California open government roundup: Chula Vista stumbles in providing easy public record access

Chula Vista officials have not been archiving public records requested under the California Public Records Act. The result is that if anyone wants to revisit a record, they must submit a new request. (The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 4, 2024, by Jeff McDonald)

In a victor for transparency, the California Legislature released sexual harassment records promised four years ago. Although state officials claimed there had been no “substantiated” complaints since 2020, the newly released records show that in the last three years there were 391 complaints. (KCRA, February 2, 2024, by Ashley Zavala)

Los Angeles is suing an activist group and a journalist over the publication of police officer photos on a police watchdog website. The city wants to make the journalist and the activist group share in the financial liability for making the photos public. The photos were obtained through a public records request. (Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2024, by Libor Jany)

A state auditor reported that Anaheim has mismanaged its tourism contracts, in one stance allocating money to a Chamber of Commerce nonprofit without city approval. (The Orange County Register, January 30, 2024, by Michael Slaten)

Parents are upset that the Hollister School District Board of Trustees voted to ban overnight field trips alleging that the district violated the Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law, by not informing the public of the policy change. (BenitoLink, January 26, 2024, by Jenna Mayzouni)

Katy Grimes in California Globe, January 25, 2024, argues that the Sacramento mayor is looking to nickel and dime his way out of a $50 million budget deficit after holding a special meeting in December in violation of the Brown act to give himself a $20,000 raise and a leave time perk.

A group opposed to Berkeley’s approval of the building of UC Berkeley housing on the People’s Park location is contending that the city council failed to follow the Brown Act during disturbances at council meetings last November. (KALW, January 22, 2024, by Sunni Khalid)

Jim Shields in The Ukiah Daily Journal, January 21, 2024, objects to the process begun to move the Veterans Office to another location. He says it is being done without public notice and the approval of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

A Tracy attorney claims that the city council and city attorney negotiated her pay raise behind closed doors in violation of the Brown Act. (Tracy Press, January 19, 2024, by Bob Brownne)

A state senator is introducing legislation to bring transparency to government communications by text messages and e-mails, installing them in records open to the public. (Contra Costa News, January 9, 2024)

In a guest column, Cody Green, Chair of the Santa Monica Police Officers Association, objects to accusations that he threatened city commissioners. The commissioners had accused the police union of suppressing racial traffic stop data. (Santa Monica Daily Press, January 8, 2024)

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