Search Results for: 54957 elected – Page 4

Reporters Committee urges 5th Circuit to uphold Texas Open Meetings Act

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has joined with 23 other news media groups to urge the entire 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision by a three judge panel to allow elected officials to talk about public business in secret. The Reporters Committee is arguing that open meeting laws allow the public access to observe and criticize words and actions of elected officials essential in a democracy.-DB The Reporters Committee

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A&A: Brown Act requirement for private nonprofits?

Q: Please clarify for me the requirements of Brown Act compliance for a private nonprofit. We are members of an electric cooperative. As  members of the cooperative we are each eligible to be board members.  The elected directors make determinations on how operating capital is expended and invested. There has recently been allegations of fraud and theft among leading employees and directors of the board and the Attorney for the group is claiming they are

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Censure not a First Amendment violation against college board member

The U. S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that an elected public college official in Texas was not was not protected from censure through the First Amendment. The man’s colleagues on a community college board censured him for suing them, setting up robocalls against them and hiring an investigator to prove one didn’t live in the college district. Judge Neil Gorsuch wrote that a verbal censure was not a free speech violation, that in any case,

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Open government laws seen as benefit rather than burden

An attorney and newly elected member of the Modesto Schools board sets out the benefits of complying with California’s open meeting laws including the value of hearing a wide range of views from other members of the public bodies and from the public itself. -DB Modesto Bee January 27, 2010 By Ruben Villalobos For more than 50 years, local public agencies in California have been guided by the principles of open government and transparency established

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Reporters ask for rehearing on decision restricting open meetings law

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is concerned about a federal appeals court decision that puts the free speech rights of elected officials above their responsibilities to conduct government business in a transparent, accountable manner. -DB Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Press Release May 11, 2009 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press today urged the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans (5th Cir.) to rehear a case in

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A&A: Getting information from closed sessions

Getting information from closed sessions Q: Our board has agendized for the upcoming meeting the following under closed session using 54956.9 for the below items. a.  Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release b.  Conference with Labor Negotiator Does this mean that during open session they need not disclose the position of the employee that was being disciplined and dismissed or what the labor negotiations outcome was? A: As a preliminary matter, it is not clear why your Board

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California’s central valley: Editorial cites disdain for Brown Act in call for action against three Highson city councilmen

An editorial in The Modesto Bee describes a mugging of the Brown Act and a general lack of civil behavior in suggesting that officials look at bringing criminal charges against three councilmen and that the public consider a recall. -db The Modesto Bee Editorial January 31, 2010 Just when we thought city politics in Hughson couldn’t get any worse, they have. Last week’s meeting provided another example where it appears that three councilmen — Thom

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Information on Running for City Clerk

Information on Running for City Clerk Q: My wife and I are trying to gather information on running for City Clerk in our town. She did a Public Records Request and wrote: “I would like to request when term is up for City Clerk elected position and all city laws that apply to run for City Clerk elected position.” The city attorney responded back saying: The City will not be complying with your records request

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A&A Board member vs. public member rights under PRA

Q: I am an elected board member of my local Fire Protection District. I have requested information from our fire chief (e.g. audio/video recording of board meetings, copies of invoices) and I have been told that as a board member I must follow different rules then the public. I have been told I must make my request in writing to the board chair, and then he would put it on next month’s agenda for discussion. So

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CPRA Switcheroo: Assembly cuts CPRA threats from Budget Bill, but Senate won’t sign revised bill

Open government advocates outraged over changes to the CPRA in the Budget Bill thought they had something to cheer about when Assembly Speaker John Perez  announced today that the Assembly had amended the version of SB 71 that contained the CPRA found in AB 76 and would vote on the revised Bill tomorrow. “To be clear, this means that the California Public Records Act will remain intact without any changes as part of the budget –consistent with the

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Can local legislators speak freely to voters? The answer should be an emphatic “yes.” Too often the answer given is “maybe.”

BY PETER SCHEER–Local government, Republicans and Democrats agree, is the most democratic (with a small d) form of government. The closer government is to the people, the theory goes, the more accountable it is to voters and the more responsive to the public will. Congress is the most remote, hence least accountable; your local city council is the closest, therefore most attuned to your needs and interests. Except in California and several other states where

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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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A&A: Discussion of Employee Termination in Closed Session

Discussion of Employee Termination in Closed Session Q: In 2007, the City held its last budget study session and on the closed session my job, as Director of Finance, title or position was never put on for discussion, nor was my job title put on for closed session since I started with the City. The next morning the mayor and the City manager were waiting for me to terminate my employment with the City. The

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Tulare County: Editorial says judge’s ruling blow to open meetings

On the heels of a Superior Court judge’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit alleging Brown Act violations by the county Board of Supervisors, the Visalia Times-Delta argues that the judge should have recognized the overriding importance of the public’s right to know how elected officials conduct public business. -db Visalia Times-Delta Editorial August 26, 2010 Naturally, we at the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register were disappointed that Tulare County Superior Court Judge Melinda Reed dismissed

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A&A: Applicability of Brown Act to public charter schools

Applicability of Brown Act to public charter schools Q: Is the Board of a Public Charter School bound by the Brown Act? A: The answer to your question depends on whether the public charter school was “created by” an elected legislative body—or receives funds from a government agency and whose governing body includes a member of the legislative body—for the purposes of the Ralph M. Brown Open Meetings Act and is therefore subject to the

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Federal appeals court ruling puts Texas open meetings law in question

The 5th Circuit Court ruled that the Texas Open Meetings law could have violated two city council members’ First Amendment right to engage in private speech. -DB The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press April 30, 2009 By Hannah Bergman In an opinion that could call into question the constitutionality of open meetings laws everywhere, a federal appellate court held Monday that the Texas Open Meetings law must pass a heightened constitutional test under

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Texas open meeting law affirmed by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court left in place a decision by a federal appeals court the ruled that the Texas Open Meeting Act was not violating the First Amendment in imposing criminal penalties to enforce the act that prohibited government officials from conducting government business behind closed doors. (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, March 26, 2013, by Lily Chapa) “Open, transparent government is fundamental to our democratic system of government. Today’s decision ensures that

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California’s central valley: Newspaper advises citizens on effective participation in local government

The Modesto Bee has published an editorial advising their readers of their rights to access meetings under the state’s open government law and how to be effective in making their voice heard. -DB The Modesto Bee Editorial January 24, 2010 A prevailing theme on this page is that the public’s business needs to be done in public, every time, all the time. That means public issues should be discussed in an open forum, where the

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A&A: Non-profits, public funds, and the Brown Act

Non-profits, public funds, and the Brown Act Q: I am a voting member of a nonprofit corporation, a preschool cooperative.  If the corporation receives public money in the form of a grant is its board bound by any state open meeting laws? A: The Brown Act, which provides that “[a]ll meetings of the legislative body of a local agency shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of

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Private Homeowners Associations

Private Homeowners Associations Q: Does the Brown Act apply to private Homeowners Associations or only to local and state gov’t? I want to discuss dismissing a management company and I’m being kept from discussing their removal except in their presence at a Board meeting by other Board members. A: Under Government Code section 54952(c), the governing body of ahomeowners association would be subject to the Brown Act under either of two circumstances: 1.  The association

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