Dawn Rowe appointment in question, Jan. 15, 2020

San Bernardino County 3rd District Supervisor Dawn Rowe

The fate of Supervisor Dawn Rowe is a waiting game. She was appointed to the 3rd District seat in December 2018, could be removed in January 2020 and re-elected in March 2020, then sworn into office again in December 2020.

Are you confused? It is a confusing matter to most people, even those close to the situation. Here’s the sequence of events:

• November 2018: James Ramos elected to State Assembly, creating a vacancy for the 3rd District seat.

• Nov. 13, 2018: Board of Supervisors open application period and set interviews for Dec. 11.

• December 2018: Forty-eight applicants qualify for position. Applicants asked to answer 10 questions; field narrowed to 13 applicants to interview.

Dec. 11, 2018: Supervisors conduct interviews, narrow field to five for final interview.

• Dec. 13, 2018: Needles resident sends letter to Board of Supervisors accusing the board of violating the state’s open meeting law, the Ralph M. Brown Act, in its interview/appointment process. Appointment process suspended to assess allegation.

• Dec. 18, 2018: I.E. United sends letter alleging appointment process violated Brown Act, requests cure. Supervisors drop candidate list, interview all 48 applicants.

• Dec. 18, 2018:  Dawn Rowe appointed to fill the vacancy.

• Dec. 31, 2018: I.E. United filed petition with San Bernardino County Superior Court asking for Rowe’s appointment to be overturned citing violation of Brown Act.

• Sept. 18, 2019: Superior Court Judge rules appointment process violated the Brown Act, ruling Rowe’s appointment is null and void. County appeals the decision.

• November 2019: Appeal by county places stay on Superior Court ruling allowing Rowe to remain in office until matter is heard by appeals court.

• Jan. 8, 2020: Stay overturned leaving Rowe’s position in limbo.

• January 2020: County to file motion with California Supreme Court to reinstate stay until appeals court hears and rules on Superior Court decision. Board of Supervisors may be required to rescind appointment at Jan. 28 meeting.

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