OPEN GOVERNMENT -- About 70 public officials and citizen watchdogs from the Yucca Valley area gathered last week for an all-day training session on the local agency open meeting law and the California Public Records Act, presented by Californians Aware.

As reported by Jutta Biggerstaff in the Hi-Desert Star,

Members from many local agencies and legislative bodies attended
the workshop, including Yucca Valley Town Council, Hi-Desert, Bighorn
Desert-View and Joshua Basin water districts, Morongo Unified School
District, Mojave Water Agency and the Yucca Valley Planning Commission.


San
Bernardino County was represented by 3rd District Supervisor Neil
Derry, who opened the workshop and spoke of his efforts to improve
transparency in county government. Alluding to recent county scandals,
the supervisor announced initiatives that include a sunshine ordinance
and an ethics committee.


Bighorn Desert-View Water Agency, an
agency that has had its share of Brown Act problems in the past, was
well-represented with four of five directors present.


Dave Larson, newly installed on the board, said he believes compliance with the Brown Act is a key factor for elected officials.

“I’m
a strong advocate of transparency,” he said. “It’s my view that
increased transparency not will only help government officials conduct
themselves in a more appropriate manner, but it’s immensely important
to the public to know what they are doing with their dollars.”