This summer Clearlake residents Frank Brumfield and Bill Shields led a petition drive to collect signatures in support of disincorporating Clearlake, which became a city in 1980.
Close to 80 people crowded into the council chambers for Thursday night's discussion.
In a format explained by Mayor Judy Thein, the discussion began with City Administrator Dale Neiman and City Council members responding to a number of questions about the city posed by Brumfield in his request to be on the agenda. They included requests to discuss the city reestablishing its own animal control and weed abatement programs.
The council then allowed Brumfield to address his concerns.
In a 40-minute statement to the council, Brumfield recounted a litany of the city's failures over the last 27 years – from not following through on code enforcement issues to lack of road repairs, to complaints about citizen harassment by police officers and an accusation that the police department was responsible for drug trafficking in the city.
Following Brumfield, there was two hours of testimony from community members, many of whom complained about similar issues.
There were, however, several people, such as David Hughes, who chaired the original incorporation committee, who pointed out that the city was never meant to be a full-service entity.
Hughes and others, including Supervisor Jeff Smith, explained that addressing the streets was a much larger community issue that required taxpayers be willing to pay their fair share for right of way improvements.
At the end of the discussion the council thanked the community for sharing their concerns and said they would use the testimony to help inform them in moving forward.
Lake County News will soon follow with a full report on the meeting.
E-mail Elizabeth Larson at email@example.com.