Happy New Year to everyone.
We start this meeting with two closed sessions – one involving ongoing negotiations with the Communication Officers Association, one involving the City Attorney’s annual performance review. This is followed by a special order of the day to acknowledge National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
The consent calendar is pretty small – the usual meeting minutes and list of bills, plus the annual review of the Code of Ethics.
Note that in the past, we have held our annual public hearing on proposed study issues and budget supplements during the first meeting of the year. That’s not happening this year – it will be on January 23rd.
Item 2 is our annual selection of the Vice Mayor.
Item 3 is our formal appointment of Kent Steffens as our new City Manager. This is the end of a pretty long process that we go through to select a new City Manager. We start with a formal nationwide recruitment by a professional recruiter. That results in a large pool of candidates, most of whom don’t make the first cut. We then bring in the top few candidates for a day of rounds of interviews with five panels – community (residents), business, labor unions, Executive Leadership Team (the Directors), and the Council. After that, we bring back however many we want for a more extensive interview with the Council. And then we make the call. Once the call is made, we negotiate the terms, come to an agreement, and it results in this item.
Item 4 is our annual appointment of councilmembers to intergovernmental relations (IGR) committees. This is an “off year” (between election years), so the lack of change in the Council usually means very few changes to the IGR assignments. Most of what changes occur are at the request of individual councilmembers, because of schedules, personal issues, or whatever. IGRs typically fall into three categories – Mayor-appointed, Council-appointed, and appointed by an outside agency (but still ratified by the Council).
Item 5 is approval of our 2018 priority advocacy issues and legislative advocacy positions. These are positions that the Council takes on issues that concern Sunnyvale, and they form the basis of any legislative lobbying that we do over the year. When we adopt a position on an issue, staff and the Mayor can then lobby outside agencies on behalf of the City on that issue without first obtaining specific Council approval. This is important because issues often arise too quickly for the City to wait until Council can vote on a position.
Some of the proposed new advocacy positions this year are a direct reaction to the newly-adopted federal budget and its impact on California (and Sunnyvale) residents.
Finally, item 6 is our annual selection of council seats. As this is an off year, seating usually doesn’t change much, if at all. Once again, I have seniority, so I get to select immediately after the new Vice Mayor chooses his spot…