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November 23, 2004 > Newark City Council Meeting

Newark City Council Meeting

Thursday, November 18, 2004

by Susana Nuñez

The Council meeting held on November 18 marked Alberto Torrico's last meeting as the City of Newark's Vice Mayor. On November 2, Torrico was elected to the 20th State Assembly District in Sacramento. Before he bid his final farewell, the Council meeting began as usual with Presentations and Proclamations.

First, recently hired Police Officer Karl Fredstrom was introduced to the City. Also, Mervyn's was commended for a generous $2000 donation to the City to purchase smoke detectors. Retiring after five years of service, Police Services Canine, Gero, was commended for his work as well. Next, the Neighborhood Pride awards were presented to the best-maintained single-family homes and best-maintained large neighborhoods. In the category of best-maintained single-family homes, first place went to Raymond Y. Kano at 36402 Bettencourt Street, second place to Edgar and Inger Hansen at 5605Lundy drive, and third place to Teofilo and Albertina Serpa at 5770 Lafayette Avenue. In the category of best-maintained large neighborhoods, first place went to NewPark Village and second place went to Foxwood Townhomes. Alberto Torrico received a surprise presentation from the Council in appreciation for his work in the City of Newark.

Under Written Communications, a one-year renewal of a conditional use permit for Olive Apartments at 6249 Thornton Avenue was approved. Also, under Public Hearings, expenditure of State Citizens Option for Public Safety (COPS) grant fund was approved. The funds received will be used to support front line personnel in the Police Department.

Under the Consent Calendar, authorization for the City Manager to sign a Bill of Sale for the sale of retired Police Services canine Gero was approved. He was sold to his former handler Officer Lee Lawrence for $1.

Under City Attorney Reports, the claim of Patricia Johnson was denied. On January 2, 2004, the City received a claim for $24 from Johnson for alleged injuries she received when she tripped over a sidewalk patch.

Next in the meeting were Council Matters, in which Marla Blowers, Karen Bridges, and Don Young were reappointed to the Planning Commission. Their terms as Planning Commissioners will expire on December 15, 2004, but they will now continue serving until December 2008. Also under Council Matters was the decision of whether to elect or appoint a new Council member to fill in the vacancy left by Torrico. After much discussion, the Council decided to appoint a new Council member, since an election wouldn't take place until June. For those who wish to apply to fill the vacancy, the only two legal requirements are to be a resident of Newark and a registered voter. The tentative schedule will begin with the publication of the vacancy on Tuesday, November 23. Applications will be made available from the aforementioned date until December 3rd, when the filing period ends. Applications will be made available on the Internet as well as the City Clerk's office. They must be physically turned in and signed; they cannot be filed online. Interviews will be conducted during the week of the December 20th, and soon after the appointee will be announced. Applicants will be required to answer questions as to why they are running, their familiarity with the city, its projects and its organization, prior services and experience, applicable education, their thoughts on budgetary priorities, and whether they intend to seek election in November of 2005.

Under Council Matters, the Council wished Torrico luck in his future as a State Assembly member and wished everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Torrico thanked the Newark citizens for allowing him to serve; he thanked Council members Freitas and Johnson for their support, Council member Nagy for being the wise senior, and finally, Mayor Smith for his leadership and assuring the future of the citizens of Newark.

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