City Council Upholds Committee Term Limits, With Exception

La Cañada Flintridge City Council voted to reaffirm its practice of maintaining a two-consecutive term limit for commission and committee members, who apply for the volunteer positions and are vetted through an interview process.
At its special meeting on Tuesday, the council discussed the possibility of extending eligibility for commissioners, especially for those who have been appointed to complete the vacancy of a partially served term. For those members, a partially served term counts as a full term when the individual is appointed to fill a vacant position with more than two years remaining on the unexpired term.
Ultimately, however, the council unanimously upheld its current practice, and made a singular exception for the consideration of an application from Jeffrey McConnell that would allow him to be eligible for the appointment to one additional four-year term on the Planning Commission. McConnell has been instrumental on the Planning Commission, council members noted, and its current, arduous undertaking of updating the city’s zoning code.
“We are in the midst of rezoning which is a very important process — the last time we did it was 2011,” said Councilwoman Terry Walker. “It has great impact on the future look of our community and the expertise of the current commissioners is very valuable.”
Other councilmembers praised McConnell’s involvement on the commission, with Councilman Keith Eich indicating support to retain the term limits but to make a one-time exception for the sitting commissioner.
“In general, I like the idea of term limits… which ensure we continue to get fresh voices across our committees,” Eich noted. “But in this one case, which has been a herculean effort to improve the housing element for our community, [McConnell] brings a voice of reason, instead of starting from scratch.”
The Planning Commission is in the process of updating the zoning code, with its revisions and recommendations expected to be presented to the City Council sometime this fall.
The council also held its first round of interviews of candidates applying to a seat on open city commissions and committees. Interviews are scheduled to resume April 27, and the selection of individuals to fill the vacancies is set to take place at the May 18 regular City Council meeting.