Bishop City Council: new member, school path, website and mobile homes

bchWhen they meet tonight, Bishop City Council members will hash out how they want to fill the vacancy on their Council left by Jeff Griffiths who was elected to the Inyo Board of Supervisors.

Last week, Bishop City Administrator Keith Caldwell had said the Council would talk about this issue at the Study Session today which starts at 4pm at Bishop City Hall. This meeting is open to the public. The Council will then direct their staff on the process to be used when they meet in regular session tonight at 7pm at City Hall.

City Administrator Caldwell said the Council has a few options – appoint someone directly to the seat, call for applicants or go to a special election. Caldwell said he feels the Council will choose some type of appointment.

Asked if one of the options were appointment of the next highest vote-getter in the November election, Keith Glidewell, the administrator said it is an option for the Council to choose any person. Glidewell had gained 423 votes in the election, but the Council is not obligated to appoint previous candidates.

Also on the Council’s regular agenda tonight – a school path project, a Public Works intern position and consideration to approve an upgrade to the City website through a contract with Mountain Studio.

Officials will also consider a request to go out to bid for fertilizer for City Park, and they will consider proposals for selling city-owned mobile homes at the Sunrise Mobile Home Park. Finally, the Council will review the Alcoholic Beverage License application for Raymonds Deli on Main St.

 

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13 Responses to Bishop City Council: new member, school path, website and mobile homes

  1. history buff January 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Why doesn’t this council ever have discussions during the evening meeting while the public and news media can more easily attend or watch on TV? So much for transparency.

     
    • Inyoite January 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      I asked KSRW to look into this months ago – before the election – when I saw in the minutes of the “study session” that one of the council members (purportedly Susan Cullen) asked to get rid of the study session but that it was decided by an unnamed “majority” of the council to continue them. It is my understanding of law that the minutes must name names when votes are taken, not just list a pass/fail on a motion. Either KSRW can’t get the information, or didn’t. Shame, since it made it difficult to know who to vote for.

       
    • Inyoite January 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      The Brown Act prohibits a “secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.” Government Code Section 54953 (c).

       
      • Benett Kessler January 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

        Dear Inyoite,
        First of all, the City Council takes no action during Study Sessions. The issue of the Study Sessions themselves was brought up by former Council member Susan Cullen,
        but there was no vote. Council members apparently generally favored keeping the sessions but took no vote.

        Also, there are no secret ballots in Study Sessions. The only question about these sessions is whether the Council deliberations at 4pm on the same issues that come up at the regular meeting at 7pm are available to the public in association with the item. We’ll be writing about this, but City Administrator Keith Caldwell said the City could examine televising the Study Sessions to make them more available or investigating posting meetings online. We’ll keep you updated.
        Benett Kessler

         
        • Inyoite January 28, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

          I’ll respectfully disagree with your analysis. That the council “generally favored” not doing something in a study session and it didn’t move forward to the council meeting *is* a decision. And it was a decision made by an unreported “majority”. It’s easy to hide in a back room and brainstorm and only bring forward ideas that you already know you have support for by a majority of your colleagues to the televised meeting. That way you never have to stand alone behind your idea, or face the public.

           
          • Benett Kessler January 28, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

            Good point. The City Administrator points to the fact that Study Sessions are publicly noticed meetings and no votes are taken.
            Minutes are kept. But, the issue here is whether expected deliberations on issues occur when the public expects them to.
            Benett Kessler

             
  2. Chris January 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    Methinks the study sessions are slippery slopes. Someone had better do more studying on these so-called study sessions before the City is held liable for making decisions without officially making decisions. Sounds like doublespeak, yet again, to me. Just sayin’. Overall, Bishop’s City management and operation is so much better than many I’ve seen; would hate to see trouble comin’…

     
  3. Ted Gardner January 29, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    While I was on the Bishop City Council several years ago I asked to change the “Study Session” starting time to 6:00 P.M. I felt that the public and the media would have a better opportunity to attend at that time. The starting time was changed to 6:00 P.M. for a while and later changed back to the 4:00 P.M. start after a year or so at the request of another Council member. Having been a member of the City Council for four years I strongly feel that there is often important and interesting discussion that takes place during the Study Session. Not all interested members of the public can attend a 4:00 P.M. meeting. Maybe it’s time to consider a later starting time again.

     
    • Steve K January 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      The problem with starting the study session at 6 pm, is that the session will be rushed because you have an hour before the council meeting. These study sessions can last over two hours.

       
      • Benett Kessler January 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

        The actual issue here is – should officials deliberate on issues at the time and location of the actual meeting agenda.
        In other words, if citizens look at the City Council agenda and see an item on the regular meeting, shouldn’t they
        expect that deliberation of that item will take place then and not earlier?
        Benett Kessler

         
  4. a corrupt system January 29, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Elected officials always promise to do the bidding of those who elected them. Unfortunately, human nature being the way it is, and coupled with the fact that nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors (especially in bad economic times) that one must understand that until it is 100% illegal for an elected official to accept one dime, favors, etc. from any outside source, the system you have in place will be a corrupt one.
    All we can do is to keep in place a revolving door policy for each and every election.

     
  5. Brian Bourelle January 29, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Hey, If the city is exploring selling the city owned Mobile homes at Sunrise Mobile Home Park, what do they plan to do with the renters in them now if they can not afford or qualify to purchase them? There are people in the park who have been there for some 30 plus years and are in their mid to late 90’s. The park serves a tremendous service to seniors, not only in offering low income housing but it also gives them a feeling of self worth by being able to live independently. Hopefully the city will look at this when they consider selling the rental trailers. Displacing these people who have called the park home for many years would definitely be a black eye for the city!! It was recently brought to my attention that the city has eliminated a vital position at the park, the resident manager. I know times are tough and cuts need to be made but I would think they could find somewhere else, other then to our seniors, to do it.
    SeeYa!!

     
    • Benett Kessler January 29, 2013 at 9:21 am #

      Last night, the City Administrator made it clear mobile homes would only be sold once residents vacated them.
      Benett

       

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