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Citizen complains Chico City Council violated Brown Act by not reporting salary perks out of closed meeting

When the Chico City Council approved the appointment of a new fire chief in a closed session August 25, they failed to include in a meeting agenda some perks added to the original contract. A citizen now wants the perks on the agenda in November so that the public could comment. -DB Chico Enterprise-Record October 8, 2009 By Mary Weston OROVILLE — A resident has complained that the Oroville City Council violated the Brown Act

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A&A: Violation of Brown Act by fellow board members

Violation of Brown Act by fellow board members Q: I am an elected official. I believe some of my fellow board members are violating the Brown Act and other public meeting laws. How do I go about getting an investigation into their activities and decision on potential violations and corrections or cures to potential violations? A: Without knowing the factual background of your belief, or what evidence you have supporting your allegations, it seems you

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A&A: Objecting to agenda item during meetings

Objecting agenda item during meetings Q: Our Board of Supervisors is playing fast and loose with the Brown act, specifically adding items to the agenda that don’t even come close to meeting the requirements of the Brown Act.  Question: Can I object to an item being heard ? If yes, how do I object? If no, what do I do? A: Unfortunately, although you can object to an item being heard at a meeting because

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Porterville retailers allege open meetings violation in agreement between city and Indian tribe

A group of Porterville retailers claim that the city council violated the Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law, when they made an agreement in closed session with the Tule River Indian Tribe. -db The Porterville Recorder October 21, 2010 By Denise Madrid A Cooperative Agreement made nearly six months ago during closed session between the City of Porterville and the Tule River Indian Tribe is being called into question by the Coalition of Retailers

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Wall Street Journal employees upset with opinion page

Nearly 300 Wall Street Journal employees sent a letter to their publisher calling out the opinion section editors for not practicing fact-checking and transparency, thereby losing credibility with reporters’ sources. The letter cited several instances including a column by a conservative commentator, “The Myth of Systemic Police Racism,” that the employees said “selectively presented facts and drew an erroneous conclusion from the underlying data.” (The Hill, July 21, 2020, by J. Edward Moreno) The letter said

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Alleged Brown Act violations force revision of La Mesa water district rate increases

Active citizens won a reprieve on water district rate hikes claiming the Helix Water Board violated the requirement that the public be given adequate notice of any rate increases. The board voted to cancel a hearing and revise its rate hike proposal to accommodate public concerns about its fairness. -DB East County Magazine May 24, 2009 By Dennis Moore LA MESA, Calif. – Following a joint investigation by East County Magazine and Channel 10 news

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A&A: Closed Sessions under the Brown Act

Closed Sessions under the Brown Act Q: The Situation: the Board of Education for a local district meets in closed session without any prior notification to the public. It makes a personnel decision during that closed session and announces it to the public. Question: Is the unannounced closed session meeting in accordance with Brown Act or any other law?  If not, what are the legal ramifications of that meeting? A: The Brown Act recognizes a

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A&A: Special meeting and the Brown Act

Special meeting and the Brown Act Q: The Brown Act reads in part Section 54954.3 of education code: “Every notice for a special meeting shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body concerning any item that has been described in the notice for the meeting before or during consideration of that item.” I have argued with the Secretary of the Oakland School Board that when the Brown Act

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South Pasadena under investigation for alleged Brown Act violation

The district attorney is checking into whether the South Pasadena City Council violated California’s Brown Act, the open meeting law, in interviewing prospective police chiefs in close session. -db San Jose Mercury News October 14, 2010 By Brian Charles SOUTH PASADENA – The District Attorney’s Office is investigating whether the City Council violated provisions of the state’s open meetings law when members went behind closed door to interview candidates for the police chief’s job. The

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A&A: Closed door assesor appointment – possible Brown Act violation

Q: I believe an individual was appointed County assessor unfairly through an exchange wherein the newly appointed assessor promised the supervisor board he would not run for mayor. I am seeking record of this agreement; I believe it could be in violation of the Brown Act, please advise. A: The Brown Act serves to facilitate public participation in all phases of local government, and prohibits “serial meetings” and communications amongst a majority of the members

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A&A: Is it a casual dinner or Brown Act violation?

Q: If 3 out of 5 school board members meet at a restaurant with a teacher or administrator for a few minutes until they noticed that I was also at the restaurant with my wife, have they violated Brown’s Act? A: Depending on exactly what transpired, the episode you describe could be a violation the Brown Act. The Brown Act “serves to facilitate public participation in all phases of local government decision-making and to curb

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A&A: Is it a Brown Act violation to move item from closed to open session?

Q: I believe the City Council  violated the Brown Act at a recent meeting when councilmembers voted 5-0 to move a closed-session item, described only with the name of an individual to the Regular Agenda. Can you tell me if it was proper for the City Council to move a closed-session item to the Regular Agenda during the Open Meeting without proper notice that it would be discussed in open session? A: If the City Council moved

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Santa Clarita: Community alleges open meeting violation in vote on public library

A group of library workers and patrons in Santa Clarita has demanded that the City Council rescind its vote on withdrawing from the Los Angeles County Library System and allow public discussions of the withdrawal. -db The Santa Clarita Valley Signal September 28, 2010 By Natalie Everett Library patrons and workers sent the city of Santa Clarita a letter Tuesday demanding that the City Council take back its vote on withdrawing from the Los Angeles

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Defense department categorizes lawful protests as ‘low-level terrorism’

The ACLU is demanding that the Department of Defense change training materials that the ACLU says equates activism with terrorism. –DB American Civil Liberties Union Press Release June 10, 2009 Anti-terrorism training materials currently being used by the Department of Defense (DoD) teach its personnel that free expression in the form of public protests should be regarded as “low level terrorism.” ACLU attorneys are calling the approach “an egregious insult to constitutional values” and have

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Changing Regular Meetings to Special Meetings

Changing Regular Meetings to Special Meetings Q: The local school district has changed its regular school board meetings to special meetings, and has switched the upcoming regular meetings to special meetings for the next 2 months.  The board is not providing time for public comments on matters related to policies, programs or services provided by the district at the special meetings.  Can the school district switch its regular meetings to special meetings for consecutive months

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A&A: Did City Violate Brown Act With This Switch of issue Decided During Closed Session?

Q: I’m wondering whether my city violated the Brown Act (or other law) when the City Council decided in closed session to issue a statement criticizing the city’s mayor and defending an earlier vote. The background is that the mayor had attempted to veto an amended contract for the city manager, which the city attorney says is not allowed under the city’s charter. The mayor has said he is considering going to court to establish that

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Fillmore City Council admits to Brown Act violation

The Fillmore city mayor conceded to a Brown Act violation but said since there was no consequences from the violation, the matter was closed. -DB Ventura County Star August 27, 2009 By Mike Harris Responding to an accusation from Fillmore City Councilman Steve Conaway, Mayor Patti Walker has conceded that members of the council unintentionally violated California’s Brown Act earlier this month. The Brown Act guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of

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Afghan journalists imperiled

The Taliban is raiding the homes of journalists prompting one radio and TV director to go into hiding. The Taliban raided the Kabul home of Zalmay Latifi seizing cars and licensed weapons and then the next day two desktop computers. (Committee to Protect Journalists, August 24, 2021) Journalists are joining the thousands of Afghans trying to flee the country in spite of the Taliban’s pledge to respect the role of the media in correcting the

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A&A: Can A School District Bar The Public From School Closure Meetings?

Q: I am a parent of an elementary school student who is attending a public school being fast-tracked to close in 25 days. An important piece of this decison-making process is a report that is being written by a superintendent’s advisory committee. This committee has closed meetings and the school board allows this. I have asked for the public to be able to view the meetings, to observe, but this has been denied. The superintendent’s

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