Effective Tuesday, July 2nd, the Inyo Supervisors will start their meetings earlier and take closed sessions at the beginning instead of the end. They expect to meet in regular session at 10am.
Boards that place closed sessions first can discourage public attendance unless there is an assured end to the private meetings. In a press release, officials say “the Board will endeavor to conclude or suspend its closed session deliberations and convene in open session at 10am.” The Board will actually start to meet at 8:30am.
So, why the change? For one, Supervisor Jeff Griffiths said the Board has had “a lot of weighty issues that take a lot of time.” He said an earlier start to deal with things like litigation, property negotiations, and employee negotiations means the Board can apply fresh minds to the critical matters. Griffiths said, “There’s just so much coffee can do.”
County Administrator Kevin Carunchio echoed the purpose of the agenda change. The tough issues need early attention. He said that if the public has any problem with this, the Board would like to know.
For those who have attended Board of Supervisor meetings or other local councils and boards, the overwhelmed brain problem is common. Hours on end of bureaucratic talk can drain energy.
The Inyo Board’s press release announces the 8:30am start followed by closed sessions. The release says, “To assist the public in continuing to exercise its ability to fully participate in the open session portion of the Board of Supervisors agenda, the Board will endeavor to conclude or suspend its closed session deliberations and convene in open session at 10am.”
The agenda change also includes a public comment time when the Board convenes at 8:30am, public comment at the beginning of the open session agenda and at the end of the regular agenda.
Anyone with concerns can call CAO Carunchio at 760-878-0292 or Assistant Clerk of the Board Patricia Gunsolley at 760-878-0373.