During tonight’s meeting, the Eureka City Council is poised to approve a resolution that would add a statement to the beginning of future council meetings acknowledging that the city is located on Wiyot land.
Though the exact language may be changed, the suggested statement reads, “The City of Eureka acknowledges that we are located on the unceded ancestral lands of the Wiyot Tribe. Please join us in acknowledging this fact as we work and meet together today.”
The tribal land acknowledgement appears on tonight’s consent calendar, meaning it will likely be approved in one motion, unless a council member requests a more in-depth discussion. If approved, the statement would be read out loud during every council meeting just before the pledge of allegiance.
City Clerk Pam Powell writes in the staff report:
Tribal land acknowledgement is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Native American peoples as traditional stewards of this land, and the enduring relationship that exists between Native American peoples and their traditional lands. To recognize the land is an expression of gratitude and appreciation to those whose homelands we reside on and is a recognition of the original people and nations who have been living and working on the land since time immemorial.
Citizen Police Chief Advisory Board
In other business, the council will consider adopting an ordinance to formally establish a Citizens Advisory Board to the Eureka Chief of Police.
An informal advisory panel was already introduced in 2015 by then Police Chief Andrew Mills. The purpose of the panel, according to the staff report, was to review police policy, procedures and training and provide counsel and feedback to the chief and the department.
If the ordinance is passed tonight, the city will officially add the Citizens Advisory Board to the Eureka Municipal Code and formally establish the board’s guidelines. The board will be made up of five to seven members, appointed by the council, will meet at least quarterly and provide an annual report to the council.
“The Board will serve as an advisory body to the Chief of Police,” states Police Chief Steve Watson’s report. “The Board will give counsel, support, advice, and recommendations to the Chief of Police for the purpose of improving transparency and accountability while building trust and fostering strong police-community relations. This will include review of the complaint process as permitted by law.”
Affordable Housing Proposal on City-owned Sites
The council will also consider awarding a bid for development of affordable housing projects on three city-owned parking lots on Sunny and Myrtle Avenues, Eighth and G Streets Sixth and M Streets.
During a meeting in July, the council unanimously approved making the three lots available for affordable housing projects and sent out a request for proposals from developers. After review of three received proposals, staff is recommending that council select the submission from Long Beach-based company Linc Housing.
The proposal includes construction of 104 affordable units across the three sites — 31 units on the Sunny and Myrtle, 39 units on Eighth and G and 34 on Sixth and M — as well as an on-site manager’s unit, a community room, on-site laundry rooms, a “tot lot”, bicycle parking, and on-site vehicle parking on each property.
If the council declares Linc Housing the preferred bidding, the City Manager will move forward with drafting an agreement between the development company and the city.
The council will also consider adopting an ordinance to expedite the permitting process for electric vehicle charging stations, adding an amendment to the municipal code for Efficiency Dwelling Units (small, self-contained unit with not less than 220 square feet of floor area) and receive a presentation on the City’s Multimodal Corridor Plan.
The Eureka City Council meets tonight, via Zoom, at 6:00 p.m. You can view the full agenda here.
Directions on how to view or participate in the meeting from the City of Eureka:
You can view the City Council meetings live on the City of Eureka’s website at www.ci.eureka.ca.gov or on Cable Channel 10. To view from the website, select the Watch City Council Meetings orange button from the home page.
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