OPEN MEETINGS -- The Watsonville Register Pajaronian reports that the Pajaro Valley Unified School District has settled two lawsuits filed last spring claiming it violated the Brown Act, brought by Luis Alejo, a local attorney and newly elected Watsonville City Councilmember. One suit alleged that the district failed to share public information when it refused to releease its response to a 2007 grand jury report in a timely manner. The other accused the district of approving four assistant superintendent contracts in a closed-session meeting.

Alejo said both issues were violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act, a California law that requires city and county government agencies, boards and councils to conduct most of their business in open meetings .
    As part of the settlement, the board of trustees will attend a full-day training on the Brown Act and the Public Records Act. The PVUSD will also post background information on upcoming school board meetings on its Web site. The district agreed to approve future contracts in open meetings , and to provide requested materials to the public in a "timely manner."
    In addition, the PVUSD must pay the attorney's fees for the first lawsuit of more than $9,500. Alejo said he waived his fees for the second suit.