Scroll Top

Problems With the Current City Council

Brian Buddell City Council

Get The Flyer!

Let’s examine the path of the current city council—especially over the past several months:

  1. Through their actions and inactions, this City Council has created a division among the citizens of Clayton, the likes of which I have never seen (here or anywhere). Regardless of your position on any of the issues, the existence of that division is an indisputable fact. One of the qualities of good leadership is to UNITE rather than DIVIDE—and the current City Council has shown not only a complete inability to unite the citizens of Clayton but has also shown an inability (or apathy) towards healing that divide—so, if you want to continue down that path of division, by all means, keep the status quo and vote for the “establishment” candidates, David Shuey and CW Wolfe.
  2. This current City Council has also demonstrated a complete unwillingness to reach out and/or listen to what the community wants. All pleas (and there have been many) for the Council to hold town hall meetings or similar forums which would allow the public to present their concerns in an informal and interactive method have been ignored and emails and telephone calls to council members go unanswered (and usually unacknowledged). Both are indisputable facts. Instead, this council provide only the bare minimum required by law: mandated public hearings for proposals and the allotted 3 minutes each citizen gets to express their concerns at a City Council meeting—assuming of course citizens are able to take the time out of their schedules (late on a Tuesday night) to attend AND are willing to face the public disrespect, scorn, eye-rolling and smirks from city council members if they happen to present an idea that the council members don’t agree with. So, if you want to continue to not have a voice that will be heard or respectfully listened to by this City Council (and Planning Commission), by all means, stay on that path and vote for Mr. Shuey and Mr. Wolfe.
  3. During the tenure of this City Council (and especially over the last year-and-a-half) we have seen an influx of proposals from developers who wish to build high density and/or huge multi-story structures in and around our downtown area. That is an indisputable fact and the Fulcum and Jordan proposals are clear examples. While this could be chalked up to “coincidence,” a better explanation would be that developers have identified the current City Council and Planning Commission (either on their own or through the efforts/solicitations of city leaders) as sympathetic and welcoming of such development within Clayton. Those efforts included a unanimous 5-0 vote by the City Council approving an exclusive negotiation agreement with Fulcrum development and it was only through an uprising of the people of Clayton that Fulcrum was sent packing. Now, only a few months later, battle lines are being drawn over the Jordan development—following the passage of multiple zoning variances to accommodate that project and there are secret negotiations going on for the sale of another downtown property (the scope of which has not yet been revealed to the citizens). So, if you want to continue to continue down the path of being kept in the dark about proposals and then having to engage in fight after fight—just to preserve the character of our town, by all means, vote for Mr. Shuey and Mr. Wolfe.
  4. Speaking of those development projects (and this somewhat goes back to point #2 above), finding out about the existence and details of these projects has required research that would challenge a historian at the Library of Congress. Instead of openly providing the community/public with a heads-up of an upcoming issue that may be of importance, such matters are buried within the agendas of City Council and/or Planning Commission meetings—some of which were scheduled at the end of the year or during the holiday season when people are usually distracted with other things going on with their lives. So, if you want to continue down the path of regularly having to fight and search for information that impacts your life (so you can voice an opinion that will likely be ignored), by all means, vote for Mr. Shuey and Mr. Wolfe.
  5. The current City Council has recently demonstrated a complete inability to competently and timely deal with incredibly important issues. The prime example of this is the parolee housing issue. The need for action on that issue has been known since 2016—when the City Council was put on notice of it and, in response, passed a two-year moratorium to allow it time to further consider the issue. Given that parolee housing is an issue that would affect every single resident of Clayton (in the form of safety, allocation of public resources and/or home values), it is one of the most important (if not THE most important) issue facing Clayton since it became a city. Despite that importance, this City Council and its staff literally waited until the last possible moment to address it. By doing so, they were forced to rely on erroneous and incomplete research/data that was compiled by city staff which has resulted in a proposed ordinance that does not protect all the citizens/children of Clayton but now “has to be passed” because of the impending deadline. Oh, and what has the City Council been doing for the past two years that has distracted them from dealing with this issue? Well, there have been a number “important meetings” attended my councilmembers in locations like Orlando, Florida (at taxpayer expense, of course) and a number of other things the importance of which pales in comparison to the parolee housing issue. So, if you want to continue to have a City Council that places attending boondoggle “workcations” above protecting your safety, by all means, keep the status quo by voting for Mr. Shuey and Mr. Wolfe.


  1. If you want at least two city council members who will place a priority on keeping you informed by regularly providing announcements of important upcoming issues/votes (instead of forcing you to find out about it on your own), vote for change by electing Brian Buddell and Jeff Wan.
  2. If you want at least two council members who will regularly provide a means for your voice to be heard via town hall meetings and other informal community get-togethers to discuss important issues (and YOU get to decide what is “important”)—and then vote according to what YOU want, vote for change by electing me (I can only refer to myself in the third person for so long) and Jeff Wan.
  3. If you want at least two council members who will evaluate all proposed developments in Clayton with a view towards keeping the small-town, non-urban-sprawl character of Clayton that we all love, vote for me and Jeff Wan.
  4. If you want at least two city council members who will ALWAYS place the safety of Clayton as their TOP priority—even if it means possibly taking on the State and/or other entities to do so (with the approval of the people, of course), vote for me and Jeff Wan.

As I see it, there are two distinct paths from which to choose in this election—it’s all a matter of how you want to define “successful.”

If you want to define it as having to simultaneously fight your own City Council on a regular basis to preserve your safety and rights and have your voice heard—while also fighting off developers who want to make big bucks by changing Clayton into the next Walnut Creek, Concord or (God forbid) Antioch, your vote should clearly be to preserve the status quo by voting for David Shuey and CW Wolfe.

Alternatively, if you want to define it as having city council members who will function as a true extension of the voice/will of the citizens and who will work as advocates and protectors of that voice/will (and without having to be pounded into doing so via multiple ND posts and fiery public comments at City Council meetings) then change is needed and that path is to vote for Brian Buddell and Jeff Wan (I know, another third person reference to myself…).

Indeed, the choice is clear and it is yours (and everyone else’s) to make.

– Brian Buddell

Comments (20)

Please let me know if you need help with your campaign and if you would like to have campaign signs on my front yard. I’m at 925-698-3080. Good luck!

Trish Renaghan Dolan

Wow, you’ve lived in Clayton three years and feel you know something about this city? Email me and talk to me sometime to know what this city stands for! I’m not impressed with your statements because you absolutely are not qualified to represent my hometown! Do some research into my name!

Hi Trish,

I’m disappointed to hear that you think I am unqualified. However, that’s the beauty of free speech and democracy—if you disagree with someone you can say so and, if you don’t support a particular candidate, you can vote for someone else. As I said above, the choices are pretty clear in this election and everyone is free to make their own choice. Best of luck to whichever candidate(s) you support.

BTW, I’m always interested in learning more about Clayton—especially from long-time residents—but I can’t email you because you didn’t leave your email address.

Best Regards,

Actually I thought I had left my email but apparently it didn’t show up –

What do think the city stands for? 3-story high-density housing in and around downtown? Amazing how people like you and long-tenured City Council members support projects like this, which will forever ruin everything Clayton is all about. But so called “old-timers” know better, so everyone else needs to just step aside.

And what have you done for Clayton in the three years you’ve lived here? Besides run on our trails? Volunteered for of our civic organizations? Do you know what they are? Regularly attended council meetings? Joined CBCA or even volunteered for CBCA events?

Hi Brenda,

Actually, yes, I do regularly attend City Council meetings. If you had been there, you would know that because I have spoken–rather conspicuously–at nearly every one I’ve attended. I will also be at tomorrow’s meeting (and speaking then, too).

For the record, at the May 16, 2017 meeting, in speaking against a proposed zoning variance, I accurately predicted that, if passed, it would eventually lead to proposals for 3-story developments in the downtown area. Despite such claims being dismissed and laughed off by Julie Pierce and CW Wolfe (of which I have video), it was passed and, not six months later, we were facing the Fulcrum Development proposal and now the Jordan development project–both of which involve 3-story buildings in the downtown area (the Jordan proposal actually involves three of them). Out of curiosity, are you in favor of large developments in the downtown area which will increase traffic, limit parking and/or take away the space(s) currently used for all the downtown put on/sponsored by the CBCA?

I was also the one who first advocated a 1000′ buffer zone for the parolee housing ordinance–which, after initially denying its defensibility, the City Council and City Attorney finally agreed really was the right way to go. Now, they need to also protect the Keller Ridge residents by including the private parks as “sensitive use areas.” In that regard, I think the children of Keller Ridge deserve the same protection from parolees as the children in the other neighborhoods of Clayton, don’t you?

As for your question about CBCA membership, no, I am not a member and I will basically repeat what I posted in another forum on that topic:

Although I am not a member of the CBCA, I have great admiration for the FANTASTIC work it performs as an organization. It really does do a LOT of good for this city/community. That said, I also know that prominent CBCA members control the Clayton Pioneer, multiple city committees and every City Council Member for the last 20 years has been a CBCA member.

With all due respect and homage to what the CBCA does and has done, I do not believe it is healthy for any one organization to have that much control within a city—and I would say that as to ANY organization, regardless of how good or bad and whether or not I am a member. Frankly, having one group in control of both the government and the media–especially for decades–is quite a scary prospect.

In pointing that out, am I suggesting that the CBCA has some secret, nefarious plan for Clayton? Absolutely not. However, I am suggesting that having control of both the administration of a city and the media tends to make the narrative one-sided. Even if that one side is the “correct” one, it is always important to consider other viewpoints.

Further, it tends to foreclose those outside the CBCA from actually participating—which has been evidenced by the history cited above. Put another way, the CBCA is comprised of about 200 members–and with Clayton having a population of approximately 11,000 people, that means CBCA members constitute less than 2% of the population. However, its membership has influence or control over virtually every aspect of Clayton. That simply does not seem right.

If anything, I think an alternative voice is desperately needed. Not necessarily to “challenge” the CBCA but, rather, to perhaps provide a different perspective to consider–and to also show that, in Clayton, you do not have to be one of a small, select club to participate in the governing of your city. Don’t you agree that it is important to hear and fairly consider multiple perspectives when deciding important issues–or do you believe there should be a governing “monarchy” of elders in Clayton whose decisions are not to be ever questioned or challenged?

Finally, I could not help but notice your use of the term “OUR trails” (emphasis added)–seemingly claiming exclusive ownership. I hope my interpretation is wrong because, over my three years in Clayton, I have paid nearly $40,000 in property taxes (and probably pay a lot more than you do each year)–so I’m pretty sure they belong to me, too. That aside, those trails and the streets and the sidewalks and the parks belong to EVERY Clayton resident, regardless of whether they lived here 30 years, 3 years, 3 months or 3 days. Don’t you agree?

So you’re saying long-term tenures on the City Council is a good thing? Look at what the City Council has done in the last 1 1/2 years: 1.) Allowed for exclusive negotiations with developer to build 3-story high-density housing in the heart of downtown, 2.) Tried to pass weak ordinance to promote parolee housing, and 3.) Modified the general plan to allow developers to skirt local zoning regulations to build bigger, denser, cheaper and taller high-density housing. But they do show up to put cones on the streets before concerts and MC the soap box derby, so they’re okay in your book. Doesn’t matter that their actions will ruin the Clayton you know and love. Keep in mind that Brian Buddell and Jeff Wan are running to keep Clayton as it is, not change it (for the worse) like David Shuey and the rest of the City Council and Planning Commission are trying to do.

To the person that chased my husband down after the concert in downtown Clayton on Saturday night: I saw you.

I have documented the incident and I am now feeling a physical safety threat. Because you turned off and apparently decided against confrontation, I did not report you to police. However, should you approach me or my family in a threatening way again, I will file for a restraining order. You know who you are and even though my husband may not have seen you, I did. You’re crossing a line and I will do everything I need to in order to protect my family. (My young daughter was with us, btw.)

This election thing has gotten nasty and I am seriously stressed out because of it. It’s difficult not to.

From me, Kendra Buddell: I agree that there has been some very good decisions made in the years previous to the last year and a half. It’s because of those, that Clayton won our hearts over in the first place. But I also understand why my husband has chosen to run for City Council. His concerns are not unwarranted, as you know, by evidence of City Council attendance increasing so much so that extra doors have to be opened in order to try and let everyone in. That’s no coincidence.
I too, would prefer 2 story additions, so as to stay consistent with current styles.
I feel very strongly, like my husband, that the Parolee housing ordinance was not handled appropriately and that it lacked in due diligence. For that alone, I understand my husband’s strong words against current City Council actions.
Next, the community came together and stood against the Fulcrum deal for location and size reasons. The Clayton Pioneer was my first Alert to anything going on at all, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw the word “exclusive“. Like many, I saw the charm of downtown being threatened and it appeared as though our own City Council was signing off on it. How could I not think that? It was coming out of nowhere. Enter the perceived lack of transparency.
Bill Jordan has his own 3-story proposal, which is another set of alarming words to throw at our community. A different location, yes, but close enough to get people upset. Again, it appears to be signed off by City Council. City ordinances passed and timing on submission for approvals from the Bill Jordan project named “The Olivia” appears to be in lock-step with each other, so how can that not read as back door dealings? No one can please everyone at the same time, but something in the way of transparency and a willingness to uphold the will of the people of Clayton is certainly in order, right? Ask yourself, heck, ask City Council what has changed in the last year and a half. Look at the minutes, watch the videos, and read the public records. Brian is trying to preserve what we have and that’s it. Why that is seen as a bad thing, I cannot fathom.
Please save the mocking, accusations of spreading misinformation and provide proof of your claims regarding his improper facts, instead. He really is trying to get it right. Also tune into or attend the upcoming debate. You will see he is very passionate and sound in his reasonings for stepping up in the first place. Thank you, and have a good day. All of you, not just one side, because while there may have been pointed words, (from both sides) I still love living here and I want to see everyone get along.

Sounds like paranoia. Communication by way of internet is a great tool to learn about city agenda items. Staff reports are there to see. That’s your time of fame to speak up. After that, you can’t complain you didn’t have input on decisions. Threatening lawsuits three times to city council is no way to start a campaign or on being a council member. You don’t represent me with your attack approach. Get the facts. Don’t misrepresent them

You’re the one who needs to get their facts straight. Staff reports are NOT on the city website. And Buddell has never threatened to sue the city council. He’s said he would vigorously defend the city against lawsuits.

I think you are naive to city government. Things are done right here in Clayton. No ego needed. No need to hear you are a great litigator anymore. Litigation is the last thing we need here in Clayton.

No litigation would suit you just fine. So the Planning Commission and City Council should just rubber-stamp 3-story Antioch-style high-density housing? And that obnoxious Jordan development that keeps growing. No backroom deals with the Planning Commission and City Council going on there, right?

Brian and save Clayton,

How could putting Clayton in potential litigation be good for us?

Brian, you have threatened several lawsuits to Clayton. I saw you on camera rant about the closed meeting on Oak St development. It’s all hot air.

Do either of you know about the housing element?

The housing element does not give carte blanche for the likes of Bill Jordan (the Marsh Creek landowner/developer negotiating behind the scenes with Shuey and Wolfe, etc.) to build the largest, densest apartment rentals he wants just so he can maximize his ROI.

You should state where get the info on behind the scenes comment. It would help your cause.

Price the back room deals. Prove your accusations that that is collusion. You haven’t and it’s time to take another tactic. It ain’t working for you.

The housing element gives little discretion to city planner and commission. We are in a liberal state. Left coast. Developer will profit from this.

I have questions. At the debate, you said as our city council member you will vote the way your constituents tell you to vote and that you are not a King. What will you do if your constituents are divided on a hot issue? How will you decide what is best for all of Clayton?

Brian and Jeff, Don’t you have an internet connection? This is the tool to use to get info on meetings and staff reports. Duh….

Leave a comment