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BREA : Council May Meet Only Once a Month

The City Council soon may stop meeting twice a month.

Instead, council members are considering holding only one council meeting each month to “save money and increase productivity,” City Manager Frank Benest said.

The move could save the city about $25,000 annually in meeting costs. It would allow city staff to cut back on time spent preparing reports for the council and spend more time directly serving the public, he said.

Cutting down on energy costs and overtime pay for city staff members who must attend the meetings would save money, Benest said. Besides the money and time savings, Benest said, the reduction of one City Council meeting a month would increase staff morale.

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Currently, council meetings are held the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m. and usually last several hours. Should the council pass the new schedule, they also will decide when and what time to meet.

“In this time of fiscal constraint, this kind of proposal makes sense,” Benest said. “The main issue is freeing up staff time to serve the customer.”

The proposed new meeting schedule doesn’t prohibit the council from holding a second meeting in a month if necessary, he said.

Council members are expected to vote on the meeting schedule change in February. If adopted, the council will meet once a month for six months and then review the merits of the change.

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