Hodge brought up the issue during general comments at the beginning of the regular City Council meeting Tuesday evening.
“What I was told by our staff was, and maybe there was some misunderstanding, but that it was OK to do what I had done, based on the reasoning that as long as I didn’t sit next to city councilmen or discuss city business it was OK.”
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However, in an interview with Hodge on Friday, he said, “I did call our city attorney and she said it may not look right but as long as you stay away from the other two councilmen and no interchange of dialogue or conversation on city business, you are OK. I trusted her … I’m still going to rely on our city attorney’s direction and explanation. She told me it was fine and that was why I was there.”
Since the Calexico Unified Solvency Committee already has two City Council members attending, Hodge’s attendance appears to be a Brown Act violation according to California Newspaper Publisher Association legal counsel.
Mayor Daniel Romero and Mayor Pro Tem Maritza Hurtado are the City Council members appointed to the committee.
Hodge went on to question whether it was necessary for the City Council members to be sanctioned or appointed to the committee, but Lyons said it appears to be a school district issue and she never reviewed any type of documentation from the district.
Hodge said he was not there as a representative of the teachers’ union or the city but “as a teacher for 20 years” and was under the impression the meeting was public, which it is not.
Calexico Unified board member Norma Aguilar said she understood Hodge was at the meeting representing teachers, but he said he was never invited by ACT.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com