Supervisors OK Committee Roles; One Member Says He Didn't Get His Fair Share
County supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of committee selections, although one of them challenged the fairness of his assignments.
Supervisors serve on dozens of state and regional committees and commissions, including the San Diego Association of Governments, National Association of Counties and Indian Gaming Local Benefit Committee.
The county also has nine supervisor committees focused on issues such as affordable housing, child/family issues, schools and aging. Supervisors also sit on citizen advisory committees which focus on topics such as health and human services, criminal justice and libraries.
Jim Desmond said he was "disappointed in the less-than-equitable committee appointments." Out of 65 appointments, board Chairman Nathan Fletcher proposed that "I fill only seven," Desmond said.
The next lowest number of committee assignments was 13 with the highest being 21, Desmond said.
According to an updated list sent by the county Communications Office, Desmond has been appointed to 13 committees, either as a full member or alternate.
Prior to Tuesday's meeting, Supervisor Nora Vargas was appointed to 21 committee seats, according to Desmond's office.
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"I feel this is a divisive step for our new board," Desmond said during the meeting. "This is not equitable and not for the public good — this is actually retribution."
Previously, the board approved committee distributions in a fair manner, and "I'm hoping this board can do better as a team than this," he said. "This is an exciting team, and we have the opportunity to build a team and move our county forward."
During Tuesday's meeting, Desmond proposed that he serve as a second alternate on a SANDAG committee positions, with new Vargas as the first. However, Vargas said she was not OK with that.
Vargas also rejected Desmond's suggestion that she switch with Desmond as an alternate on the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), which handles district boundaries.
Supervisor Joel Anderson said he would be willing to serve as the alternate member. Anderson also said he would let Desmond have his seat on the county Multiple Species Conservation Plan.
Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, who also sits on the committee, declined Desmond's request about taking the second seat.
"This is important to my constituents," Lawson-Remer said.
Lawson and Vargas could not be immediately reached for comment.
Through his spokesman James Canning, Fletcher said he "made his remarks today about the direction the board is headed, and we will let those comments stand."
All 2021 committee assignments for supervisors can be found online.