WALNUT CREEK -- Should a sitting city commissioner reside in the city of Walnut Creek?
That was the question the City Council batted around last week at a special meeting.
Transportation Commissioner Luke Lucas alerted the city that he is moving out of Walnut Creek to San Francisco. His term doesn't expire until March 2014, and he asked the council whether he can continue to serve.
Rules set by the council allow a commissioner to serve the remainder of his or her term even if they move out of the city during that term. But during a special midday City Council meeting Aug. 29, council members debated whether having a nonresident sit on a commission for more than a year was a good idea.
"March 2014 is a long time away," said Councilwoman Cindy Silva. "That would be a precedent-setting move that was not originally intended ... We would face this question again in this future."
The council could choose to reappoint someone now from a list of qualified candidates -- though no such list currently exists -- or start a recruitment process asking for volunteers from residents.
Lucas will still be working in the area, and perhaps his new status will give him a regional perspective, said Councilman Gary Skrel.
Mayor Bob Simmons argued that in 2014 there are other seats on the commission that would need to be filled, and Lucas might have been looked at for leadership on the board.
Complicating matters further,
Mayor Pro Tem Kish Rajan said the election may ultimately decide the whole matter.
The council chose to allow Lucas to continue to serve for now, but will decide later, likely after the November election, whether he will continue to serve out his full term.
Contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617. Follow her at Twitter.com/enardi10.