Absences raise questions for Castaic Town Council

Castaic Area Town Council members sit at a meeting on April 18, 2018, in this Signal file photo.
Castaic Area Town Council members sit at a meeting on April 18, 2018, in this Signal file photo.

A Castaic Area Town Council member has been absent from multiple consecutive meetings, raising questions from the community about whether he should step down.

Councilman Jim Idleman, who represents Region IV, has been recorded as missing multiple consecutive meetings. This is grounds for dismissal, according to the council’s bylaws.

Under the conditions of the bylaws’ Article 14, the council may vote to remove a council member if he or she has “absenteeism amounting to two consecutive regular meetings … without an excuse acceptable to the majority of the Directors, may indicate a lack of interest in serving on the Castaic Area Town Council Inc., and may result in removal on the third consecutively missed regular meeting with a two-thirds majority vote of at least seven of the Directors.”

The council acts in an advisory capacity for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the various county departments, regarding decisions that impact the unincorporated Castaic community. The CATC is comprised of 10 elected representatives from five regions. The county does not have oversight of the elected body.

President Jessica Chambers confirmed the absences when asked about the attendance by The Signal. The records are also published online at the Castaic Area Town Council website after the meetings. The councilman has missed three consecutive meetings since 2018 without prior formal notification to the council, she told the Signal on Thursday.

The council has not formally voted to remove Idleman, but his attendance has been noted. The absences mean Idleman has been unable to vote on matters before the council, according to the body’s bylaws.

“The numerous absences of Jim Idleman did become a concern for members of the council,” Chambers said in a statement on behalf of the council. “When the council inquired about the absences, we were notified that they were due to illness and family obligations.”

The council was not notified in advance of the absences, which would be necessary for them to be excused. Idleman did not respond to several inquiries regarding this story.

Idleman’s term began in 2015, and is set to expire in December of this year.

Idleman is the current principal owner of Idleman Design & Associates, a local architectural design and construction management firm.

In a 2008 interview with the Signal while running for council, he said he was qualified to serve through his work with “local communities, city planners and public agencies for the approvals and construction of over 3 million square feet of commercial development throughout California.”

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