Surprise 4-to-1 Redding City Council Vote Robs Michael Dacquisto of Mayoral Position

Redding City Council members Michael Dacquisto and Erin Resner, Aug. 2019. Source: Michael Dacquisto Facebook.

Three Redding City Council Members recently severely diminished the votes of several thousand voters. It was four, but Council Mark Mezanno publicly stated he misunderstood the matter, it was his first meeting.

Based on a motion by Julie Winter, and quickly moved to final action by the Council, Michael Dacquisto was removed from his eventual succession to the position of Mayor of the City of Redding. So, unless of some improbable action, Mr. Dacquisto will not become the Mayor during this term.

Mrs. Winter, in defense of her motion, said she nominated those that could best represent the City. No explanation beyond that. So, she made a strong inference Mr. Dacquisto could not do that. So, he will not become Vice Mayor. No plausible reason nor discussion on the matter.

So, three Council Members disenfranchised the votes of several thousand citizens. Among the assumptions available are an arrogant action based on the personal dislike of Mr. Dacquisto, and a particular dislike of how he voted.

One current example: his losing vote against raising the salary of the City Attorney and his assistant by ten percent because they were absorbing some responsibilities from the Building Department. And it is hard to not assume, without further explanation, it was a blatant power move. And one more, the voters will have forgotten about the matter in two years at the next City Council election.

It is difficult to forget the disenfranchisement of thousand of voters by three Council Members, particularly when the object of their action was to diminish the influence of the most fiscally conservative member of the council, and knowingly diminish his chance of reelection

This is hugely flawed application of Council prerogatives and should be outlawed, unless there is demonstrable malfeasance.

If the Council elects to treat this matter of voter disenfranchisement appropriately, those assuming the current leadership positions should immediately resign, and the traditional and appropriate procedure then followed.

If they do not elect to do this, they should be put on notice that we will not forget in two years, but will remember with determination that this arrogant procedure should not have occurred.

With full respect to Mr. Dacquisto, this onerous problem is bigger than any of us, including Mrs. Winter.

One other thing, there is a strong suggestion the Brown Act, prohibiting the discussion of public matters outside of an official meeting, was blatantly violated. The penalties for this are substantial. As always, it is imperative to effect any change that concerned citizens contact their elected officials.

John Dunlap is a retired engineer and former CEO of a Redding engineering and planning firm. He came home to the area 42 years ago and has served on numerous boards and committees.

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