COMMENTS ARE OPEN, LETS SEND JEFF SOME THETA August 22, 2013 by Jeff Horseman Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone wants to take county government on a trip to places he hopes will send him to Sacramento. On Tuesday, Aug. 20, he offered a plan to have the Board of Supervisors meet once a quarter outside of its usual location in downtown Riverside. Always fond of acronyms, Stone named his plan Riverside County Offers Accessible Meetings or R.O.A.M. He suggested the board could meet in the Coachella Valley, Palo Verde Valley, southwest county and the Pass. Except for the Pass, those areas fall in the future boundaries of California’s 28th Senate District, an office Stone plans to run for in 2014. Reached via email, Stone denied any link between R.O.A.M. and his political ambitions. “This idea has been talked about for a long time,” he wrote. “Certainly the idea was bantered around prior to my senate candidacy. I have been attending (Coachella Valley Association of Governments) meetings for a few years way before the senate boundaries were (identified). Nexus to my campaign? None!” He added he would be fine with the road trip starting after next June’s primary or the November general election and that he’d be open to having residents participate in board meetings through teleconferencing. On Tuesday, Stone argued that having board meetings around the county would give residents in far-flung areas a better chance of seeing their elected representatives in person. “We can be more transparent and visit communities that we talk about every week on our agendas and many of us may have never seen some of these areas we’re voting on except for two-dimensional pictures,” he said. But Supervisor John Tavaglione questioned the cost and timing of remote meetings. “Whether it’s perceived or not, it may look in the eyes of some that we’re on an election roadshow, a quarterly roadshow to get our faces out there in various parts of the county and I just don’t think that’s appropriate,” he added. John Tavaglione Tavaglione and supervisors John Benoit and Marion Ashley are up for re-election in 2014. Stone insisted his plan had nothing to do with politics. “I think this board has spent money in other areas that will pale in comparison to what it would cost for further transparency,” he said. The board eventually chose to move ahead with Benoit’s plan to meet Oct. 1 in Palm Desert. Supervisors will look at how much that meeting costs before deciding whether to hold more meetings away from Riverside.