Search Results for: 54953(c) vote

A&A: No Video Record of Show-of-Hands Votes

Q: We are a very small grassroots committee to save the last low-income affordable housing in our area. Briefly, our local planning board has conducted its meetings without recording them thereby denying basic access to the public. On July 5 with at least 200 in attendance, the Board voted 9-5-1 to send a proposal forward. People in front requested a roll call vote but the Chair asked for a quick vote by hand. As of today,

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A&A: City Council Action in Secret

Q: Our city’s fire chief is on medical leave.  I heard the city council approved a search for an interim fire chief several weeks ago, but it was not disclosed to our paper. Is it legal for the city council to approve a search without notifying the public? A: Under the Brown Act, a city council is not supposed to take any action in secret, except where the matter can be discussed in closed session, and

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A&A: Closed meeting votes and the Brown Act

Closed meeting votes and the Brown Act Q: Under the Brown Act, can a sitting city council conduct a secret vote (no public notification) whether to consider a legally filed candidate for a city commission appointment, and then, refuse to make public how each council member voted or how the tally went when they do appoint candidates to a commission? A: The Brown Act prohibits action by secret ballot.  Gov. Code § 54953(c) (“[n]o legislative

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A&A: Brown Act Compliance for Faculty Members Digitally Attending Academic Senate Meetings

Q: Our Community College covers a broad service area—including seveal communities and military posts. We post agendas in all locations (locked, glass front display cases) where the agenda can be access at all times, 72 hours or more in advance. We use roll call to identify all attendees, and roll call to identify all votes, though for approval of minutes and other non-controversial business we ask first if there is an objection, if we hear none,

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A&A: Are Emails Meetings?

Are Emails Meetings? Q: Can members of a public agency use emails (to all members of the board) to share information regarding board matters. These are information only emails, no action is taken, and no votes are taken. They are used to provide information on action that may or may not be taken at the scheduled board meetings. A: The Brown Act defines a “meeting” as “a congregation of a majority of the members of

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A&A: Secret Ballots

Secret Ballots Q: Is it legal for a school board to fill a vacancy on the board with a secret vote? Is this addressed in the Brown Act and if so, where? A: The Brown Act prohibits action by secret ballot.  See Gov. Code § 54953(c).  Although the Brown Act authorizes a closed session to discuss the appointment of a public employee, the legislative body must publicly report any action taken in closed session at

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A&A: Serial Meetings

Q: The question: Does the below discussion of their previous individual discussions constitute a serial meeting violation under the Brown Act? Member A left his council seat to become mayor, leaving the two-year remainder of his council term open. Member B and C were newly appointed to the council – they were council members ELECT at the time of supposed serial meeting. Member D has been on the council for two years. To fill the

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Quorums and the CPRA

Quorums and the CPRA Q: Our agency facilitates a multi-agency Policy Council on Children & Youth which is also our county’s Child Abuse Prevention Commission.  This group is subject to the Brown Act.  If our bylaws allowed it, could we legally allow members to submit a written proxy vote on specific agenda items when the member cannot be present?  We are envisioning this as a rare occurrence, and that the written vote be signed by

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A&A: Is there a Posting Date Requirement for Minutes of Public Agency Meetings?

Q: Is there a legal requirement that a Community College in California post Minutes for their Board, Special and Committee Meetings within a certain timeframe? They are not doing so by the next meeting and sometimes do not do so for many many months or at all. This is an ongoing issue. A: The Ralph M. Brown Act, which governs local legislative bodies, including community college districts, requires, among other things, that local legislative bodies

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A&A: Mayor and University Official Meetings

Mayor and University Official Meetings Q: The mayors of four cities have formed a grouping of sorts and meet with the University chancellor & the director of the labs – this is not done in public — should it be done in public? A: Based on the circumstances you describe, I am unaware of any law that would require a meeting such as you describe to be public.  As you may know, California’s Brown Act

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A&A: Board member sent out email supporting project coming up for a board vote

Q: The School Board is trying to accuse one trustee of a Brown Act violation because he sent out an email in support of a project they were going to be voting on in the near future. The email went to all trustees as well. None of them responded and no discussion was made back and forth with this email. We do not think it is a violation, but need to know from an expert.

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Southern California: Alleged Brown Act violation by school district during teleconferencing

The Orange Unified School District board of trustees has allegedly violated the Brown Act, California’s open meeting act in failing to observe the rules governing teleconferencing votes. According to the act, all votes during teleconference must be rollcall votes. -db Greater Orange News Service July 26, 2010 With Trustee Kim Nichols participating in the June 10, 2010 OUSD Board meeting by teleconference from Memphis Tennessee, the OUSD Board voted by illegal voice vote on several

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Voting rights seen as protected under First Amendment

James C. Nelson, retired Montana Supreme Court justice, COUNTERPUNCH, February 21, 2022, suggests that the right to vote is a right of free speech. The Constitution protects symbolic speech, that is, nonverbal expressions in the form of protests, demonstrations, wearing buttons, t-shirts with messages, etc. Nelson says that voting is clearly a from of symbolic speech. For a Supreme Court that rules in Citizens United that money equals speech, it would seem that it should

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A&A: Council-elect make decisions, but claim documents are not public

Q: I cover an unincorporated community that voted in June to incorporate. Voters approved incorporation and also elected a five-member council.  A committee has been formed to raise private funds to put on a celebration on mark the historic occasion. Two elected members of the city council-elect (who will not be sworn in until the day of the celelbration) serve on this committee. My questions: is this committee considered private? Am I entitled to the

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A&A: Serial Meetings 101

Q: A citizen here has asked the DA to investigate Riverside County supervisors for possible violation of the “serial meetings” provision of the Brown Act. Could someone explain to me exactly how a series of two-person conversations can violate the act? On a five-member board, if A discusses X with B, and then B discusses X with C, does that violate the law? Or does A have to ask B to discuss it with C

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A&A: Quorums, Listservs, and the Brown Act

Quorums, Listservs, and the Brown Act Q: I am a member of the faculty at a California Community College and a member of the Academic Senate.  The Academic Senate is governed by the Brown Act.  The faculty have a listserv–electronic discussion forum.  If a quorum or more members of the Senate are subscribed to the listserv (closed to all but faculty as subscribers), is there a Brown Act violation potential if–say–an issue that might come

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A&A: Informal Meetings and the Brown Act

Informal Meetings and the Brown Act Q: I understand that the Brown Act prohibits a majority of a Board of Supervisors from meeting together illegally.  However, can one supervisor discuss an issue with another two or more other supervisors on a personal, informal basis, one at a time? A: The Brown Act defines a “meeting” as “a congregation of a majority of the members of a legislative body at the same time and place to

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A&A: Closed Session Voting

Closed Session Voting Q: In a closed session discussion, a vote was taken regarding the non-reelect of employees.  After the vote two people were asked why they voted the way they did (they had not discussed their reasons against the action prior to the vote).  Is the reason they gave for the way they voted confidential information? A: As you may know, the Brown Act provides that a legislative body may hold a closed session

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AG Opinion #01_401_02

OPINION of BILL LOCKYER, Attorney General; MARJORIE E. COX, Deputy Attorney General No. 01-401 Office of the Attorney General of the State of California Filed March 14, 2002 THE HONORABLE TONY STRICKLAND, MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY, has requested an opinion on the following questions: Do the open meeting requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act apply to the meetings of the governing board of a private, nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of providing

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Non-Profits Covered under Brown Act

Non-Profits Covered under Brown Act Q: This is to clarify whether or not our volunteer association, which takes care of a City Dog Park, is under the Brown Act. We were not created by any of the required methods spoken of in the Act (e.g. ordinance, formal action, charter, or resolution).  We saw a need, came together and the City liked the idea of not having to deal with the park. However, we have been

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