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Shrinking Staff Means Fewer Meetings for Loma Linda

The panel votes to reduce its monthly meetings from two to one, in part due to staff cuts.

All the cuts that Loma Linda's city government has had to make in the past two years caught up to the City Council on Tuesday.

The council voted unanimously to cut the number of monthly City Council meetings from two to one.

"I consider that when you have City Council meetings where you start breaking records for shortness, duration of meetings, maybe you have too many meetings," Mayor Rhodes Rigsby said, while introducing the agenda item Tuesday night.

Rigsby recommended cutting the meeting schedule from two in most months to only one -- with a second date available should there be enough items to warrant a meeting.

"Given the fact that our city has less issues with less activity, it would make sense that if we can conduct the business with one meeting a month, I'm comfortable with that," said Mayor Pro-tem Ovidiu Popescu.

The council had meetings scheduled on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Going forward, the council will meet the second Tuesday, and leave the fourth Tuesday available if necessary, or as a backup in case of vacations that would cause a lack of quorum.

Loma Linda resident Dick Wylie asked whether the cut in meetings would equal a cut in pay for the council. While their salary is set in the muncipal code at $711.13 monthly, members of the council saw their compensation reduced with the closure of the Redevelopment Agency. Council members were paid a stipend of $30 per meeting while serving as the redevelopment panel, up to four meetings a month.

"Your salaries are not based on city council meetings, in particular," said Richard Holdaway, the city attorney. "It's based upon all the work you do throughout the entire month, including all the ancillary meetings and boards you sit on. Though it might be a reduction of one meeting, it's certainly not a 50 percent reduction in your workload."

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