This was going to be a very different article about tonight’s Arcata City Council meeting.
It was going to include an in-depth summary of an appeal hearing the council was going to hold that may reverse the Planning Commission’s approval of the Westwood Garden Apartments expansion. But alas, as this reporter was preparing the final touches on her story, LoCO got word that the appeal hearing will be continued to the council meeting on Jan. 4, 2023.
The reason for the continuation is that city staff fears the council may not have quorum (the minimum number of members that must be present for a meeting to occur, in case you are not familiar.)
For the Arcata City Council there must be at least three councilmembers present to hold a meeting, because that is how many people it takes to have a majority vote on an item. Arcata City Clerk Bridget Dory confirmed with the Outpost that two councilmembers — Councilmember Alex Stillman, who is apparently out of town on a planned trip, and Mayor Stacy Atkins-Salazar, who had a last minute emergency — will not be present tonight.
This would normally leave three councilmembers, which would be fine! But, you may have noticed that Councilmember Brett Watson has not attended any council meetings since he was not re-elected in the November election.
The city does not know for a fact that Watson will not be present tonight. He does still sit on the council until the end of the year and he might show up, in which case, the meeting will move forward and the other agenda items will still be discussed. But if he doesn’t show up, there will only be two councilmembers, Meredith Matthews and Sarah Schaefer, and the meeting will have to be canceled for a lack of quorum.
So, if you were planning to attend tonight’s meeting to comment on the appeal of the Planning Commission’s Westwood Garden Apartments project, save yourself the trouble. The appeal hearing will NOT be happening tonight.
Whether or not the meeting — scheduled for tonight (Wednesday), Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. — will happen at all, depends on whether or not Watson decides to make an appearance. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.