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If it's Brown, it's ignored

Original post made by Cliff Hanguerre, Danville, on Jul 28, 2011

By far the most entertaining television of the past several days was the CC Board of Supervisors discussing how they wanted to whack up the county through the redistricting process. This provided an opportunity to observe government red in tooth and claw.

Supervisor Karen Mitchoff went to great lengths to assure everyone that there was no violation of the Brown Act, California's open meeting law. She stressed that there was no meeting of a quorum. The Brown act provides that if a quorum of a policy group (the CC-BOS is one of these) meets outside of a scheduled meeting, it is a violation. The law rightly says that the public's business is to be conducted in public.

However, Mitchoff was strangely silent about another Brown Act specification: the serial meeting. It's allowed for 2 members of a 5 member board to meet and discuss things but if one of those folks then talks to ANOTHER member of that board, that discussion immediately constitutes a quorum and is a violation. Did it happen for the redistricting discussion? Who knows?

But there was another possible anomaly of this meeting. A highly placed source in the county offices, "Deep Threat", noted that the CC-BOS redistricting meeting was out of compliance with the County's Better Government Ordinance (known to its friends as the BGO). The BGO requires that all documents be in the hands of the BOS and the public at least 96 hours before any meeting that those documents will be used in. The redistricting maps used in the CC-BOS meeting were not supplied in time for the meeting to be legal.

Yes, I know nothing will probably change, but the rules and ordinances are there for a reason. But they were ignored by some of our supes. It's a pity.

Comments (2)

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Posted by [removed]
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Dear Editor,

Quite clearly the reality of three supervisors meeting together or in sequence during July 13 and 14 happened based on discovered documentation by news services. What needs to be added is state elected officials who were part of that sequence and documented their contributions without fear of the Brown Act due to "who would prosecute?"

That evidence started its flow via news service alliance this week and establishes the challenges to due process created by such violations. Since it was a State Democratic Party action that created the result, Republicans and Independents now have cause to challenge due process and the criminal results of such actions.

County supervisors have few friends in county politics and the leak of documented evidence continues to illustrate a severe lack of due process and lack of consideration of parameters for state-mandated redistricting. It is still amazing that supervisors, along party lines, actually thought they can get away with such violations.

News service alliance distributed such documentation today to subscribers and new media.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hal, CDSI Research Fellowship
a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2011 at 9:13 am

For Dolores Fox Ciardelli, as a proposed special feature,

Dear Dolores,

As WE have been shared with you via e-exchanges, news services subscribers are asking "Who will prosecute violations of the Brown Act and other public due process violations?" Our research shows that such investigation by CCC Grand Juries have not resulted in further investigation and prosecution.

Your readers would find it interesting to review the processes of investigation and prosecution of violations of public due process. At present, there does not seem to be a willingness at the federal, state or county level to pursue identified violations in Grand Jury reports and other published evidence of such violations.

Inform your readers, please.

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