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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS
FROM: CITY MANAGER
DATE: DECEMBER 17, 2002
SUBJECT: POLICY FOR SELECTING PEER REVIEW CONSULTANTS
Consider whether or not to direct staff to prepare a formal policy for the Selection of Peer Review Consultants.
In 2001, the City Council undertook a review of the existing geologic data for the Abalone cove Landslide and Zone 2. Specifically, at their April 17, 2001 meeting the City Council took the following action:
The "Peer Review Committee" consisted of geologists who had both past and present relationships with the lot owners. Mr. John Monks' geologist, Keith Ehlert, was included. An excerpt from the April 17, 2001 minutes states:
Council discussion centered on the importance of selecting disinterested geologists to be assured of obtaining objective results. It was argued that Keith Ehlert might not be completely objective since he performed work for Zone 2 lot owners who wished to develop their land; however, it was also felt that his familiarity with the area would be a benefit.
Mayor Stern has requested that the City Council adopt a formal policy establishing criteria for future appointments of "Peer Review " panels. Should the City Council direct staff to prepare a policy for their consideration, staff would recommend that the policy apply the Cityís existing Conflict of Interest Code to the pre-selection process. The code currently applies to City Council appointed Commissioners and Committee members as well as consultants who provide services to the City. The criteria to be considered include:
The selection process would include a review of each candidate consultantís "reportable interests" in each of the four categories listed above and a statement of whether or not a conflict of interest might exist.
Of course, the City Council could adopt regulations that are even more stringent than the requirements listed above. For example, a regulation could be adopted that would preclude an individual from serving on a peer review panel if that person has done any work in the City for private individuals. However, given the number of geologic issues that are encountered in the City, this type of standard may be so high that it would be extremely difficult to find consultants who would be willing or able to serve on a peer review panel.