While I understand and sometimes share City Council’s frustration with absenteeism on the Design Review Board, it would appear that the simpler and less draconian solution would be to re-institute the alternate board member system that was in place for many years, and appeared to work quite well.
As reluctant as I am to say it (because god knows what they’ll want next), but even Design Review Board members have a life. The alternate, who used to prepare right along with the board members, would be available and up-to-speed on all matters before the board. Such a member would be an obvious choice for appointment when a member’s term expired, and would resolve the issue of newly appointed board member’s learning curve. There is a great deal of information an incoming board member requires, and the alternate would have that training at the time of his or her appointment, while City Council would retain the discretion to appoint someone else.
Gene Gratz, Laguna Beach