The newly seated Fremont City Council held a Council retreat on January 10 and 11, 2019, to develop a framework and protocols under which the Council will operate as a whole and with City staff and to establish Council priorities for the coming year. This was the first retreat scheduled since the City of Fremont converted its elections from at large voting to a district-based system during the General Municipal Election on November 6, 2018. During this past election, Fremont residents residing in Districts 1 through 4 voted on new Council representatives.
Focusing on the impacts of residential development in Fremont was top of mind for the Council during the Council retreat. Slowing growth through future revisions to the General Plan and creating new guidelines regarding development will be studied and analyzed moving forward. The City will also look to implement its housing plans and focus on affordable housing.
The Mayor and Councilmembers also reviewed the status of existing major policies, plans, and priorities that City staff is currently working on, as well as established new priorities on which to focus City resources. At the end of the two-day retreat, the Council came to a consensus on the following priorities for City staff: Housing; reduce traffic congestion; and provide support to neighborhood commercial districts. Over the next several months, City staff will go before Council with a series of work sessions and study sessions to discuss options available to Council on limiting residential development and how to increase affordable housing. Additionally, City staff will increase community outreach around these established priorities.
“As advocates for the Fremont community as a whole, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the City Council and keeping a citywide perspective on our efforts while being mindful of our newly established districts,” said Mayor Lily Mei. “We will be effective through consensus building as we work to serve all Fremont residents, businesses, workers, and visitors to our great city.”
“I look forward to working with the Mayor and City Council, as well as City staff, on identifying solutions to implement Fremont’s newly established priorities,” said City Manager Mark Danaj.
Current members of the Fremont City Council include: Mayor Lily Mei; Vice Mayor Raj Salwan; Councilmember Vinnie Bacon; Councilmember Teresa Keng, District 1; Councilmember Rick Jones District 2; Councilmember Jenny Kassan, District 3; and Councilmember Yang Shao, District 4.
The Council retreat was facilitated by Dr. John Nalbandian, a retired professor from University of Kansas and former mayor and councilmember on the Lawrence, Kansas City Council and by Jan Perkins from Management Partners and also a former city manager of the City of Fremont.