November 3,1998 – The Oakley Vote

Twenty years ago today the residents of the unincorporated town of Oakley went to the polls on the first Tuesday of November in 1998 to vote for a measure that would radically change the governance of this growing community.

For two years, the Oakley Incorporating Committee had argued that Oakley residents would be better off with a city government rather than having the county Board of Supervisors in Martinez make decisions on local issues. On the ballot that day was Measure O, a yes vote would turn Oakley into Contra Costa’s 19th city. If voters approved Measure O, Oakley would become a city on July 1,1999. Also on the ballot were 12 names from which 5 would be selected to form the new City Council.

That list included:

  • David Kizer, an attorney for the state Department of Industrial Relations,
  • Thayne Thomas, chairman of the Oakley Incorporating Committee and an engineering supervisor at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,
  • Pat Anderson, a middle-school teacher,
  • Craig Williams, a structural steel draftsman;
  • Brad Nix, a Stanislaus County deputy district attorney;
  • Tinker Vanek, a homemaker;
  • Harry Green, publisher of a group of eastern Contra Costa weekly, monthly and bimonthly newspapers;
  • Warren Hays, a telecommunications manager;
  • Jeff Huffaker, a family law attorney;
  • Carol Rios, a welding shop owner;
  • Randy Mass, a general and landscaping contractor and
  • Shannon Murphy Teixeira, a paralegal.

Measure O -Incorporation City of Oakley
Vote For: 1
Completed Precincts: 19 of 19
Candidate Name Vote Count Percentage
Yes 4,822 76.9%
No 1,450 23.1%

Proposed City of Oakley Member, City Council (5)
Vote For: 5
Completed Precincts: 19 of 19
Candidate Name Vote Count Percentage
DAVID KIZER 1,352 5.6%
BRAD NIX 2,818 11.7%
TINKER VANEK 2,714 11.3%
PAT ANDERSON 2,858 11.9%

HARRY W GREEN 876 3.6%
THAYNE THOMAS 1,979 8.2%
WARREN HAYS 1,106 4.6%
JEFF HUFFAKER 2,581 10.7%
CAROL RIOS 2,315 9.6%

RANDY J MASS 2,119 8.8%
Write-in candidate(s) 64 0.3%

By virtue of receiving the most votes Pat Anderson became Oakley’s first Mayor

The city of Oakley is a General Law city, operating under the Council-Manager form of government. The council-manager system has become the most popular one in California.

Under this system, the Council establishes the policies under which the City operates and appoints a trained and experienced City Manager to administer the affairs of the City. The City Manager’s responsibilities include hiring of City staff, preparation of the Annual Budget, administration and coordination of the City’s operations, general supervision over all property under the control of the City, and enforcement of City ordinances and applicable State laws.

The five City Council members are elected at large to overlapping terms of four years and annually select two of their members to serve as Mayor and Vice Mayor. The Mayor represents the City at community functions, serves as the City’s liaison with other governmental agencies, and serves as the presiding officer at council meetings. The Mayor’s vote does not carry any additional weight. Contra Costa has 19 cities and only 5 of them directly elect a Mayor, Antioch, Brentwood, Martinez, Richmond and San Ramon. The remaining 14 cities rotate the Mayor’s position in the same manner as Oakley does, except Concord which rotates every two years. This election generally occurs at the first meeting in December.

The Council is the legislative body; its members are the community’s decision makers. Power is centralized in the elected Council collectively and not in individual members of the Council. The Council approves the budget and determines the public services to be provided and the taxes, fees and assessments to pay for these public services. It focuses on the community’s goals, major projects and such long term considerations as community growth, General Plan and land use, development standards, capital improvements, financing and strategic planning.

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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2 Responses to November 3,1998 – The Oakley Vote

  1. Kevin says:

    You gave me the idea when we last talked

  2. Patricia I Anderson says:

    Thank you Kevin for writing about this historical time in Oakley. I was honored to be a part of it before and during citihood.

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