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home : latest news : local February 5, 2016

2/5/2014 6:05:00 AM
Executive sessions first? Council asks
Chino Valley Review

The Chino Valley Town Council mulled proposed changes to two meeting-related topics at its Jan. 28 regular meeting - executive and study sessions.

Mayor Chris Marley said both topics came up in casual discussion among council members in the past.

"We talked about this at our retreat," Marley said. "It will have its advantages and disadvantages."

The council voted 6-1 to schedule executive sessions earlier in meetings, after the consent agenda, with Council Member Don Wojcik against the change. In executive sessions the council voted to meet in private with attorneys regarding a particular agenda item. No decisions are made in executive session. Currently executive sessions are scheduled at the end of meetings.

Marley pointed out that with executive sessions at the end of meetings, often late at night and sometimes lasting an hour, the council usually returns to an empty room, except for the police officer assigned to meetings.

"If we make an important decision that night and we have a vote," Marley said, "there are folks who have expressed the thought that, 'Sure, you wait until everybody's tired and has gone home, and then you come out and say your piece.'"

Wojcik said having the executive session earlier in the meeting would keep more people around for the remainder of the meeting.

"We force them to stay for the rest of the meeting," Wojcik said.

Wojcik voted against the proposal, however, because he believes people won't stay and will miss seeing the rest of the decisions, he said later in the week.

Regarding the second proposed meeting change, the council unanimously voted to take no action on changing the day of the week of study sessions, to allow for Town staff to receive the results of a council member questionnaire on the topic.

Currently the council keeps the first and third Thursdays open for study sessions to discuss complicated upcoming agenda topics, if needed. Also because of previous council retreat discussion, a suggestion arose to change the meeting to one standing study session per month. Marley wanted to keep the two sessions on an as-needed basis, but wanted to hear from other members. He also said the town clerk sent the questionnaire for feedback.

Council Member Linda Hatch suggested scheduling one study session, as needed, rather than two, while Council Member Daryl Croft wanted to keep the two as-needed study sessions and Council Member Pat McKee suggested changing study sessions to the second and fourth Thursdays, the same week as council meetings.

Council Member Lon Turner, in an effort to limit the number of required meetings as a council, suggested having a study session on Tuesdays, prior to a council meeting, to discuss agenda items for council meetings two weeks from then, still allowing time for council requests to staff and other needs. Hatch said she has a conflict in the hours prior to each Tuesday meeting because of a one-year commitment and therefore would not be able to attend study sessions at that time.

Wojcik suggested having the study sessions the Thursdays prior to the Tuesday meeting to "work out any kinks." That plan would cause a three-week delay in getting items on an agenda or have an agenda item listed with no staff recommendation, according to Town Clerk Jami Lewis.

Council Member Mike Best said he's open to any time for the study session since he's retired.

In other council business, the council:

• heard a report from Council Member Linda Hatch, who serves on the Magistrate Evaluation Committee, which met recently to create a plan to evaluate Magistrate John Walker, whose contract is up on June 30, 2015. The committee wants to get an early start to evaluate the magistrate and to advertise for additional candidates for the position, allowing the magistrate time for improvement before then, Hatch said. No action was taken; the item was for information only.

• approved an agreement for collection services from Valley Collection for any delinquent accounts, such as water, sewer, hook-up fees, and others.

• supports restoration of the State Housing Trust Funds and maintaining the current allocation of 2013 HOME funds to the Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation program. Town Planner Ruth Mayday invited the program director to Chino, and drove around the community showing the need for the additional housing funding.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2014
Article comment by: Art Sandoval

Imagine that, Hatch has a "prior commitment" that will not allow her to do something that she doesn't agree with. Is that equivalent to a child laying on the ground and screaming when they don't get their way? And just so we are clear, Wojcik's comment on tv was that he felt people didn't stick around after executive session because they "just don't care!" Isn't that right Don?
This council and previous)seems to focus on the most ridiculous items! Very little discussion on the missed opportunity of hosting a tax revenue event in our community. Here is a local's voice so the council can hear it! Wewant to host the proposed music production event that will support our community!!! Where this production company donates their money after the event is none of your business Hatch! Focus on the community you "serve" and not your personal beliefs!

Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Article comment by: tired OF IT ALL

So if i want to watch my town council in action I have to show up and then sit around for an extra hour after the consent agenda? sounds like a discervice to me.. thanks

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