Meeting delayed for lack of quorum

By: Tom Durkin
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Tuesday’s city council meeting and budget workshop was rescheduled to 7 p.m. Thursday. Late Friday afternoon, Councilman Josh Alpine informed the city he could not make Tuesday’s meeting, reported City Clerk Karen Pierce. Following the July 2 resignations of Mayor Jim Albright and Councilwoman Sharon Geiras, the city council was left with three members. As a result, if one member is unable to attend a meeting, there is no quorum — and thus no city business can legally be conducted. To insure they would be able to conduct business in the absence of one member, council members voted July 9 to appoint someone to finish Geiras’ term, which would have ended this year. Ironically, the council was scheduled to appoint a fourth council member at Tuesday’s meeting. Without a quorum, however, they had to reschedule the meeting so Alpine, Mayor Sherrie Blackmun and Councilwoman Suzanne Roberts could appoint a new member. Five people have applied to fill the vacancy: Ken Delfino, Donna Barkle, Stephen Harvey, Benjamin Roberts and William Stockwell. By law, the appointment must be made during an open session of the council, according to City Manager Joan Phillipe. The rescheduled meeting, which will start at 7 p.m. at Sierra Vista Community Center, is expected to attract a large number of citizens because the council will also discuss the city’s deficit-ridden 2008-09 budget. Included in the discussion will be a report on the actual salaries of city staff, which have been the object of much misinformation in the past weeks, said City Finance Director Dau Luc. In addition to the appointment of a fourth city council member and discussion of the proposed budget, the council will consider the following items: · A resolution to award a $79,100 contract to the lowest responsible bidder, Fletcher’s Plumbing & Contracting Inc., to conduct a mandated inflow and infiltration study of the city’s sewer pipes; · Discussion and possible action on a draft zoning ordinance; · Finalization of the sale and/or disposition of surplus city property, including youth center assets; · Discussion of securing an independent attorney – other than City Attorney Scott Browne – to handle the highly controversial proposed sewer rate increase and how Proposition 218, a tax limitation law, applies to the rate increase.