Saturday, October 20, 2012

Why the meeting was cancled

Big deal. The meeting was cancelled and the public didn't get a chance petition the council in public. That means no rancor and that's good right? What is not good is how the city operates. 

The following is a pretty weak example of manipulation over something 99% of the public would have a knee jerk positive reaction to, so it sort of depreciates the efforts others have taken to expose manipulation and outright lying about more substantive issues. However, can you read this and then tell us what  gives the city manager authority to cancel a meeting?

Credit to the people who questioned authority when something didn't seem just right.

_____________________________
 On Oct 16, 2012, at 5:53 PM, "Andrew Audet"  wrote:

Dear Mayor Stocks

The city code below defines the dates for council meetings. The code also defines the process for cancelling a meeting.

At your earliest please let me know why the meeting was cancelled. Thank you very much.

Kind regards
Andrew Audet
Encinitas
city code:
2.20.040 Regular Meetings. (Ord.2001.21)
A. Regular meetings of the City Council shall be held on the second, third, and fourth Wednesday of each month.
B. The City Council may, by resolution, designate another date, time and location for a regular meeting.
 
_____________________________
From: Jerome Stocks [mailto:JStocks@encinitasca.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:13 PM
To: Andrew Audet
Subject: Re: Cancelled meeting

Again, from the City Clerk to whom I recommend you ask follow-up questions:

... Resolutions can only be passed by the City Council at a public meeting.  However, a resolution is not required to cancel a meeting.

Kathy Hollywood
City Clerk, City of Encinitas
760-633-2603


_____________________________
 On Oct 17, 2012, at 2:34 PM, "Andrew Audet" <audet@earthlink.net> wrote:

Mayor Stocks-

Thank you for your prompt response. Do I understand correctly that your answer is the city has no business on behalf of the taxpayer to discuss?

Can you please cite for me specifically where in our city codes it defines, states or codifies that the city manager may cancel a meeting? This is my third request for specifics.

Thank you for your prompt response.

Andrew Audet
Encinitas


_____________________________
 From: Teresa Barth
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 4:20 PM
To: Kathy Hollywood
Cc: Gus Vina
Subject: Cancelled council meeting procedures

Hi Kathy

I was contacted by a resident who had the following procedural questions about the cancelled meeting.  Can you help me answer her questions?

I would really appreciate it if you could verify that I am correct in the following conclusions:
In order for council to cancel a regularly scheduled meeting, they must designate another date, time, and location via a resolution..
A resolution must be passed by a council majority in public.
Resolutions are assigned numbers so that they can be located in city records.
Thanks

Teresa Arballo Barth
Councilmember
City of Encinitas
760-633-2620
 Encinitas - Five Unique Communities. One Great City.
 Correspondents should be aware that all communications to or from this address are subject to public disclosure and may be reviewed by third parties.

From: Jerome Stocks [mailto:jstocks@encinitasca.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:24 AM
To: Andrew Audet
Subject: Re: Cancelled meeting

Mr. Audet, below please find a response from the City Clerk to Council Member Barth's similar request:

Teresa – here is the information you requested.

1.    If a meeting is canceled for lack of business, there is no such requirement.  This is consistent with the City’s past practices of canceled meetings.
2.    Correct
3.    Correct – resolutions are given an assigned number for identification purposes

Let me know if I can be of further assistance

Kathy Hollywood
City Clerk, City of Encinitas
760-633-2603

Correspondents should be aware that all communications to and from this address are subject to public disclosure and may be reviewed by third parties.

_____________________________


On Oct 17, 2012, at 10:16 AM, Andrew Audet wrote:

Dear Mr. Mayor:

This is my second request, can you please cite for me or direct me to the city code that allow the city manager to cancel a city council meeting. Thanks greatly.

Andrew Audet
Encinitas

From: Jerome Stocks [mailto:JStocks@encinitasca.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 6:40 PM
To: Andrew Audet
Subject: Re: Cancelled meeting

The City Manager cancelled the meeting due to a lack of agenda items. This reduces the overtime/evening staff costs.
I am curious as to why you would care about such an issue and look forward to your response.

Jerome Stocks
Mayor
City of Encinitas


_____________________________

From: Kathy Hollywood [mailto:khollywood@encinitasca.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 6:06 PM
To: Andrew Audet
Subject: RE: Cancelled meeting

Attached is a copy of City Council Policy No. C019.

Kathy Hollywood
City Clerk, City of Encinitas
760-633-2603

Correspondents should be aware that all communications to and from this address are subject to public disclosure and may be reviewed by third parties.

From: Andrew Audet
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:41 AM
To: Kathy Hollywood
Subject: Cancelled meeting

Dear Ms. Hollywood:

If you would be so kind could you please provide me the specific city code that defines the process and under what circumstances the city manager can cancel city council meetings.  Your prompt response is appreciated.

Thank you
Andrew Audet
Encinitas



From: Gus Vina [mailto:gvina@encinitasca.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 6:04 PM
To: audet
Cc: Kathy Hollywood
Subject: Inquiry

Andrew, fyi.

Statement regarding the cancellation of the City Council meeting for October 17, 2012.

There were no business items to be placed on the agenda for the October 17, 2012 City Council meeting.  The City Manager confirmed this fact with the Mayor and consequently canceled the meeting.

Thank you.


Gus Vina
City Manager
City of Encinitas
gvina@encinitasca.org




Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2012 6:15 PM
To: Andrew Audet; 
Subject: Fw: Illegal cancellation of regular Council meeting by city manager Re: Inquiry

Sent this to Gus and the Council.

To: "Gus Vina" <gvina@encinitasca.gov>
Cc: "Jim Bond" <jbond@ci.encinitas.ca.us>, "Jerome Stocks" <jstocks@ci.encinitas.ca.us>, "Mark Muir" <Mmuir@ci.encinitas.ca.us>, "Kristin Gaspar" <kgaspar@ci.encinitas.ca.us>, "Teresa Barth" <tbarth@ci.encinitas.ca.us>, Khollywood@encinitasca.gov, "Claudia Bingham" <cbingham@ci.encinitas.ca.us>
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 6:11 PM


Gus,

You have only provided a statement of your actions.   You didn't answer the question of where in the municipal code do you have the authority to cancel regular scheduled Council meetings.

By your actions, you have told the Council that your power and authority usurps their power. 
Oddly enough, the Council members meekly went along with your actions. 

Your actions consisted of conspiring with Jerome Stocks, the mayor, to subterfuge a power grab in which the legal authority to cancel regular scheduled meetings was the responsibility of the Council as a whole.

Please answer the question:

Where in the municipal code are you given the authority to cancel regular scheduled Council meetings?

<gvina@encinitasca.gov> wrote:

From: Gus Vina <gvina@encinitasca.gov>
Subject: Inquiry
To: twicesites
Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 6:11 PM
 

[...]fyi.



Statement regarding the cancellation of the City Council meeting for October 17, 2012.



There were no business items to be placed on the agenda for the October 17, 2012 City Council meeting.  The City Manager confirmed this fact with the Mayor and consequently canceled the meeting.



Gus Vina

City Manager

City of Encinitas

gvina@encinitasca.org 


_____________________

Here's the stuff that the city clerk attached after being asked for the specifics:



When the city is right about about something they stab at members of the public with the sharp end of the municode (ie city law). They cite the specific sections of the law. 

In this case, more than a couple people were asking for the city to cite the section and verse of the law that allows for the city manager to call off a meeting. I only had time to skim the emails, and I didn't see it. Did you?

BTW, if there really wasn't any business planned for this week's meeting, why wasn't the cancellation at least mentioned at the council meeting the day before agenda packets are normally released to the council?  That's how things would roll in the real world.

Below, citizens held a mock council meeting allowing citizens to speak at oral communication, the night of the canceled meeting. Some people cared that the meeting was canceled. I think they were more concerned about HOW it was cancelled. 



It is reported that Lynn was given only one minute to speak and she didn't complain about it.

20 comments:

  1. What if the people wanted to speak during Oral Communications? Wouldn't that be enough to hold a meeting? And the idea that there was actually NO city business to agendize seems like a stretch, even to me. Furthering the interesting changes at City Hall is the fact that at the Parks and Recreation Commission's last meeting, which was Oct. 16th, we were told that we would not meet in November or December. No reason, that I could understand, was actually given. I wonder if Mr. Vina is running the City, or is the City Council running it?

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  2. I agree. Even if there were 0 items on the agenda, open communication is one of the few ways for citizens to directly air their concerns and grievances before the council, who are after all, our employees. To say this doesn't merit a meeting is to suggest that direct citizen input to the council is a lower priority concern. I think though that putting the blame on Gus is misleading. In simple terms, Jerome is his boss, not us.

    I believe he was concerned about being embarrassed during open communications in front of the young kids, and their parents who are normally honored in October for their contributions to the Red Ribbon drug awareness program.

    Instead, he chose to deliver the recognition personally to the kids at their local schools, avoiding any embarrassment, and getting a series of free campaign photo ops.

    Of course, this isn't a "capital crime" either. It's just another in a series of self-serving manipulations designed to keep him in power and the public in the dark.

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  3. Good point Tough Love. The kids and their parents usually love to go to the Council meetings and get recognized. I had forgotten about that, but I have heard many times over the years that the kids really look forward to being publicly recognized by the City Council. They do not know all of what's going on in our City, and I wonder what they and their parents think. It is hard enough to resist drugs and alcohol these days, and the kids that get behind this deserve to be recognized.

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    Replies
    1. What a pity the children hold the city in such regard, and that the city council merits it so little.

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  4. The problem here is Andrew's WHERE question repeatedly given a WHY answer. It is either in the code or it is not. How officials "feel" about serving the public for a regularly scheduled meeting is probably nowhere to be found in the code - but I could be wrong. I'm not walking code encyclopedia. However, it holds true that Tough Love's assertion that Oral Communications and public presentations rate lower attention with our officials than regular City business items. BTW, how much money was saved by not holding one City Council meeting anyway?

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  5. Why anyone believes the City of Encinitas currently follows code is amazing to me. The Code is there for the Council majority to use or ignore depending on the specific problem.
    A great new example is the Starbucks at Leucadia and Orpheus. A Subway has gone into one of the vacant units. The only way the City could allow that was if they defined a Subway as "retail" and not a "restaurant". They told me that the new Subway was not a restaurant because there would be no tables and chairs - it would be take out only. When I visit the Subway there is a table and two chairs with a small handicapped sticker. So the City decided to allow the Subway because it wouldn't have tables and chairs knowing that under the ADA rules it had to have a table and chairs. Makes sense to them.
    The Staff says it has the option of doing this, but the code does not define restaurant, which I consider a very broad family of retail stores. I think anybody would say yes when asked if a Subway is a restaurant. The code for retail parking requirements reads "Individual retail uses and other individual commercial services EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED HEREIN:" [emphasis mine]. The requirement for restaurant parking is 1 space per 100 square feet of floor space and the retail requirement is 1 space per 250 square feet of floor space. So a restaurant is not a restaurant if the City Staff decides it is not regardless of what the Code says. I was told by Staff both in writing and orally that this has been done previously and "is the way we always do it".
    Someone is directing Staff to cram as much commercial into whatever space available such as the shoehorning of the Walgreens into the BofA complex at Encinitas and El Camino Real. Code can be bent or broken at will and most of the new language in the General Plan update will make it even easier for Staff. More on the Starbucks/Subway at a later date.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why anyone believes the City of Encinitas currently follows code is amazing to me. The Code is there for the Council majority to use or ignore depending on the specific problem.
    A great new example is the Starbucks at Leucadia and Orpheus. A Subway has gone into one of the vacant units. The only way the City could allow that was if they defined a Subway as "retail" and not a "restaurant". They told me that the new Subway was not a restaurant because there would be no tables and chairs - it would be take out only. When I visit the Subway there is a table and two chairs with a small handicapped sticker. So the City decided to allow the Subway because it wouldn't have tables and chairs knowing that under the ADA rules it had to have a table and chairs. Makes sense to them.
    The Staff says it has the option of doing this, but the code does not define restaurant, which I consider a very broad family of retail stores. I think anybody would say yes when asked if a Subway is a restaurant. The code for retail parking requirements reads "Individual retail uses and other individual commercial services EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED HEREIN:" [emphasis mine]. The requirement for restaurant parking is 1 space per 100 square feet of floor space and the retail requirement is 1 space per 250 square feet of floor space. So a restaurant is not a restaurant if the City Staff decides it is not regardless of what the Code says. I was told by Staff both in writing and orally that this has been done previously and "is the way we always do it".
    Someone is directing Staff to cram as much commercial into whatever space available such as the shoehorning of the Walgreens into the BofA complex at Encinitas and El Camino Real. Code can be bent or broken at will and most of the new language in the General Plan update will make it even easier for Staff. More on the Starbucks/Subway at a later date.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mr. Fred,

    Attendance at council meetings (or should) is considered part the normal work requirements of our salaried employees. The only savings could come from electric bills and the TV crew, who might be on an hourly rate, but if non-biz items that could have been heard are just pushed to next week then we didn't really save on that.

    Maybe the council should hold separate meetings for all their fluff proclamations and presentations and separate days, or prior to regular biz meetings. That way staff won't have to waste their time sitting through all that. We would only need a city clerk staff member to run these proclamation meetings. It would also be good for open government because it would be harder for the council to hide BIZ items late at night (because of all the proclamation and non-biz presentations can go on for hours). It keeps the press from covering it and the public goes home before speaking or hearing what the council has to say.

    So, if we really did save money last week, lets start saving money every week.

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  8. Linpat,

    More than the council majority will ignore the code when it suits them.

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  9. Can someone post links to Stocks and Muirs 460 forms. Thanks

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  10. LB. Is that what I asked? Collectivel speaking, council makes money, staff makes money, the cable co. makes money, and so on. Do they all get paid anyway when a meeting is canceled?

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  11. LOL @ I only spoke for a minute, and didn't complain!

    LB, I used to be LB, too, ha ha.

    The upcoming Council Meeting is our last chance to speak during oral communications before the election. I plan on being there, and I hope many others are, too. We shouldn't have TOO long of a meeting, since there was "nothing" on the agenda for this last, improperly cancelled, one.

    But oral communications and special presentations, and the minutes and warrants are ALWAYS on the agenda, even if there's a note (no special presentations) typed into the template that the Clerk uses.

    By Stocks' logic, the upcoming SDWD meeting should be cancelled, because there is NOTHING scheduled on its regular agenda, either!

    Good insights, Fred, about the Clerk answering as to the why and not to the where: unanswered is where in the code are the mayor and city manager given authority to cancel a council meeting?

    Only shown, in the Clerk's attachments is code regarding canceling or adding agenda items! But even the code for taking something off the agenda, already posted, HAS NOT BEEN FOLLOWED, for example regarding the Peder Norby contract issue, which was once just cancelled, and another time indefinitely delayed by appointment of a bogus subcommittee.

    The ban on banner issues was also stretched out without allowing public discussion of appointing another delaying subcommittee to review counsel's report, which took Sabine's partner, Morrison, four months to come up with. Two more months before the moratorium on banners was lifted, thanks to more bullying by Stocks.

    So from April 11 to Oct 10, we were disavowed of our rights according to constitutional law and current Encinitas Code, which SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED WITHOUT TWO PUBLIC HEARINGS AND TWO READINGS OF THE ORDINANCE TO BE SUSPENDED. Unlike a resolution, changing EMC is changing an Ordinance, and (again) requires two public hearings and two readings.

    Cancelling the Council Meeting is just an ultimate form of bullying by manipulating agendas, not complying with parliamentary procedure, tradition, written or unwritten policy, nor adhering to EMC.

    Seems foolhardy, right before the election!

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  12. Interesting...
    Encinitas Watch: Campaign Signs and Ethical Behavior
    http://sdrostra.com/?p=31302

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  13. Bet Stocks doesn't show for the next meeting so bring your effigies. He probably had a gastristic attack after the last meeting choking back all the arrogant insults he wanted to throw at the First Amendment exercise of rights. I was shocked to see a Subway in the building with Starbucks. Is that a drive through Subway? If not, are they selling non-edible retail faux food?

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  14. Are there any consequences for something like this?

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  15. OMG, our mail came late tonight, and I was shocked (but shouldn't have been) to find the 8.5 x 11 inch stiff mailer put out by a PAC, North County Taxpayers for Responsible Government, packed full of lies, favoring, Jerome Stocks and Mark Muir, falsely attacking Lisa Shaffer and Tony Kranz. Have you seen this yet?

    I know it was predicted there could be an October surprise, but the blatant attempts to manipulate voters with jingoism and platitudes, twisting the truth, is still somehow shocking to me!

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  16. What did u expect....

    Jerome stocks has zero integritty.

    If you want change donate to an alternate candidate so they can get their message out.

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  17. Sorry that this is off topic but I must pay tribute to a legendary leucadian.Just got word that Donald Takayama has passed away.
    You will be missed.
    RIP DT!

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  18. Can you please post a vid of Andrew Audet's oral communication at the end of the 10/24 CC meeting?

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  19. Can you please post a vid of Andrew Audet's oral communication at the end of the 10/24 CC meeting?

    ReplyDelete

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