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Debate surfaces on revising California open meeting law

Open government advocates and local government officials are weighing in on the question of amending California’s open meeting law, the Brown Act. Some claim that the law allows some government officials in bigger venues to skirt the law’s requirements while those is smaller ponds are burdened by the law’s “complexity and liability. ” -db From …

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California: Palo Alto school board denies open meeting violations

Palo Alto school board members struck back at critics who accused them of violating the Brown Act, California’s open meeting law. The board was under fire from the Palo Alto Weekly for a confidential memo from the superintendent to board members. -db From the Palo Alto Weekly, June 1, 2012, by Chris Kenrick. Full story …

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California: Citizens need not state addresses to address San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is guilty of violation the Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, by  pretending that citizens had to provide their home addresses before addressing the board, writes Sharon Gilbert for the Los Angeles County Political Buzz Examiner. The issue arose over a dispute over creation of an animal services …

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California: District Attorney agrees with allegations Gavilan College board violated open meetings law

The county district attorney wrote a letter saying a citizens group had valid documentation of a claim that the trustees of the Gavilan College board violated the state’s open meetings law, the Brown Act, when approving a pay increase for the school president. -db From the Gilroy Dispatch, May 29, 2012, by Kollin Kosmicki. Full …

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Los Angeles City Council flirts with open meeting violation in battle over ban on marijuana dispensaries

Tougher stance on pot shops won out during a Los Angeles City Council meeting that raised questions about  whether it was a open meeting violation for council members to huddle during a recess. Under California’s open meeting law, the Brown Act, council members must discuss public business in open sessions. -db From a commentary in …

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California: Palo Alto board of education accused of violating open meeting law with confidential memos

The Palo Alto Weekly is asking the Palo Alto schools superintendent to stop sending secret weekly memos to school trustees. The newspaper claims that the memos exclude the public from the deliberative process thus violating California’s open meeting law, the Brown Act. The newspaper cited the state attorney general’s handbook on the Brown Act that …

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California: Orange County water district drops closed session on negotiations with desal company

Amid a dispute over whether negotiations over the price of water from a proposed desalination plant can be held in a closed session, the Municipal Water District of Orange County dropped the item from the agenda of their May 15 meeting. Opponents of the plant raised questions about whether water rights were real property held …

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California’s open meeting law allows memos from superintendents to school board with some caveats

Customary weekly memos from superintendents to school board members does not necessarily violate the Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law, provided that the memos avoid relaying the policy positions of board members, writes James Scot Yarnell in a legal analysis for Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. -db From an analysis for the law …

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