Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, Jan. 10, and I’m writing from Los Angeles. Newsletter Get our Essential California newsletter It’s hard to think of a more locally oriented job than serving on a city council, which is why it presented a problem when a member of Santa Rosa’s governing body appeared to have taken up residence in Ecuador.“Council member Combs, are you still with us? I think I heard her drop off the line,” another member of the Santa Rosa City Council could be heard saying during a November meeting.Julie Combs, the council member in question, had called in to the North Bay City Council meeting from her second home in the Andes, and the patchy transcontinental phone connection was presenting some problems.It was a situation that KGO, a local TV station, described as “unprecedented, not to mention slightly bizarre.”Combs, a seven-year member of the council, was now splitting her time between Sonoma County and Cuenca, Ecuador. She’d been physically absent from several meetings, and her colleagues weren’t happy. Her split residency was “drawing sharp questions about her ability to fulfill her duties after her absence from City Hall contributed to the delay of… Read full this story
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