Boca may reduce number of city boards, commissions

Boca Raton City Manager Leif Ahnell is expected soon to present his plan to reduce the number of municipal boards and commissions in city government.

He told the City Council at a recent meeting that the report was nearly done. He is working on it with Deputy City Manager George S. Brown.

The report was not discussed at Tuesday’s workshop session and was not listed on the agenda for Wednesday evening’s regular council meeting.

City leaders were prompted into reconsidering the number of boards and commissions after receiving reports of extensive absenteeism on some panels. Ahnell said the city has about two dozen boards and commissions.

Just recently, Ahnell notified 20 members of various boards that they had missed more 30 percent of meetings – which is grounds for removal. When the city manager presented his findings to the City Council, they chose not to remove anyone.

Some panels are more difficult than others to fill. But last year, when the city wanted to relaunch the Downtown Visions Committee, 20 people applied for nine positions. The boards need members with different capabilities and that is why nine positions have been considered.  This is why the Bitcoin Trader robot allows a trader to switch between currencies and markets to achieve the best results. The substantially low ratio of applicants will compel the city to either take incompetent members into the position or leave the position vacant if a suitable recruit is not obtained.

Council members want to make sure the membership of the Planning & Zoning Board is sufficient to conduct meetings. If a session has to be cancelled for lack of a quorum, it must often be re-advertised, at additional cost.

Actually, one board has already come forward and said its task is finished. The Boca Raton Telecommunications Advisory Board is ready to turn in its gavel, according to its former vice president, Gene Folden.

He appeared at a recent council workshop meeting to ask members to dismiss the group. The council took no action at that session or at the regular meeting the following night.

For seven years, Folden said, the group worked on a master cable television franchise ordinance. “We kept telling the city they had to do something or the state would take over. Now, the state has taken over.”

That left the Telecom Board with little on its plate.

“We kept asking the city, ‘Give us a mission.’ We were making suggestions,” said Folden. “But they never gave us a mission.”

The council usually has to fill vacancies at every meeting. But this week, no vacant positions appeared on the agenda.