I am pleased to tell you that discussions between St. Helena Mayor Alan Galbraith and the committee leading the effort to recall him have resulted in agreement.
The Mayor has agreed to participate in a series of public forums concerning issues important to the city, and the committee has agreed that those meetings will fully address the public-information concerns that were at the foundation of its efforts. Thus the committee has ceased collecting signatures and there will be no recall election.
To be more specific, the parties have agreed that there will be a series of public forums, of a "town hall style", presenting topic-specific questions followed by answers, rebuttals, comments and discussion by all parties in attendance. There will be at least two, and as many as four forum meetings, each covering two to four related topics and each not exceeding four hours (including breaks).
The location(s) and dates have yet to be decided upon, however the parties contemplate the forums being held during January and February, not more than 10 days apart, and at times and places as convenient to the public as possible.
I have agreed to serve as moderator. As such I will, as necessary, assist with communications regarding logistics, resolve the topics for discussion and, obviously, lead the discussions at the forums.
A number of details have yet to be worked out. The Mayor has stressed that he has not communicated with the City Council or staff about any of this and is in no position to commit municipal resources to its support. Thus, City staff will have to be apprised so that, should they participate, they can prepare and provide information at the sessions.
The City Council should have the opportunity to decide whether it wishes to make the forums "Brown Act compliant" or not. A plan for publicizing the meetings will need to be decided upon and carried out. And obviously, dates, times, locations and topics will need to be finalized.
You should know that the discussions that culminated in this agreement stand as a real credit to our city. Every person involved came dedicated to principles and policies they believe in, but also dedicated to seeking a solution that would be in the interest of the entire community. I feel privileged to have been involved.
Judge W. Scott Snowden (Ret.)