OPEN GOVERNMENT -- Joe Nelson reports in the San Bernardino Sun that Supervisor Neil Derry today
released a draft of a proposed sunshine ordinance (text attached), designed
to work in tandem with a proposed ethics commission, to thwart improper practices in the county with the worst reputation in the state for corruption.

Derry welcomes the public's input and vetting of the proposed ordinance,
and has made it available for public review on his Web site at
www.sbcounty.gov/bosd3.

"There is a growing sense of unrest and a feeling of detachment from
their government by the people of this country," Derry said in a
statement. "This measure will rightfully place the people we serve above
the politicians they elect."

The ordinance, modeled after a similar ordinance in San Jose, would
create a "fundamental philosophy shift" to one of government
transparency by making documents and other records more easily
accessible to the public at a lesser cost.

The proposed ordinance would also require all closed session meetings to
be recorded and facilitate California Public Records Act requests by
eliminating the "deliberative process" clause that officials often cite
as a reason for withholding documents from the public.

Derry's proposal comes during Sunshine Week, a national event
established in 2002 to promote and encourage government transparency so
citizens can make more informed and educated decisions about the
government officials who serve them.

In its report released in July, the 2008-2009 Grand Jury, for the first
time ever, included a special section on proposed governmental reform due to San Bernardino
County's longstanding reputation as a "political wild west."


The Grand Jury proposed placing limits on campaign contributions for
elected officials and an ethics commission, among other things. The
majority of members on the Board of Supervisors oppose an ethics
commission, citing cost as the biggest factor.

The county is currently embroiled in what state and local prosecutors
are calling the biggest corruption scandal in the county's history. 

Then Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Postmus and supervisors Paul
Biane and Gary Ovitt voted in favor of the settlement. No county
attorneys or outside counsel for the county signed off on the
settlement.


Authorities allege the county's landmark $102 million legal settlement
with Rancho Cucamonga-based developer Colonies Partners LP in November
2006 was tainted by a web of bribery, extortion and conspiracy.

The developer sued the county in 2002 over rights to flood control
easements at the developer's Colonies Crossroads residential and
commercial development in Upland.

The draft reads as follows:

San Bernardino County Sunshine Ordinance
CHAPTER 1.1: GENERAL
1.1.1 Findings and Purpose.
1.1.2. Construction.
1.1.3 Definitions.
1.1.4 Citation.

SEC. 1.1.1 FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
The Board of Supervisors and the People of the County of San Bernardino find and
declare:
(a) Elected officials, councils, commissions, boards, committees and other agencies of the
County exist to serve the public and to conduct the people’s business. The people do not
cede to these entities the right to decide what the people should know about the
operations of local government.
(b) In order to ensure that the public interest is served by the decisions and actions of the
County government, the government’s conduct of the people’s business must be subject
to ongoing public scrutiny.
(c) Members of the public must be provided with a meaningful opportunity to participate
in the decisions that affect them, and to understand how and why those decisions are
made.
(d) In order to ensure public participation in and scrutiny of the decisions and conduct of
the County government, records and information pertaining to the conduct of the people’s
business must be readily available to the public, unless specifically exempt from
disclosure under this Title.
(e) Members of the public should not need to engage in prolonged or burdensome efforts,
or to retain the services of an attorney, in order to obtain meaningful access to public
meetings or public records and information. Rather, it is the duty of every official and
employee of the County government to ensure prompt and meaningful access to public
meetings and public records, and to assist the public in obtaining such access.
(f) Honesty, integrity, and openness in the exercise of government authority are
fundamental prerequisites to an effective and efficient municipal government that serves
the needs and interests of its citizens.

SEC. 1.1.2 CONSTRUCTION.
(a) The right of the people to know what their government and those acting on behalf of
their government are doing is fundamental to democracy, and with very few exceptions,
that right supersedes any other policy interest government officials may use to prevent
public access to information. Only in rare and unusual circumstances does the public
benefit from allowing the business of government to be conducted in secret, and those
circumstances should be carefully and narrowly defined to prevent public officials from
abusing their authority.
(b) The provisions of this ordinance requiring or promoting public access to meetings,
records, or information relating to the conduct of the people’s business shall be broadly
construed. The provisions of this Title that limit, restrict, or provide exceptions to the
public’s right of access shall be narrowly construed.
(c) Under the California Public Records Act, Government Code section 6254, any local
government agency may open its records concerning the administration of the agency to
public inspection, the exemptions in the Public Records Act notwithstanding, unless
disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law. Under the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government
Code section 54953.7, legislative bodies of local agencies may impose requirements upon
themselves and upon the appointed legislative bodies they create which allow greater
access to their meetings than prescribed by the minimal standards set forth in that Act. It
is the intent of the County and the People of the County of San Bernardino to invoke this
statutory authority, and to provide for greater access to public records and public
meetings than is currently provided for under State law, as set forth in this Title.

SEC. 1.1.3. DEFINITIONS.
Whenever in this Title the following words or phrases are used, they shall have the
following meanings:
(a) “Agenda packet” shall mean agendas of meetings and any other documents that have
been or are intended to be distributed to all or a majority of the members of a policy body
or an ancillary body in connection with a matter anticipated for discussion or
consideration at a public meeting. The agenda packet should include a detailed
description of any proposal that will be presented to the body for consideration. The
agenda item shall include, without limitation, the following:
(1) Any contract, agreement, letter of intent, or memorandum of understanding, including
any amendment or modification thereto, that may be entered into by the County as the
result of action by the policy body;
(2) Any memoranda prepared by County staff pertaining to a matter to be considered by
the policy body at the meeting;
(3) The report of any outside consultant, advisor, contractor, or attorney that will or may
be considered by the policy body in taking action on any item on the agenda for the
meeting.
However, the agenda packet need not include any
material exempt from public disclosure

under this Title.
(b) “Ancillary body” shall mean:
(1) Advisory committees or other multimember bodies created by or at the initiative of a
member of a policy body, the Board of Supervisors, the county administrative officer, a
member of a policy body, a County department head, or any elected official of the
County.
(2) Advisory committees or other multimember bodies primarily formed or existing to
serve as a non-governmental advisor to a member of a policy body, the Board of
Supervisors, the county administrative officer, a member of a policy body, a department
head, or any elective official of the County.
(3) Any group that meets to discuss with or advise the Board of Supervisors, the county
administrative officer, a County department head, or any elected official of the County on
fiscal, economic, or policy issues.
(4) Social, recreational, or ceremonial gatherings sponsored or organized by or for a
County policy body to which a majority of the body has been invited.
(5) "Ancillary body" shall not include a committee that consists solely of employees of
the County created at the initiative of a member of a policy body, the Board of
Supervisors, the County administrative officer, a department head, or an elected County
official.
(6) Notwithstanding paragraph (4) above, “ancillary body” shall include a committee that
consists solely of employees of the County created at the initiative of a member of a
policy body, the Board of Supervisors, or a department head, when that committee is
reviewing, developing, modifying, or creating county policies or procedures.
(c) “Brown Act” shall mean the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code §§ 54950 et
seq.
(d) “Charter” shall mean the charter of the County of San Bernardino, as amended from
time to time.
(e) “County” shall mean the County of San Bernardino, including all departments of the
County.
(f) “Confirmed misconduct” shall mean a complaint, charge, or finding of misconduct
that has been determined by the County official, consultant, or other person charged with
investigating the misconduct to be well-founded, or that has resulted in discipline or
dismissal.
(g) “Custodian of a public record” shall mean any member of a public or ancillary body,
and any other official or employee of the County having custody of or control over any
public information or public record.
(h) “Department” shall mean any department, division or agency of the County.
(i) “Department head” shall mean the official with primary responsibility for the
operations of any department, division or agency of the County.
(j) “Dismissal” shall mean any action resulting in termination of employment at the will
of the employer rather than of the employee, however characterized.
(k) “Master calendar” shall mean a calendar on the County’s public access Web site that
includes the date, time, and location of every meeting conducted by the County or any
department, official, policy body, or ancillary body of the County, notice of which is
required to be given to the public pursuant to this Title, under any other provision of the
San Bernardino County Municipal Code, or under state or federal law, or which are
otherwise open to the public, including but not limited to all meetings as defined in
subsection (m) below.
(l) “Board of Supervisors” shall mean the five supervisors elected by the people of the
County of San Bernardino.
(m) “Meeting” shall mean any of the following:
(1) A congregation of a majority of the members of a policy body at the same time and
place;
(2) A series of gatherings, each of which involves less than a majority of a policy body,
to hear, discuss or deliberate upon any item that is within the subject matter jurisdiction
of the County, if the cumulative result is that a majority of members has become involved
in such gatherings; or
(3) Any use of personal intermediaries or communications that could permit a majority of
the members of a policy body to become aware of any item that is within the subject
matter jurisdiction of the County, and of the views or positions of other members with
respect thereto, and to reach a consensus thereon.
(4) This subsection does not apply to statements by a member of a policy body to a
representative of the media regarding any item that is within the subject matter
jurisdiction of the County, if the statement is intended for dissemination to the public.
(5) “Meeting” shall not include any of the following:
(A) Individual contacts or conversations between a member of a policy body and another
person that do not convey the views or positions of other members upon the subject
matter of the contact or conversation.
(B) The attendance of a majority of the members of a policy body at a regional, statewide
or national conference, or at a meeting organized to address a topic of local community
concern and open to the public, provided that a majority of the members refrains from
using the occasion to collectively discuss the topic of the gathering o
r any other business

within the subject matter jurisdiction of the County.
(C) The attendance of a majority of the members of a policy body at a purely social,
recreational or ceremonial occasion, other than one sponsored or organized by or for the
policy body itself, provided that a majority of the members refrains from using the
occasion to discuss any business within the subject matter jurisdiction of this body.
(n) “Policy body” shall mean:
(1) The Board of Supervisors or the San Bernardino County Redevelopment Agency.
(2) Any other board or commission enumerated in the County charter.
(3) Any board, commission, committee, or other body created by ordinance or resolution
of the Board of Supervisors, or of which the Board of Supervisors serves as the Board.
(4) Any advisory board, commission, committee or body, created by the initiative of a
County policy body.
(5) Any standing committee of a County policy body, irrespective of its composition.
(6) Any advisory board, commission, committee, or council created by a federal, state, or
local grant whose members are appointed by county officials, employees or agents.
(7) A board or other multimember body that governs a private corporation, limited
liability company, or other entity that either:
(A) Is created in order to exercise authority of the County government delegated by a
policy body to the private corporation, limited liability company, or other entity; or
(B) Exists exclusively or primarily to exercise authority of the County government
delegated by a policy body to the private corporation, limited liability company, or other
entity; or
(C) Receives funds from the County and has on its governing body a member of a policy
body of the County appointed to that governing body by the policy body of the County.
“Policy body” shall not include a committee which consists solely of employees of the
County, unless such committee was established by charter, ordinance, or resolution of the
Board of Supervisors.
(o) “Public access Web site” shall mean a portion of the County’s Internet World Wide
Web site devoted to providing information on public access to meetings, records, and
information, including without limitation a master calendar of meetings, and all other
information required to be provided though a public access website pursuant to this Title.
(p) “Public information” shall mean the content of public records, as defined herein,
whether provided in documentary form or in an oral communication. “Public
Information” shall not include computer software, but shall include information stored in
electronic form using computer software, and any code, symbols, or data added to an
electronic file or record to make it readable or usable to a person who is being provided
public information in electronic form.
(q) “Public record” shall mean any record containing information relating to the conduct
of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, acquired or retained by any member of a
policy or ancillary body, or any other official or employee of the County, or by any
department, division or agency of the County, regardless of physical form or
characteristics. Records in the possession or custody of entities other than the County,
including without limitation physical or electronic storage facilities operated by third
parties, are public records under this Title if they are subject to the control of the County.
(r) “Public Records Act” shall mean the California Public Records Act, Government
Code §§ 6250 et seq.
(s) “Ethics Commission” shall be defined as set forth in section 1.4.1.
(t) “Supervisor of records” shall mean the XXXXXX.
To the extent they are not defined in this section, terms used in this Title that are also
used in the Brown Act or the Public Records Act shall be defined as they are in the
Brown Act and the Public Records Act. In the event of any conflict in the definitions
applied by the Brown Act and the Public Records Act, the definition which would result
in greater or more expedited public access shall apply.

SEC. 1.1.4. CITATION.
This Title may be cited as the San Bernardino County Sunshine Ordinance.

CHAPTER 1.2: ACCESS TO MEETINGS
1.2.1. Meetings of Policy Bodies to Be Open and Public; Application of Brown Act.
1.2.2. Regular Meetings of Policy Bodies.
1.2.3. Meetings of Ancillary Bodies; Application of Sunshine Ordinance by Contract.
1.2.4. Emergency Meetings.
1.2.5. Closed Sessions: Permitted Topics.
1.2.6. Agenda Disclosures: Closed Sessions.
1.2.7. Disclosure of Closed Session Discussions and Actions.
1.2.8. Agendas and Related Materials: Public Records.
1.2.9. Public Access Web site
1.2.10. Tape Recording, Filming and Still Photography.
1.2.11. Public Testimony.
1.2.12. Minutes.

SEC. 1.2.1. MEETINGS OF POLICY BODIES TO BE OPEN AND PUBLIC;
APPLICATION OF BROWN ACT.
All meetings of any policy body shall be open and public, except as provided in this Title.
To
the extent not addressed by this Title, and subject to the enhanced requirements for

public access provided in this Title, meetings of policy bodies shall be governed by the
Brown Act. In case of inconsistent requirements or definitions under the Brown Act and
this Title, the requirement which would result in greater or more expedited public access
shall apply.

SEC. 1.2.2. REGULAR MEETINGS OF POLICY BODIES.
(a) Each policy body, except for advisory boards, commissions, or committees that will
not meet regularly, shall establish by resolution or motion the time and place for holding
regular meetings.
(b) At least ten days before any regular meeting, a policy body shall post an agenda for
the meeting. The agenda shall identify the policy body conducting the meeting, and shall
specify the time and location of the meeting. The agenda shall also contain a meaningful
description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting. Agendas
shall specify for each item of business the proposed action or a statement the item is for
discussion only.
(c) A meaningful description of an agenda item should be sufficiently clear and specific
to alert a person of average intelligence and education whose interests are affected by the
item that he or she may have reason to attend the meeting or seek more information on
the item. The description should be concise and written in plain, easily understood
English. It shall identify any and all documents that have been or are intended to be
provided to all or a majority of the members of the policy body in connection with an
agenda item.
(d) Agendas shall be posted in a location that is freely accessible to members of the
public. Agendas shall, at a minimum, be posted on a bulletin board at the County
Government Center that is available to all members of the public during regular business
hours, and on the County’s public access Web site.
(e) No action or discussion shall be undertaken on any item not appearing on the posted
agenda, except that members of a policy body may respond to statements made or
questions posed by persons exercising their public testimony rights, to the extent of
asking a question for clarification, requesting additional information, providing a
reference to staff or other resources for factual information, or requesting staff to report
back to the body at a subsequent meeting concerning the matter raised by such testimony.
(f) Subsection (e) notwithstanding, a policy body may take action on items of business
not appearing on the posted agenda under any of the following conditions:
(1) Upon a determination by a majority vote of the body that an accident, natural disaster,
or work force disruption poses an imminent threat to public health and safety.
(2) Upon a good faith, reasonable determination by a three-fifths vote of the body, or, if
less than two-thirds of the members are present, a unanimous vote of those members
present, that (A) the need to take immediate action on the item is so imperative as to
threaten serious injury to the public interest if action were deferred to a subsequent
special or regular meeting, or relates to a purely commendatory action, and (B) that the
need for such action came to the attention of the body subsequent to the agenda being
posted as specified in subdivision (b).
(3) The item was on an agenda posted pursuant to subdivision (b) for a prior meeting of
the body occurring not more than ten calendar days prior to the date action is taken on the
item, and at the prior meeting the item was continued to the meeting at which action is
being taken.
(g) Prior to taking action on any agenda item, each member of a policy body shall
disclose the identity of any person doing business with the County (as defined in section
12.02.090), any advocacy group, and any other person who has communicated in writing
with the member of the policy body regarding the agenda item. The disclosure required
by this subsection may be made orally at the meeting of the public body, or in writing. If
made in writing, the disclosure shall be made available to the public at the beginning of
each meeting, and shall be posted on the County’s public access Web site prior to the
meeting.
(h) Every member of a policy body, and every County official or employee appearing at a
meeting of a policy body, has a duty to the policy body and the public to disclose
information material to decisions by the policy body on matters under consideration at a
meeting. Such information must, at a minimum, be disclosed at the meeting at which
action is to be taken on the matter to which it pertains, before any action is taken on the
matter. Such information should, to the extent possible, be disclosed in writing in the
agenda packet for the meeting.
(i) Each policy body shall ensure that notices and agendas for regular and special
meetings shall include the following:
(1) A notice stating as follows:
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE
(Title 1 of the San Bernardino County Code)
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE SUNSHINE
ORDINANCE OR TO REPORT A VIOLATION OF THE ORDINANCE, CONTACT
THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE ETHICS
COMMISSION.

(2) The address, area code and phone number, fax number, and e-mail address for the
Sunshine Ordinance Ethics Commission.
(3) The Internet address of the County’s public access website.

SEC. 1.2.3. MEETINGS OF ANCILLARY BODIES; APPLICATION OF
SUNSHINE ORDINANCE BY CONTRACT.
(a) All meetings and gatherings of ancillary bodies shall be accessible to members of the
public upon inquiry, and to the extent possible consistent with the facilities in which they
occur. Such meetings and gatherings shall be conducted in accordance with the following
requirements:
(1) Notice of such gatherings shall be provided on the County’s public access Web site
whenever possible, as soon as the meeting or gathering is scheduled. The notice shall
include the time, place, and nature of the meeting or gathering. In addition, the time,
place and nature of the gathering shall be disclosed upon inquiry by a member of the
public.
(2) Any agenda prepared for a meeting or gathering of an ancillary body shall be posted
on the County’s public access website as soon as it is completed, and shall be provided to
any person who requests it, as a public record.
(3) Meeting and gathering of ancillary bodies need not be conducted in any particular
space for the accommodation of members of the public, but members of the public shall
be permitted to observe to the extent space is available, consistent with legal and practical
restrictions on occupancy.
(4) Meetings or gatherings need not provide opportunities for comment by members of
the public, although the person presiding may, in his or her discretion, entertain such
questions or comments from spectators as may be relevant to the business of the
gathering.
(b) In addition to the foregoing, meetings of ancillary bodies specified in Section
1.2.1(b)(6) of this article shall be conducted in accordance with the following
requirements.
(1) Notice of such meetings shall be posted at least 72 hours before the time of such
meeting on the County’s public access website. In addition, notice of such meetings shall
be provided by mail, e-mail, or facsimile as reasonably requested, to each person who has
made a written request for notice of such meetings.
(2) If the committee body elects to hold regular meetings, it shall provide by bylaws,
motion, or whatever other rule is utilized by that committee body for the conduct of its
business, for the time and place for holding such regular meetings. The time and place of
any such regular meetings shall be posted on the County’s public access website.
(c) Ancillary bodies may hold closed sessions as permitted by this Title.

SEC. 1.2.4. EMERGENCY MEETINGS.
Emergency meetings of a policy body shall be held in accordance with Government Code
Section 54956.5. No ancillary body may hold an emergency meeting except in
conjunction with an emergency meeting of a policy body.

SEC. 1.2.5. CLOSED SESSIONS: PERMITTED TOPICS.
(a) A policy body may, but is not required to, hold closed sessions:
(1) With the Attorney General, district attorney, sheriff, or their respective deputies, on
matters posing a threat to the security of public buildings or a threat to the public’s right
of access to public services or public facilities.
(2) To consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, or dismissal of
a County employee, if the policy body has the authority to appoint, employ, or dismiss
the employee, or to hear complaints or charges brought against the employee by another
person or employee, unless the employee complained of requests a public hearing. The
body may exclude from any such public meeting, and shall exclude from any such closed
meeting, during the comments of a complainant, any or all other complainants in the
matter. The term “employee” as used in this section shall not include any elected official,
member of a policy body, county administrative officer, County Counsel, County
department head, or applicant for such a position, or person providing services to the
County as an independent contractor or the employee thereof, including but not limited to
independent attorneys or law firms providing legal services to the County for a fee rather
than a salary.
(i) This section does not permit the County to withhold information regarding the salary
paid and County-paid benefits available to every employee. The amount, basis, and
recipient of any performance-based increase in compensation, benefits, or both, or any
other bonus, awarded to any employee, shall be announced during the open session of the
policy body at which the award is approved.
(ii) This section does not permit the County to withhold information pertaining to the
confirmed misconduct of an employee, or actions taken by the County in response to any
confirmed misconduct of an employee, including without limitation discipline or
dismissal.
(3) Based on advice of its legal counsel, and on a motion and vote in open session to
assert the attorney-client privilege, to confer with, or receive advice from, its legal
cou
nsel regarding pending litigation, when discussion in open session concerning those

matters would likely and unavoidably prejudice the position of the County in that
litigation. Litigation shall be considered pending when any of the following
circumstances exist:
(i) An adjudicatory proceeding before a court, administrative body exercising its
adjudicatory authority, hearing officer, or arbitrator, to which the County is a party, has
been formally initiated; or
(ii) A point has been reached where, in the opinion of the policy body on the advice of its
legal counsel, based on existing facts and circumstances, litigation against the County is
probable; or
(iii) On the advice of its legal counsel, based on existing facts and circumstances, the
body is deciding whether to initiate litigation, or is meeting to discuss litigation that it has
decided to initiate but which has not yet been formally initiated; or
(iv) The body is meeting only to decide whether a closed session is authorized pursuant
to the advice of its legal counsel with respect to litigation by or against the County.
A closed session may not be held under this section to consider the qualifications or
engagement of an independent contract attorney or law firm, except to consider the
retention of an independent contract attorney or law firm to represent the County in
litigation that the County has not yet initiated.
(4) With the County’s designated representatives regarding matters within the scope of
collective bargaining or meeting and conferring with public employee organizations,
when a policy body has authority over such matters.
(i) Such closed sessions shall be for the purpose of reviewing the County’s position and
instructing its designated representatives, and may take place solely prior to and during
active consultations and discussions between the County’s designated representatives and
the representatives of employee organizations or the unrepresented employees.
(ii) A policy body shall not discuss compensation or other contractual matters in closed
session with one or more employees directly interested in the outcome of the
negotiations.
(5) In addition to the closed sessions authorized by subsection (a)(5), a policy body
subject to Government Code Section 3501 may hold closed sessions with its designated
representatives on mandatory subjects within the scope of representation of its
represented employees, as determined pursuant to Section 3504.
(b) Authority to take final action with respect to any subject matter that may be
addressed in a closed session held pursuant to this section may not be delegated to an
ancillary body.
(c) All closed sessions of any policy body covered by this Ordinance shall be either audio
recorded or audio and video recorded in their entirety and all such recordings shall be
retained for at least five years, or permanently where technologically and economically
feasible. Closed session recordings shall be made available to the public as soon as the
purposes for closing the session are no longer applicable.
(d) Recordings of closed sessions held to discuss “anticipated litigation” shall be released
to the public upon the earlier of: (1) expiration of the statute of limitations for the
anticipated litigation if no litigation is filed; or (2) settlement or resolution of the
controversy that was the basis for the anticipated litigation.

SEC. 1.2.6. AGENDA DISCLOSURES: CLOSED SESSIONS.
(a) In addition to the brief general description of items to be discussed or acted upon in
open and public session, the agenda for any meeting of a policy body, any mailed notice
given pursuant to Government Code Section 54954.1, and any call and notice delivered
to the local media and posted pursuant to Government Code Section 54956 shall provide
all of the following information:
(1) With respect to a closed session held pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.7:
LICENSE/PERMIT DETERMINATION:
Applicant(s):
The space shall be used to specify the number of persons whose applications are to be
reviewed, and the type of license or permit being sought or renewed.
(2) With respect to every item of business to be discussed in closed session pursuant to
subsection 1.2.5(a)(6) of this Title or Government Code Section 54956.8:
CONFERENCE WITH REAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATOR
Property:
Person(s) negotiating:
Under negotiation:  Price  Terms of payment
The space under "Property" shall be used to list an address, including cross streets where
applicable, or other description or name which permits a reasonably ready identification
of each parcel or structure subject to negotiation. The space under "Person(s) negotiating"
shall be used to identify the person or persons with whom negotiations concerning that
property are in progress. The spaces under "Under negotiation" shall be checked off as
applicable to indicate which issues are to be discussed.
(3) With respect to every item of business to be discussed in closed session pursuant to
subdivision 1.2.5(a)(3) of this Title or Government Code Section 54956.9, either:
CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNS
EL

Existing litigation:
Unspecified to protect service of process: 
or:
CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL
Anticipated litigation:  As defendant  As plaintiff
The space under "Existing litigation" shall be used to identify a case under discussion
pursuant to subdivision 1.2.5(a)(3)(i) of this Title or Government Code Section
54956.9(a), including the case name, court, and case number, unless the identification
would jeopardize the County’s ability to effectuate service of process upon one or more
un-served parties, in which instance the space in the next succeeding line shall be
checked. If the closed session is called pursuant to subdivisions 1.2.5(a)(3)(ii)-(iv) of this
Title or subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 54956.9, the appropriate space shall be checked
under "Anticipated litigation" to indicate the County’s anticipated position as defendant
or plaintiff respectively. If more than one instance of anticipated litigation is to be
reviewed, space may be saved by entering the number of separate instances in the "As
defendant" or "As plaintiff" spaces or both as appropriate.
(4) With respect to every item of business to be discussed in closed session pursuant to
subdivision 1.2.5(a)(1) of this Title or Government Code Section 54957(a):
THREAT TO PUBLIC SERVICES OR FACILITIES
Name, title and agency of law enforcement officer(s) to be conferred with.
(5) With respect to every item of business to be discussed in closed session pursuant to
subdivision 1.2.5(a)(2) of this Title or Government Code Section 54957(b), either:
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE APPOINTMENT/HIRING
Title/description of position(s) to be filled:
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
Position and, in the case of a routine evaluation, name of employee(s) being evaluated:
or:
PUBLIC EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE OR DISMISSAL
Number of employees affected:
(6) With respect to every item of business to be discussed in closed session pursuant to
subdivisions 1.2.5(a)(4) and 1.2.5(a)(5) of this Title or Government Code Section
54957.6, the following information, completing multiple categories as appropriate:
CONFERENCE WITH NEGOTIATOR--COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
Name and title of County’s negotiator:
Organization(s) representing:
Anticipated issue(s) under negotiation:
Wages: 
Hours: 
Benefits: 
Working Conditions: 
Other (specify if known): _________________________
Where renegotiating a memorandum of understanding or negotiating a successor
memorandum of understanding, the name of the memorandum of understanding:
_____________________.
(b) In case of multiple items of business under the same category, lines may be added and
the location of information may be reformatted to eliminate unnecessary duplication and
space, so long as the relationship of information concerning the same item is reasonably
clear to the reader. As an alternative to the inclusion of lengthy lists of names or other
information in the agenda, or as a means of adding items to an earlier completed agenda,
the agenda may incorporate by reference separately prepared documents containing the
required information, so long as copies of those documents are posted together with the
agenda within the time periods required by this Title and by Government Code Sections
54954.2 and 54956, and provided with any mailed or delivered notices required by this
Title or Government Code Sections 54954.1 or 54956.
(c) Each agenda item that involves existing litigation shall identify the court, case
number, and date the case was filed on the written agenda. For each agenda item that
involves anticipated litigation, the County Counsel’s Office or the policy body shall
disclose at any time requested and to any member of the public whether such anticipated
litigation developed into litigation and shall identify the court, case number, and date the
case was filed.

SEC. 1.2.7. DISCLOSURE OF CLOSED SESSION DISCUSSIONS AND
ACTIONS.
(a) After every closed session, a policy body or ancillary body may, in its discretion and
in the public interest, disclose to the public any portion of its discussion that is not
required to be kept confidential under federal or state law, the Charter, or non-waivable
privilege. The body shall, by motion and vote in open session, elect either to disclose no
information or to disclose the information that a majority deems to be in the public
interest. The disclosure shall be made through the presiding officer of the body or such
other person, present in the closed session, whom he or she designates to convey the
information.
(b) A policy body shall publicly report any action taken in closed session, and the vote or
abstention of every member present thereon, as follows:
(1) Real Property Negotiations: Approval given to a policy body’s negotiator concerning
real estate negotiations pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 shall be reported
as soon as the negotiation of the
agreement is final. The written agreement and any

documents attached to or referenced in the agreement shall be made publicly available at
least 15 days before the meeting at which the policy body will decide whether to approve
the agreement. If, notwithstanding the conclusion of negotiations, there are conditions
precedent to the final consummation of the transaction, the document agreement and
related documents need not be disclosed until the conditions have been satisfied, except
as otherwise provided pursuant to sections ______-______ of the Public Contracts Code.
(2) Litigation: Direction or approval given to the body’s legal counsel to prosecute,
defend or seek or refrain from seeking appellate review or relief, or to otherwise enter as
a party, intervenor or amicus curiae in any form of litigation shall be reported in open
session as soon as given, or at the first meeting after an adverse party has been served in
the matter if immediate disclosure of the County’s intentions would be contrary to the
public interest. The report shall identify the adverse party or parties, any co-parties with
the County, any existing claim or order to be defended against, and the factual
circumstances giving rise to any complaint, cross-claim, petition or other litigation
initiative by the County.
(3) Settlement: A policy body shall neither solicit nor agree to any term in a settlement
which would preclude the release of the text of the settlement itself and any related
documentation communicated to or received from the adverse party or parties. Any
written settlement agreement and any documents attached to or referenced in the
settlement agreement shall be made publicly available at least 15 days before the meeting
at which the policy body will decide whether to approve the settlement, to the extent that
the settlement would commit the County or a department thereof to adopting any policy,
practice or program, modifying or discontinuing an existing policy, practice or program,
or otherwise acting in any way other than to pay an amount of money less than $50,000.
The agenda for any meeting in which a settlement subject to this section is discussed
shall identify the names of the parties, the case number and court (if any), and the
material terms of the settlement. Where the disclosure of documents in a litigation matter
that has been settled would harm the county’s interests in pending litigation arising from
the same facts or incident and involving a person not a party to or otherwise aware of the
settlement, the records required to be disclosed by subdivision (b) of this section need not
be disclosed until the other case is settled or otherwise finally concluded.
(4) Employee Actions: Action taken to appoint, employ, dismiss, transfer or accept the
resignation of a public employee in closed session shall be reported immediately in a
manner that names the employee, the action taken and position affected and, in the case
of dismissal for a violation of law or for confirmed misconduct, the reason for dismissal.
The proposed terms of any separation agreement shall be immediately disclosed as soon
as presented to the body, and its final terms shall be immediately disclosed upon approval
by the body.
(5) Collective Bargaining: Any collectively bargained agreement shall be made publicly
available at least 15 days before the meeting at which a policy body will decide whether
to approve the agreement.
(c) In addition, a policy body shall publicly report the vote or abstention of every member
present on any topic listed in subdivision (b) of this section, if the vote results in a final
decision to reject a proposed action or agreement.
(d) Reports required to be made immediately may be made orally or in writing, but shall
be supported by copies of any contracts, settlement agreements, or other documents
related to the transaction that were finally approved or adopted in the closed session and
that embody the information required to be disclosed immediately shall be provided to
any person who has made a written request regarding that item following the posting of
the agenda, or who has made a standing request for all such documentation as part of a
request for notice of meetings pursuant to Government Code Sections 54954.1 or 54956.
(e) A written summary of the information required to be immediately reported pursuant
to this section, or documents embodying that information, shall be posted by the close of
business on the next business day following the meeting, in the place where the meeting
agendas of the body are posted, and on the County’s public access website.
SEC. 1.2.8. AGENDAS AND RELATED MATERIALS: PUBLIC RECORDS.
(a) Agenda packets shall be provided by personal delivery, facsimile, e-mail, or mail to
all members of a policy body. Agenda packets shall be sent to the members of the policy
body no later than the time at which the agenda is required to be posted or the time the
agenda is actually posted, whichever is earlier.
(b) Agenda packets shall be made available to the public for inspection and copying upon
request, at the time that the agenda for the meeting is required to be posted, or at the time
the agenda is actually posted, whichever is earlier. Agenda packets shall be made
available for public inspection and copying whether or not actually distributed to or
received by the policy body at t
he time of the request.

(c) In addition to any other means of making them available, agenda packets shall be
posted on the County’s public access Web site, at the time that the agenda for the meeting
is required to be posted, or at the time the agenda is actually posted, whichever is earlier.
(d) No document intended for distribution to all or a majority of the members of a public
body pertaining to any item on the agenda of a policy body may be discussed, considered,
or relied upon by any member of a policy body in discussing or taking action on any
agenda item, if it has not been made available to the public in accordance with this
section.
(e) If not included in the agenda packet, any memorandum prepared by or on behalf of
any member of a policy body and distributed to one or more other members of the policy
body, pertaining to any item on an agenda for a meeting of the policy body, shall be made
available to the public for inspection and copying upon request, and posted on the public
access website, no later than 72 hours before the meeting at which the agenda item will
be addressed.
(f) A policy body may charge a duplication fee for a copy of a public record prepared for
consideration at a public meeting. The fee shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication
up to ten cents ($.10) per page, or a higher actual cost of duplication established pursuant
to the procedure set forth in Section 1.3.8(d).
(g) To the extent that agenda packets are prepared for meetings of ancillary bodies, the
requirements of this section shall apply.
SEC. 1.2.9. PUBLIC ACCESS WEBSITE
(a) The County shall create and maintain a public access Web site.
(b) The public access Web site will include, at a minimum, the following:
(1) A list of all policy bodies, with the time and place of regular meetings of such bodies.
(2) The master calendar, containing the date, time, and location of every meeting
conducted by the County or any department, official, policy body, or ancillary body of
the County, notice of which is required to be given to the public pursuant to this Title,
under any other provision of the San Bernardino County Code, or under state or federal
law, or which are otherwise open to the public, including but not limited to all meetings
as defined in Section 1.1.3(m).
(3) Agendas for all regular meetings of all policy bodies, posted in accordance with the
requirements of this Title, and maintained in an on-line archive for at least five (5) years
following the date of the meeting to which they pertain.
(4) Minutes for all regular and emergency meetings of all policy bodies, posted in
accordance with the requirements of this Title, and maintained in an on-line archive for at
least five (5) years following the date of the meeting to which they pertain.
(5) Agenda packets for all regular meetings of all policy bodies, posted in accordance
with the requirements of this Title, and maintained in an on-line archive for at least five
(5) years following the date of the meeting to which they pertain.
(6) A list of all ancillary bodies, with the time and place of regular meetings of such
bodies, if established.
(7) A copy of the San Bernardino County Sunshine Ordinance.
(8) Information on how to obtain a free copy of the Sunshine Ordinance. The County will
provide a copy of the San Bernardino County Sunshine Ordinance, the California Public
Records Act, and the Brown Act to any requestor, free of charge, except for postage if
delivery by mail is requested.
(9) Any other information required by this Title to be posted on the public access website.
SEC. 1.2.10. TAPE RECORDING, FILMING AND STILL PHOTOGRAPHY.
(a) Any person attending an open and public meeting of a policy body shall have the right
to record the proceedings with an audio or video recorder or a still or motion picture
camera, or to broadcast the proceedings. Such recording may be restricted only based on
a reasonable finding of a majority of the policy body that the recording or broadcast
cannot continue without noise, illumination, or obstruction of view that will constitute a
persistent disruption of the proceedings.
(b) The County Counsel and each policy body enumerated in the charter shall record each
regular and emergency meeting, by audio recording or video recording. Any audio or
video recording of a meeting of any other policy body made at the direction of the policy
body shall be a public record subject to inspection pursuant to the California Public
Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.), and shall not be erased or
destroyed. Inspection of any such recording shall be provided without charge on an
appropriate play back device made available by the County.
SEC. 1.2.11. PUBLIC TESTIMONY.
(a) Every agenda for regular meetings shall provide an opportunity for members of the
public to directly address a policy body on items of interest to the public that are within
policy body’s subject matter jurisdiction, before or during the legislative body's
consideration of the item. However, no action shall be taken on any item not appearing
on the agenda unless the action is otherwise authorized by Section 1.2.3(f) of this Title.
(b) To ensure the public is heard in a timely manner, general public comment will be held

at the beginning of meetings, only following an invocation and/or the Pledge of
Allegiance.
(c) In the case of a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the agenda need not provide an
opportunity for members of the public to address the Board of Supervisors on any item
that has already been considered by a committee, composed exclusively of members of
the Board of Supervisors, at a public meeting wherein all interested members of the
public were afforded the opportunity to address the committee on the item, before or
during the committee’s consideration of the item, unless the item has been substantially
changed since the committee heard the item, as determined by the Board of Supervisors.
(d) Every agenda for emergency meetings at which action is proposed to be taken on an
item shall provide an opportunity for each member of the public to directly address a
policy body concerning that item before action is taken. However, by vote of a majority
of the members of the policy board present, the total amount of time for public comment
may be limited to not less than 30 minutes, based on a reasonable finding of the policy
board that urgent action is required.
(e) A policy body may adopt reasonable regulations to ensure that the intent of
subdivisions (a) through (c) are carried out, including, but not limited to, regulations
limiting the total amount of time allocated for public testimony on particular issues and
for each individual speaker. Each policy body shall adopt a rule providing that each
person wishing to speak on an item before the body at a regular or special meeting shall
be permitted to be heard once for up to three minutes, at a minimum. Policy bodies may
adopt rules which provide more time for each speaker. In addition, policy bodies may
permit more time for each speaker at particular meetings, or on particular topics.
However, time limits shall be applied uniformly to members of the public wishing to
testify.
(f) A policy body shall not abridge or prohibit public criticism of the policy, procedures,
programs, or services of the County, or of any other aspect of its proposals or activities,
or of the acts or omissions of the County of the policy body, on the basis that the
performance of one or more public employees is implicated, or on any basis other than
reasonable time constraints adopted in regulations pursuant to this section.
(g) To facilitate public input, any agenda changes or continuances shall be announced by
the presiding officer of a policy body at the beginning of a meeting, or as soon thereafter
as the change or continuance becomes known to such presiding officer.
(h) Every member of a policy or ancillary body retains all constitutional and other legal
rights of a citizen to comment publicly on the wisdom or propriety of government
actions, including those of the policy body of which he or she is a member. Policy bodies
shall not sanction, reprove or deprive members of their rights as elected or appointed
officials for expressing their judgments or opinions, including those which deal with the
perceived inconsistency of non-public discussions, communications or actions with the
requirements of state or federal law or of this ordinance. The release of specific factual
information made confidential by state or federal law including, but not limited to, the
privilege for confidential attorney-client communications, may be the basis for a request
for injunctive or declaratory relief, of a complaint to the Board of Supervisors seeking an
accusation of misconduct, or both.
SEC. 1.2.12. MINUTES.
(a) The clerk, secretary, or other designated official of each policy body shall record the
minutes for each regular and emergency meeting of the body. The minutes shall, at a
minimum, state the time the meeting was called to order, the names of the members
attending the meeting, the roll call vote on each matter considered at the meeting, the
time the board or commission began and ended any closed session, the names of the
members and the names, and titles where applicable, of any other persons attending any
closed session, a list of those members of the public who spoke on each matter if the
speakers identified themselves, whether such speakers supported or opposed the matter, a
brief summary of each person’s statement during the public comment period for each
agenda item, and the time the meeting was adjourned. Any person speaking during a
public comment period may supply a written summary of their comments which shall, if
no more than 150 words, be included in the minutes.
(b) The draft minutes of each meeting shall be available for inspection and copying upon
request no later than ten working days after the meeting. The officially adopted minutes
shall be available for inspection and copying upon request, and shall be posted on the
public access website, no later than ten working days after the meeting at which the
minutes are adopted.
CHAPTER 1.3: PUBLIC INFORMATION AND PUBLIC RECORDS
1.3.1. Release of Public Records; Administrative Appeals.
1.3.2. Release of Oral Public Information.
1.3.3. Public Information That Must Be Disclosed.
1.3.4. Public Review File--Policy Body Communications.
1.3.5. Immediacy of Response.
1.3.6. Withholding Kept to a Minimum.
1.3.7. Justification of Withholding.
1.3.8. Fees for Duplication.
1.3.9. Index to Records.
1.3.10. Records Survive Transition of Officials.
1.3.11. Policy Regarding Purchase and Use of Computer Systems.
SEC. 1.3.1. RELEASE OF PUBLIC RECORDS; ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS.
(a) Public records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of each
County department, and every person has a right to inspect any public record not exempt
from disclosure pursuant to this Title or expressly prohibited to be disclosed by law.
Every custodian of a public record shall, as soon as reasonably possible and without
requiring an appointment, permit any public record, or any segregable portion of a public
record, to be inspected and examined by any person.
(b) Every person has a right to copy public records not exempt from disclosure pursuant
to this Title or expressly prohibited to be disclosed by law. Every custodian of a public
record shall, as soon as possible following receipt of a request to copy a public record,
comply with such a request. If a person asks the custodian of a public record to provide a
copy a public record, the custodian shall furnish one copy thereof upon payment of a
reasonable copying charge, not to exceed the lesser of the actual cost or ten cents ($.10)
per page. If a person asks the custodian of a public record to permit the requestor to make
their own copy using equipment provided by the requestor (including without limitation a
portable scanner or copier), the custodian shall permit the requestor to make copies at no
charge and shall provide reasonable accommodation for the requestor’s copying activity,
if the copying can be performed by the requestor without severe disruption of the other
business of the County.
(c) A request for inspection or copying may be delivered to the office of the custodian by
the requester orally or in writing by fax, postal delivery, or e-mail. If the custodian
believes the record or information requested is not a public record, is exempt from
disclosure under this Title, or is expressly prohibited to be disclosed by law, the custodian
shall justify withholding any record by demonstrating, in writing, as soon as possible and
within no more than ten days following receipt of a request, that the record in question is
exempt under express provisions of this Title or is otherwise expressly prohibited to be
disclosed by law.
(d) A custodian of a public record shall assist a requester in identifying the existence,
form, and nature of any records or information maintained by, in the custody of, or
available to the custodian, whether or not the contents of those records are exempt from
disclosure. A custodian of a public record shall, when requested to do so, provide in
writing within ten days following receipt of a request, a statement as to the existence,
quantity, form and nature of records relating to particular subjects or questions with
enough specificity to enable a requester to identify records in order to make a request
under this section. A custodian of any public record, when not in possession of the record
requested, shall assist a requester in identifying the proper office or staff person.
(e) Public information stored in electronic form shall be made available to the person
requesting the information in any form requested which is available to or readily
generated by the department, its officers or employees, including disk, tape, printout or
monitor, at a charge no greater than the cost of the media on which it is duplicated. The
County shall ensure that any information exempt from disclosure that is contained in any
electronic database or other electronic record is segregated or segregable from all public
information to the greatest possible extent. Inspection of public information on a
computer monitor need not be allowed where the information sought is necessarily and
inseparably intertwined with information not subject to disclosure under this ordinance.
Nothing in this section shall require a department to program or reprogram a computer to
respond to a request for information, or to release information if doing so would violate a
licensing agreement or copyright law.
(f) If a custodian of a public record refuses or fails to comply, or incompletely complies
with a request pursuant to this section, the requester may petition the supervisor of
records for a determination whether the record requested is public. The supervisor of
records shall, as soon as possible and within no more than ten days, determine and inform
the petitioner whether the record, or any part of the record, is public. If requested by the
petition, or if the supervisor of records deems it desirable, this determination shall be in
writing. Upon the determination by the supervisor of records that all or part of the record
is public, the supervisor of records shall immediately direct the custodian of the public
record to comply with the request in whole or in part. If the custodian refuses or fails to
comply with any such direction within five days, the supervisor of records shall notify the
district attorney or the attorney general, who shall take whatever measures she or he
deems necessary and appropriate to insure compliance with the provisions of this
ordinance.
(g) If the custodian refuses or fails to comply, or incompletely complies with a request
pursuant to this section, or if a petition is denied or not acted on by the supervisor of
public records, the person making the request may petition the San Bernardino County
Ethics Commission (“Ethics Commission”) for a determination of whether the record
requested is public. The Ethics Commission shall inform the petitioner, as soon as
possible but in no case later than 45 days from when a petition in writing is received, of
its determination whether the record requested, or any part of the record requested, is
public. If requested by the petition, or if deemed desirable by the Ethics Commission, this
determination shall be in writing. Upon the determination that the record is public, the
Ethics Commission shall immediately order the custodian of the public record to comply
with the person’s request. If the custodian refuses or fails to comply with any such order
within five days, the Ethics Commission shall notify the district attorney or the attorney
general who may take whatever measures she or he deems necessary to insure
compliance with the provisions of this ordinance. The Board of Supervisors and the
County Counsel’s office shall provide sufficient staff and resources to allow the Ethics
Commission to fulfill its duties under this provision. If requested by the petition, the
Ethics Commission may conduct a public hearing concerning the records request denial.
An authorized representative of the custodian of the public records requested shall attend
any hearing and explain the basis for its decision to withhold the records requested.
(h) The administrative remedies provided under this section shall in no way limit the
availability of other remedies provided to any person requesting a public record,
including without limitation those provided in section 1.4.4. If a custodian of a public
record refuses or fails to comply with the request of any person for inspection or copy of
a public record or with an administrative order under this section, the Superior Court
shall have jurisdiction to order compliance.
(i) In any court proceeding pursuant to this article there shall be a presumption that the
record sought is public, and the burden shall be upon the custodian to prove with
specificity the exemption which applies.
(j) On at least an annual basis, and as otherwise requested by the Ethics Commission, the
supervisor of public records shall prepare a tally and report of every petition brought
before it for access to records since the time of its last tally and report. The report shall at
a minimum identify for each petition the record or records sought, the custodian of those
records, the ruling of the supervisor of public records, whether orders given to custodians
of public records were followed, whether the ruling was overturned by a court. At the
request of the Ethics Commission, the report shall also include copies of all rulings made
by the supervisor of public records and all opinions issued.
(k) The County Counsel’s office shall act to protect and secure the rights of the persons
seeking access to public information and public meetings, and shall not act as legal
counsel for any county employee or any person having custody of any public record for
purposes of denying access to the public. The County Counsel may publish legal opinions
in response to a request from any person as to whether a record or information is public.
All communications with the County Counsel’s Office with regard to this ordinance,
including petitions, requests for opinion, and opinions shall be public records.
(l) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the County Counsel may defend the
County or a County official or employee in litigation under this Title that is filed in court,
to any extent required by the County Charter or California law.
SEC. 1.3.2. RELEASE OF ORAL PUBLIC INFORMATION.
Release of oral public information shall be accomplished as follows:
(a) Every department head shall designate a person or persons knowledgeable about the
affairs of the department, to provide information, including oral information, to the public
about the department’s operations, plans, policies, and positions. The department head
may designate himself or herself for this assignment, but in any event shall arrange that
an alternate be available for this function during the absence of the person assigned
primary responsibility. If a department has multiple bureaus or divisions, the department
may designate a person or persons for each bureau or division to provide this
information.
(b) The role of the person or persons so designated shall be to provide information on as
timely and responsive a basis as possible to those members of the public who are not
requesting information from a specific person. This section does not and shall not be
interpreted to curtail direct or informal contacts between other County officials or
employees and members of the public.
(c) No employee shall be required to respond to an inquiry or inquiries from an individual
if it would take the employee more than fifteen minutes to obtain the information
responsive to the inquiry or inquiries.
(d) No County official or employee shall be discouraged from, or sanctioned or
disciplined for, disclosing any public informatio
n or public record to any person. Any

official or employee who is sanctioned or disciplined for disclosing public information or
a public record shall have a cause of action against the County and the person responsible
for imposing the discipline.
SEC. 1.3.3. PUBLIC INFORMATION THAT MUST BE DISCLOSED.
(a) General
(1) To the extent not addressed by this Title, and subject to the enhanced disclosure
requirements provided in this Title, release of public information shall be governed by the
Public Records Act. In case of inconsistent requirements or definitions under the Public
Records Act and this Title, the requirement which would result in greater or more
expedited public access shall apply.
(2) The County shall not invoke its legal discretion to withhold public information or
public records under Government Code section 6254 of the Public Records Act with
respect to any category of information addressed in this section. Instead, the provisions of
this section shall govern and shall provide enhanced rights of access to public
information and public records.
(3) The categories of information described in this section must be made available to any
person upon request, except as otherwise provided in this section, and shall be referred to
as non-exempt public information.
(a) Drafts and Memoranda.
(1) Except as provided in subparagraph (2), preliminary drafts, notes, or memoranda,
whether in printed or electronic form, shall be subject to disclosure, if they have been
retained as of the time the request is made. This subsection does not require the retention
of preliminary drafts, notes, or memoranda that would not otherwise be retained in the
ordinary course of business or pursuant to a policy, procedure or practice, provided that
the County shall not adopt any policy of disposing of drafts, notes, or memoranda
intended solely or primarily to prevent public access to such records.
(2) Draft versions of an agreement being negotiated by representatives of the County with
some other party, and all memoranda and other draft documents relating to such an
agreement communicated to the other party, need not be disclosed immediately upon
creation, but must be preserved and made available for public review 15 days before the
meeting at which a policy body will decide whether to approve the agreement.
(b) Litigation Material, Attorney-Client Communications, and Attorney Work Product.
(1) Notwithstanding any exemptions otherwise provided by law, the following are public
records subject to disclosure under this Title:
(i) A pre-litigation claim against the County;
(ii) A record previously received or created by a department in the ordinary course of
business that was not attorney/client privileged when it was received or created;
(iii) Advice on compliance with, analysis of, an opinion concerning liability under, or any
communication otherwise concerning the Public Records Act, the Brown Act, the
Political Reform Act, any San Bernardino County governmental ethics ordinance or code,
or this Title; or
(iv) A report of, or records related to, any investigation performed by or at the direction
of the County Counsel, or any attorney retained by the County, into misconduct by any
County official or employee, or any member of a policy or ancillary body, if the
investigation results in dismissal, discipline, official sanction, or a finding of confirmed
misconduct.
(2) Unless otherwise privileged under California law, records of all communications
between the County and the adverse party shall be subject to disclosure, including the
text and terms of any settlement. However, settlement agreements and communications
relating to the settlement of litigation need not be disclosed until 15 days before the
meeting at which a policy body will decide whether to approve the settlement.
(c) Personnel Information. None of the following shall be exempt from disclosure under
any provision of California law that does not expressly prohibit disclosure:
(1) The job pool characteristics and employment and education histories of all successful
job applicants, including at a minimum the following information as to each successful
job applicant:
(i) Sex, age and ethnic group;
(ii) Years of graduate and undergraduate study, degree(s) and major or discipline;
(iii) Years of employment in the private and/or public sector;
(iv) Whether currently employed in the same position for another public agency.
(v) Other non-identifying particulars as to experience, credentials, aptitudes, training or
education entered in or attached to a standard employment application form used for the
position in question.
(2) The name of every employee.
(3) The professional biography or curriculum vitae of any employee, provided that the
home address, home telephone number, social security number, and marital status of the
employee may be redacted.
(4) The job classification of every employee, and a description of every employment
classification.
(5) The compensation and benefits paid or otherwise provided by the County to every
employee, including without limitation base compensation, overtime compensation,< /span>
bonuses, disability income, retirement income, and all compensation paid to any County
employee by a private party pursuant to any ordinance, regulation, or contractual
obligation imposed by the County.
(6) Any contract or other record specifying terms of employment of any individual
county official or employee.
(7) Any memorandum of understanding between the County or department and a
recognized employee organization.
(8) The amount, basis, and recipient of any performance-based increase in compensation,
benefits, or both, or any other bonus, awarded to any employee, which shall be
announced during the open session of a policy body at which the award is approved.
(9) The record of any confirmed misconduct of a County official or employee, and of any
sanction or discipline imposed for such misconduct.
(d) Law Enforcement Information.
(1) The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department shall make available to any person,
upon request, any police report, arrest report, or incident report. However, unless the
report is requested by a person entitled to the following information under state or federal
law, the following information shall be removed from the report before it is released:
(i) With respect to the victim of any crime, the address or telephone number of the victim,
except in response to a request made pursuant to Government Code section 6254(f)(3);
(ii) With respect to the victim of any crime any crime defined by Section 220, 11, 11.5,
12, 14, 14.1, 273a, 273d, 273.5, 286, 288, 288a, 289, 422.6, 422.7, 422.75, or 646.9 of
the Penal Code, the name of the victim may be withheld at the victim’s request, to the
extent permitted by Government Code section 6254(f)(2);
(iii) With respect to any person other than an arrestee or suspect, any driver's license or
California Identification Card number, social security number, date of birth, place of
employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, demand deposit
account number, savings or checking account number, or credit card number, if contained
in the report;
(iv) With respect to any person, including an arrestee or suspect, any social security
number, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, demand deposit
account number, savings or checking account number, or credit card number, if contained
in the report;
(v) The names of juvenile witnesses;
(vi) The name of any juvenile arrestee or suspect, unless and until it has been determined
that the juvenile will be charged and prosecuted as an adult, provided that the first name
and initial letter of the last name of any juvenile arrestee or suspect shall remain on the
report in any event;
(vii) The identity of any confidential source.
Numerical or alphabetic designations should, to the extent practicable, be substituted for
names omitted from any report.
(2) All other records pertaining to any investigation, arrest or other law enforcement
activity shall be disclosed to the public once the District Attorney or a court determines
that a prosecution will not be sought against the subject involved, once a final judgment
of conviction or acquittal has been entered, or once the statute of limitations for filing
charges has expired, whichever occurs first. However, subdivision (j) of this section
notwithstanding, the following individual items of information in the following
categories may be segregated and withheld if, on the particular facts, the public interest in
nondisclosure clearly and substantially outweighs the public interest in disclosure:
(i) With respect to the victim of any crime, the address or telephone number of the victim,
except in response to a request made pursuant to Government Code section 6254(f)(3);
(ii) With respect to the victim of any crime any crime defined by Section 220, 11, 11.5,
12, 14, 14.1, 273a, 273d, 273.5, 286, 288, 288a, 289, 422.6, 422.7, 422.75, or 646.9 of
the Penal Code, the name of the victim may be withheld at the victim’s request, to the
extent permitted by Government Code section 6254(f)(2);
(iii) With respect to any person other than an arrestee or suspect, any driver's license or
California Identification Card number, social security number, date of birth, place of
employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, demand deposit
account number, savings or checking account number, or credit card number, if contained
in the report;
(iv) With respect to any person, including an arrestee or suspect, any social security
number, employee identification number, mother's maiden name, demand deposit
account number, savings or checking account number, or credit card number, if contained
in the report;
(v) The names of juvenile witnesses;
(vi) The name of any juvenile arrestee or suspect, unless the juvenile has been charged
and prosecuted as an adult, provided that the first name and initial letter of the last name
of any juvenile arrestee or suspect shall remain on the report in any event;
(vii) Personal or otherwise private information related to or unrelated to the investigation
if disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
(viii) The identity of a confidentia
l source;

(ix) Secret investigative techniques or procedures;
(x) Information whose disclosure would endanger law enforcement personnel; or
(xi) Information whose disclosure would endanger the successful completion of an
investigation where the prospect of enforcement proceedings is concrete and definite.
Numerical or alphabetic designations should, to the extent practicable, be substituted for
names omitted from any report.
(3) The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department shall maintain a record, which shall
be a public record and which shall be separate from the personnel records of the
department, which reports the number and substance of citizen complaints against the
department or its officers, the number and types of cases in which discipline is imposed,
and the nature of the discipline imposed. This record shall be maintained in a format
which assures that the names and other identifying information of individual officers
involved is not disclosed directly or indirectly. However, a unique numerical or
alphabetical designation shall be assigned to each officer who is the subject of one or
more complaints, so that the public can determine whether multiple complaints have been
directed at a single officer, and the nature of those complaints.
(e) Code Enforcement and Civil Law Enforcement
(1) Reports relating to the enforcement of any provision of California law or of the San
Bernardino County Code intended to protect public health, safety, or welfare, including
without limitation building and health codes, by any employee of the County other than
an employee of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, shall be made available
to any person upon request, upon conclusion of the inspection or investigation that is the
subject of the report.
(2) To the extent it is contained in such reports, the following information may be
removed before the report is made available to the public:
(i) Any driver's license or California Identification Card number, social security number,
date of birth, place of employment, employee identification number, mother's maiden
name, demand deposit account number, savings or checking account number, or credit
card number;
(ii) The identity of a confidential source.
(f) Contracts, Bids and Proposals
(1) Contracts, contractors, bids, responses to requests for proposals, and all other records
of communications between the department and persons or firms submitting bids or
responses to requests for proposals or otherwise seeking contracts shall be open to
inspection for at least 15 days before any contract is awarded or any bid is finally
accepted and approved.
(2) All bidders and contractors shall be advised that information provided which is
covered by this subdivision will be made available to the public upon request.
(3) Immediately after any review or evaluation or rating of responses to a Request for
Proposal ("RFP") has been completed, evaluation forms and score sheets and any other
documents used by persons in the RFP evaluation or contractor selection process shall be
available for public inspection. The names of scorers, graders or evaluators, along with
their individual ratings, comments, and score sheets or comments on related documents,
shall be made immediately available after the review or evaluation of a RFP has been
completed.
(4) During the course of negotiations for:
(i) personal, professional, or other contractual services not subject to a competitive
process or where such a process has arrived at a stage where there is only one qualified or
responsive bidder;
(ii) leases or permits having total anticipated revenue or expense to the County of five
hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) or more or having a term of ten years or more; or
(iii) any franchise agreements,
all documents exchanged and related to the position of the parties, including draft
contracts, shall be made available for public inspection and copying upon request. In the
event that no records are prepared or exchanged during negotiations in the abovementioned
categories, or the records exchanged do not provide a meaningful
representation of the respective positions, the county attorney or county representative
familiar with the negotiations shall, upon a written request by a member of the public,
prepare written summaries of the respective positions within five working days following
the final day of negotiation of any given week. The summaries will be available for
public inspection and copying. The final contract, including the dollar amount of said
contract, shall be made available for inspection and copying upon the conclusions of
negotiations, and at least 15 days prior to the meeting at which a policy body will decide
whether to approve the contract.
(5) At the end of each fiscal year, each County department shall provide to the Board of
Supervisors a list of all sole source contracts entered into during the past fiscal year. This
list shall be made available for inspection and copying as provided for elsewhere in this
Title.
(g) Budgets and Other Financial Information. Budgets, whether tentative, proposed or
adopted, for the County or any of it
s departments, programs, projects or other categories,

and all bills, claims, invoices, vouchers or other records of payment obligations as well as
records of actual disbursements showing the amount paid, the payee and the purpose for
which payment is made, other than payments for social or other services whose records
are confidential by law, shall not be exempt from disclosure under any circumstances.
(h) Appointment Calendars and Telephone Records. The Board of Supervisors, each
member of the Board of Supervisors, county administrative officer, elected officials,
County Counsel, and every department head shall keep or cause to be kept a daily
appointment calendar wherein is recorded the time and place of each meeting or event
attended by that official, with the exclusion of purely personal or social events at which
no county business is discussed and that do not take place at County offices or at the
offices or residences of people who do substantial business with or are otherwise
substantially financially affected by actions of the county. For meetings not otherwise
publicly noticed, the calendar shall include a general statement of issues discussed. Such
calendars shall be public records and shall be available to any requester three business
days subsequent to the calendar entry date. In addition, phone records for each telephone
provided by the County to the Board of Supervisors, elected officials, county
administrative officer, County Counsel, and every department head, shall be made
available to the public upon request.
(i) Campaign Reports. All statements of economic interest, contribution reports,
campaign statements, annual disclosure statements, pertaining to any lobbying or
campaign activity, the receipt of any gifts, or any actual or potential conflict of interest,
required to be filed with or submitted to the County or any policy or ancillary body of the
County pursuant to the Political Reform Act, any other provision of California law, or the
San Bernardino County Code, shall be made available to the public upon request. All
reports must be filed electronically to ensure that they are available on the County’s Web
site.
(j) Neither the County nor any policy body, department, official, employee, or agent
thereof may assert Government Code section 6255 or any similar provision as the basis
for withholding any record or information requested under this ordinance.
(k) Neither the County nor any policy body, department, official, employee, or agent
thereof may assert as a basis for withholding for any record or information a “deliberative
process” privilege or exemption, under Government Code section 6255 or any other
provision of law that does not prohibit disclosure.
(l) Neither the County, nor any policy body, department, official, employee, or agent
thereof, may assert as a basis for withholding for any record or information a claim or
showing that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public
interest in disclosure. Records or information may be withheld only based on an express
provision of this Title providing for withholding of the specific type of information in
question, on an express and specific exemption provided by Public Records Act that is
not forbidden or modified by this ordinance, or on an express prohibition against
disclosure imposed by California or Federal law.
SEC. 1.3.4. PUBLIC REVIEW FILE--POLICY BODY COMMUNICATIONS.
(a) The clerk of the Board of Supervisors and the clerk or other designated representative
of each policy body shall maintain a file, accessible to any person during normal office
hours, containing a copy of any letter, memorandum or other communication which the
clerk has distributed to or received from a quorum of the policy body concerning a matter
calendared by the body within the previous 30 days, or likely to be calendared within the
next 30 days, irrespective of subject matter, origin or recipient, except commercial
solicitations, periodical publications or communications exempt from disclosure under
the Public Records Act and not subject to disclosure under the preceding section of this
Title. The records described in this subsection shall be subject to public access after 30
days as well, but need not be maintained in the file required by this subsection.
(b) The clerk of the Board of Supervisors and the clerk or other designated representative
of each policy body listed in the charter shall maintain a file, accessible to any person
during normal office hours, containing a copy of any letter, memorandum or other written
or electronic communication received by any member of the Board of Supervisors or
other policy body listed in the charter regarding any item on the agenda of a meeting of
the Board of Supervisors or policy body within the previous 30 days, except
communications exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act and not subject to
disclosure under the preceding section of this Title. The records described in this
subsection shall be subject to public access after 30 days as well, but need not be
maintained in the file required by this subsection.
(b) The clerk of the Board of Supervisors shall maintain a list of the name, address, and
telephone number of the custodian of all such communications sent or received by any
policy body. The list shall be posted on the County’s public access web
site, and shall also

be available to any person upon request to the clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
SEC. 1.3.5. IMMEDIACY OF RESPONSE.
(a) The maximum deadlines provided in this Title are appropriate for extensive or
demanding requests, of for requests that seek information not within the categories
defined by this Title as non-exempt pubic information, but shall not be used to delay
fulfilling a simple, routine or otherwise readily answerable request.
(b) Notwithstanding the period for response to a request permitted in Government Code
section 6256 and in this Title, a written request for information in any category of nonexempt
public information specified in this Title shall be satisfied no later than the close
of business on the day following the day of the request. This deadline shall apply only if
the words .Immediate Disclosure Request. are placed across the top of the request and on
the envelope, subject line, or cover sheet in which the request is transmitted.
(b) If the voluminous nature of the information requested, its location in a remote storage
facility, or the need to consult with another interested department requires an extension,
the requester shall be notified as required by the close of business on the business day
following the request. A response must then be provided within ten days of the receipt of
the request.
(c) The person seeking the information need not state his or her reason for making the
request, or the use to which the information will be put, and requesters shall not be
routinely asked to make such a disclosure. Where a record being requested contains
information most of which is exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records
Act and this Title, however, the County Counsel or custodian of the record may inform
the requester of the nature and extent of the non-exempt public information and inquire as
to the requester’s purpose for seeking it, in order to suggest alternative sources for the
information which may involve less redaction or to otherwise prepare a response to the
request.
(d) Notwithstanding any provisions of California law or this Title, in response to a
request for information describing any category of non-exempt public information, when
so requested, the County shall produce any and all responsive public records as soon as
reasonably possible on an incremental or “rolling” basis, such that responsive records are
produced to the extent possible by the end of the same business day that they are
reviewed and collected. This section is intended to prohibit the withholding of public
records that are responsive to a records request until all potentially responsive documents
have been reviewed and collected. Failure to comply with this provision is a violation of
this Title.
SEC. 1.3.6. WITHHOLDING KEPT TO A MINIMUM.
No record shall be withheld from disclosure in its entirety unless all information
contained in it is exempt from disclosure based on an express provision of this Title, on
an express and specific exemption provided by Public Records Act that is not forbidden
or modified by this ordinance, or on an express prohibition against disclosure imposed by
California or Federal law. Information that is exempt from disclosure shall be masked,
deleted, or otherwise segregated in order that the nonexempt portion of a requested record
may be released. Any omission of information will be identified by footnote or other
clear reference to the appropriate justification for withholding.
SEC. 1.3.7. JUSTIFICATION OF WITHHOLDING.
Any withholding of information shall be justified, in writing, as follows:
(a) A withholding under any provision of this Title shall site the specific provision of this
Title authorizing non-disclosure, together with any further explanation or justification
required by that provision.
(b) A withholding under a specific permissive exemption in the Public Records Act, or
elsewhere, which permissive exemption is not forbidden to be asserted or otherwise
modified by this Title, shall cite the provision of the Public Records Act upon which the
withholding is based.
(c) A withholding on the basis that disclosure is prohibited by law shall cite the specific
statutory authority upon which the withholding is based.
(d) A withholding on the basis that disclosure would incur civil or criminal liability shall
cite any specific statutory or case law, or the County’s or any other public agency’s
litigation experience, supporting that position.
(e) When a record being requested contains information, most of which is exempt from
disclosure under the Public Records Act and this Title, the custodian shall inform the
requester of the nature and extent of the nonexempt information and suggest alternative
sources for the information requested, if available.
(f) Neither the County nor any official or employee of the County may assert in any
proceeding seeking judicial review of a decision to withhold information any basis for
withholding that was not cited in response to the request for information.
SEC. 1.3.8. FEES FOR DUPLICATION.
(a) The work of responding to a public-records request and preparing documents for
disclosure shall be considered part of the regular work duties of any county employee,
and no fee shall be charged to the requester to cover the personnel costs of responding to
a records request, or otherwise making public records available for review or copying.
(b) For documents routinely produced in multiple copies for distribution, e.g. meeting
agendas and related materials, unless a special fee has been established pursuant to
subdivision (d) of this section, a fee not to exceed one cent per page may be charged, plus
any postage or delivery costs.
(c) For documents assembled and copied to the order of the requester, unless a special fee
has been established pursuant to subdivision (d) of this section, a fee not to exceed 10
cents per page may be charged, plus any postage or delivery costs.
(d) A department may establish and charge a higher fee than the one cent presumptive fee
in subdivision (b) and the 10 cent ($.10) presumptive fee in subdivision (c) if it prepares
and posts an itemized cost analysis establishing that its cost per page impression exceeds
10 cents or one cent, as the case may be. The cost per page impression shall include the
following costs: one sheet of paper; one duplication cycle of the copying machine in
terms of toner and other specifically identified operation or maintenance factors,
excluding electrical power. Any such cost analysis shall identify the manufacturer,
model, vendor and maintenance contractor, if any, of the copying machine or machines
referred to.
(e) Video copies of video recorded meetings shall be provided to the public upon request
for $10.00 or less per meeting.
SEC. 1.3.9. INDEX TO RECORDS.
(a) The County shall prepare a public records index that identifies the types of
information and documents maintained by County policy boards, departments, and
elected officers. The index shall be for the use of County officials, staff, and the general
public, and shall be organized to permit a general understanding of the types of records
maintained, by which officials and departments records are maintained, the purposes and
periods for which records are retained, and under what manner of organization for
accessing, e.g. by reference to a name, a date, a proceeding or project, or some other
referencing system. The index need not be in such detail as to identify files or records
concerning a specific person, transaction, or other event, but shall clearly indicate where
and how records of that type are kept.
(b) The County administrative officer shall be responsible for the preparation of this
records index. The County administrative officer shall report on the progress of the index
to the Sunshine Ordinance Ethics Commission on at least a semi-annual basis until the
index is completed. Each department, agency, commission and public official shall
cooperate with the County administrative officer to identify the types of records it
maintains, including those documents created by the entity and those documents received
in the ordinary course of business and the types of requests that are regularly received.
Each department, agency, commission and public official is encouraged to solicit and
encourage public participation to develop a meaningful records index. The index shall be
reviewed by appropriate staff for accuracy and presented for formal adoption to the
administrative official or policy body responsible for the indexed records.
(c) The index shall clearly and meaningfully describe, with as much specificity as
practicable, the individual types of records that are prepared or maintained by each
department, agency, commission or public official of the County. The index shall be
sufficient to aid the public in making an inquiry or a request to inspect. Any changes in
the department, agency, commission or public official’s practices or procedures affecting
the accuracy of the information provided to the County administrative officer shall be
recorded by the County administrative officer on a periodic basis so as to maintain the
integrity and accuracy of the index. The index shall be continuously maintained on the
County.s public access website, and made available at public libraries within the County.
SEC. 1.3.10. RECORDS SURVIVE TRANSITION OF OFFICIALS.
All documents prepared, received, or maintained by the Board of Supervisors, by any
elected county official, by the county administrative officer, County Clerk, and by the
head of any County department are the property of the County of San Bernardino. The
originals of these documents shall be maintained consistent with the records retention
policies of the County.
SEC. 1.3.11. POLICY REGARDING PURCHASE AND USE OF COMPUTER
SYSTEMS.
(a) It is the policy of the County to use computer technology in order to reduce the cost of
public records management, including the costs of collecting, maintaining, and disclosing
records subject to disclosure to members of the public under this Title. To the extent that
it is technologically and economically feasible, departments that use computer systems to
collect and store public records shall program and design these systems to ensure
convenient, efficient, and economical public access to records, and shall make public
records easily accessible over public networks such as the Internet.
(b) Departments purchasing new computer systems or software, or upgrading existingsystems or software, shall maintain the following goals as a means to achieve the policies
of this section:
(1) Implementing a computer system in which exempt information is segregated or filed
separately from otherwise disclosable information.
(2) Implementing a system that permits reproduction of electronic copies of records in a
format that is generally recognized as an industry standard format.
(3) Implementing a system that permits making records available through the largest nonprofit,
non-proprietary public computer network, consistent with the requirement for
security of information.
SEC. 1.3.12. POLICY REGARDING USE OF COUNTY FUNDS.
Funds of the County of San Bernardino, including organizational dues, shall not be used
to support any efforts to restrict public access to records, information, or meetings, except
where such effort is solely for the purpose of protecting the identity and privacy rights of
private citizens.
CHAPTER 1.4: IMPLEMENTATION
1.4.1. The Sunshine Ordinance Ethics Commission.
1.4.2. Responsibility for Administration.
1.4.3. Willful Noncompliance Shall Be Official Misconduct.
1.4.4. Enforcement.
1.4.5. Sunshine Ordinance Supersedes Other Local Laws.
1.4.6. Severability.
SEC. 1.4.1. THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE ETHICS COMMISSION.
(a) There is hereby established a Ethics Commission to be known as the Ethics
Commission consisting of XXX voting members appointed by the XXXX. All members
must have experience and/or demonstrated interest in the issues of citizen access and
participation in local government. Two members shall be appointed from individuals
whose names have been submitted by the local chapter of the Society of Professional
Journalists, one of whom shall be an attorney and one of whom shall be a local
journalist. One member shall be appointed from the press or electronic media. One
member shall be appointed from individuals whose names have been submitted by the
local chapter of the League of Women Voters. Four members shall be members of the
public who have demonstrated interest in or have experience in the issues of citizen
access and participation in local government. Two members shall be members of the
public experienced in consumer advocacy. One member shall be a journalist from a
racial/ethnic-minority-owned news organization and shall be appointed from individuals
whose names have been submitted by New California Media. The Board of Supervisors
or his or her designee, and the County Clerk of the or his or her designee, shall serve as
non-voting members of the Ethics Commission. Members of the Ethics Commission shall
serve without compensation.
(b) The County Counsel shall serve as legal advisor to the Ethics Commission. The
Ethics Commission shall, at its request, have assigned to in an attorney from within the
County Counsel’s Office who is experienced in public-access law matters. This attorney
shall serve solely as a legal advisor and advocate to the Ethics Commission, and an
ethical wall will be maintained between the work of this attorney on behalf of the Ethics
Commission and any person that may have a conflict of interest with regard to the
matters being handled by the attorney.
(c) The term of each appointive member of the Ethics Commission shall be XXX years,
unless earlier removed by the Board of Supervisors. In the event of such removal, or in
the event a vacancy otherwise occurs during the term of office of any appointive member,
a successor shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the office vacated in the manner
described herein for the initial members. The Ethics Commission shall elect a chair from
among its appointive members. The term of office as chair shall be one year.
(c) The Ethics Commission shall advise the Board of Supervisors and provide
information to other County departments on appropriate ways in which to implement this
chapter. The Ethics Commission shall develop appropriate goals to ensure practical and
timely implementation of this chapter. The Ethics Commission shall propose to the Board
of Supervisors amendments to this chapter. The Ethics Commission shall report to the
Board of Supervisors at least once annually on any practical or policy problems
encountered in the administration of this Title. The Ethics Commission shall receive and
review the annual report of the supervisor of records and may request additional reports
or information as it deems necessary. The Ethics Commission shall make referrals to a
municipal office with enforcement power under this ordinance or under the California
Public Records Act and the Brown Act whenever it concludes that any person has
violated any provisions of this ordinance or the Acts. The Ethics Commission shall, from
time to time as it sees fit, issue public reports evaluating compliance with this ordinance
and related California laws by the County or any department, official, or employee
thereof.
(d) In addition to the powers specified above, the Ethics Commission shall possess such
powers as the Board of Supervisors may confer upon it by ordinance or as the People of
San Bernardino County may confer upon it by initiative.
(e) The Ethic
s Commission shall propose and adopt, subject to the review and approval

of the Board of Supervisors, by-laws specifying a general schedule for meetings,
requirements for attendance by Ethics Commission members, and procedures and criteria
for removing members for non-attendance.
SEC. 1.4.2. RESPONSIBILITY FOR ADMINISTRATION.
The Board of Supervisors shall administer and coordinate the implementation of the
provisions of this chapter by the Board of Supervisors, the Redevelopment Agency, and
by all policy bodies and ancillary bodies of the County. The county administrative officer
shall administer and coordinate the implementation of the provisions of this chapter by all
County departments, officials, and employees other than the Board of Supervisors and the
Board of Supervisors. The County Clerk shall provide a full-time staff person to perform
administrative duties for the Ethics Commission, and to assist any person in gaining
access to public meetings or public information. The County Clerk shall provide that staff
person with whatever facilities and equipment are necessary to perform said duties.
SEC. 1.4.3. WILLFUL NONCOMPLIANCE SHALL BE OFFICIAL
MISCONDUCT.
The willful failure of any elected official, department head, or other County employee to
discharge any duties imposed by the Sunshine Ordinance, the Brown Act or the Public
Records Act shall be deemed official misconduct. Complaints involving allegations of
such willful violations of this ordinance, the Brown Act, or the Public Records Act shall
be handled by the San Bernardino County Ethics Commission.
SEC. 1.4.4. ENFORCEMENT.
(a) In addition to the other remedies provided by this Title, any person may institute
proceedings for injunctive relief, declaratory relief, or writ of mandate in the Superior
Court or in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce his or her right to: (1) receive
public information; (2) inspect or to receive a copy of any public record or class of public
records under this Title; (3) enforce his or her right to attend any meeting required under
this Title to be open, or to compel such meeting to be open; or (4) enforce any duty of
disclosure imposed by this Title on any policy body, ancillary body, department, official,
or employee of the County.
(b) Any person may institute proceedings for enforcement and penalties under this Title
in any court of competent jurisdiction, if enforcement action is not taken by a county or
state official within 40 days after a complaint is filed. If action is taken by a county or
state official to enforce only part of a complaint, an action may be brought pursuant to
this section to obtain the rest of the relief or sanction sought in the complaint.
(c) In any court proceeding pursuant to this Title there shall be a presumption that the
record sought is public, and the burden shall be upon the custodian to prove with
specificity the exemption which applies.
(d) In any action brought for enforcement or penalties under this Title, discovery may be
obtained of public records that are in dispute or the contents of closed sessions, in
accordance with the California Code of Civil Procedure and subject to evidentiary
privileges established in the California Evidence Code, in the discretion of the Superior
Court. If any disputed public records or the contents of any closed session are required to
be provided in discovery, an appropriate protective order shall be entered into by the
parties or imposed by the Superior Court, providing that such information shall be kept
confidential and shall not be publicly disclosed until and to the extent that the information
is determined to be subject to public disclosure by the Superior Court.
(e) A court shall award costs and attorneys’ fees to any plaintiff who is the prevailing
party in an action brought to enforce this Title. A plaintiff shall be a prevailing party if
the action results in the enforcement of any right or obligation of disclosure, whether or
not all of the relief sought in the action is obtained. Any award of attorneys’ fees under
this subdivision shall be an obligation of the County, and shall not be the personal
obligation of any official or employee of the County.
(f) If a court finds that an action filed pursuant to this section is frivolous, the County and
County may be awarded reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
SEC. 1.4.5. SUNSHINE ORDINANCE SUPERSEDES OTHER LOCAL LAWS.
The provisions of this Title supersede other local laws. Whenever a conflict in local law
is identified, the requirement which would result in greater or more expedited public
access shall apply.
SEC. 1.4.6. SEVERABILITY.
The provisions of this Title are separate and severable. The invalidity of any clause,
sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or portion of this Title, or the invalidity of the
application thereof to any person or circumstances, shall not affect the validity of the
remainder of this chapter, or the validity of its application to other persons or
circumstances.