Soapbox

I did nothing wrong on Curtis Park gas station

City Councilman Jay Schenirer holds a 2016 neighborhood meeting to discuss lead contamination found at the city’s Mangan Park gun range. He says he was representing his constituents on a permit for a gas station with Curtis Park Village and wasn’t biased.
City Councilman Jay Schenirer holds a 2016 neighborhood meeting to discuss lead contamination found at the city’s Mangan Park gun range. He says he was representing his constituents on a permit for a gas station with Curtis Park Village and wasn’t biased. Sacramento Bee file

As a City Council member, I am honored to represent more than 58,000 people who live in District 5, as well as the rest of Sacramento. I take that responsibility seriously and try to be thoughtful about every decision I make.

I spend a good deal of my time talking with constituents, experts and advocates representing different sides of any issue. Based on the information I receive and after any public hearings, I make decisions that reflect my best judgment.

 
Opinion

My opposition to the conditional use permit for a fuel station in Curtis Park Village was the result of hundreds of these meetings and conversations over a period of many years – in person, on the phone, via text and email, and at formal meetings. I also read hundreds of pages of staff reports, letters and emails representing all sides of the issue. I had numerous conversations with the applicant, developer Paul Petrovich, as well as his employees and consultants. During the two years while the application was under consideration, scarcely a day went by when I was not focused on the complex aspects of this issue.

I will never back down from representing my constituents in the most deliberate and transparent manner, or providing them with full access to my office. My efforts to protect the health and safety of those living in District 5 and my support of smart growth and public transportation policies are well-documented. On this permit, my vote reflected these principles, as well as what I believed to be the overwhelming sentiments of my constituents. I treated the gas station application with the same commitment and open-mindedness as every other issue I’ve faced on the City Council.

However, on Jan. 3 a judge ruled that some of these actions indicated possible bias on my part. While I respect the judicial process, I disagree with the judge’s conclusion because I know that I participated with an open mind, only reaching my final decision after the council hearing.

My participation in the gas station permit process was entirely appropriate and transparent. I am heartened that my colleagues on the council have voted unanimously to appeal the judge’s decision.

Jay Schenirer represents District 5 on the Sacramento City Council. He can be contacted at JSchenirer@cityofsacramento.org,

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