Another incredulous move on the part of the arrogant Chairman.

Thursday, without warning to all of the commissioners, Chair Gates announced a “minor” change to the schedule for the 2011 meetings. Instead of starting at 4pm, he quietly and hastily changed the start time to 3pm. Minor??

The reason?

Well, after all these years, their hired gun, I mean Quinn, (Attorney Joe Quinn, that is) quietly tells Gates that he has a scheduling conflict. Quinn has another meeting elsewhere at 6pm and Chair Gates appears to be afraid of holding the SKFR meetings without Quinn there to hold his hand. So either to appease Quinn or because Gates is afraid to appear without him, Chair Gates changes the schedule and springs it on the board at the last meeting of the year as a must pass item.

The board of commissioners is now pandering to the whims of their hired attorney.

The meeting started at 4pm with only three members on attendance. As usual, Commissioner Fossos and Commissioner Thompson were ‘running late’. Chair Gates announced they were on the way and, since a quorum was present, the meeting began. Thompson scooted in several minutes later.

Then agenda item 8 comes up and Gates notes the minor change. This whole thing reeks of collusion because Rickert and Thompson appeared to have had prior knowledge and fell lock-step into the fold, voting to pass the hastily drawn up resolution. Commissioner Mark Freitas tried to inject some reason and discussion, but as usual, Gates glared at him and then simply ignored him, resulting in a vote of 3-1.

Never mind that this is a Board of Commissioners Meeting for your five elected commissioners, or that it is public for the benefit of the public, or that there is no requirement, by law or in the guidelines, for an attorney to be present. This is just another eleventh hour move on the part of a weak and fearful board member to undermine the trust and perception of openness of the public meetings.

Routinely running just a few minutes late

Oh, did you see that only three members were there at the start of this meeting? Thompson arrived several minutes late and Fossos didn’t even have the courage to show up! He failed to call in late and would not answer his phone.

If you read the minutes of the past meetings, you will see that Fossos and Thompson regularly show up late for the 4pm meeting, sometimes amid joking about it. Do you really think they are going to be able to arrive at 3pm? But, according to Gates, no problem. All he needs is three board members to be there to start the meeting, and his beloved attorney, of course!

BTW – guess who did not even attend the meeting Thursday? However, to his credit, Gates still somehow made it through this meeting without needing to seek guidance.

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