Providing child care in our community continues to offer challenges, with no easy answers presenting themselves. The importance of child care, both for the safety and development of our community’s children, and for the businesses that benefit from parents being able to work, is obvious.
When Tri-Valley announced its closing of the childcare facility two years ago, recognizing the need, the EDA stepped in to keep the facility open. It’s been a bumpy path, but the center was newly licensed, under different management, as Little Sprouts Learning Center, Inc. During the past two years, the EDA has continued to support the facility with loans until it can stand on its own. The EDA sees a positive future for Little Sprouts, but also recognizes that financial support is needed until it is self-sustaining. The big question is, “Who should provide that support?”
In an ongoing effort to support childcare in the City, a meeting of major employers is set up to discuss the formation of a coalition to support Little Sprouts. The meeting was held on Tuesday, Aug. 6. The City may be willing to continue support, but it seems it should be a joint effort.
This is budget preparation time for the City. As always, there are lots of programs and facilities that could benefit from an infusion of cash, but the Council is resolute in desiring to keep the budget as small as possible. As I’ve said in previous articles, we’ve taken great pride in being able to keep our taxes lower than our neighboring communities. I’m confident that goal hasn’t changed.
Interviews with four candidates for City Manager take place Aug. 8, with a decision by the City Council and PUC slated for Aug. 9. Since the PUC pays a portion of the City Manager’s salary, the commissioners are involved in the decision.
I’m hesitant to even bring this matter up, but in an effort at transparency we are again dealing with a complaint against a specific City Council member. At present we’re waiting for an independent investigator to turn in the results of an investigation. Upon completion the Council will be faced with a decision. If the complaints are legitimate, what should the consequences be? No matter the outcome of the investigation, these complaints waste vital City resources to investigate and be advised by legal council. In addition, this activity requires the waste of a lot of time for the City Administration, our City Attorney, and the City Council. And this activity certainly does not reflect well on our community.
The City Council and Mayor have received training on the matter several times. We have another training session coming up. In those training sessions we’ve clearly been told that a City Council member (or Mayor) does not act on his or her own.