Claiming Budget Concerns, Councilmembers Carroll & Kell Separately Agendize Items Proposing Review of Council Meeting Procedures; Could Eventually Mean Significant Changes:
Carroll: Wants "Council Meeting Policy Review" To Include District Meetings, "Streamlining Agenda & Council Meetings" & Meeting Only 3 Wks. Per Month
Kell: Asks City Mgr. To Determine Cost Savings Of: (1) Holding Two Council Meetings Per Month In the Morning; (2) Starting Meetings At 3 p.m. (with hearings at 5 p.m.); (3) Canceling Meetings on 5th Tuesday of Month (April, July, Sept. Dec. 2003); (4) Suspending District Meetings "Until Budget Deficit Is Balanced"
(January 18, 2003) -- In separately agendized items for the Jan. 21 Council meeting, 4th district Councilman Dennis Carroll and 5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell cite budget reasons the basis for considering changing City Council meetings that could (if eventually approved by a Council majority) mean shorter meetings, fewer of them...and possibly moving them to mornings or afternoons and canceling district Council meetings.
Councilman Carroll's proposal urges a review of Council policy that includes "streamlining" meetings (without indicating if the "streamlining" might affect the public's opportunity to be heard). Carroll also wants the review to include the possibility of holding Council meetings only three weeks per month...as well as the Council's "off-site meeting policy" (the Municipal Code currently entitles each Council district to one meeting of the City Council per year.)
Councilwoman Kell asks the City Manager to examine the "cost savings" of several options:
- Holding two Council meetings per month in the morning
- Moving Council meetings to 3:00 p.m. with hearings at 5:00 p.m.
- Eliminating meetings on the fifth Tuesday of a month (April, July, Sept. and December in 2003)
- Suspending district Council meetings "until such time as the budget deficit is balanced."
The latter suggestion, if accepted, would effectively end district Council meetings since LB has had a structural deficit for at least ten years and likely more. In May, 2002, as first reported by LBReport.com, Councilwoman Kell (who had just won re-election to her second term by a large margin), and the Mayor and remainder of the Council, effectively brushed aside the Muni Code requirement to hold a Council meeting in the 5th district.
Councilwoman Kell asks that the above options be sent to the Acting City Manager for a report back to the Council in two weeks.
LBReport.com reproduces the Councilmembers' agendizing memoranda below:
Councilman Carroll's proposal
AGENDA ITEM - City Council Meeting Policy Review
Review of the meeting policies of the Long Beach City Council, to include:
- 1) Off-site meetings policy
- 2) Monthly preparation/planning week for Council and City staff - Council
- 3) Streamlining Council Agenda and Council Meetings.
The budget evaluation process is an appropriate time to revisit the meeting policies of the City Council. Cost savings and other efficiencies can be evaluated in this process. The City Clerk‘s office should also be consulted in this evaluation.
Councilwoman Kell's proposal
Review of City Council Meetings on City Budget
Currently, all City Council meetings are held on Tuesday evenings. Additionally, we
hold nighttime City Council meetings in each of our City Council Districts each year.
While it is certainly more convenient for many members of the public to attend at that
time, it also necessitates that many staff must be paid overtime thus exacerbating our
I, therefore, would like to have the Acting City Manager look at the following items to
determine their cost and cost savings if they were to be implemented:
- 1. How much could be saved if two City Council meetings each month were held
beginning in the morning?
- 2. How much could be saved if all City Council meetings began at 3 p.m. with
Hearings held at 5 pm.?
- 3. How much could be saved if City Council meetings currently scheduled for the
fifth Tuesday of a month (April, July, September and December in 2003) were
- 4. How much could be saved by suspending off-site City Council meetings until
such time as the budget deficit was balanced?
I respectfully request that the City Council approve my request to send these items to the
Acting City Manager for his review and that he report back to the entire City Council in