Minutes

LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION
DRAFT BOARD MEETING MINUTES

Meeting Date: July 17, 2002

Board Members Present: Shelley Smith (President), Mary Dennis (Vice President), Jule Bishop (Treasurer), Judith Reel (Secretary), Bob Fratianne (Criminal Director), Eskel Solomon (Proprietary Director).

I. New Business

A. DWP Pension Formula

President Shelley Smith reported that IBEW and DWP Management agreed to a pension formula of 2.3% per year of service for employees in the DWP pension plan. Shelley stated that the agreement has not yet been approved by Council. Although it was reported that none of the City unions have a "me too" clause by which other City employees would automatically receive 2.3% per year of service, Shelley stated that if Council approved such formula for DWP Management other City unions would likely seek adoption of such formula for their members in the city employees’ retirement system.

B. Election of Member to Fill Board Vacancy

It was reported that Board member Renee Laurents resigned from the Board because of her acceptance of an offer to become a partner at a private law firm. According to Board By-Laws, the Board was empowered to vote a replacement member.

Judith Reel nominated Christine McCall (formerly Patterson) to serve out the remainder of Renee’s term. After discussion and consideration of the pronounced need for immediate and strong advocacy, the Board voted unanimously to elect Ms. McCall. It was noted that persons desiring to serve as a Board member would have the opportunity to run in the regularly scheduled November election.

C. Worker’s Comp Division Vehicle Use Policy

During the preceding month, Board members learned of a possible change in Office policy pertaining to the ability of attorneys assigned to the Worker’s Comp Division to use their private vehicles to travel to Court hearings and on other City business, and to receive reimbursement for miles traveled. The Association received confirmation from Office Management that there has been no change in terms and conditions of employment as it impacts private vehicle use and mileage. Board members would appreciate hearing from Association members if there occurs in the future any such change.

D. Critical Shortages in Support Staff and Other Resources

Persons present spoke of critical shortages in support staff and other resources that is adversely impacting attorneys’ ability to perform their work assignments. Attorneys are finding it difficult to timely complete assignments due to inadequate secretarial help. Those impacted by the shortages emphasized that their complaints should not be construed as criticism of the performance of the support staff; all agreed that the staff was performing exemplary under extraordinarily difficult conditions. The consensus was reached that the shortage of staff and materials was attributable, in part, to uneven asset allocation. As an example, it was noted that neighborhood prosecutors have ample secretarial and paralegal help, a laptop computer with power point software, and digital cameras, while deputies assigned on a permanent basis to a trial court have none of those courtroom tools.

The Board decided to raise the asset allocation issue in its next informal meeting with management, and to create and mail a survey to Association members to determine the present level of resources afforded them, and their present and anticipated future needs.

II. Old Business

A. Office Library

As stated in the minutes of the June Board meeting, the Board demanded in its informal monthly meeting with management to meet and confer on any proposed cuts to the library budget prior to the Office’s implementing any cut. Management did not respond to this demand, and so the Board followed up with a formal written demand to meet and confer. Management agreed to meet with Board members and had scheduled a meeting for July 16. Due to stated scheduling conflicts, Management rescheduled the meeting for July 25.

B. Office Space

City architects informed management that 17 attorney offices on the 7th floor of City Hall East will have to be located in the interior of the building, without exterior windows. The architects stated that if the library were moved to the interior of the building, as it originally was on the 17th floor, the 17 interior offices could be moved to the outside of the building and each office would have an exterior window. The cost to move the library to the interior of the building and to build offices at the present location of the library was estimated to be approximately $680,000. The architects also indicated that interior placement of the library was a better, more professional, use of floor space. The Board agreed to ask the Municipal Facilities Committee to consider authorizing the work needed to reconfigure the library.

C. Roster of Attorneys

It was noted that management still has not provided the Board with a roster of attorneys and their salary levels. It was also noted that management, despite informally agreeing to do so, also has not yet provided a list of all persons receiving merit and/or promotion from the present Administration. It was agreed that the Board will revisit this issue at its next meeting, and consider a motion to serve a Public Records Act Request demanding the production of both lists.

 

 

At its June 9 meeting, JLMBC awarded new contracts for health insurance providers. Anthem Blue Cross has been selected to replace Blue Shield as the exclusive provider for PPO, HMO Full and Narrow Network plans, and a new alternate regional network plan, "Vivity." Anthem anticipates minimal disruption of services for members who use UCLA and Cedars facilities. Kaiser Permanente is still available for alternate HMO health insurance coverage. For more information on how this may impact your options during Open Enrollment for 2017, contact the City's Employee Benefits Division: (213) 978-1655


LACAA congratulates Civil Director Marie McTeague on her well deserved retirement. Her brilliance, fierce advocacy for LACAA members, personal sacrifices and sense of justice have been the cornerstone of LACAA's success. We will truly miss her presence in the office (but still have her cell phone number).


The Board is pleased to announce that LACAA has retained the law firm of MASTAGNI, HOLSTEDT, AMICK, MILLER & JOHNSEN as General Counsel.