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City Council To Decide Whether To Grant Leave of Absence to Councilmember Katherine Lee

Photo by Bastian Mendez.


Alhambra , CA United States

The Alhambra City Council is holding a special meeting Monday afternoon to decide whether to grant City Councilmember Katherine Lee a leave of absence through the month of October after she failed to attend two Council meetings in September.

The City Council will convene at 3:30 to discuss Lee’s possible leave of absence. Council members who don’t attend meetings for 30 days in a row without being excused are permanently dismissed from their position, according to the special meeting agenda.

This rule is codified in the Alhambra city charter, which also says that in the event of a vacancy, the City Council would appoint a replacement who lives in and is qualified to vote in the same district. Vacancies can also occur for reasons including a Council member moving out of the district that they lived in when they were elected, resigning, or being removed because they violated their official duties or for other reasons of that nature.

It was not immediately clear why Lee has requested the leave of absence. The meeting agenda contained no details on that point.

It’s been 28 days since Lee missed her first meeting, on Sept. 9. During that meeting, the City Council voted on whether to adopt a second reading of an ordinance to limit public speaker time from five minutes to three minutes and to require people to turn in speaker cards before discussion begins on an agenda item.

These rule changes, first proposed by Councilmember David Mejia, were added as an amendment to other meeting procedure changes by Lee herself during the Aug. 12 City Council meeting. She was also absent for the vote a month later, during which the entire Council decided not to adopt those changes.

Lee, who teaches math at Repetto Elementary School, won the race in Alhambra’s 1st District election in November, 2018, winning almost 40 percent of the vote against two opponents.

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2 thoughts on “City Council To Decide Whether To Grant Leave of Absence to Councilmember Katherine Lee”

  1. Melissa Michelson

    The people voted for Lee. If she needs a leave, that shouldn’t be a problem and the council should be consistent in its decision making, esp. that 2 past members got leaves without a problem.

  2. Councilmembers from the previous city council were granted leaves of absence (both Stephen Sham and Barbara Messina). Not to grant Katherine Lee a leave of absence would be purely political so that the establishment can stack the city council. There is a clause in the 2020 anti-corruption Alhambra ballot measure that would prevent the city council from handpicking city council replacements if a seat is vacated. I hope Katherine is okay. She is a good councilmember and a good person.

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