15. CONSIDER AUTHORIZATION OF FUNDS TO EMPLOY CONSULTANT TO PROMOTE RESOLUTION 2003-01
Meeting Date: April 19, 2004 Budgeted: No
Program/Line Item No.: N/A
Staff Contact: Fran Farina Cost Estimate: $40,000
General Counsel Approval: Yes
Committee Recommendation: The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on April 13, 2004 and recommended consideration by the full Board.
CEQA Compliance: N/A
SUMMARY: During the 2003 legislative session, the District employed an expert consultant to assist the District in its presentations before the Senate, Assembly, and other organizations in relation to SB 149. While SB-149 was not enacted during that session, SB-149 and SB-1529 have been introduced during the current session and contain many of the same provisions previously opposed by the District. In response to Senator McPherson’s request for comments on his recent amendments to both SB 149 and SB 1529, the Board of Directors voiced its opposition to the draft amendments in a letter dated April 1, 2004 (Exhibit 15-A). Approval of this action item shall confer authority upon the General Manager to engage an expert consultant to again assist the District to achieve the purpose enunciated in Resolution 2003-01.
RECOMMENDATION: District staff recommends the Board authorize the General Manager to engage the consultant for an amount not to exceed $40,000. At its April 13, 2004 meeting, the Administrative Committee recommended consideration of the matter by the full Board at the April 19, 2004 meeting. The committee further recommended that staff present information on proposals received from potential consultants at that meeting.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Board previously adopted Resolution 2003-01 (Exhibit 15-B), opposing SB 149, introduced by State Senator Bruce McPherson during the 2003 legislative session, as the legislation proposed to dilute the power of District voters. Among other things, the Board expressed concern that SB 149 proposed to delete the existing requirement that water projects be placed before District voters. The legislation also proposed to change elections processes contrary to the “one person, one vote” federal voting rights mandate. Insofar as the proposed change to the District’s form of governance was not equal or fair, the District employed the assistance of an expert consultant to assist the District in its presentations before the Senate, Assembly, and other organizations in relation to SB 149. While SB-149 was not enacted last session, SB149 and SB 1529 have been introduced during the current legislative session and contain many of the same proposed changes stated above.