Of course, by that time, months of meetings had already transpired, and on top of that, there were scores of emails involving three Council members, each email thread itself could potentially be construed as a violation of the OPMA since discussion took place and actions were taken. In an effort to minimize the apparent damage, Council Chair Miller tried to explain that nothing substantive was discussed during the CAO Implementation Committee meetings, only scheduling matters (see email below). However, the trail of emails tells a very different story. The CAO update process was discussed, matters relating to buffers, the SMP Inventory and Characterization Report, Ecology letters, and who knows what else.
There is simply no easy way to fix that blunder. It's a fatal flaw associated with the proposed CAO.
I get the feeling that the stench of death surrounding the proposed CAOs is beginning to become noticeable, even to some of the Council members. Privately, I understand some of the key players are starting to distance themselves from it, saying, for example, that they never liked the "site-specific" approach in the first place. Had they ever developed a site-specific approach, that complaint might be more credible. But don't confuse whining for outright opposition to the CAOs. Feeling as if there is nowhere else to go and having a dearth of courage, Council members are likely to vote for the CAOs while simultaneously distancing themselves from it, which is a position that only a politician could grasp.
It seems that even the local union branch of County employees, Local 1849, may be growing tired of the shenanigans of our elected leaders. As a case in point, the Local has not endorsed either of the incumbents seeking re-election, but they have endorsed Marc Forlenza, who is running against Councilman Howie Rosenfeld.
Not much time now before our current Council votes on the CAO. At this point, hardly a soul cares for it, but like some over-budget nuclear power plant, the Council is fixated on the sunk costs and feels they must finish it. Best just to toss it to Randy Gaylord and hope for the best. Handing it off to Gaylord may be a fitting event, not because he's the Prosecuting Attorney, but because he's also the coroner, and the proposed CAO is so flawed that it's dead on arrival.
From: Patty Miller [mailto:PattyM@sanjuanco.com]
Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 12:31 PM
Cc: Pete Rose; Shireene Hale
Subject: CAO Implementation Committee Meetings
I believe you made a request to be notified of when and where the CAO Implementation Committee meetings are taking place. The Committee meets very infrequently (generally less than once per month) and we do not have any future meeting scheduled at this time. Historically we have not opened these meetings to the public since there is not a quorum of the council, any staff recommendations are discussed in open Council meetings, and these meetings are primarily just focused on coordinating
schedules and timing. It would be up to the group to reconsider this
Chair - San Juan County Council