October 9, 2011 (Alpine) – Alpine Community Planning Group member George Barnett will retain his seat after rescinding a prior resignation, Supervisor Dianne Jacob has indicated. Responding to a letter from another planning group member, Louis Russo, Supervisor Dianne Jacob states in a September 28 letter that “According to County Counsel, there is nothing in Board Policy I-1 that prohibits a planning or sponsor group member from changing their mind.”
Chairman Greg Fox declined to accept the resignation, after with Barnett withdrew it. “The APG’s standing rules refer to “officially declared” vacancies which occur when the Chair makes such a declaration. In this instance, there was no official vacancy and the member can retain his seat,” Jacob further noted.
Barnett initially resigned after a question was raised about potential conflicts of interest due to Barnett heading up the Back Country Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that has accepted funds from SDG&E including an easement for Sunrise Powerlink in Potrero and education grants. Barnett, who chaired an ad hoc committee on Sunrise Powerlink for the planning group, has announced his intent to recuse himself from votes on SDG&E-related issues pending a clarification from County Counsel on conflict of interest questions.
Jacob’s letter indicated that she has forwarded a copy of Russo’s e-mail to County Counsel Thomas Montgomery and to Walt Ekard, Chief Administrative Officer, for any information they can provide on other issues raised by Russo regarding potential conflicts of interest.