'Tis a good question.
At the October 2, 2012 meeting, just prior to the adjournment, Council Member Doug Chaffee moved to agendize discussing the position of the chief of police in the next open meeting. Up to that time all discussions regarding the position have taken place behind closed doors during the closed session meetings.
Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva, who is running against Assembly Member Chris Norby, said she would only go along with Chaffee's motion if it was to discuss the matter and not vote on it.
It bears repeating. The Mayor said she would approve agendizing the discussion of the position so long as there was no vote taken. Council Member Chaffee said, "well then why don't we just have a general discussion on the topic."
It was the clearly stated direction from the Mayor to City Manager Joe Felz to place on the agenda a public discussion regarding the position of chief of police.
If I sound like a broken record, play back the City's video at about 4:05:00.
With this clear direction given, why did the item get agendized with the following language:
During the Staff / Council Communications portion of the October 2, 2012 City Council meeting, staff received direction to agendize City Council discussion regarding entering into negotiations with Acting Chief Hughes for the position of Chief of Police. Recommendation by the City Manager’s Office: Pleasure of the City Council.
Who came up with that? Who decided that the discussion was "regarding entering into negotiations with Acting Chief Hughes"?
The Mayor agreed to agendize discussing the position but was reluctant to do so until after the election. Chaffee responded, "then why don't we just have a general discussion on the topic...?"
The Mayor replied, "I can support having a conversation about it, agendizing it for our next meeting, October 16th, but not committing to a vote until the second meeting in November. Then I think that way we are moving something forward as far as specifics but we're not voting on it, so I could support that. Is that clear enough?"
"Yes" said Chaffee.
So again I ask, why does the City Council agenda state that the item is a discussion regarding entering into negotiations?
Shouldn't we be discussing terms and conditions?
Since Council Member Chaffee wants to discuss the position publicly, shouldn't the Council discuss what the terms of employment would be for the position?
Or is Fullerton so desperate to hire a police chief that the Council should select a chief before figuring out what the terms should be? This would be a first.
The agenda memo says that the position has been pending for several reasons, specifically: "further consideration of the position classification; the conclusion of several reports regarding the status of the Fullerton Police Department; and the potential consideration of an informal analysis by the Orange County Sheriff Department."
With those unanswered questions lingering, why would the Council discuss directing the City Manager to begin negotiating with anyone?
And back to my initial question, who misunderstood the "clear" direction from the Mayor and monkeyed with the agenda?