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Voting rules may change for Airport Authority

Candidates could participate in decisions to appoint them to paid positions.

April 05, 2012|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com

Nominees for president of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority may soon no longer have to leave the room when fellow members deliberate and vote to fill the position.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission recently approved an amendment to its conflict-of-interest regulations allowing public officials to participate in their agency’s decision to appoint them to certain paid positions.

Members of the authority, which owns and oversees the Bob Hope Airport, were informed of the change during their meeting on Monday.

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The amendment impacts other governmental entities, such as city councils, which also appoint members to paid boards.

Previously, the Political Reform Act prohibited officials from taking part in a decision in which they would receive $250 or more annually for serving in a governmental position.

Each airport authority member is paid $200 per meeting, said airport spokesman Victor Gill, meaning all are paid more than the $250 annual threshold. However, the president is paid an extra $100 per meeting. That disparity means that he or she had to leave the room during the discussion and subsequent vote on the appointment.

The Fair Political Practices Commission made its 3-2 decision after receiving a petition from several cities in Orange County, where public officials there had received conflict-of-interest letters from the commission’s chief of enforcement.

The amendment is subject to review and approval by the Office of Administrative Law and then must be filed with the Secretary of State for 30 days before it goes into effect. If the amendment is implemented, agencies will be required to complete and post on their websites a disclosure form stating the compensation for each paid post.

Frank Quintero, a Glendale City Councilman who serves on the airport authority, stated during the meeting on Monday that even though he represents both the city and airport on the Orangeline Development Authority, he receives just one $100 stipend per meeting for his service.

The Orangeline Authority is a joint-powers agency formed to pursue development of a state-of-the-art high-speed transit system in Southern California.

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