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SMC Supervisors, Was a motion made yes or no?
Original post made
by Michael G Stogner, another community,
on Apr 24, 2013
I had asked the Supervisors per email to check their work and motion and second the item properly if they had not done so on April 9, 2013. I thank Matt Grocott and Greg Conlon for their interest and time spent in trying to get the same result.
County Counsel John C. Beiers seemed to have no interest in looking at the video to see if it was done or not, instead advised the Supervisors to revise the minutes to reflect their intent.
What would have been the harm in taking a few minutes to check the video. I received a e-mail from County Counsel before the meeting so you know they knew about it.
Go to video starts at 3:00-11:00
We are all humans and we will make mistakes, There is no interest from the current Supervisors or County Counsel to do the right thing here. You be the Judge.
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Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Apr 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm
Message from Matt Grocott Re: BOS appearance
Today, as some of you may know, Greg Conlon and I attended the County Board of Supervisor's meeting. We were there to discuss the same item but for slightly different reasons. I will leave it to Greg to write an assessment of his experience if he cares to; what follows is mine.
The day after the BOS's previous meeting on 4/9/13, I was asked by Michael Stogner to review the video recording of the meeting. He was concerned with item 5 on the agenda and how it had been handled. He was not certain they had actually made a motion, a second, and taken a vote on the item. Instead, he thought they may have only taken a M/S and a vote on a related recommendation by Supervisor Tissier.
The issue at hand was the formulation of a Supervisorial District Lines Study Committee and approval of an Outreach Budget ($100,000). After the County Manager introduced the item, Warren Slocum, one of the supervisors, asked a couple of questions about the $100k. Then the public was allowed to speak; most of them were advocating for a certain person to be added to the committee.
After public comment was complete, Supervisor Tissier spoke directly to the concern of the public and said she would be happy to add Annie Loya as a second alternate. Then she said, "I'd like to make that recommendation in the form of a motion," to which Horsley followed with a 2nd. A vote was taken and the board moved on to the next item.
What Stogner was concerned about proved to be correct. The board never made a motion to appoint board members as recommended by staff or to approve the outreach budget. The draft minutes from the 4/9/13 meeting, on today's agenda for approval, were written as a direct reflection of what happened. To wit: "Supervisor Tissier recommended adding Annie Loya to the Committee as an Alternate Member. Motion: Tissier/ Second Horsley." (I would add a note of curiosity here: the minutes do not reflect what the vote on the item was; I have checked other past meetings and action items and none reflect the vote, only who made the motion and who made the second.)
For my time at the podium this morning, I spoke only to the concern of the lack of a M/S and action on agenda item 5 as presented by staff. Horsley asked County Counsel what to do about this after I spoke and the response was to change the minutes to reflect "the spirit" of the what the board had meant to do but didn't. So it was said; so it was rewritten and approved.
I left the board chambers completely dismayed at how sloppy the board, and the staff who support them, choose to do business. Should it be any surprise a few other concerns were discovered in pursuing this item?
1) Friday I was at the County Center for an interview with the Civil Grand Jury. I took the opportunity to go to the BOS office and ask for the draft minutes of the 4/9/13 meeting. The lady gave her best effort to find and print the minutes but ultimately was unable to do so in a timely fashion. I asked if I could find them online, the way I had the video of the meeting. She assured me I could. As soon as I returned to my office, I attempted to do so but they were not available on the BOS web site.
2) In the same way, I attempted to access the agenda for today's meeting and faced the same results.
Both items 1 and 2 above are supposed to be available to the public 72 hours before the meeting. Technically, since the BOS meets on Tuesday mornings at 9 AM, the agenda packet should be available to the public Saturday morning; because their offices are closed on Saturday, that means it should be available Friday afternoon, before their offices close. It was not. I checked over the weekend and again on Monday. The agenda packet did not become available until Monday morning.
In my opinion, when a board and supporting staff choose to do business in this manner, in the least, they are being sloppy; in the worst, they are showing complete disregard for the public whom they serve. For me, it raises the question of trust, especially when technicality and nuance are important. (I won't go into detail, but we had just this situation last night at our council meeting and you can bet, we did not leave the item until we were sure that staff and the public understood our action and direction correctly).
How ironic it was that two members of the military were at this morning's meeting to be recognized by the board. In the military, as we know, doing things properly, in order, in a disciplined fashion, is held in the highest regard, as is doing what is right when no one is watching. It is what we call, "being honorable."
In closing, I conclude that our Board of Supervisors need to be watched. Although we should not have to watch them closely because they are supposed to be "honorable," apparently we must; if they are willing to run rough shod over the small details, then one knows they are willing to run rough shod over the major, more important details. Perhaps that comment provides a good segway for Mr. Greg Conlon.