The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors revised their Meeting Rules of Procedure in a bid to comply with the state open law or Ralph M. Brown Act at a meeting on Tuesday.
But the supervisors action also paved the way for longtime Metropolitan Transportation Commission member and District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover to hook up to a new four-year MTC term of office even though there have been reports he has missed meetings and three other supervisors – Supervisor Karen Andersen of Danville, Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill and Diane Burgis of Brentwood – had reportedly jockeyed to replace him.
If not for District 1 Supervisor John Gioia, who wields clout as Board Chair this year and makes committee and commission assignments, Glover might have lost his new term of office on the powerful MTC. It’s a coveted position nowadays, especially when the regional transportation agency is gaining traction not only in doling out hefty sums of transit funding but is getting its share of the limelight in the nine-county Bay Area affordable housing arena.
But County Administrator David Twa told supervisors the recommended open meeting changes to their rules of procedures will “clean up the appointment process” of how supervisors select themselves to local, regional or state committees and commissions.
With the newly adopted Brown Act provision, each supervisor must submit to the clerk of the board on or before December 1 of each year his or her list of Boards, Committees or Commissions that he or she wants to serve on. The list of supervisors’ board-committee-commission interests will be placed on a Board Agenda for public review in December.
The Board Chair will continue to decide who will serve on local, regional, or state committees or commissions and the supervisors’ reorganization meeting, when the new chair and vice chair are selected, will continue to be held in January*.
Soon after the supervisors approved the new Meeting Rules of Procedure, supervisors without discussion reapproved Glover’s appointment to MTC, an action that they had similarly done at a January 19 meeting, but one that ran into objection.
Not everyone is pleased with the board’s action of reappointing Supervisors Glover to the MTC, especially Lafayette lawyer Jason A. Bezis, who at the supervisors’ January 19 meeting warned supervisors that their committee/commission appointment procedure was not in compliance with the Brown Act and that the supervisors should open up the appointment of a new MTC commissioner to the general public.
“I ask that (the) Board postpone the Metropolitan Transportation Commission appointment to the 2019-2023 term until the county (1) opens up the position to public applications, (2) issues a news release about the availability of the position and (3) carefully evaluates a pool of applicants, including a careful analysis of the incumbent’s twelve-year record at MTC,” wrote Bezis in a March 22 letter sent to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on March 12 and also sent to The Contra Costa Herald.
Bezis was not in attendance at Tuesday’s supervisors meeting.
Bezis has also been critical of Glover’s “severe absenteeism problem” at important MTC meetings. “The incumbent missed the January 24, 2018 Bay Area Toll Authority vote that placed the RM3 or bridge toll hike on the ballot. He missed the Dec. 19, 2018 MTC meeting at which the signing of the CASA Compact was approved. He was the only voting member absent at that important meeting,” the lawyer wrote.
“I don’t know what he (Bezis) is talking about, unless it has anything to do with my surgery recovery of several years ago,” responded Supervisor Glover to the charges of his absenteeism record at MTC meetings. “I’ve been at the MTC meetings.”
In addition, Glover said it would be inappropriate to fill the MTC position that he holds with someone in the general public. “It is better to have an elected official fill that seat,” the supervisor said.
Mitchoff Wants Pittsburg-Bay Point BART Ambulance Ride Probe
During an annual performance presentation of the Alliance Emergency Ambulance Medical Services, District 4 Supervisor Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill requested that officials investigate whether there has been an increase in the number of emergency calls from the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station after 1:30 a.m. when the train system shuts down for the day.
Emergency personnel responding to calls at the BART station usually pick up homeless individuals who have been riding the trains all day, and at the end of train service call for an ambulance. While they are frequently taken to the nearest emergency hospital, the patient has the right to request a ride to an out of area hospital of the patient’s choice. That can increase operating costs for the ambulance service.
The supervisor is concerned the county’s Emergency Medical Service that responded to 105,377 calls in 2018/2019 compared to 39,496 in 1991/1992, is being financially burdened by out-of-county hospital rides. “I want to know where these ambulances are going. Are they going out of county?” she asked.
EMS Director Pat Frost and Contra Costa Count Fire Protection Chief Jeff Carman said they would give the supervisors a report about the ambulance situation out of the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station.
Among a number of consent items supervisors approved were:
Concord Jet Service, Inc. inks $650,000 Sheriff Contract
Approved the Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston’s request to sign a sub-lease with Concord Jet Service Inc. in the amount of $650,000 to provide an aircraft hangar, office space and helicopter fuel for the period of May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2024. Concord Jet Service Inc. will provide aircraft hangar space at Buchanan Field Airport for the Sheriff’s helicopters and office space for the staff. The Office of the Sheriff will pay the contractor $1,948 for hangar rental per month and $2,262 for office space per month for a total rent of $4,210 per month. The sublease allows for the purchase of helicopter fuel.
Juvenile Hall, Orin Allen Facility Libraries Draw $20,000 Lesher Foundation Grants
Approval of a two-year $20,000 grant — $10,00 payable in 2019 and $10,000 payable in 2020 — from the Margaret Lesher Foundation to provide library books and materials at the Juvenile Hall Library and at the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facilitation Library for the period from February 1, 2010 through June 30, 2020.
Approved Periodic Five ½-Month Closures of Pacheco Blvd. at State Route 4
Supervisors approved a resolution for the periodic closure of Pacheco Boulevard at State Route 4 for no more than 20 nights between March 13 and August 31 from 11 p.m. through 5 a.m. for the purpose of demolition and girder erection for the Caltrans bridge widening project. The bridge demolition is part of the $135.2 million State Highway 4/Interstate 680 widening project.