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Supervisors turn down meeting schedule change

March 28, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

After rejecting two votes to change its meeting schedule, the county Board of Supervisors will continue to meet weekly.

On Tuesday the board twice could not muster the four-fifths vote required to alter its rules requiring it to meet weekly.

Since January, the board had discussed changing its schedule to meet every other week.

Under a plan proffered by County Executive Officer Ann Capela, the board would have met every other Monday as the so-called committee of the whole. During such meetings the board would discuss but not act on county business. Items discussed at such meetings would be on the board's action agenda 15 days later.

Sitting as the county Board of Supervisors, the body would meet every other Tuesday immediately following the Monday meetings.

During those weeks when the board did not meet, under Capela's proposal, the supervisors would have official office hours to meet with constituents.


At this week's meeting, the board rejected two proposals to change its schedule.

The first motion, made by Supervisor Joe Maruca, was to convene as the committee of the whole on Mondays and meet as the board every Tuesday, except for those months with five Mondays and Tuesdays. In those months there would not be any meetings on the fifth Mondays or Tuesdays.

The proposal — which needed a four-fifths majority to change board rules — lost by a 3-2 vote, with supervisors Maruca, Tony Tirado and Hank Kuiper voting for it, and supervisors Gary Wyatt and Wally Leimgruber voting against.

A subsequent proposal by Wyatt to meet as the committee of the whole on Mondays and continue to meet every Tuesday, except for those already-scheduled dark weeks in August, failed by a 2-3 vote. Wyatt and Leimgruber voted for it and Kuiper, Maruca and Tirado voted against.

With that the board remains under its current weekly meeting schedule.

County Counsel Ralph Córdova Jr. told the board there is no requirement for it to vote on establishing the committee of the whole, only to change the board's rules on meetings.

Capela said the board should take whatever action it deemed best for it to efficiently accomplish its required business.

During the discussion, Leimgruber questioned what would be gained by reducing the board's meetings by those fifth Mondays, when there are only three of them. He also said the amount of work required to keep up to date on county issues is so much that it is difficult to not become overwhelmed when board members leave town on county business, thereby making it almost necessary to meet more than only once per week.

Supervisors Chairman Tony Tirado said he would go along with whatever the other supervisors wanted, but that he'd like at least one Tuesday per month without a meeting so board members might attend Imperial Irrigation District board meetings. He said committee as a whole meetings would allow the board to be more productive and allow greater public access.

Kuiper said committee as a while meetings would lighten the load on board meetings.

It is unknown if the item might come before the board again. On Tuesday's agenda it was listed for discussion, but that does not preclude the board from taking action if desired.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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