Castaic Council member resigns

File photo. Castaic Area Town Council members sit at the April 18 meeting.
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Castaic Area Town Councilman Jim Idleman resigned from his position via email Sunday.

Council member Jeff Preach claimed at the end of the May 16 meeting that Idleman, who represents Region IV along with Preach, planned to step down.

Idleman failed to return several calls and emails from The Signal, in response to questions from the council over his failure to attend numerous town council meetings over the last year. His term was set to expire in December.

After confrontation from the council over his multiple absences, Idleman sent an email Sunday that he said served as his resignation, effective June 1. He confirmed the resignation to the Signal that same day.

“To avoid any future public criticism from our local news reporters, due to similar upcoming family commitments throughout the balance of this year, I will not be able to perform the necessary obligations required to uphold continued service as a Region IV Council Member,” Idleman stated in an email to the Town Council. “I was given great pleasure to serve on this fabulous Council we have in our wonderful town of Castaic. If my personal obligations change in the upcoming years I would be honored to serve again as an elected member.”

Idleman was recorded as missing three consecutive meetings this year without prior formal notification to the council, which is required for an excused absence, according to the council’s bylaws. Since January 2017, Idleman has missed over half of the council’s meetings.This was grounds for dismissal, according to the council’s bylaws.

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. It is comprised of 10 elected representatives from five regions, and the county does not have oversight of the elected body.

President Jessica Chambers confirmed the absences when asked about the attendance by The Signal in May. The records are also published online at the Castaic Area Town Council website after the meetings.

“The numerous absences of Jim Idleman did become a concern for members of the council,” Chambers said in a May 17 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 has not yet decided if it will hold a special election or appoint a new member to fill Idleman’s vacancy until his term expires in November, Chambers said Monday.

Idleman is the 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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