OPEN MEETINGS -- The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office won’t file charges
against Scotts Valley Mayor Randy Johnson for having ruled a citizen speaker out of order and referring to the presence of a police officer at the April 15 council meeting, reports Press-Banner.com.

Fervent Target opponent Paul Bach, who heads the Responsible Local
Development political action committee, filed a complaint under the
Ralph M. Brown Act after Johnson stopped him from talking about
campaign finance by mentioning the presence of a police officer.

“It appears that Mr. Bach believed that his right to speak at the
meeting was cut off due to the content of what he was speaking on,”
Assistant District Attorney Kelly Walker said Tuesday, April 28. “The
city’s explanation was that he did not follow procedure.”

Bach had spoken for five minutes during public comment time about a
proposed Target development and requested that Johnson and Councilman
Dene Bustichi recuse themselves from all Target-related discussion and
voting. “He had a chance to talk about that until he was blue in the face,” Johnson said.

Later in the meeting, under an agenda item discussing Target landowner
Title Two Investment Corp., Bach continued talking about a potential
conflict of interest between a campaign contributor to Bustichi and the
Target project.

The council requires speakers to keep their comments to items on the agenda after the general public comment time.

After Bach and Bustichi interrupted each other several times, Johnson answered Bach:
“Believe me, we’re not going there, and if you wish to proceed we have an officer that can handle that.”