FAIRFIELD — A “quality of life” City Council subcommittee proposed by Councilwoman Pam Bertani to address homeless issues failed to win support Tuesday from other council members who said the city staff is already stretched thin and that the council can rely on City Manager Sean Quinn’s reports about homelessness-related matters.
“Although I respect the intention,” said Mayor Price, “we don’t need a council subcommittee for every issue that comes along.”
Quinn said an internal task force with the city now considers issues that include abandoned shopping carts in Fairfield.
Bertani, whose motion for the subcommittee failed to win a second from other council members, said her proposal evolved out of meetings with the public and concerns about homeless issues. She said the homeless population in Solano County has doubled to 1,329 people since 2011.
“Either we get on top of the issues,” Bertani said, “or the issues get on top of us.”
The councilwoman said after the meeting that she is disappointed by the council not supporting her motion and that the subcommittee would not have increased demands on the city staff. She spoke about a lack of hands-on leadership in Fairfield to address homelessness.
“It overlooks our responsibility as elected leaders to actually help and work,” Bertani said of the council’s response to her quality-of-life subcommittee proposal.
Vice Mayor Rick Vaccaro said before the decision on Bertani’s proposal that, “I know we’re up here to be leaders.” But council members can ask questions when Quinn reports about homeless issues, the vice mayor said.
The council at its meeting Tuesday also agreed that Quinn, who retires April 3 as city manager, will serve in an interim role in that post for up 180 days at $95 an hour. Fairfield is recruiting a new city executive but leadership is needed as projects await, including preparation of the 2014-15 budget, according to a city staff report.
Mayor Price participated in Tuesday’s council meeting by phone from Haleiwa, Hawaii, where he traveled for a family celebration.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.