EL Sobrante Municipal Advisory Council -- Meeting Notes

July 13, 2016 Meeting
Martha Booz from May Valley

The El Sobrante Municipal Advisory Council met on Wednesday July 13, 2016 at the Library Meeting Room. Present were George Cleveland, Chair of the Council, Tom Owens, Barbara Pendergrass, and Robin Tanner, new member.

Sheriff’s Report: Discussion of Homeless Problems
Lt. Yates dispensed with his formal report, as the crime stats have not changed much. He knew there were residents in attendance quite concerned about the changes in the homeless population, and the recent increase in problems. Annette Oliver, wife of Richard Oliver of Oliver’s Hardware, described changes she has seen. She walks her dogs down by the creek twice a day, and the people she had known for years are no longer there. Over the last four months, some new homeless have set up tents—there are many more tents than before—and a woman threw a rock at her car and threatened her. The behavior of these new homeless people is often much more threatening with intimations of violence than with the previous people. She does not feel safe any longer, whereas she did before. Lt. Yates asked if she had reported the threats. She had not. Lt. Yates made clear that if we are threatened in any way, we should report it. That creates a paper trail, a record, that can be used in the future if the homeless person threatens someone else, or is caught drinking or taking drugs in public or relieving themselves in public.

This particularly helps with the implementation of Laura’s Law, which the County is implementing now. The conditions are very specific—the person has to demonstrate a threat to themselves or others. Then they can be arrested.

Bob Sharp pointed out that some years ago, at another time of heightened problems with the homeless, the Chamber of Commerce provided No Trespassing signs to interested businesses and private citizens for a nominal cost. The No Trespassing signs, along with a notice to the Sheriff’s office giving permission for the Sheriff’s deputies to arrest trespassers if the owner isn’t there, can help a lot with the increasing homeless problems. Lt. Yates, James Lyons from Supervisor Gioia’s office, and the Council all agreed that a the signs should be made available again.

Shirley Sharp reported that she was inspecting the creek that bounds her property and found someone there. She asked if he was homeless, and he said yes. She advised him of the No Trespassing signs she has posted, and advised him to go to 25th Street in Richmond.

Land Use and Zoning Permit Applications
Shirley Sharp, who is on the Planning and Zoning Committee, reported on the application of Heather Lee to move a preschool from its current location on McBryde, to a church which formerly had a preschool on its premises.

Cleanup Day is Oct 1st
Our local Cleanup Day takes place on Oct 1st this year. We can bring all manner of items we no longer want, or want to discard, free of charge. This excludes computers or other electronics, nor other hazardous materials, e.g. paint, batteries, etc., items that usually go to the hazardous waste facility. This is a great opportunity for us all to clean up our houses and yards.

Volunteers are needed to help with the cleanup day, directing traffic and unloading cars and trucks and putting the refuse into the bins. If you can volunteer, please contact James Lyons directly at James.Lyons@bos.cccounty.us

Terrible Noise Waking Us All UP at 3 am!
The terrible pounding noise that awoke many of us at 3 am a couples of weeks ago was noise from the construction of the new San Pablo Dam Road - I-80 interchange. The contractors have to drive 34 posts into the ground, and were doing that work. [Supervisor Gioia subsequently sent a notice around indicating that the time of the work would change. It would not go overnight again, but would end at 11 pm in future.]