Oakley Council/Staff Continues to aim for Excellence and Teamwork

On Tuesday, March 5, the Oakley City Council and Staff spent a half-day in a team building session. From Wikipedia “Team building is an important factor in any environment, its focus is to specialize in bringing out the best in a team to ensure self-development, positive communication, leadership skills and the ability to work closely together as a team to problem solve.”

The City used to conduct such sessions on a yearly basis, but with a council and staff that had worked closely for a number of years we drifted away from this practice. November’s election changed that dynamic when two incumbents chose not to seek re-election and two new councilmembers were elected. The dynamic was further disrupted during the transition. Concerned that the disruptions may affect our ability to serve the public, the City Manager and I thought this would be an appropriate time to reinstitute the practice. The meeting was facilitated by a retired city manager with 35 years of experience.

Part of the process included examining the roles of the Mayor, City Council, and City Manager. Here is what was discussed and agreed upon.


Formal Authority

  • Presides a meetings
  • Has one vote on all matters before the City
  • Signs documents as authorized by Council

Performance Expectations

  • Ceremonial head of City
  • Ambassador of good will and representative at official functions
  • Provides leadership and marshals citizen participation in city efforts and issues
  • Leads the Council in addressing political matters, needs, goals, and a vision for the community
  • Meets regularly with the city manager to provide policy guidance relative to actions of the Council, review agendas and schedule matters to come before the Council and advises the city manager of Council issues and concerns


Formal Authority:

  • All powers granted to a General Law city in the State of CA
  • Enact ordinances & resolutions, and adopt rules & regulations
  • Control the finances of the City, adopt an annual operating & capital budget
  • Borrow money for municipal purposes & issue bonds
  • Provide for the execution of contracts, grants franchises
  • Provides regulations in the interest of public health, safety, morals and general welfare
  • Provide for an independent audit
  • Appoints and removes the city manager and city attorney

Performance Expectations:

  • Articulates a community vision, promotes long range planning and development of clear policy direction
  • Outlines goals and objectives to be accomplished and authorizes programs that reflect the needs of the entire community
  • Provides oversight, assessment and evaluation of the effectiveness of goals, policies, programs and services rendered to citizens
  • Funnels citizen complaints and information requests to the city manager for appropriate follow-up
  • Understands that a majority of the Council establishes policy & direction
  • Appraises the performance of the city manager and the organization and advises staff on emerging community issues before they reach the crises stage


Formal Authority:

  • Prepares the annual operating & capital budget
  • Administers the budget after adoption by the Council
  • Keep Council appraised of the present & future financial condition of the City
  • Appoints and removes officers and employees of the City in accordance with statute and ordinance
  • Administers the City’s human resources system
  • Gives general direction to City departments and offices
  • Enforces rules, regulations and assesses penalties authorized by the Council
  • Manages contracts & utilities owned and operated by the City
  • Prepares an annual accounting of all receipts, expenditures, and indebtedness of the City

Performance Expectations:

  • Treats councilmembers as equals
  • Provides Council access to staff for information gathering, inquiry, and understanding community problems and issues.
  • Gives the Council credit for successful projects or ventures
  • Brings the Council and employees together in greater working harmony and cooperation
  • Be visible, takes a profile in the community that does not overshadow the City Council
  • Maintains high standards of personal and professional conduct and implement organizational goals with efficiency and economy of the resources used

About Kevin

Mayor - City of Oakley, Data Center Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit and Transplan
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