New Restrictions on Public Comments Stir Debate at OC Supervisors’ Meetings

Voice of OC | Nov 23, 2016

On Election Day earlier this month, while the citizens of Orange County were exercising one of their most cherished freedoms by casting ballots, the county’s elected Board of Supervisors was busy changing their rules to limit how often and how long people can speak at public meetings.

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L.A. County adopts new policy on letters supporting and opposing legislation after open meetings lawsuit

LA Times | Aug 23, 2016

Under a settlement of a lawsuit over alleged violations of the state’s open meetings law, Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to change their policy on sending letters supporting or opposing legislation….

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Facing allegations of violating open meetings law, Seal Beach pledges transparency

LA Times | Apr 4, 2016

After allegations that the Seal Beach City Council twice violated the state’s open meetings law, the council unanimously agreed last week to recommit itself to transparency. The alleged violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act were raised by Kelly Aviles, an attorney for the nonprofit Californians Aware, who contended that the five-member board has repeatedly used the guise of “anticipated or threatened litigation” to sidestep public scrutiny…

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Long Beach will not release draft survey of repairs needed to Queen Mary

Press Telegram | Nov 10, 2016

A draft document that identifies some $250 million in repairs needed on the Queen Mary will not be released to the public, city officials said this week. The Press-Telegram requested the document – a marine survey of problems that need fixing aboard the city-owned ship – under the California Public Records Act shortly before City Council approved a new lease agreement with real estate firm Urban Commons and authorized spending $23 million for “urgent” repairs based on the document’s findings…

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The Legislature: Let the sun shine in

Captiol Weekly | Aug 23, 2016

Munger, Jr. and former Republican state Sen. Sam Blakeslee crafted Proposition 54 on the Nov. 8 ballot, a constitutional amendment that would force the Legislature to record its actions and post the video on the web for the public…

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Grossmont District Admits It Paid PR Firm with School Bond Money

Times of San Diego | Feb 24, 2016

East County’s largest school district inappropriately used at least $27,000 in bond money to pay a public-relations firm to combat what it called a “barrage of misinformation” on its Alpine legal fight. Documents obtained through a Public Records Act request and official statements confirm that Proposition U bond funds for Grossmont Union High School District projects were used to pay Apex Strategies, led by prominent local PR agent Tony Manolatos.

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How San Bernardino County may have violated the Brown Act over Nocturnal Wonderland

The Sun | Sept 16, 2016

San Bernardino County is at odds with legal experts over whether the law was broken Tuesday when a presentation on a rave at the San Manuel Amphitheater was given to the Board of Supervisors but not put on the agenda….

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El Monte Union lacks records, oversight for $148 million bond measure

San Gabriel Valley Tribune | June 253, 2016

El Monte Union school district has spent millions of dollars in bond funds without any independent oversight for the past two years, which experts say is a violation of the law and raises several red flags...

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Frye comes in for the kill

San Diego Reader | Jan 9, 2016

In January 2014, former city councilmember Donna Frye, now president of open-government group Californians Aware, and the group’s lead attorney, Terry Francke, urged San Diego city councilmembers to place an initiative on the 2014 ballot that would grant public access to all emails, memos, and text messages from elected officials. Frye and Francke touted the ballot measure as one that would transform San Diego into one of the most accessible and transparent cities in the state...

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