, but the jurisdictional issues really affect the freeway shootings problem. The CHP has jurisdiction on the freeways, not the Sheriffs, and the way the CHP has divided up the freeways really makes good communication a lot of work. Since the car bombing, there have been a lot more Sheriffs present and visible near where it happened. The neighbors at the meeting expressed major gratitude for the efforts of the Sheriff’s office. One of the neighbors from that area said that some neighbors are discussing putting another Deputy Sheriff for the El Sobrante area back on the ballot again.

James Lyons reported that he has been in discussions with the CHP, and since the shootings on the freeway are targeted at particular people and not random, that they are trying to identify suspects, and put an end to this. James had also spoken with CHP Officer John Pruitt, who reported that there were no El Sobrante complaints for the CHP this month. Officer Pruitt did park on Allview for a while, especially in the afternoons, though he was there 2 mornings, and his presence helped keep the speeding down.

The Boys and Girls Club has a Bingo night coming up, though the date and time was not mentioned.

James also mentioned that the project to replace the streetlights with LED lights is proceeding, and they will get to El Sobrante soon. They have already done 75,000 street lights in Northern California.

The new Mini Park near the Library will be done by the end of the year. This includes repaving the Library parking lot. The Library contributed $80,000 toward that project out of their own budget. We should note that the large potholes in the Library parking lot have been filled. The lot is still in terrible shape, but that should be taken care of as part of the Mini Park project.

James also reminded us that there are openings on the MAC. One person has applied to sit on the Council, so we have another opening on the MAC and openings for two alternates. The only requirement is that you live in unincorporated West County (not in Richmond or San Pablo for example). Please contact James Lyons at to apply and for further information.

The main topic was the poor quality of the business signs in our business districts. Barbara Pendergrass mentioned the sign on a thrift business at the corner of Rincon and Appian as being a bad sign. James Hermann, one of the Council Members, asked about the waving banner signs, whether they have any regulation. That will be looked into. Apparently there is no regulation of them. No one in the audience commented on the business sign issue.

Last, the Council accepted nominations from among the Council Members for the various offices of the Council for 2016, e.g. Chairman etc. George Cleveland nominated himself for Chairman, and was elected unanimously by the Council. James Hermann is Vice Chair, and Tom Owens is Secretary. Barbara asked if the office of Treasurer could be combined with the office of Chairman, and James Lyons is looking into that.