Search Results for: 54953.3

A&A: Signing In at Public Meetings

Q: Is it legal for a public school board at to require a member of the public to sign in in order to address the board on an agendized item? A: The California Supreme Court has recognized that “‘[a] school board of a school district constitutes a “legislative body” of a “local agency”‘” under Government Code §§ 54951-54952 of the Brown Act.  “‘Thus [a school board] is subject to the requirements of the Brown Act,

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Swearing in public commenters at open meetings

Swearing in public commenters at open meetings Q: A local city council has adopted various new rules for members of the public wishing to address the council.  The most concerning issue is: “The presiding officer may require any person to be sworn as a witness before addressing the council on any subject.” They go onto to state that anyone making false statements may be held to answer to criminal penalties.   They have invoked this “swearing

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A&A: Public Comment Identification Requirements

Public Comment Identification Requirements Q: Can an agency require a member of the public to state their name and address in order to address the agency on an agenda item? A: The Brown Act provides that “[e]very agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body on any item of interest to the public, before or during the legislative body’s consideration of the item, that

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A&A: Identifying self while making public comment

Identifying self while making public comment Q: Does a member of the public have to identify themselves before commenting?  Can they be refused if they do not? A: The Brown Act provides that “[e]very agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body.”  Ca. Govt. Code Section

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A&A: Do I Have a Right to Remain Anonymous During Public Meetings Held on Zoom During the Pandemic?

Q: I’ve attended some meetings of a local government in California recently and they’ve started using Zoom to conduct the meetings because of the local COVID-19 public health orders. I’ve set up my Zoom sign-on to identify me as “John Q. Public,” which as you can probably guess isn’t my real name. But they do know who I am. However, at the beginning of the Zoom meetings the district secretary has gotten into the habit

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A&A: Is holding a public meeting inside a gated community a violation of California’s Brown Act?

Q: A California city is holding city council meetings with the Property Owners Association (POA) in a POA building inside a gated community. The POA claims they will allow public access. However, the public would have to drive into the community and be stopped and questioned by a private POA security guard at the gates. Vehicle registration and a valid driver’s license are usually required. Is this a possible violation of the Brown Act?  A:

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A&A: Sign-in cards for public comment

Sign-in cards for public comment Q: I have been asking my local school district board to provide for public comments during the school board meetings.  Previously attendees had to fill out a speaker card, give it to the superintendent.  Their question would be answered within three days at which time they would receive a phone call from the district.  The board finally aquiessed to my requests and threats to sue.  However, the change, I believe,

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A&A: Council Meetings On Zoom Have Increased Brown Act Violations During The Public Comment Period

Q: Our city council meetings have recently moved to Zoom sessions due to COVID. I’m curious about possible Brown Act violations due to the way the council has been conducting the meetings. The hot topic has been the current proposed city budget which they’ve had for the past three months and finally released to the community three weeks before the supposed deadline. Now that they’ve been using Zoom for the meetings, the public comments that

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A&A: Can a public board limit comments to residents in their jurisdiction?

Q: Can a public board limit who can make comments during public comments to only members who live in their jurisdiction? During a recent community meeting held by our local public sewer/water district, there was a portion of time to comment on the plans they were discussing. They stated that only residents who live within their jurisdiction could make comments. Can they legally limit who can make comments during public comments in that way? They also required everyone

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A&A: Can ID Be Required to Make Public Comment?

Q: At City Council and Planning Commission meetings they have a sign next to the public-comment podium that says “Please state your name.”I think it might even ask for address.  I believe it is in violation of the Brown Act to require people to say their names. It is important in this community that people not have to state their name as an unfortunate individual who has done work for the city council has a

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A&A: Meeting minutes reveal personal ID information

A: The City Council requires members of the public to state their names and addresses before making public comment. I did so at a recent meeting. In the minutes of that meeting my comments were edited, and my private information (address) was published. I did not sign anything nor did I give anyone a verbal ok to use that information. As a retired peace officer I am concerned about my right to privacy being violated.

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A&A: The mayor refused to let me make a public comment without identifying myself

Q: Before filing a Brown Act violation against the mayor for denying me the opportunity to speak on an item before the city council because I refused to identify myself before making a public comment.  I would like to get an opinion from your organization on my complaint and the city’s response. A: You are already aware that Government Code Section 54953.3 provides that members of the public may not be required to provide any

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Orange County: Investigation uncovers alleged open government violations by school district

A PublicCEO reporter alleges that the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Trustees has committed serious violations of California’s open government law, the Brown Act. -db PublicCEO Commentary February 2, 2010 By Chris Prevatt One of the most important duties for elected officials to perform is to be open and honest about their actions and to maintain their compliance with the minimal disclosure requirements of the Brown Act. It really isn’t that hard. The

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The Brown Act (text of the law updated 2013)

Resources Access to Meetings Text of The Ralph M. Brown Act Government Code Section 54950-54963   (Updated 2013) Visit the California Legislature website for the most current text. Access here. 54950. In enacting this chapter, the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be

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