From my analysis, RPA did not want an election under any circumstances. They
had experienced how expensive and unsuccessful the 2012 campaign had been and
simply were not prepared nor capable of raising the necessary funds to compete
with so many groups fed up with their rhetoric and anti-business policies of
the council majority. Ready to oppose and challenge any RPA candidate in an
election were several Black community organizations that included BMW, BAPAC,
BWOPA, NBA, Guardian of Justice, Men & Woman of Valor, Men & Women of
Purpose, One Richmond Unity, as well as Richmond Police & Fire public safety
unions, Council of Richmond Industries, Chamber of Commerce, Rich Pac and a
host of Contra Costa labor unions and small and big businesses including Chevron.
Their only solution was to try and get Martinez appointed and failure to do
so, settle on one of the remaining eleven candidates they thought they would
have the best working relationship with. Myrick as an employee of the environmental
State Assembly, Nancy Skinner seems a safer bet more than any of the remaining
candidates. Rogers being the swing vote was aware appointing Martinez that RPA
would no longer require his vote for anything because they would have four solid
votes in McLaughlin, Butt, Beckles and Martinez. Rogers has always been close
to Butt and not as close to neither McLaughlin nor Beckles, despite the fact
he supported her candidacy in 2010 when the two of them ran for the council.
During the 2012 election, Rogers acknowledged his support for Butt, Myrick and
From my perspective, Rogers has placed himself as the major player on the council, more so than the mayor. Without his support neither Vice Mayor Booze and I nor the three RPA factions can move any item or project forward.
With respect to what kind of councilman Myrick will be, only time will tell. As we go forward, I think he should be judged on his ability to be independent and the quality of his votes in making the city of Richmond a better place to live, work and play.
To Myrick's credit, last night's council meeting witnesses him stepping up
against the mayor and supporting the city approving a contract with Auto Warehousing
who will offer a 5 year contract to Toyota at $42,000 per year or $210,000 over
the contract period. The money is not as important as the relationship we hope
to establish with Toyota which we hope will be a prelude to bringing the auto
giant to the Richmond Port with all of their Northern California distribution
operation. Should we make this happen, what a gigantic plum this will be financially
and job wise to the city? The vote was yes, Bates, Booze, Rogers, Myrick and
Beckles. Voting no was McLaughlin. . Butt had to recuse himself because he received
a $1,000.00 contribution from Auto Warehousing during the past election. This
is the same ordinance Butt, Rogers and the RPA fought so hard to pass. It has
now come back to bite them.
In conclusion, we could have done much worst with Martinez and I say let's give the young man, Myrick an opportunity to learn and grow into the position. He appears intelligent and my unsolicited advice to him would be, surround yourself with quality people you trust who will give him good advice, become independent and take advantage of the city manager and his staff and he should do just fine.