At the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Land Use meeting on November 16, 2022, the public was told that Supervisor Nora Vargas would be participating via teleconference. Yet just seconds later, she did not answer during the roll call.
As the meeting progressed, neither her image nor her name placeholder display appeared on the upper monitor (where teleconferencing Supervisors normally appear.) She did not participate in any votes. So was she there? Not there? How can the public tell? Turns out, she was NOT there -- but you'd never know it from watching the archival video. This is problematic on a few fronts, the first being ableism. The public should not be left to wonder if someone spoke softly and we just didn't hear, or if they're truly not there. The Clerk should respond with a "No response", or "Absent" if a Supervisor doesn't answer. Then there's the matter of 'transparency.' The Board of Supervisors has no formal protocol to alert the public that a 'teleconferencing' Supervisor showed up late (or not at all.) You have to either wait for the minutes, or request the Zoom log to see who teleconferenced in and when they logged in and logged out. Please join me in asking the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to implement a protocol to address teleconferencing Supervisors who are late or absent. They should be considered as absent until such time as they arrive, and then that should be read into the record. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has a strict attendance policy regarding punctuality. Chapter II, Section 6 states:
Section 6. PUNCTUALITY AT BOARD MEETINGS. Each member shall be in his/her respective seat at the hour set for each such regular meeting and at the time set for any adjourned or special meeting. Any member not present shall be designated in the minutes as absent or as entering late.
The public should not be left to guess whether someone is there or not. Please 'up your game', San Diego County Board of Supervisors, and let us know for certain 'Who's There?'