A Morro Bay planning commissioner who vowed to arrive a half-hour late to two upcoming city meetings in order to keep a promise to his son’s Little League team has resigned instead of allowing himself to be fired.
Former commission chair John Diodati spoke briefly at the April 26 Morro Bay City Council meeting, just long enough to scold the council for what he called a “devious act” in amending the city’s advisory board attendance policy. The proposed new rules would have mandated his dismissal should he “miss” two more meetings—or show up a half-hour late, as he planned to do.
Though he secured permission from his fellow commissioners, Diodati came under fire from the City Council after the city changed the nights of planning commission meetings from Mondays to Wednesdays, causing a scheduling conflict with his son’s baseball team, which he manages.
Instead of letting the dismissal play out, which he initially told New Times he planned to do, Diodati resigned during public comment.
“I could continue this drama, and many community members have asked me to do this,” he said. “However, I do not think this is fair to anyone, especially the community, which is currently faced with some very complex and expensive projects.”
He continued: “I hope everyone understands I made a prior obligation to be available for 14 children on Wednesday nights. … Abandoning these children mid-game in order to attend the new planning commission meeting date will be modeling that commitments are meaningless and easily broken. I am not willing to be this type of role model for our younger generation of community members.”
Diodati thanked the current commission for accommodating his schedule and said he hoped they don’t experience any “collateral damage” for doing so. He left the building to applause from the audience.
Some saw the new attendance policy as a thinly veiled attempt to oust Diodati, who had survived a failed motion by Mayor Bill Yates to fire the entire commission after it refused to sign off on the city’s wastewater treatment plant project in January.