Monday, March 24, 2014

COSADC Board to Consider Monthly Meetings

Item #2 on the Development Corporation agenda is the move to one Board meeting a month.  The background packet stated:

City of San Angelo Development Corporation
Item 3. Consideration and approval of new meeting schedule.

Item Summary
Staff proposes a change of bi-weekly meetings to one meeting a month. Monthly Board meetings will allow for the ability to utilize the staff resources more efficiently and the ability to have sufficient time to produce the research or background information needed for the Board to make decisions. This further allows for transition of other government Board meetings that staff is responsible for.

Staff expects the COSADC Board meetings to be more meaningful, more productive, and a better use of Board member’s time.

The Board has the ability to call for a special meeting, should the Board need to meet for a special project or as needed during interim meetings.

Staff recommends for approval the following meeting dates: April 23, May 28, June 25, July 23, August 27, September 24, October 22, November 19, and December 17.

Financial Impact
Expect savings in terms of staff services time and budget allocations. Staff services includes but not limited to; legal, public information, finance, accounting, economic development staff.

Submitted by
Roland Peña, Director of Economic Development

Recommended motion
Motion to approve the new meeting schedule with the following meeting dates;  April 23, May 28, June 25, July 23, August 27, September 24, October 22, November 19, and December 17.

This comes a few months after Pena started as Economic Development Director.  Usually board bylaws specify a meeting frequency.  That language was not included in the packet.  The COSADC board has a longtime practice of meeting twice a month with called meetings as needed.

I find it unusual for a new leader to reduce time with their governing body so quickly in their tenure, especially as it had not been a theme in COSADC board meetings or board discussion in their recent strategic planning session.  Several members reacted to Pena's suggestion during the planning meeting, but it did not appear to be board driven.

Pena's logic of having one meeting a month to allow staff time "to produce research and background information" does not jive with "savings in staff services time and budget allocations."  How much time will be used vs. saved?  It's a logical inconsistency and one that deserves illumination.

Update 3-29-13:   The COSADC board voted unanimously to approve Pena's proposal.  There was no board discussion on this item prior to the vote.  Board members and longtime COSADC staff could've illuminated for the public why they'd met twice a month for years.  That would've prompted more discussion on whether those goals had been achieved.  Even Roland Pena could've spoken to this history and the current situation.  With these opportunities missed, Pena will present the "savings" at an upcoming meeting.   

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