Search Results for: 54953(c) vote

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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Emails and the Public Record and Brown Act

Emails and the Public Record and Brown Act Q: A member of a public board has been carrying on an email conversation with me about matters before the board, copying all the other members of the board on his messages to me.  Is this email thread (1) a public record, and (2) a violation of the Brown Act? A: Public Records Act A public record is defined by Section 6252(e) of the California Government Code

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A&A: Criteria for Serial Meeting

Criteria for Serial Meeting Q: Our former Mayor was involved in trying to develop a clandestine consensus to support his successor. Two councilmembers have said that the Mayor spoke about his support of his replacement, including the replacement himself, outside of a public meeting. We suspect a third, who often sides with the Mayor, was also consulted about who the Mayor was supporting, but we do not have definitive proof. What kind of criteria would

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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: Closed City Council Meetings Outside Regular Meeting

Closed City Council Meetings Outside Regular Meeting Q: There is a standing meeting with the city staff the week before the City Council meeting. The meeting is intended to let the Chamber preview and comment on the council agenda. The meeting is closed to the public and is often attended by a Council member or two.  This stinks and is but one more example of the good old boy network that exist in this City. 

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A&A: County Supervisors’ Invitation-Only Meeting

County Supervisors’ Invitation-Only Meeting Q: I am a reporter for a small, local newspaper, and have little understanding of the intricacies of the Brown Act. Last Thursday, one of the county supervisors held an invitation-only meeting about a local hot-button topic; the meeting was attended by a sheriff’s deputy, a few “chosen” members of the Chamber of Commerce, and one local media representative (I was invited, but unable to attend). The owner of the newspaper

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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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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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A&A: Does the Brown Act apply to city council appointed committees?

Q:  Does the Brown Act apply to city council appointed committees?  If it does, how is a city supposed to conduct the necessary extended deliberations critical to producing good decisions regarding (among other things) public services and expenditures of public funds? A: Whether the Brown Act’s meeting requirements apply to committees created by the city council depends on whether the particular committee may be defined as a “legislative body.” Under the Brown Act, a “legislative body”

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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: Appointing board members and the Brown Act

Appointing board members and the Brown Act Q: Our school has a board director nomination policy. It says, “Board vacancies will be widely advertised in the regional media and to countywide educational and non-profit organizations in order to reach a broad population.  Applications for Board service shall be made available to the public on the school website and only those applications received by November 1st of the year prior to elections will be considered.  New

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Community College Senate, Listservs, and Public Record

Community College Senate, Listservs, and Public Record Q: This question refers to the Academic/Faculty Senate of a small California Community College. Should the listserv, described below, be made public, and all archived messages placed in a publicly accessible location?  Or should the listserv be immediately discontinued?  Or should anyone be allowed to subscribe and post? Or do the faculty have the right to privacy in these issues? There is a “listserv” among the faculty that

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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

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