During the three-month pilot, meetings will take place on the first and third Wednesday of the month with committee of the whole meetings followed by closed session and regular city council meetings on the first Wednesday and study sessions followed by closed session and regular city council meetings on the third Wednesday of the month.

The Corona City Council Wednesday approved a three-month pilot program that would change the frequency of the council’s meetings from four times per month to twice a month.

“I don’t think we need to meet every Wednesday, period,” Councilmember Jim Steiner said. “I think we can have longer meetings twice a month and make it a more efficient process and make it easier on staff to put together quality staff reports and the agendas and twice a month is what I’m after.”

Steiner, along with Vice Mayor Tom Richins, asked city staff to look into the possibility of changing the council’s monthly meeting schedule to twice per month.

Option 1 (Proposed schedule)Option 2 (Current schedule)
Week 13:30-5 p.m. — Committee of the Whole
5:30-6:30 p.m. — Closed Session
6:30 p.m. — City Council Meeting
4:30-6 p.m. — Closed Session
6:30 p.m. — City Council Meeting
Week 2No meeting4-6 p.m. — Committee of the Whole
Week 33:30-5 p.m. — Study Session
5:30-6:30 p.m. — Closed Session
6:30 p.m. — City Council Meeting
4:30-6 p.m. — Closed Session
6:30 p.m. — City Council Meeting
Week 4No meeting4-6 p.m. — Study Session

However, council members Wes Speake and Jacque Casillas felt that the first proposal would not allow the council enough time to fully discuss bigger issues.

“I get the idea of having a longer day to kind of get it done, but the object isn’t to get it done, the object is to have a discussion in front of the public that they can access, and be able to give it the time that it needs,” Speake said.

Speake then suggested another alternative (that he called 2A) that would keep Weeks 1 and 2 from the first option and combine it with Weeks 3 and 4 from the second option, a plan Casillas said she would be more amenable to on a trial basis.

“I am a real strong advocate for democracy and I like the process of discussion, and I like when we sit here and discuss things,” she said. “And there’s been multiple times when we’re going through a meeting, and through its evolution, and I hear your points of views, and by the end of it, you’ve changed my mind, or you’ve, you know, there’s been a compromise, and that usually happens when we’re giving democracy time.”

Mayor Tony Daddario said that in putting this item on the agenda he spoke with the city manager about whether this proposal would give the council enough time to fully discuss items on the agenda to make the best choices for the community, but came to the conclusion that it’s ultimately up to the city manager and staff to prepare agendas that the council can feasibly get through in a reasonable amount of time.

“I have learned a tremendous amount having, you know, sometimes heated discussions in this room, and I think the public is better off for it, we’re better off for it,” Speake said. “And to limit or rush it, I think shortchanges all of us, and that’s why I proposed 2A just as an alternate.”

Steiner made the motion, seconded by Daddario, to run a three-month pilot of two meetings per month as proposed by city staff. Both Speake and Casillas voted against the motion.

In other council action: The Corona City Council voted unanimously to uphold the Planning and Housing Commission’s denial of a conditional use permit modification that would have allowed AT&T to increase the height of a cell tower designed to look like a pine tree in the 600 block of Collett Avenue by 15 feet. “In the end, it’s just an ugly tree,” Councilmember Tom Richins said before the motion was made to reject AT&T’s appeal. 

Watch the full council meeting here on the city’s YouTube channel.

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