Council absences draw ire of mayor

first_imgCity Clerk Vida Tolman said since there is no city ordinance addressing absences, officials must look to state law for guidance. But according to the state code, if a council member misses all meetings within a 60-day period, the seat becomes vacant. Nothing in the code specifies what to do about sporadic absences, she said. “There is nothing on books, but usually the council makes a motion to excuse,” Tolman said. Council members’ pay is not docked for missing meetings, officials said. Armenta said he missed the past two meetings because of his parents’ ill health. Although he could not specify all the reasons for his previous absences, he said they were all “legitimate.” “With my parents getting older, they need me more now,” Armenta said. “I’m not forgetting my responsibilities to the residents. This is just Beilke being vindictive.” As for compensation, Armenta said the city never reduced his pay for missing council meetings. He said he would not be in favor of creating an absenteeism ordinance. “I’ll do what’s in the interest of the residents, but if I’m there or not, what will it accomplish?” Armenta said. “Ron has his three votes and his agenda.” Staff is expected to report on its findings at the next council meeting May 22. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PICO RIVERA – Mayor Ron Beilke is calling for a review of the city’s policy on City Council members who repeatedly miss meetings. Beilke has asked city staffers to look into what rules, if any, address council absenteeism. He singled out Councilman David Armenta, who recently failed to attend two consecutive meetings. Beilke said Armenta was abdicating his responsibility by missing more meetings than any other council member. Armenta said Beilke was being “vindictive.” City documents show Armenta missed eight meetings over the past 12 months. However, the documents do not specify if he had been excused from the meetings. Over that same 12-month period, Beilke missed one meeting; Councilman Gregory Salcido missed two; former Councilman Carlos Garcia missed two; and former Councilman Pete Ramirez missed two meetings. “I’m on a fact-finding mission,” Beilke said Monday. “I want to know what the parameters are, or if there’s a policy we can draft. We voted on a $750,000 contract last meeting and \ wasn’t there. Do we continue to allow this?” Council members receive a monthly salary of $882, which includes $30 a month they receive for attending Redevelopment Agency meetings and another $30 a month for attending Housing Agency meetings. last_img read more