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IID board decides to hold meetings in the evenings for public's benefit

January 24, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

The Imperial Irrigation District directors Tuesday voted 3-2 to hold their meetings in the evenings in a move aimed at getting more public participation.

Effective the first meeting in February, the board will start its closed session at 3 p.m. and its public session at 5 p.m.

Board President Andy Horne and directors Rudy Maldonado and Stella Mendoza approved the change. Directors Lloyd Allen and Bruce Kuhn voted against the new hours.

Those in support of the change said it would be on a trial basis to see whether it proves to be a benefit to the public. They said the goal is to avail the meetings to people who might not be able to attend because of their jobs.

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They said if the action does not make a difference in attendance in coming months the meeting hours will be returned to the afternoons.

Lauren Grizzle, executive director of the Imperial County Farm Bureau, told the board the change will make it difficult for those who have attended the board meetings regularly, particularly those with families.

Kuhn said after the meeting he did not see a need for the change, although he said he would like to see more public participation.

He said on some critical issues IID has faced in recent years it has set 5 p.m. workshops in areas around the Imperial Valley and the same people who attend the meetings during the day attended those workshops.

"I guess I question the wisdom because the people that genuinely want to be there make arrangements to be there," Kuhn said.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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