MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
ECONOMY AND EFFICIENCY COMMISSION
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2001
ROOM 830, KENNETH HAHN HALL OF ADMINISTRATION

 

Editorial Note: Agenda sections may be taken out of order at the discretion of the chair. Any reordering of sections is reflected in the presentation of these minutes

I. CALL TO ORDER OF COMMISSION MEETING

With the presence of a quorum of commissioners, Chairman Philibosian called the Commission meeting to order at 10:20 a.m.

II. APPROVAL OF COMMISSIONER'S ABSENCES

Chairman Philibosian asked for a motion to approve absences.

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT

Clayton Anderson
Annie E. Cho
John Crowley
Jaclyn Tilley Hill
Chun Lee
Tony Lucente
Royal F. Oakes
Roman Padilla
William J. Petak
Robert H. Philibosian
H. Randall Stoke
Julia Sylva
G. Thomas Thompson
Tony Tortorice

COMMISSIONERS REQUESTING TO BE EXCUSED

Fred Balderrama
Joanne Baltierrez
Hope J. Boonshaft
David W. Farrar
Jonathan Fuhrman

COMMISSIONERS NOT REQUESTING AN EXCUSE

None

It was Moved, Seconded, and Adopted: The Commission members requesting an excuse, be excused.

III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Chairman Philibosian asked if there were any corrections or amendments to the minutes. Hearing none the following motion was Moved, Seconded, and Adopted: The minutes of the January 4, 2001 Commission meeting be approved.

IV. INTRODUCTIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Chairman Philibosian asked if there were any introductions. Commissioner Thompson introduced Doreen Sturges, who is with American Management Systems. This company has done a lot of consulting with Los Angeles County, and he thought it would be interesting to her to get another perspective.

V. CHAIRMAN'S REPORT

Chairman Philibosian stated that it is with great pleasure to introduce the newest commissioner appointed by Supervisor Yaroslavsky, Commissioner Annie E. Cho. He asked if she would introduce herself. Commissioner Cho thanked Chairman Philibosian, and stated that she was eager to learn of the E & E Commission. Commissioner Cho started her own public relations agency about a year and a half ago, specializing in the Asian Pacific market. Currently, she works with some Fortune 500 clients. She looks forward to working very hard in the business and on the E & E Commission, she accepted the invitation to become a member of the Policy Task Force. Commissioner Cho’s biography is on the E & E Commission website.

Commissioner Hill asked to be removed from the Organization and Accountability Task Force due to other commitments. Chairman Philibosian asked Commissioner Petak to replace Commissioner Hill, he accepted.

Chairman Philibosian commended Commissioner Sylva for her interview on Wall Street Reporter.com, he passed around a downloaded notice.

Chairman Philibosian stated that Commissioner Seidner had left the Commission due to other commitments. The Commission is awaiting another appointment from Supervisor Antonovich’s Office.

VI. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

Mr. Staniforth mentioned that Tyler McCauley, Auditor Controller, had kidney replacement surgery yesterday, and is recovering.

The Executive Committee met and approved the PIF (Productivity Investment Fund) proposal, which was submitted to the PIF with a request for expedited funding. The Commission received a letter saying that there was not sufficient time to consider it. The next funding consideration will be March 5, 2001. A letter was submitted to PIF on behalf of the commission from Supervisor Antonovich who is in support of the funding request. We are looking for people to work on the project before the funding cycle begins. If funding can be found, the Executive Director proposes hiring one or two people to work on the ILP Review.

VII. LIAISON REPORTS

Local Government Services Commission

Commissioner Andes, the Local Government Liaison, was not present. Commissioner Crowley, the Commission’s representative, stated that there was nothing to report.

Quality and Productivity Commission

Commissioner Rew stated that some of the highlights of the past months for the Quality and Productivity Commission were the finalization of the first of eight assigned tasks under the County Strategic Plan. This was to provide an option for the CAO to establish budgetary policies to reward departments for productivity improvement. Paralleling that, the Q & P Commission has partnered with the Human Resources Department and formed a departmental team to encourage employees to buy into the County’s Strategic Plan. The approach is to energize the 95,000 employees of the Los Angeles County by participating in the Los Angeles County’s Strategic Plan.

The Finance Committee of the Q & P Commission met and undertook an initial review of the Q & P office budget, because of a lack of time the “not fixed” items were to be finalized by the Chair and the Executive Director. The Departmental Visiting Committee looked at the Los Angeles County Departments to be visited during this year, and the Commission adopted a list of eighteen departments. The Q & P Commission is attempting to visit each department every two years. At the January 22, 2001 meeting, Mark Gascoigne, the MIS Manager of Internal Services made a presentation regarding departmental e-training. The Q & P Commission, as well as the County was concerned over the inability to hire professional technology people due to salary competition constraints. The Q & P Commission is looking at ways to explore sponsorship or forums for knowledge sharing between the private sector and the county, so that we can train our own employees in the skills that we are not able to hire. The next full Commission will be March 5, 2001. The Productivity Investment Board will meet February 28, 2001. At which time the E & E Commission Proposal for the Independent Living Program will be reviewed. He also stated that he was not at liberty to indicate why the proposal could not have been studied sooner.

Chairman Philibosian asked if there were any questions. Commissioner Crowley asked how the Q & P Commission “visits eighteen departments”. Commissioner Rew replied that the members of the Q & P Commission sign up to visit at least two departments. Some Q & P Commissioners visit more departments and some, none. The departments have scheduled the commissioners’ visit and know the commissioners are offering their services through funding, promotion and various other ways. The departments send their budget and other materials to the Q & P Commission ahead of their visit. The experience is an opportunity for the commissioners to become acquainted with the departments in the Los Angeles County.

Commissioner Hill wanted to clarify that the Productivity Investment Board is always seeking to support new opportunities. As far as the E & E Commission application, there is a quarterly funding cycle that has been a standard operating procedure of the PIF Board for many years (knowing that monies might be needed earlier). The Q & P Commission became aware that there was no implementation process to expedite processing, thus the E & E Commission proposal did not enter the system, quickly. A new system is being created.

VIII. OLD BUSINESS

Finance

Commissioner Thompson stated that the Finance Task Force had an opportunity to hold a conference concerning the Independent Living Program (ILP) proposal, and it is moving forward. A meeting regarding the project structure and the anticipated use of the funding will be held. After looking at the structure the Task Force will request input from the full Commission. A phone conference may be necessary between all members of the Task Force.

Grand Jury

Commissioner Hill stated that the Grand Jury Task Force would meet after the Commission Meeting. The Task Force has become increasingly aware of the relevance of the Grand Jury issue. She stated that Commissioner Anderson has had contact with the present body that has been impaneled, and the need for recommendations is evident by the concerns that have been expressed regarding the bifurcated system. Commissioner Stoke asked if Judge Bascue would advise us as to how the bifurcated program is working and how it functions? Commissioner Hill replied that she hoped that bifurcation would be the emphasis of his presentation today. The Task Force is also scheduling interviews with individuals, such as Gloria Gomez, Jury Services Administrator; Gorden Trask, County Counsel and advisor to the Civil Grand Jury; Clinton Simmons, the present Grand Jury Foreperson; Judge Bascue, the Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court; Steven O’Neill, Supervising Judge of the Criminal Courts Division (which guides, governs and oversees the Grand Jury); and Laura Priva, District Attorney Advisor to the Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury Task Force offers a great deal of expertise with Commissioner Boonshaft, Commissioner Thompson, Commissioner, Commissioner Anderson, former GJ Foreperson and Former Commissioner and GJ Foreperson Kennedy. Chairman Philibosian thanked Former Commissioner Kennedy for attending and assisting the E & E Commission meeting. He also asked whether Judge O’Neil is advising the Civil Grand Jury as well as the Criminal Grand Jury? Commissioner Hill stated that the Commission would have to clarify that with Judge Bascue. Commissioner Anderson stated that he believed that Judge O’Neil was the advisor for the Civil as well as the Criminal Grand Jury. Commissioner Hill stated that in the past the role has always been one, legal advisor for a body that did both. Chairman Philibosian interjected that there was one judge who was the Supervising Judge of the Criminal Court for the Grand Jury, which did both Civil and Criminal. Now, there is a Supervising Judge of the Criminal Grand Jury for downtown, and a Supervising Judge for the Civil Grand Jury.

Commissioner Stoke asked if someone could define the system? Chairman Philibosian responded by stating that one of the issues that the former Presiding Judge Chavez and the Criminal Grand Jury faced from a number of criminal defense attorneys was the ethnic, racial and gender composition of the Grand Jury. The original source of the Grand Jury Pool is established from nomination by superior court judges, or from volunteering. The names are then picked at random subject to screening. In the face of the lawsuits that were brought by some lawyers, the court decided that they would bifurcate the Grand Jury. Thus appointees of the judges would only be considered for the traditional Civil Grand Jury. The Civil Grand Jury would have the traditional Civil Grand Jury functions of reviewing and making recommendations on governmental operations. The criminal Grand Jury would be drawn from the ranks of the trial juries. They would be more likely to reflect the gender and ethnic make-up of the County of Los Angeles.

The E & E Commission is only looking at the Civil Grand Jury. All of the indictments and investigations are done by the Criminal Grand Jury, which sits for a year. Commissioner Anderson stated that they are called to serve for one month. Chairman Philibosian added that the Civil Grand Jury serves from July 1st to the following June 30th. However, the Criminal Grand Jury took over all of the facilities and staff which creates difficulty for the Civil Grand Jury in reviewing governmental operations and reports. Commissioner Padilla asked if there were a common chairperson for both. Chairman Philibosian answered “no”. Commissioner Padilla asked whether there was one for each of the bifurcated elements. Commissioner Hill answered that they were completely separate.

Commissioner Padilla asked which chairperson was going to be appointed to the E & E Commission. Commissioner Hill responded that she thought it would be the Civil Grand Jury Chair. The reason that the past foreperson of the Grand Jury sits on the E & E Commission for a year is to give life to the reports. Unless a county department follows up, nothing happens. The E & E Commission selectively reviews these matters. Chairman Philibosian said Judge Bascue was going to discuss the structure of the court, unification, the implications of state funding rather than county funding, the Grand Jury changes and the implications for the Civil Grand Jury.

Chairman Philibosian asked Commissioner Hill if she would elaborate on her discussion with the CAO about some of the issues that confront the Grand Jury and the County, and some of the confusion that has resulted from the bifurcation. Commissioner Hill responded that there are some crossovers, and the answers change. The Superior Court is using county facilities and the State of California is funding the pay raise. The Grand Jurors are officers of the Court, and their paycheck is issued by the County of Los Angeles.

Commissioner Petak asked what the issue was? Commissioner Hill said the issue was the fine line of responsibility between the State and the County. Chairman Philibosian stated that the issue is: “Who provides the infrastructure and the resources for the Civil Grand Jury?” Commissioner Petak commented that it is a financial issue. Chairman Philibosian agreed that it was a financial issue as well as an organizational issue. The question is whether the Grand Jury would be as effective as it used to be. Commissioner Thompson stated that the constitution provides for a Grand Jury for each county, therefore there are some issues as to where an indictment may be challenged. Commissioner Petak asked, which is the “real” Grand Jury. Commissioner Thompson asked if California State is influencing this in Los Angeles County because they are funding it. Commissioner Hill stated that because the Grand Jury is a mandate, it has to be supported and supplied. Is the County being reimbursed?

Chairman Philibosian stated that there might be a legislative component to this. County Counsel may have to draw up legislation. If the Grand Jury doesn’t have the ability to make those recommendations then the E & E Commission cannot do their job. There have been valuable recommendations from the Civil Grand Jury, if that function is somehow “short changed” by the arrangement, then the original effectiveness of the Grand Jury needs to be addressed.

Commissioner Stoke asked if the Grand Jury bifurcation were a creature of the Legislature? Chairman Philibosian said no, it was a decision of the Superior Court. Commissioner Thompson said that the Court decided to do this to avoid lawsuits. Commissioner Stoke asked if the Grand Jury were a subdivision of the Court? Commissioner Hill responded that they were officers of the Court.

Commissioner Thompson asked if the civil side had to follow the rules of the criminal side. What concerned him was that the judges could appoint the civil side, but the criminal jurors were drawn from the community; he wondered whether the courts would want that looked at very closely by the 9th Circuit. Commissioner Hill stated that issue needs to be clarified. Voter registration and the DMV supply the list for the Criminal Grand Jury. The civil side is still a one-year commitment, therefore it is filled by outreach, with the continuing option of getting recommendations from judges and others involved in the system. Commissioner Petak asked that since he was a registered voter and had a license, could he be called to become a member of the Criminal Grand Jury? He also said that the real issue for the E & E Commission is an organizational one with respect to the Grand Jury, as opposed to functional. Chairman Philibosian stated that it couldn’t function without having the proper organization, infrastructure and financing.

Vice Chair Lucente asked that since a Grand Jury is under way, do we have evidence that it has been adversely impacted by these changes? Commissioner Hill stated that we know that they are continuously recruiting, which indicates that people are not fulfilling their yearly obligation. Commissioner Anderson stated that the members were very concerned that there was no infrastructure, which was creating a morale problem. They have lost a record number of sitting Grand Jurors, who have had to be replaced, thus interrupting continuity. On the criminal side we do not know if the bifurcation is accomplishing what it set out to do which was to balance the ethnic make up of the Criminal Grand Jury. When the Grand Jury sits for a month it is difficult to have a hearing extended beyond that time.

Chairman Philibosian interrupted this discussion to introduce Judge Bascue.

IX. PRESENTATION (a)

Honorable James A. Bascue
Presiding Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court
Topic:The Los Angeles Court and the Grand Jury

Chairman Philibosian introduced Judge James A. Bascue, Presiding Judge who discussed several issues, some of the most important were the unification of the Los Angeles Courts, and the transition between State Funding and Los Angeles County funding. The Grand Jury was a focus of the presentation and can be found on the Economy and Efficiency Commission’s website through its presentation link at http://eec.co.la.ca.us.

VIII. OLD BUSINESS (Continued)

Organization and Accountability

Chairman Philibosian requested that the Chairs of the Organization and Accountability Task Force and the Policy Task Force give a joint report, since they both were dealing with Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation issues.

Commissioner Oakes stated that Commissioner Sylva had been the driving element of the Joint Policy and Organization and Accountability Task Forces. The two chairs had met to follow Mr. Lee Harrington’s presentation to the Economy and Efficiency Commission in January 2001.

Policy

Commissioner Sylva stated that there had been two Joint Task Force meetings since the last Commission meeting to focus on economic development and its agenda. The Joint Task Force committees are finally on the same page as to how the missions are defined, which is the promotion of business opportunities, and the retention of new businesses here in the County of Los Angeles. The Joint Task Forces are preparing to have a meeting with Mr. Lee Harrington of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation in the near future. Mr. Staniforth, the Executive Director was asked to co-ordinate the meeting.

Commissioner Sylva stated that this morning in the commission conference room, before the regular E & E Commission Meeting, there was a presentation by Mr. Robert Swayze, the Manager of Economic Development for the Community Development Commission of Los Angeles County. Mr. Swayze suggested a Legislative component as to the distribution of sales tax in cities. Mr. Swayze feels that the Economy and Efficiency Commission could assist in this matter. Permit streamlining as a policy recommendation was another area of concern. Commissioner Sylva would like to continue with these plans. Commissioner Oakes stated that background work is a key to the meeting with Mr. Harrington. There is a desire to create an inventory of areas in Los Angeles County where there is a potential for improvement in economic development and where the E & E Commission could have an impact. His presentation was important, but is only the first step. The benefit is undeniable, judging from the statistics of how many dollars the county receives from the creation of each job. Chairman Philibosian emphasized that permit streamlining is the area upon which the E & E Commission can have influence.

Commissioner Sylva said that she understood that Chairman Philibosian had been involved in an Economic Development Study on the Commission. Chairman Philibosian replied that when he first joined the Commission, there was a Task Force and a Report. Commissioner Sylva asked if the report were on line. Mr. Staniforth indicated that it was on line. Commissioner Sylva said that she would like to recommend that the Joint Task Forces review it.

X. NEW BUSINESS

Commissioner Oakes stated Mr. Staniforth has distributed a draft of the E & E Commission’s Implementation Status Report for the 1996 Report on Incorporated Areas, the idea is to examine what the County has done in implementing the recommendations. The report gives the Chief Administrative Officer’s status of each recommendation, and the Commission comments on the actions taken. Mr. Staniforth elaborated by stating that the document is a follow up report to the 1996 report that Commissioner Padilla chaired. It is a draft that requires additional coordination with the CAO, and with the Board Offices.

XI. PUBLIC COMMENT

None

XI. ADJOURNMENT

Upon a motion from the floor, Chairman Philibosian adjourned the meeting at 12:00 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted.

Bruce J. Staniforth
Executive Director

Go to February 1, 2001 Agenda

Return to April 5, 2001 Agenda

 

 

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