By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Bryant Moynihan, a former Petaluma city councilman and frequent critic of city leaders, is the first candidate to apply to fill the vacancy on the City Council.
Moynihan, a councilman from 2001 to 2004, runs a commercial real estate brokerage and management firm in Petaluma, where he has lived for 25 years.
He has become an outspoken critic of the council, the city manager and city staff members over how the city is run, particularly with regard to the budget and the wastewater treatment plant.
Twice he gathered enough signatures to force citywide votes seeking rollbacks of water or sewer rates, based on his argument that the city has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars. Both measures failed.
The council has a vacancy in its seventh seat since David Glass left his council term early when he was elected mayor in November. The council is scheduled to consider applicants for the appointment to the seventh seat at its Jan. 31 meeting.
A Jan. 3 meeting to discuss how to fill the vacancy devolved into a testy 3-3 stalemate of the current six-member council. Its members are split ideologically between those who want strict management of development and those more welcoming of it.
While some political insiders say Moynihan is too polarizing to stand a chance to win the appointment, he stressed his independence from both blocs in his application.
“I offer the currently elected council a unique choice; I will agree to disagree with both political camps on a frequent basis,” he wrote. “And, I will allow both political camps to sway me with logical arguments.”
He also added a colorful critique of the current council’s recent gridlock.
“Our City Council as a body cannot continue to act in such a dysfunctional manner. The future council needs to act in a logical manner and with integrity,” he wrote. “The council needs to stop bickering and dividing itself along political lines. Copious amounts of valium may be a solution. The Council should at least go back to having wine during their dinner breaks and going out together for a drink after the council meeting. Having a council member occasionally fall asleep during the evening meeting is still preferable to watching a dog fight.”
Applications are being accepted until Jan. 20. Four candidates who ran for City Council in November say they will apply for the seat: Jason Davies, Ray Johnson, Gabe Kearney and Karen Nau. Jeff Mayne, who run unsuccessfully for mayor in November, and former Mayor Pam Torliatt, who lost her bid for the Board of Supervisors, are also considering applying.