OPEN GOVERNMENT -- The St. Helena Star urges, in an editorial, that the public should press the city council to base its proposed new transparency policy on a four-year-old sunshine ordinance "that has successfully opened government in one of the state’s busiest cities: San Diego."

. . . the San Diego ordinance requires open-session briefings before closed sessions on litigation, employee bargaining or real estate negotiations.
    During the briefings, the city attorney or negotiator updates the council and the public on the current status, providing a factual report on whatever the city’s opposing party already knows.
    The information released at the briefings allows the public to offer informed opinions and comments before the council goes into closed session.

On page 30 of the Permanent Rules of the Council, the San Diego Ordinance states:

In open session, before public comment or Council discussion of any closed session item, the City Attorney or appropriate staff shall provide an oral update or progress report on matters under litigation, real property negotiations, or employee unit bargaining.

The public shall have the opportunity to directly address the Council on any closed session item on the agenda, prior to Council questions and discussion on the item and after the oral report by the City Attorney or appropriate staff.

At the regular or special meeting of the Council, the Mayor and Councilmembers shall have the opportunity to discuss the basis for convening into closed session, ask questions, and respond to questions from the public.