Search Results for: 54953(c) vote – Page 5

COMMENTARY

Illegal immigrants have access rights too. The benefits of the Brown Act and Public Records Act do not depend on citizenship. By Peter Scheer California’s open government laws–the Brown Act and the Public Records Act, primarily–are often said to vindicate the “people’s right to know” about their government. And indeed they do. But this formulation begs the question: which “people” exactly? At the country’s founding, seemingly universalist references to “the people” actually meant a minority

Read More »

AG Opinion #97-1207 Participation by elected officials in committee meetings when they aren’t members (1998)

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OPINION  97–1207 April 29, 1998 THE HONORABLE QUENTIN L. KOPP, MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE, has requested an opinion on the following questions: 1. May members of the legislative body of a local public agency ask questions or make statements while attending a meeting of a standing committee of the legislative body “as observers”? 2. May members of the legislative body of a local public agency sit in special chairs on the

Read More »

Access to rezoning information

Access to rezoning information Q: Our local school district here in decided that they want to rezone school boundaries. The district went ahead and formed a committee to make boundary recommendations. The committee members were chose by invitation only, without any notice to the public at large. We (myself, and other members of the community) recently learnt that all this has happened, and that the committee has already had one meeting. The school district has

Read More »

A&A: Are Community College Faculty Senate meetings covered by the Brown Act?

Q: I believe Community College Faculty Senates are subject to the Brown Act?  If so, must these bodies disclose how each member voted on an item? I teach at a community college.  My program was asked to make some amendments to an item, otherwise an individual told us she would challenge the matter. We made the amendments. The indivdiual then actually went ahead and challenged the matter at a Faculty Senate open meeting. She also

Read More »

Settlement in Database Access Suit Announced

BERKELEY, CA, June 16 —The California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC) and MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that shows the connection between money and politics, announced today that they have settled their freedom of information lawsuit against the Office of Legislative Counsel of California, having gained the object of their suit: a machine-readable database of how state lawmakers vote. “It shouldn’t take a lawsuit for the government to realize its data belongs to the people,”

Read More »

Voting on Multiple Budgets

Voting on Multiple Budgets Q: Redevelopmnt Agency agenda asks for 1 vote on 11 budgets for 11 redevelopment project areas. Does this conform to the Brown Act or should there be a 11 votes ? A: The Brown Act requires that, generally, a vote cannot be taken on items that are not on the agenda, and that the agenda must contain a sufficient description of each item to be voted on.  If the agenda lists

Read More »

A&A: When government outsources program are documents public?

Q: I have asked the city for a particular statistical report about their red light camera system. They have refused to provide the records, and have ignored my offer to pay (per GC 6253.9(b)). The requested report is one which a city can obtain by going to the website of their red light camera vendor, selecting the report from an on-screen menu of report types, then selecting the intersection to be covered by the report,

Read More »

A&A: Access to City Manager’s compensation denied

Q: I am a  director for the Public Utility District trying to access the General Manager’s compensation information.  Another director asked for W-2s with confidential information blacked out. And was told via email that they do not have to provide them. What information am I entitled to and how to I ask for it? The GM told us that due to client confidentiality the board has to vote to review the billing statements. He only

Read More »

CA Sunshine Ordinance: Oakland

Oakland’s Sunshine Ordinance was adopted in 2003. Chapter 2.20 PUBLIC MEETINGS AND PUBLIC RECORDS Article I In General 2.20.010 Findings and purpose. The Oakland City Council finds and declares: A. A government’s duty is to serve the public and in reaching its decisions to accommodate those who wish to obtain information about or participate in the process. B. Commissions, boards, councils, advisory bodies and other agencies of the city exist to conduct the people’s business.

Read More »

Hospital Records

Hospital Records Q: In October 2007 I contracted HA-MRSA during which was to be routine back surgery. I exhibited signs, that if the nurses had followed up, I would have not been discharged and would have avoided me 2 surgeries an additional  hospital stay and continuation of home IV therapy. It is hard to find an attorney to handle this case as they released me too early to identify the infection. I have been advised

Read More »

A&A: Are Community Action Agencies Subject to the Brown Act?

Q: You would think that Community Action Agencies (nonprofit 501c3) would be subject to the Brown Act since they were created under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, are required to have one-third of their board made up of elected officials, and receive huge amounts of federal and state tax payer monies, etc. But a local newspaper here told us they are not. Can you settle this? A: A “legislative body” is subject to the Brown

Read More »

CA Sunshine Ordinances: Dixon (Initiative Petition for Measure N on Nov. 6, 2012 ballot)

Dixon’s Sunshine Ordinance, Measure N is on the November 6, 2012 ballot for voters in the City of Dixon in Solano County. According to Ballotpedia: Supporters of the initiative say, “This Initiative, if passed, will ensure governmental transparency. This Ordinance will go beyond the minimum requirements of the Brown Act and Public Records Act and will provide more and quicker access to information and greater public access to the workings of Dixon city government. This

Read More »

A&A: Writer denied access to coroner’s report on 1947 Black Dahlia case

Q: I am researching the ‘Black Dahlia’ murder in California in 1947. I have asked the LAPD for its file on this case, which has been refused under section 6254(f) of the CPRA. The FBI and DA have disclosed their files on the case (the FBI with heavy redactions).The LA County Coroner’s Office refuses to disclose the coroner’s report pursuant to a security request from LAPD. In 2012, the LAPD Museum held a ‘Black Dahlia’ exhibition

Read More »

A&A: Emergency agenda items and proper notice requirements

Emergency agenda items and proper notice requirements Q: My first question is: What is the correct procedure for adding an “emergency” item to a city Council agenda? Recently, a City Council added an “emergency” closed session to its agenda to discuss “anticipated litigation” without any motions or votes. My second question is about anticipated litigation: Must it be described in some fashion when it’s added? A: It is unclear from the information you submitted in

Read More »

Legislature approves FAC-sponsored bill on cell phone privacy. Will Brown sign it?

SB 914, a FAC-sponsored bill to prohibit warrantless searches of cell phones during an arrest, has been approved by the California Legislature. The legislation now goes to the Governor’s office, where, because of opposition by law enforcement, its fate is uncertain. The Senate yesterday approved the bill, which was introduced by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), by a bipartisan 31-4 vote. It was approved by the Assembly in August. Police ordinarily have authority, following an

Read More »

Destruction of Public Records

Destruction of Public Records Q: I’m a real estate attorney who is also a volunteer at a school district. Here is my immediate dilemma in a nutshell: Last night, the School Board acted on an agenda item to cease recording future closed sessions of their governing board. When the question was raised as to what would become of the existing audio tapes of closed sessions, the Board President announced that they would be immediately destroyed

Read More »

Senate committee passes measures to boost judicial transparency

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a number of measures improving transparency in courtrooms including televising U.S. Supreme Court hearings. -db The Blog of Legal Times April 29, 2010 By Mike Scarcella The Senate Judiciary Committee passed several measures today addressing greater transparency in the judicial system—including televising U.S. Supreme Court hearings. One of the bills, the Sunshine in the Courtroom Act, would allow chief district and appellate judges to permit cameras in court. That bill

Read More »

City allowed to send mailer listing cutbacks should voters approve tax ballot measure

The City of Salinas did not violate any campaign laws in listing projects and services that could be terminated or curtailed if a tax-cutting ballot measure is approved, the California Supreme Court ruled.–DB Metropolitan News-Enterprise April 21, 2009 By Kenneth Ofgang A public entity does not engage in illegal campaign activity by disseminating a list of projects and services that will be curtailed or eliminated if a tax-cutting ballot measure is approved, the California Supreme

Read More »

Vote YES on Prop 42 if you value open-government. Vote no if you prefer secrecy.

Prop 42, on the ballot for California’s June 4 election, will amend the Constitution to assure that local governments are legally bound to observe open-government requirements. If you prefer transparency to secrecy in your city government, local school board or county government, then the choice is clear: You should vote for Prop 42. Prop 42 solves a problem that has repeatedly undercut enforcement of California’s open meetings law (the Brown Act) and open records law

Read More »

A&A: How can I stop city from violating Brown Act during budget meetings?

Q: The city is having a budget meeting. The printed budget is over 500 pages and is divided into department sections. The Mayor prohibits public comment by department, instead he only permits public comment at the end of each day’s meetings, and then the public is limited to three minutes. I believe this is a Brown Act violation because each department should be considered a seperate agenda item. Am I correct. A: Under the Brown Act’s public

Read More »