City Council Puts Off Raises; Casts Out Bike Church

The Santa Cruz City Council held off on considering raises for itself until all work agreements are settled with city employees. There are still two units bargaining over salaries.

The motion made by Pam Comstock held off on hearing a proposal to raise salaries to $25,000 for councilmembers and $50,000 for the mayor. The motion to wait passed unanimously.

In a more contentious debate, the council voted to auction off part of the 400-600 bikes found annually by the police department and give the smaller bikes to the city's teen center to give to needy kids.

That motion passed 5 -2 with Don Lane and an upset Micah Posner voting against it.

Lane spoke up for the Bike Church, the repair collective that had been fixing bikes and distributing them to poor kids for years, but was shut out for reasons no one seemed to understand. The contract was given for a while to the Bike Dojo (Santa Cruz has competing bike collectives) and then lapsed, with police auctioning the bikes off through a third party company.

Police at the time complained that the bike church wasn't picking up bikes in a timely manner.

"I don't think to this day we have ever heard a reason why the Bike Church shouldn't be allowed to do something they have been doing for many years," said Vice Mayor Don Lane.

"It's really been an injustice that the Bike Church has been through. They have been told things many times in the last two years by people in the city that just didn't hold up...

It's not a bad solution, but it's just unfair to the bike church that they haven't had a chance to provide a service they have been doing successfully. Frankly, they will distribute more bikes than the teen center. We have really treated an organization unfairly and I don't understand why."

Posner, a bike enthusiast, was so shaken by the decision, he had to leave the room. He said he took some of the blame because he let the Bike Church complain that the termination was political because of the competitor's ties to others on the council.

Robert Norse January 29, 2014 at 11:44 AM
More factual background on the elephant in the room: the SCPD's unilateral, powerful, unexplained, and well-protected decision to dump the Bike Church distribution--and the City Council and staff's decision to ignore the whole matter after stonewalling Public Records Act requests and stalling for two years. See https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/01/23/18749645.php?show_comments=1#comments


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