Planner questions council’s call

Morro Bay Planning Commissioner John Diodati is asking for clarification of a vote of the City Council on Tuesday that would force him off the commission if he misses more than three commission meetings to coach his son’s Little League team.

The council voted to enforce a policy that allows only three excused absences from the commission; missing even part of a meeting qualifies as an absence.

Diodati plans to miss all or part of five meetings, and his fellow commissioners voted to allow him to do so.

“The council decided to be inflexible and not allow me to have two community obligations at the same time,” he said.

In a report, Councilwoman Carla Borchard said the commission plays a vital role in “doing the business of the city.”

Diodati’s absence sets up the possibility of tie votes or 2-to-1 votes if a conflict of interest prevents a commissioner from voting.

“It is important, when possible, that the applicant appearing before the commission have a full board hearing their project request,” she said.

However, Diodati said he still has many questions. He has asked City Attorney Rob Schultz to clarify.

“Can an absence be counted retroactively? If I am late by five minutes, does that count as an absence?” Diodati said. “There is no clarity at all in my mind.”

This was the second attempt to oust Diodati.

The first was an unsuccessful attempt by Mayor Bill Yates to remove the entire commission after it voted to reject the city’s controversial plans to upgrade its sewage treatment plant.