This change comes at the request of Commissioner Dennis DeWitt during Monday’s court meeting.
“We have had several people come to us and say, ‘We would like to have 6 p.m. meetings,’” DeWitt said. “This was part of some things we talked about during the campaign.”
DeWitt initially proposed that the special called meeting traditionally held at 9 a.m. on the fourth Monday of every month be moved to 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
“It would allow the public when they get off work to come in and visit the court and see what is going,” DeWitt said.
The problem with changing the time of the meeting is that other commissioners have conflicts during that time.
“I don’t mind that but I do have a conflict on Tuesday,” said Commissioner Eloy Rodriguez.
Commissioner Carlos Salazar Jr. said, “As it is right now, one court member can’t be here Monday, one can’t be here Tuesday and another can’t be here Wednesday and now we are down to Thursday.”
Salazar, who wasn’t opposed to the occasional evening meeting, proposed that unlike their regularly scheduled meetings, that they not set a date and time for these special called meetings.
“That is why they are called special called meetings. Let’s not set it in stone by passing it today,” he said.
Salazar reminded that changing the meeting time would also place a burden on county staff who have to be at the meeting either to discuss an item or as part of their jobs.
“Yes, it is convenient to some people who haven’t been able to attend and can’t make it because they have to work,” he said. “The staff – and I think this has been brought up in past courts – has to adjust to the time.
“This is not a new idea. It has been brought out.”
DeWitt responded, “Who do we work for? We work for the public. We don’t work for the staff. It should not be convenient for us or the staff. It should be convenient for the public.”
Rodriguez offered a compromise.
“I think if there is an item on the agenda that would draw a lot of public interest then at that time we need to decide to have it in the afternoon,” Rodriguez said.
DeWitt seemed happy with the discussion and the other leaders’ willingness to shift the occasional meeting to the evening.
“I think what I am hearing is a consensus,” he said.