Concerns over the Live Oak Streetscape Project for SR99 were voiced at the regular Council meeting September 6, 2017 with former Councilman Gary Baland asking how Mayor Jason Banks and Vice Mayor Aleks Tica can represent the city on the Ad Hoc Committee.
"Your Ad-Hoc committee is doing a fantastic job but I don't know how you two people are on the committee with your parents in the audience without having pressure and going home to eat. Ethically, it does not feel like that is the right make-up especially when you have council members with no money to gain, no business on the highway," Baland stated.
"There was a request by the Mayor who's Mom's business street parking required an ordinance change. It seems you are tip-toeing around what it looks like to the committee. I don't want a government that is just inclusive. If my Mom owned a business in Live Oak she would have great influence on me and I would have to step aside," Baland said.
Vice Mayor Tica stated they found out about the ruling allowing them to sit on Ad-Hoc committee when there was only one council member available. "The ruling came out it was fine to work with the City and CalTrans, it is legal," he explained.
Councilwoman Diane Hodges is the only member of the Council who does not own or have a family member who owns property on Highway 99.
"My boss understands it is separate," Vice Mayor Tica explained. "If we weren't on committee they wouldn't have met til December. This solution is beneficial. There is no pressure there. I make my own decisions, not my bosses, not by parents."
Mayor Banks agreed stating, "I don't think anybody is going to run from some level of conflict except Council member Hodges. Anyone is invited to attend. You are more than welcome to make your own decisions. We put forward what the committee has decided."
Mr. Nava, a business owner on Highway 99 stated he wished more people were there to participate and he was happy with the results he had after meeting with Council member Hodges.
"I am happy with the way it is going. Sure, your Mom is there and sometimes we don't agree but it matters. I wish I had pushed for a stoplight at Nevada Street. I see the traffic and pedestrians there. I think we do need a fourth light the way the City is going. We are responsible for it - come to the meetings and express your views. Be able to participate. We need to work together. I get information to be better prepared. I appreciate the voice of others.
Linda Lang spoke, "It was mentioned by son in on the City Council and the Ad Hoc committee as well as Betty's son. I feel Aleks and Jason are trying to help my business to survive along with all the other businesses. They may disagree on the committee but this is all about trying to make the City better and make sure sure we have a business community here afterwards.
Taisha Thiara Campbell also spoke in appreciation for the Streetscape Project and her concern for the traffic especially with the trucks.
"Everybody is using SR99. We have to adapt , have to work together. I don't want to see anyone die or be hurt like my friend Bob Woten," she stated.