Brentwood: John Fink Resigns from Planning Commission

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On Wednesday, John Fink announced his resignation from the Brentwood Planning Commission after serving for nearly a decade.

Fink said he doesn’t like the direction the city is headed in terms of the decisions and lack of questions be asked by the city council with regards to the urban limit line and the Blackhawk Nun project.

“Basically they telling the citizens of Brentwood that they don’t have a choice whereas earlier in the process they could have involved the community in the overall process and look where we are today. People are not happy,” explained Fink. “This project also wants an exemption from the General Plan and the last time we did that on a project in ended in a disaster versus continuing with the general plan which would have prevented a lot of the issues.”

Fink explained he believed development should not be way to work Brentwood out of financial issues and instead should be focused on bringing jobs and commercial infrastructure to the city which would help the fire department because he believes they do not need any more homes to protect until they get proper funding to open more stations.

Fink felt that with the direction the city council was headed, he could no longer be effective as a planning commission and ultimately resigned.

Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor thanked Fink for his years of service in a statement.

“I would like to thank John Fink for his many years of service to the city of Brentwood and wish him well on his future endeavors,” said Bob Taylor.

Here is a copy of his letter:

Re: Resignation

Erik,

Effective from the date of this letter, I am officially resigning from the Planning Commission of The City of Brentwood.

It has been an honor to serve the almost 10 years that I have been on the Commission and I feel an equal honor to have worked with you and the many members of City Staff along the way. You are all the best in the business.

During the last several weeks, I have found myself in conflict with the Council’s direction regarding development in our City. I understand the need for development and its importance to our financial stability and future economic health. It must be planned well taking into consideration all factors with guidance from the General Plan as well as, and most importantly, input from the citizens of our community. Those citizens, many of whom attended last nights Council meeting, expressed their rightful concerns over the lack of adequate fire safety, the sacrifice of open space and the need for the City to focus more on bringing well paying jobs to Brentwood vs. residential development.

Last night’s meeting was another example of a large scale project that will have a major impact on the citizens of Brentwood, and the Council made it clear they had no choice in the matter other than requesting a report for more information and choosing the date for the measure to be on the ballot. I know from experience that meetings and discussions of such projects begin many months prior between the prospective developer, the City and other stakeholders. When you have strong leaders, the wants and desires of those they serve are paramount and clearly expressed. If not, it sends the wrong message to those they serve especially when it gets to the point where the Council has to justify to its electorate they have “no choice in the matter”. Therefore, I feel that my position is in conflict with the Council and I am obligated to step down.

I wish to thank you and staff again for all of the hard work that you have done and will continue to do.
Regards,

John D. Fink

 


15 COMMENTS

  1. I think a lot of people are getting tired of all these endless houses, myself included. With every housing lot that is developed it creates one more resource burden to the region. It is known, and established, that the fire department is underfunded; so why create more demand/ burden on the fire department? It will make response times greater, and a 1 unit house fire will most likely spread to 2 or 3 units because of increased response times. It already happens (Bethel Island). These housing developers are out of control, and the city councils that are essentially the developer’s lap dogs are not acting in the best interest of their cities. Oakley= let’s build more houses, self storage facilities and gas stations. Great idea /s. Too bad someone with a reasonable vision has left the planning commission in Brentwood. I’m glad he was able to say his piece before he left. Many of us resemble those sentiments, but are brushed aside by the thought of a quick buck with a housing development. It is not a healthy long-term decision. Antioch is a poster child of what not to do.

    • Totally agree. We’ve voted this urban limit line down 3 times. What don’t they understand?

  2. Is it me? Or are City Councils all around are going nuts. First it was Pittsburg, Antioch, and Oakley. Now Brentwood????? If I was retired I’d run to replace some of’em.

  3. I agree emphatically with John. My sentiments and those of the citizens I speak to in my neighborhood feel the same way. I am sorely disappointed in our city government; its almost as if they have interests or agendas of their own to fill and are not willing to take into consideration the best interest and the long-term benefits to our city. Its time for the city to bring businesses into our community; not restaurants or fast food joints, but large businesses that can sustain long term funding for our city. I am sorry John is being forced out – he seemed to be the only one with logic and common sense, with ideologies that mimic the thoughts of the citizens of this wonderful city – Thanks City Council for not listening to your constituents. I know who my vote won’t be going to next time.

  4. Unfortunate for the city. Of course he could have gone the way of the Antioch elected and sold his soul for cannabis. Out of control.

  5. Those of us who know and have followed John Fink’s dedicated hard work within Brentwood City Government over the years aimed at improving the needs, welfare and safety of all city residents as his top priorities are deeply saddened by his resignation from our planning commission. Like many others, we moved to Brentwood to escape over development, traffic congested streets, inadequate infrastructure, and a city council ruled by developers. Let John’s resignation prove to be another motivating factor to object to this colossal home development plan currently before our city council. Why even consider such a proposal, especially at a time when adequate fire protection has been seriously compromised ? How will such a mini city affect our police department’s needs ? Our city council’s slogan should be, “ Jobs, No More Housing “ ! The cries to our city leaders for more jobs over the last eighteen years seems to have been silenced. We are aware of housing development approvals but an update with specifics of our city government’s progress in working to to bring jobs to our area is long overdue.

  6. John Fink is right. Council needs to stop this ramp it growth. Thank you John,

  7. The most important thing that citizens of Brentwood can do is vote this ridiculous project down. Make sure you and your 18 year old children are registered to VOTE.

  8. Just look at Dubin’s east side. Nothing but hills development. You can’t drive through town on the weekends because of so much traffic. Schools are overcrowded and it’s not getting any better. Enough was enough long ago. Not enough people have NO in their vocabulary.

  9. Totally agree. We’ve voted this urban limit line down 3 times. What don’t they understand?

  10. John was not forced out, he resigned. He has been a planning commissioner for such a long time that he is part of the problem people are complaining about in the previous posts. I am glad he is finally coming out of the fog of “approve everything the developers propose”. As a realtor he is/was very much interested in growing housing, knowing full well the fire/police problems he was helping to make worse. There are so many poorly planned new (existing and in process of being built) neighborhoods of row houses with minimal yards (barely a dog run) and driveways (no way to park normal size vehicle without blocking driveway), that he voted to approve. Back in the day, we had standards for lot coverage and every street had one story homes to break the appearance of a wall of identical row houses. Adequate parking and proper sized roads/sidewalks, affordable housing, apartments etc. My guess is that given his last place finish in the past elections, he is changing his position to get elected in the future. That is fine but this is a new position and not a long held belief. He should look in the mirror (and residences should look at his voting record) before he tries to blame others for the current state of development in Brentwood. After ten years he “owns” his share of the situation.

  11. The truth is everybody complaining wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the same development prior that is currently underway.

  12. Please Vote NO on this new housing development proposal. Balfour Rd, the Bypass, Hwy 4 & Vasco can not handle any more traffic. Our little country town is going away. Why does every beautiful piece of land in and around Brentwood have to be developed on? Most of my neighbors moved to Brentwood in the 90’s from the Fremont area to get away from the bay area congestion. And now, as they retire, they’re moving another hour away towards the foothills to get away from this constant growth happening in East County. So sad.

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