Livingston may pare council meetings

LIVINGSTON — The City Council may soon officially drop down to holding only one meeting a month.

For all practical purposes, Livingston has been operating with only one meeting a month for about eight months, City Manager Richard Warne said. But because a city ordinance calls for two meetings a month, the city continues to hold two dates and then issues cancellation notices before one of the meetings.

Warne said the city is trying to cut costs by consolidating agenda items. Every time the city holds a meeting, it has to pay council members and its Sacramento-based city attorney, who travels to the meeting.

The low number of meetings this year is a break from last year when the council in some months held three or four meetings because of impending water rate increases. After August, however, the city began holding just one meeting a month.

Mayor Daniel Varela said last week he wants the council to meet only once a month.

"We don't need two meetings a month. It just seems to be ongoing drama at every council meeting, and it's not productive," he said.

Warne said city staff members are looking into changing the ordinance.