Brentwood Considers Planning Commissioner's Removal

Brentwood city leaders could remove Planning Commissioner David Dolter from his position on Tuesday, June 28, East County Today reports.

The item follows an April 2021 email that Dolter sent to his colleagues explaining why he would vote against a resolution denying a conditional use permit to Saint Anne Technical School. Council members have accused him of violating the Brown Act by discussing an item pending before the commission. In addition, Dolter has expressed strong opposition to the city’s General Plan. Council members have said it’s important for the commission to be in line with the city council.

City Manager Tim Ogden has said Dolter did not violate the Brown Act, though he’d been warned not to discuss his opinion of pending matters with colleagues. Ogden’s assessment is unlikely to sway Councilmembers Jovita Mendoza and Karen Rarey who want him removed. 

Mendoza introduced the item. She has called Dolter’s actions “highly inappropriate.” Rarey, who was the lone council member to vote against Dolter's appointment, says he has confirmed her skepticism about him. Councilmember Susannah Meyer agreed Dolter’s actions have been inappropriate but stopped short of calling for his removal. Most of the council members agreed that better training is needed to help commissioners understand their roles and limitations.

In a statement, Dolter apologized for the April 2021 email and said it would not happen again. However, he criticized some of the council members for “unfounded, unsubstantiated, false, and malicious personal attacks” against him.

Dolter also defended his statements about the General Plan.

“…Unlike the Ten Commandments, the general plan is not cast in stone. Like the Bible, the Quran and the Constitution, it’s subject to interpretation. This is accomplished in a democratic process, often the result of a land use application. Following public comments and discussion, a vote is taken, usually, but not always, unanimous. An analysis of the Commission’s voting pattern will show I have been on the losing side several times.”

Dolter concluded by announcing he would not seek re-appointment to the commission even if he ends up keeping his job.

“On hopefully a humorous endnote: don’t provide my successors with so many business cards,” he added. “…They may not be around long enough to hand them all out!”


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