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California open government roundup: Water district to vote again to dispel allegations of Brown Act violations

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will take another vote in July on the Delta water tunnel to meet challenges to their previous vote that came after alleged serial closed-door contacts between MWD directors, the governor and the state Department of Water Resources. FAC issued a demand to cure and correct and cease and desist to MWD May 7. With Food and Water Watch California, FAC alleged MWD’s vote to support the project with a $11 million pledge was a “rubber stamp” vote and that the public was deprived of participating in the decision in violation of the Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law. (Restore the Delta, June 8,2018, by Barbara Barrigan-Parilla)

In  response to a Grand Jury report, the Coachella Valley Cemetery District expanded from a three to a five member board as the best way to avoid violating the Brown Act. (Desert Sun, June 12, 2018, by Amy DiPierro)

The executive director of the Altadena Library, now on administrative leave, is suing the board and its interim director for alleged violations of the Brown Act. Among other charges, Mindy Kittay claims the board made a decision to hire an interim director while she was on sick leave after e-mails between three directors discussing the move. (Pasadena Star-News, June 12, 2018, by Hayley Munguia)

Supporters of a recently fired superintendent in the Central Unified School District expressed their opposition to a special meeting held to interview candidates for the job in the midst of graduation. They recently filed a Brown Act complaint that the decision to fire Mark Sutton was reached without parental comment in a series of closed-door meetings. (The Fresno Bee, June 8, 2018, by Aleksandra Appleton)

The California state legislature failed to clear a law to change the legislature’s public records law so that records of substantiated sexual misconduct could be made public. The law could be revived later in June. (CALmatters, June 1, 2018, by Laurel Rosenhall)

The Ventura County Star, June 2, 2018, charges the Conejo Valley Unified School District with failing in its responsibility to conduct itself in an open, transparent way. The board failed to discuss and approve changes in a literature policy without public input.

A Morro Bay citizen is accusing the city council of censoring public comment at a meeting in April when they failed to allow the public to speak or submit written statements at a meeting on the city’s proposed water reclamation facility. They only accepted written questions for a panel of experts, a process that some critics including FAC’s David Snyder thought violated the Brown Act.  (The Tribune, June 2, 2018, by Andrew Sheeler)

The Los Angeles Unified School District board was accused of violating the Brown Act by hiring a new superintendent in a closed meeting but never reporting the vote, its choice of superintendent and who voted. (City Watch, May 31, 2018, by Tony Butka)

 

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