On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council opted into an election night City Council meeting citing a busy schedule of items in the upcoming months.
In the Consent Calendar, staff asked the council to approve a resolution authorizing the cancellation of the November 8, 2022 and December 20, 2022, regular City Council meetings.
Councilwoman Jovita Mendoza pulled the item saying she was concerned because they have been having a lot of “late” meetings and if they pulled the Nov. 8 and Dec. 20 meeting that they would have more 1:00 am meetings.
According to the City Council Meeting videos, here is a look at the length of the meetings since June:
- Oct 25 – 2:49:16
- Oct 11 – 4:43:33
- Sept. 27 – 6:00:59
- Sept. 13 – 4:10:23
- Aug. 30 – 54:01
- Aug. 23 – 5:05:52
- Aug. 9 – 6:22:55
- July 21 – 3:01:59
- July 12 – 7:00:06
- June 28 – 6:24:51
- June 14 – 3:55:16
- June 1 – 5:58:08
“I would rather have the November 8 meeting than staying really late for the November 15 meetings,” said Mendoza. “Our residents don’t want to stay up that late anymore.”
Staff shared a tentative schedule of major upcoming items to discuss:
City Manager Tim Ogden stated if they cancelled a meeting in November they would have a heavier second meeting, but a cancelled meeting in December would not have much significance. In January, he said there were still many items that had variables to see when they would show up.
“In November, these are not complex items, there are just a few more than you would normally see for new business,” said Ogden.
Mendoza argued she could see several items taking them a long time to discuss such as the Sand Creek Complex and Deer Ridge LLAD. She urged for the November 8 meeting.
Councilmember Susannah Meyer said she would support moving some items from the November 15 meeting to November 8 to take some of the pressure off that meeting.
Councilmember Karen Rarey stated in the past they have not needed a second meeting in November and December because of the holidays but looking at the tentative schedule, whatever they could move off November 15 to November 8 would help.
“Generally, we haven’t needed it, but this looks pretty heavy,” said Rarey.
Mayor Joel Bryant agreed with the thought process, but said his concern was this meeting would occur on election night.
“Having the involvement of our residents could be more difficult depending on what they prioritize, then again its their priority what they want to spend time with us during a council meeting. I don’t disagree it being nice to have a potentially shorter meeting on the 8th and help lighten the 15th meeting.”
Rarey responded that tonight they public comments and informational reports going until 7:30 pm with polls closing at 8:00 pm.
“Potentially they could miss a half-hour of the agenda items. We are available via zoom and phone so it is something they could watch by standing in lines if they are really long,” said Rarey. “I don’t see a problem with November 8 or schedule it for a special meeting for later in the week.”
Mendoza urged them to keep November 8 citing they thought it could be done “pretty quick”.
Mendoza then motioned they keep the November 8 meeting and cancel the December 20 meeting.
The council voted 5-0 to
City Council Chambers Update
Staff provided an update on the construction of the City Council Chambers and said the goal is to get this open by December 1 which they believe they could hit that target. The update was provided by Michael Baria, Chief Information Systems Officer. He said the goal was to bring a “Zoom Experience” back to the council chambers with a camera locked in on each councilmember.
They have also made several technological upgrades with their system.
Downtown WIFI Improvement
There is a CIP project in the future and see ways they think they can improve it, but its on a future project list.
With items being moved around at meetings between November to January and into February, Councilmember Karen Rarey would be termed out at the first meeting in December with the newly elected District 4 candidate (Holly Bishop-Lopez or Anthony “Tony” Oerlemans) replacing her. This gives Rarey and the council majority voting block an extra meeting to push items through and give direction on several items.
It should also be pointed out in your editors note that this City council is their own reason why these meetings go into the early morning hours. They micromanage and are time wasters. These people have no clue how to run an efficient meeting nor do they respect staff or the public but do love their own view of there self importance. I understand wanting to do things right, but if they did their homework and actually were prepared, they could perform their jobs in a timely manner by approving items or providing feedback.
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