regarding the Grand Jury recommendations that by December 31, 2019 the City Council adopt a resolution to disincorporate the City of if the Council fails or refuses to adopt a resolution to disincorporate, the citizens initiate disincorporation proceedings by petition.
Thanks to Jackie and Bill Mertton for the new sound system!
Mayor Sarah Jackson wanted to ask for public input and remain respectful to the Grand Jury. Council member Darlene Reidi felt if disincorporated, it would be the "downfall of Loyalton as we know it.” Brooks Mitchell was “strongly in favor of staying incorporated.” Joy Markum told of the need to know costs and procedures and to be seen as transparent.
City Counsel Steve Gross was present and told of cost estimates and no specific timeframe, calling it a “time and take process.” A vote requirement would be 25% of the voter base to approve disincorporation.
County Planning Director Tim Beals who also serves as LAFCO executive officer suggested the City hire an executive officer in a consulting business to outline procedures at a cost of maybe $5,000-$6,000. There have been very few disincorporations and Beals told of one “really complicated,” and how they can be “procedural laden,” and can be initiated without the Council. Gross added certain steps required with no definite timeline to finish.
Benefits of remaining an incorporated City and benefits to disincorporate were discussed. Case studies of cities dating in 1972, 1973, 1975 and several cities in 2013 due to the housing crisis which remain incorporated were discussed. Loyalton’s case doesn’t fall in any of the categories and there were no figures of cost. Loyalton is much smaller than other cities.
In considering next steps, it was called a “huge undertaking,” and the need for numbers. The investment of time and dollars was felt too vague. A survey/ballot was read but said to need monetary figures. From the audience, it was stated they’d rather spend the money on something else. William Mertton stated, “The disfunctionalities of the Council are much improved. I’m very encouraged."
In closing, the Council agreed to move forward and not spend any more money on the subject of disincorporation, taking no action. Reidi stated, “We’ve got enough things to pay for.” Gross stated they’d had discussion and no desire to move forward.