By Miriam Raftery
October 11, 2016 (La Mesa) – At today’s 4 p.m. meeting, La Mesa City Council will consider a proposal introduced by Council members Bill Baber and Kristine Alessio that would require signatures of two Council members to place any item on the agenda. Under the proposal (item 10 on the agenda), all requests must also be made in writing, be relevant to the official business of the City, and submitted with any pertinent materials by the Wednesday prior to a Tuesday Council hearing.
Until now, any member could ask to add an item to the agenda and seek full discussion, sometimes at the request of a concerned citizen.
The action could potentially stifle a dissenting voice from bringing items forward in a public hearing. However Terry Francke, general counsel of Californians Aware, says the measure does not violate Brown Act government requirements and that requiring more than one member to put an item on an agenda is not uncommon.
Asked his reasons for introducing the measure, Councilman Baber told ECM,”I’m trying to standardize how things get on the docket. I couldn’t believe it doesn’t have to be in writing.” He also felt the clerk should have “reasonable timeless” to handle documentation for agenda items.
As for limiting items to those with at least two council member signatures, he pointed out that while any member currently can add something to an agenda and make a public statement, it already requires a motion to second before any discussion can take place. “Politicans like to grandstand, and this limits grandstanding,” he told ECM today.
Today’s agenda also includes appointment members to the Youth Advisory Commission.
In addition, the consent calendar has eight items ranging from appointment of a Planning Cmmission member to authorizing the Mayor to sign a payment agreement with the County for a Next Generation Regional Communications System.