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Morning with the Mayor meetings on hiatus in 2013

Original post made on Jan 2, 2013

Early risers in Danville will get to sleep in for the foreseeable future -- at least on the first Friday of the month. The monthly Morning with the Mayor program will be on hiatus until further notice as the town "continues to examine its communication and outreach efforts."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 2, 2013, 12:20 PM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Mom of 3
a resident of Danville
on Jan 2, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Hmm. This couldn't have anything to do with the controversy brewing over the General Plan, could it?

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Jan 3, 2013 at 7:29 am

I loved the quote, "We're planning on having a conversation early this year with the Town Council to determine how we'd like to continue...or look at a different outreach vehicle," Were planning? Who is planning on what. Isn't the Town Council the voice of the people? Someone in charge and it isn't the Town Council is going to determine what the public gets to know. this is very fishy and it probably does have something to do with the General Plan. How about we citizens plan a morning meeting to discuss what is taking place in our town and elect a representative to present what is discussed at town Council meetings. Let's give democracy a shot in the arm with real representative government. Maybe the Danville Express would be interested and they know how to get in touch with us.

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Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Jan 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Good afternoon,

Thanks for the questions regarding the temporary hiatus for the monthly “Morning with the Mayor” meeting. We appreciate the concerns regarding outreach and availability and it’s for that very reason that the meeting format is being reexamined.

The reality of the situation is that over the years that the meetings have been held, the turnout among residents has been consistently low. As a means of expanding that audience, the Town began recording the monthly gathering and hosting it online so that residents could access the information through that medium and at their own convenience. Thus far, the response has not been high enough to continue without making some changes. Thus it was decided to not have the meetings in January and February.

During the temporary hiatus, the Town Council will meet with staff to discuss methods of information outreach and citizen engagement as we continue to try to reach out to the broadest section of our populace that we can.

The Town of Danville is always looking at ways to broaden our communications with residents, whether it be through the addition of social media, an e-news subscription service, an online newsletter or continued use of press releases to the media. Placing the program on hiatus does not mean that we will not continue working to get information to our residents in as many formats and through as many channels as possible.

In addition, Town staff are available by phone or e-mail and Town Council members regularly attend the Saturday Farmers Market for the purpose of meeting residents and getting input.

In regards to the question of whether this decision was made due to the ongoing discussions about the General Plan Update, I can say that there is no correlation between the two.

The General Plan Update has been an ongoing process for over two years. Mornings with the Mayor was designed to give residents the opportunity to meet with the Mayor, to discuss programs, projects, issues and concerns. But, it was never intended to serve as a public hearing process or a method of gathering public input about the Draft 2030 General Plan.

The Town continues to work on reaching out to the community and providing information regarding this process. Details of the Draft General Plan Update, along with a schedule of the public hearings being held to gather citizen input are available at:

Web Link

The Draft General Plan Update will next be discussed at the Planning Commission meeting on January 8, 2013 and then at their January 22, 2013 meeting. The Town Council is scheduled to hear public testimony and consider recommendations at meetings on February 5, 2013 and March 5, 2013. We encourage citizens to examine the information on the Town’s website, get informed on the process and take part in the hearing process.

I hope this helps. For further information, or if there are any suggestions of communication channels we might try, feel free to contact me.

Thanks and have a great day.

Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville
(925) 314-3336

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Posted by diablodave
a resident of Diablo
on Jan 4, 2013 at 11:25 am

diablodave is a registered user.

A reasonable response from Geoff that even contains a few truths to make it plausible. My tendency is not to believe much that comes from politicians - including the local variety. Whatever the truth may be, it is inescapable to connect the suspension of the Morning with the Mayor program to the increasingly contentious conversation regarding the proposed amendment of the Danville General Plan.

Experience has taught me to "follow the money" when government activity is involved (much like the rest of life) and the clear impression of the current Danville town council is that they are following the money (additional tax and fee revenue from developers) in pursuing the increased density levels proposed in the General Plan.

Regardless of your perspective on the Morning with the Mayor program, if you are concerned about the General Plan revision you need to get involved in (a) understanding the impact of the proposed changes and (b) becoming active in the process if you dislike them (see for more info). Note: If you support the General Plan changes, you need do nothing as the town council is too attracted to the money to do anything other than approve the proposed changes...

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Posted by Concerned in Danville
a resident of Danville
on Jan 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Mr. Gillette,
With all due respect, if the goal of the Town Council an Mayor is communication, wouldn't it have been wiser to find the replacement for the meetings with Mayor before cancelling them? Isn't cancelling the meetings before you have something to replace them counterproductive? You say that you want to improve communication but cancelling the meetings ends the communication, even if the audience is small, with nothing to replace it. Your explanation just doesn't seem logical which of course makes the action seem suspicious in light of the growing controversy on the General Plan. I encourage your efforts to find more effective ways to reach our residents but I do suggest that you reinstate the meetings with the Mayor until there is something to replace it.

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Posted by guynextdoor
a resident of Danville
on Jan 7, 2013 at 10:49 am

The Town Council, Planning Commision and ABAG have been persuaded to accept U.N. Agenda 21 which promotes transportation hubs, cluster developments and high density thus indirect U.N. usurpation of local autonomy. And as previously mentioned, there is the money. Those in favor of the proposed General Plan want to control the flow of information and comment on this controversial issue. One need only ask how does the taxpayor/homweowner/resident benefit from further development to form an opinion.

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Posted by Mom of 3
a resident of Danville
on Jan 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Mr. Gillette, I agree with 'Concerned in Danville', that you should not have cancelled the meetings until you had another idea. Or, you could have been more forthright in your explanation. Instead of cancelling until further notice, why didn't you just say that due to low attendance, the meetings with the mayor weren't worth the effort? Maybe you could have said that if at least 25 people showed up in January, then the meetings would continue. My gut reaction was that the General Plan was the reason, and I still think that, because of the timing of the cancellation.

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Posted by suspicious
a resident of Los Cerros Middle School
on Jan 8, 2013 at 9:31 am

I agree with the comments above. In fact, I know several people that haven't ever attended the Morning with the Mayor event that were planning on attending in January to bring up the draft 2030 General Plan, which they oppose for numerous reasons. Come on, Danville government, if the real reason for suspending the program is lack of attendance, you would have waited until the review period for the General Plan is over because you would have realized two things: 1. Attendance might actually go up during this important review period; as I said, I know several newbies that were planning to come to the Jan. 4th Morning with the Mayor; and 2. It would look very suspicious to cancel the event just when many people have a reason to show up; there were 250 people at the Nov. 27th Planning Commission hearing on the draft General Plan, and there were over 300 at the Dec. 8th hearing! The people want to talk and Danville's government obviously does not want to listen if it can avoid it.

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Posted by Watching...
a resident of Danville
on Jan 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Did anyone notice something very telling in Mr. Gillete's response here? They've cancelled Mornings with the Mayor, in which Danville residents actually get to voice their concerns and be heard, in favor of "e-news subscription service, an online newsletter or continued use of press releases to the media" -- all vehicles which Gillete concedes are designed to "get [highly scripted] information to [not from!] our residents in as many formats and through as many channels as possible." It's all about spin control. 300 Danville residents start showing up at meetings up in arms, and suddenly Mornings with the Mayor are cancelled. Mr. Gillete "can say that there is no correlation between the two," and we can laugh at that absurd statement. C'mon, Danville Town Staff, do you think we're THAT dumb?!? There's a Planning Commission meeting tonight, folks -- let the Town know this habit of running roughshod over its citizens STINKS!

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