Letter to the Editor

Seen this before

Los OsosOctober 4, 2013 

In response to the Sept. 27, “Brown Act ‘goof’ earns a demerit,” over the Morro Bay City Council contract amendment in closed session that took place last year but was only discovered recently:

As a longtime citizen activist familiar with the requirements of the Brown Act, I have witnessed this very violation of California’s open-meeting law in other agencies in this county.

Another problem (beyond time limits) is to demand the agency “cure and correct.” In my experience, the agency’s legal counsel bristles at the mere suggestion something was done wrong and jumps into reaction mode, racking up legal bills looking for loopholes and case law to back up the action that took place behind closed doors, rather than simply “cure and correct” the action. Oftentimes, to “cure and correct” is to re-agendize the matter in open session at another meeting, make the documents available to review so the public can comment freely on the matter.

Sadly, it’s the citizen who lobbed the complaint that is then stigmatized as a “potential litigant” and blamed for the (avoidable) legal costs in requesting sunshine for all.

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