Tom Butt Header E-Forum
  E-Mail Forum – 2013  
  < RETURN  
  Illeism and Unfinished Agendas
May 22, 2013

Once again, the Richmond City Council adjourned without completing the agenda, largely due to the protracted filibustering of Corky Booze, who has recently added illeism to his manner of speaking. The act of referring to oneself in the third person is illeism, and one who practices illeism is an illeist. Illeism, according to Language, June 29, 2011, indicates “extreme narcissism” and is often “practiced by high ranking politicians and superstar athletes.”

Booze is the only City Council member I can recall who is an illeist.

Booze started the evening off by dominating a discussion about whether or not an agenda item regarding contracting with a legal firm for a lawsuit involving Chevron could be pulled from the agenda. When Booze refused to stop talking, the mayor called a five-minute recess to provide an opportunity for him to cool off.

As the evening progressed, Booze continued to seize every opportunity to rail against the Richmond Progressive Alliance and his perception that its politics dominated multiple agenda items, including appointments to boards and commissions and leasing a City-owned building to the Native American Health Center, “a non profit organization serving the California Bay Area Native Population and other underserved populations in the Bay Area.”

Some of the agendized business that had to be postponed to a later date so Booze could get his licks in on the RPA included the 2013-2014 budget, support of state legislation for gun control and economic development projects and programs at the Port of Richmond.

Richmond establishes deadline for Chevron to compensate city for refinery fire
By Robert Rogers Contra Costa Times
Posted:   05/22/2013 06:43:59 AM PDT
Updated:   05/22/2013 06:44:28 AM PDT

RICHMOND -- A divided City Council on Tuesday voted to enter talks with Chevron Corp. for a compensation package stemming from an Aug. 6 fire at the company's local refinery and to hire a high-powered law firm if an agreement is not reached within 30 days.
"We can take a free bite at the apple without sending Chevron into lockdown mode," said Councilman Jim Rogers, who proposed the item. "If we don't get there, we pursue litigation."
City Manager Bill Lindsay released a document earlier this month announcing the city's intent to hire San Francisco-based law firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, which represented victims of the 2010 San Bruno disaster caused by a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. gas line rupture. The firm remains in litigation stemming from the San Bruno fire and has handled more than 200 cases for clients seeking damages.
The council stopped short of hiring the firm immediately, an option supported by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and Councilmembers Jovanka Beckles and Tom Butt.
"Acting smart after you've been burned over and over again is to take the kind of action that makes it clear we're serious," McLaughlin said. McLaughlin noted that Chevron in the past has retained legal counsel in disputes with the city, most recently when appealing property tax assessments.
Without the needed four votes to hire the firm immediately, McLaughlin and her progressive allies joined Rogers' substitute motion.
Vice Mayor Corky Booze and Councilman Nat Bates dissented.
"This motion is ill-conceived," Bates said, arguing that he would rather hear about the progress of talks before committing to hiring the firm.
The Council motion calls for automatically retaining Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy in 30 days if the city does not reach a compensation agreement with Chevron. The firm would be retained on a contingency basis, meaning it will not be paid by the city unless it helps secure compensation from Chevron.
Lindsay intimated that he preferred Rogers' approach over immediately hiring the firm.
"I think that it would be appropriate to engage Chevron in some additional conversations before you file the lawsuit," Lindsay said. "You reserve your rights at any time to move forward with a lawsuit. It's worth some conversations first before you take the step of retaining legal counsel."
The Aug. 6 fire sent more than 15,000 residents to area hospitals with respiratory discomfort and other symptoms. The fire occurred when a corroded pipe ruptured in a refinery crude unit. Cal/OSHA found that the refinery was guilty of 11 "willful" violations and fined the corporation about $1 million, the highest fine in the agency's history. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board's investigation found that the pipe was recommended for replacement by Chevron inspectors as early as 2002.
No one on the council speculated about how much they believed Chevron owed the community for the health and economic impacts of the fire.
In an email statement earlier Tuesday, Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie said, "Chevron U.S.A. Inc. is aware of the (agenda item) indicating the city is considering hiring an outside law firm to advise it concerning its legal rights, and we will consider the appropriate response if and when any formal action is taken by the city."
Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726 or rrogers@bayareanewsgroup.com and follow Twitter.com/roberthrogers.