At the Nov. 9, 2010 Leon County Commission meeting, the issue of a Citizen’s Advisory Board for utilities will once again be addressed.
At issue is the city’s response to the county’s proposal to create a citizens board through a charter amendment. You may recall earlier this year the Leon County Citizen Charter Review Committee discussed the creation of a Citizen Utility Advisory Board at length during its review of the Leon County Charter.
City officials asked the Board of County Commissioners to shelve the charter amendment by proposing to reactivate the city’s Citizens Advisory Board. The Board was deactivated in March 2006.
The Board of County Commissioners agreed to delay action, but directed county staff to submit a status report after six months detailing the activities of the city’s Citizen Advisory Board. The analysis completed by the County staff is listed below:
The Utility Board’s meetings are scheduled for the second Thursday of each month. The Utility Board held its first meeting since its re-activation on April 15, 2010. It has met four times since its re-activation. The meetings for June, August, and October were canceled. The meetings that have taken place thus far have focused on providing the Utility Board with presentations on the City’s services and programs. At the previous meeting held September 9th, the Utility Board requested further direction on its purpose and responsibilities and inquired whether citizens would be given the opportunity to address the Utility Board. Staff responded that the issues would be presented to the City Manager for the next meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for November 9, 2010. The meetings are not publicly noticed or recorded; however, the public is allowed to attend.
County staff has attempted, on numerous occasions, to obtain agendas, minutes, and materials regarding the Utility Board through email and telephone correspondence to the City.
On October 7, 2010, the County Administrator sent a letter to the City Manager requesting information and materials regarding the Utility Board in order to prepare a status report to the Board; however, such information has not been provided by the time of this writing.
Discussions with County Commissioners indicate that findings in the report are not consistent with what they had hoped would take place when the new board was in place. The issue will be discussed at the next meeting and a new direction will be proposed.