The notice was sent out at 4:59 pm Wednesday, just before the deadline to deadline to terminate county-funded benefits for four judges whose terms expire Jan. 1, 2011.
“The preliminary 2010-11 county budget continues to fund these benefits through September 2010 to allow the Board an opportunity to review this report and future options,” Mr. Blacklock continued. “In preparing for this Board presentation, however, the County noted the requirement to notice the AOC and affected judges pursuant to 68220(b). Tills notice acts as the 180 days written notice required by Government Code section 68220(b).”
The crucial portion is here, “This notice is being provided so that the Board of Supervisors will have the full range of statutory options available when the Board considers this issue. This item is currently planned for Board of Supervisors consideration on August 3. The final adopted County budget, likely to be considered sometime in September, can then be modified to reflect the Board of Supervisors direction. Again, this notice is provided simply to comply with the statutory requirements to ensure that the Board of Supervisors can consider all options when it considers this matter.”
According to the Daily Democrat, “Rosenberg said he does not contend the timing of the letter as much as its overall legality. He cited County Code 2-1.113, which states, “No action or decision of the board … shall be valid or binding in the absence of a two-thirds or majority vote.” In other words, the 180-day notice cannot be sent until after the board has voted to terminate the benefits.”
Supervisor Matt Rexroad had on June 15 made a motion to terminate the benefits, but it was defeated by Helen Thomson and Jim Provenza voting against it while Mike McGowan abstained. According to Judge Rosenberg, the board voted against terminating the benefits and therefore with no board action they county cannot terminate the benefits.
“This is truly putting the cart before the horse,” Judge Rosenberg told the Daily Democrat. “They have not voted to terminate benefits; in fact they did just the opposite.”
However, Mr. Blaylock has a different view that unless the board votes to rescind the letter, the June decision will act to validate the letter.
“There is a board vote and staff is providing notice in accordance with the board direction,” Robyn Drivon, Yolo County Counsel said. “In order to preserve the ability of the board to make any contemplated change, the board directed that a finite amount of continued benefits be funded; therefore the notice is authorized by that vote.”
The board will vote on the matter again during its August 3 meeting, but if neither side backs down, “the two parties would have to go to an “outside jurisdiction” for a declaratory judgment” Robyn Drivon told the Democrat.
And so the sage continues.
—David M. Greenwald reporting