Council absences should not delay government
For the second time in less than three months the Porterville City Council spent considerable time discussing items that had already been decided because two council members missed a meeting at the same time.
Council members Brian Ward and Greg Shelton have twice both recently been absent from meetings where decisions were made, only to ask to have some of them reconsidered because they did not take part in the final debate.
Tuesday, the council spent considerable time rehashing the council handbook and new microphones for the council that were both approved Sept. 18. And, the time-consuming debate was not even on the actual issues, but whether the council should bring them back for discussion.
We feel both matters were discussed enough and that the two council members who were not in attendance must live with the decisions and not expect more money and time be spent on them.
Laws allow for government to make decisions as long as there is a quorum. In the case of the Sept. 18 meeting, three members in attendance constituted a quorum and by law, any decision reached was legal.
Judging by Council members Ward and Shelton, the city should just cancel meetings where the two are both absent. However, we wonder why the two have both been absent together more than once. Were they both sick, or did they decide to both not attend for a reason. We, and citizens of Porterville have to wonder.
Rehashing any issue is simply a waste of time. The handbook had been discussed prior to Sept. 18 so all council members had plenty of time to offer their input and knowing they were not going to attend, could have taken part in the discussion via phone (as has been done before) or submitted their thoughts in writing so the other members could consider them.
We hope that the two council members never both miss a meeting at the same time again because the coincidence is no longer looking like a coincidence and time is being wasted by having to bring back, or delay items because of those absences.