STOCKTON — Although Stockton City Councilman Dan Wright will no longer be leading another entity this summer, city officials said its new council meetings schedule will not be altered this year.
Connie Cochran, the city’s community relations officer, said the council annually adopts its meeting calendar for the upcoming year. However, the council does not adopt the calendar to accommodate a member’s particular schedule.
She said the schedule was changed to give the public greater opportunity to interact with the City Council during study sessions.
“We have a lot of complex issues the City Council needs to look at during the year that can’t always be completely addressed at a regular meeting,” Cochran said. “So what they do is reserve some days for study sessions, and that gives them the opportunity to look at issues more closely before a scheduled meeting.”
Cochran said the study sessions also give the council more more time to suggest changes and rewrites to items before they appear on a regular agenda for a final vote.
The council was scheduled to approve its 2018 meeting calendar at an Oct. 17 meeting, but Wright suggested changing many of the Tuesday night dates to a avoid a conflict with the Stockton Unified School District Board of Trustees schedule.
During the meeting, Wright said nine out of 12 City Council dates between January and June conflict with SUSD board meeting dates.
Wright is Stockton Unified School District’s assistant superintendent of education services, and was appointed interim superintendent in August, when former Superintendent Eliseo Davalos was placed on paid leave in order to care for his ailing wife, who died Sept. 4.
On Oct. 17, Wright acknowledged he “had a stake” in approving the council’s 2018 schedule, but said he was suggesting alternate dates so residents would be able to attend both City Council and SUSD board meetings.
“It’s not a complete and total conflict,” he said during the meeting. “But if our meetings go long, definitely (the public) can’t attend both.”
Earlier this month, the district’s Board of Trustees appointed former Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy to replace Davalos.
Deasy’s first day on the job will be June 1, and Wright will help the new superintendent transition into his new role for the first month of his tenure.
Prior to the schedule change, the City Council met twice a month for regular Tuesday evening meetings, with the exception of November. The council now meets once a month for regular meetings and keeps at least two Tuesdays open for possible study sessions.
“(The new schedule) has been great because now the council can get more feedback from residents when they hold study sessions,” Cochran said.
Possible City Council study sessions are scheduled for next Tuesday, as well for June 5 and 12. Cochran said one of those will focus on the city’s 2018-19 Fiscal Year budget review. The council’s next regular meeting is June 19, when a final budget document is expected to be adopted.
Cochran said a return to the previous meeting schedule would have to be approved by the council later in the year when they are presented with the 2019 calendar.
To view this year’s meeting schedule, go to stocktongov.com/government/council/default.html and click on 2018 City Council Meetings Calendar.
Contact reporter Wes Bowers at (209) 546-8258, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @WesBo26.