Oakley has the best city council! And our newest councilmember, Randy Pope, is one of the best.
We moved to Oakley a little over a year ago, purchasing a house along Marsh Creek Trail, south of Laurel Road and directly across from Creekside Park. The house had an anomaly – our backyard fence (and that of a few neighbors) bowed inward toward our houses, rather than running parallel alongside the trail. The inward jutting of our backyard fences (with the apex ending directly in our backyard) decreased all of our backyard spaces, and resulted in an abandoned 2,500-square-foot triangular piece of weed-filled land between our backyards and the trail.
Why was this ugly unused fenced-off area intruding into what should have been our backyards? No one knew, and no one knew who owned this piece of land. We finally discovered that the City of Oakley owned it – it was “orphaned” some 50 years ago, after the City bought Creekside Park (on the west) and the Flood Control District took control of the creek and trail land that ran through the east side. The leftover triangular remnant east of the creek was promptly forgotten by all.
We told the city that the homeowners wanted to purchase it and extend their backyards to the trail (like all the other houses). The city agreed to sell it to us, but then the Flood Control District asserted rights to it, and the city told us we couldn’t have it. That’s when Councilman Pope stepped in to help the homeowners.
Randy Pope had just been elected to the City Council when we first contacted him. He immediately responded to our e-mail and agreed to meet with us. We asked if he would accompany us to a meeting we set up with Flood Control, and he said yes! He came to the meeting and spoke forcefully on behalf of the homeowners.
Flood Control was still being resistant, so Councilman Pope suggested we talk with the other City Council members to solicit their support. We sent out e-mails to the other councilmembers, and then met personally with both Mayor Jim Frazier and former Mayor Pat Anderson. Both offered suggestions and support for us. With three councilmembers now supporting the homeowners, and talking to both the city manager and the Flood Control District, the Flood Control District decided to forgo its position and allow the homeowners to purchase the land behind their backyards.
This would not have happened without the immediate attention and support of our terrific City Council members: Jim Frazier, Pat Anderson and spearheaded by Randy Pope. We are new to Oakley, and didn’t know any of these people – they just jumped in when we asked for help, and got the job done for the homeowners.
Oakley is a wonderful city, and we are all very fortunate to have such a terrific group of City Council members, including our newest member, councilman Randy Pope.
Susan Morgan, Oakley