July 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
(Los Alamitos, 7/23/2012) Months ago Judge Banks ruled that Council Members Edgar, Poe, and Stephens voted to break the Los Alamitos’ Municipal Code requirement to award the soldi waste franchise to the lowest responsible bidder. Now the Council Member who received the most votes in the last election wants the Council to meet in closed session on August 6 to determine if they should
- Hire a lawyer and/or law firm to examine the facts and evidence and the Los Alamitos Municipal Code and prepare and submit a report to the Council that either recommends prosecution or a finding that the LAMC was not violated.
- Determine if the City should seek reimbursement from the City’s consultant SloanVasquez for their failure to understand the LAMC and provide competent service and guidance with crafting the City’s Request for Quote and subsequent evaluation and selection of the franchisee. [ad]
To be very clear: a decision of “no action” should be determined by the Council in closed session, with expert guidance from the City Attorney and should not be determined by the City Attorney without discussion by the Council.
Lets see, the judge ruled the Council Majority voted to break the law. The Trash Consultant, SloanVasquez charged the City a bundle to facilitate that. Makes sense to me that:
- An impartial, outside lawyer should look into the matter.
- The City’s entitled to their money back, plus damages, from SloanVazquez. Although Consolidated Disposal paid the City’s legal fees, they din’t reimburse for the hours and hours of staff and Council time wasted on dealing with the issue, time that could have been invested in improving our community.
Also makes sense that the City Attorney owes our town as much as SloanVasquez does. She was the one who advised the Council they weren’t breaking the law.
Which brings up the interesting question why Council Members Edgar, Poe, and Stephens fired the City Attorney who actually drafted the law regarding trash contracts before digging into the botched bidding process that resulted in the lawsuit.
Why another closed session?
Finally, I don’t understand why CM Kusumoto wants this to be handled in closed session. Just because it’s a legal matter and they have the option to meet behind closed doors doesn’t mean that’s the right thing to do.
Look at what happened to Penn State when their top leaders decided to “handle” a sensitive personnel issue behind closed doors!
At this point I wonder if anything the current Council does should be done behind closed doors. How about a City Attorney and Mayor who look for reasons to avoid closed sessions rather than reasons to hide from public scrutiny, especially with all the Brown Act accusations flying around.
How about doing the city’s business in the light of day. . . and LosAl Channel 3?
Of course, the bigger question is why would CMs Stephens, Poe, and Edgar vote to give the trash contract to the second highest bidder anyway? For an intro to what appears to be Los Al’s best kept secret, check out “The $20,500 tip of the Edgar/Briggeman/Poe/Stephens iceberg.”