MAILING IT IN… Squid loves the annual Cephalopod Conference, especially the shrimp cocktail parties, although there is serious business too. There was business at the League of California Cities Conference that took place Sept. 22-24 in Sacramento, including votes on bylaw amendments and two resolutions. Each member city gets a ballot.
Pacific Grove sent three councilmembers: Joe Amelio, Jenny McAdams and Chaps Poduri. McAdams was the official voting delegate, which means she was required to stay until voting at the very end. According to an email chain the Weekly obtained through a California Public Records Act request, McAdams’ colleagues never saw her and asked City Manager Ben Harvey whether she cast P.G.’s ballot. Harvey was notified by a League official that the city’s ballot was never picked up, nor returned. When Harvey pressed her, McAdams pointed to photos of herself at the conference but didn’t answer whether she voted. Poduri asked her point blank if she voted and she never answered him, either.
McAdams tells Squid’s colleague the League is mistaken. She claims she did pick up a ballot and turned it in before leaving the conference early to pick up her son from school. But a League spokesperson confirms the only way to vote is in person. Hmm.
The emails reveal something else: a duck and dive by McAdams, who tried to deflect from herself by focusing on Amelio’s and Poduri’s failure to turn in a conference report to council, as required by law. Poduri submitted one in time for a Dec. 1 council agenda, in which he states that he and Amelio attended the conference. McAdams’ name is conspicuously absent.
CLOCK OUT… Squid long ago gave up Squid’s nocturnal tendencies because all those fishing boats with their bright lights come out at dark. So Squid now hunkers down in the lair at nightfall – perfect for watching public access television. Marina City Council on AMP? Yes, please! Only Squid, even with Squid’s late-night history, can barely stay awake for these meetings. On Tuesday, Nov. 16, they didn’t wrap until 12:18am, by which time Squid had dozed off.
Maybe it’s because Mayor Bruce Delgado invites members of the public each to speak for up to four minutes – longer than any other agency Squid knows of, where speakers are cut off at the two – or three-minute mark. Or maybe it’s because council members themselves ramble on.
Whatever the cause, there’s data to show these meetings run on too long: The average meeting time in the past three months is five hours, seven minutes.
Squid is all for keeping people engaged. Yes, we should hear from the public, but when people are expected to participate into the wee hours of the night, it’s not helping them stay involved. Less is more.