By Julie Graboi
Encinitas residents want to know why other councils over the last thirty odd years have been able to conduct business during the set schedule of general meetings, yet this current council has a significantly higher number of canceled general meetings and has replaced them instead with special meetings.
Between January 1, and September 26, 2020, there have been nine canceled regular council meetings and 34 special council meetings!
According to Councilmember Jody Hubbard, “Some general meetings are replaced with special meetings (one topic) because the subject matter is complicated and important, and will result in a long meeting.”
Ms. Hubbard, you seem to be arguing that complexity of information requires you to have meetings on a single topic, but it almost sounds like you are insulting us and saying that we can’t comprehend.
Communication is a two-way process, and as one that council is paid for and in charge of, I think it is fair to ask why prior councils were able maintain schedules and to cover complex material in a way that this council seems unable to do. Isn’t that embarrassing?
The rules for special meetings are not the same as general meetings, and often they are held at times when citizens are at work and are unable to participate.
At times, the location of the special meetings are also different, so these changes from the normal routine almost guarantee lower attendance on account of the shift in established time and possible location.
Special meetings also deprive citizens of presenting at Oral Communications, which allows resident three minutes to address any topic.
Fewer meetings translate to longer meetings and fewer Oral Communications opportunities.
“The idea that the Mayor would intentionally make a long meeting makes no sense,” Hubbard said/
Whether it makes sense that the Mayor would intentionally want a long meeting is not the issue.
The result is that more citizens are deprived their ability to attend meetings and speak at meetings with no Oral Communications, and reduced general meetings last longer.
Council, recognize that some view the three-monthly general meeting schedule as the most basic job requirement that others were able to carry out.
Please listen to what citizens are telling you and find a way that you can perform your paid duties at a minimum, at least as well as every other previous council.
Julie Graboi is an Olivenhain resident