Mr. Hanafee's Request | The Observer | Roz Rogoff | |

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By Roz Rogoff

Mr. Hanafee's Request

Uploaded: Jan 6, 2011

Jim Hanafee posted a message on December 15, 2010 in reply to the announcement of the Mayor's State of the City address at the January 11, 2011 Chamber of Commerce lunch meeting. The cost for the meeting has been listed (in different places) as $25 to $35.

Hanafee was irate. "I think it is appaulling (sic) that the citizens have to pay $25 to hear the mayor speak on the finances of the city, especially when the City Manager is on the dole for approximately $350,000 a year, and other employees are over $100,000 per year."

I don't agree that "the City Manager is on the dole," which implies he is doing nothing but collecting a big check. To paraphrase Donna Summer, "He works hard for the money." However, I do agree that the State of the City address should be available to residents for free.

So I contacted Stewart Bambino, CEO of the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce, and suggested (in my usual pushy way) "I hope the State of the City address is being videotaped for TV30. It wasn't last year, but I believe Dublin's and Pleasanton's were. I don't know what the fee is for taping but I hope you will have it taped."

I quoted Mr. Hanafee in my email and suggested offering Mr. Hanafee the option to attend without paying for lunch.

Mr. Bambino responded promptly, "Great comments. Let me see what I can do to accommodate Mr. Hanafees's request."

Well the Chamber arranged to have the Mayor's address taped by TV30. The City will pay for the cost of the taping.

I phoned Mr. Hanafee to give him the good news and that the Chamber offered to give him a seat at the media table in the back with no lunch.

He answered, "The State of the Union is free. The State of the City address should be free."

I said, "You could ask that question at the end of the presentation." He said, "I've complained about this before."

I know Mr. Hanafee has been active in San Ramon politics for the last 30 years or more, and I know he's complained about this as have other residents.

The State of the City address is traditionally (I don't know why) presented at the first meeting of the Chamber of Commerce in the calendar year. The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce holds its monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of the month at the San Ramon Golf Club. The charge is mainly to cover the room rent and lunch.

That's why I asked for the presentation to be videotaped. It will be shown on one of TV30's channels (28, 29, and 30), but those require a subscription to Comcast or U-Verse, so they are not free. However it can also be viewed online, which can be accessed on a computer at the Library or the Senior Center.

I asked the City to play the video or make it available in a public venue for residents to view. I also asked their media person to put the text and PowerPoint slides of Mayor Wilson's speech on the City's website. She said they would look into it after Wilson gives the presentation on January 11th.

So in answer to kg's post on December 21, 2010, "I totally agree with Jim. Is there an event that residents can plan on attending for free to get the same report?"

Yes, contact the City after January 12, 2011 at (925) 973-2500 for where to see it, or go to for the schedule of when it will be available online or on one of their public access stations.