Readers write: Disputing Brown Act claim …

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Editor:

The Brown act states: “The people of this State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”

Calvin, as an IFPD Finance Committee member, your letter to the TC was an insult to the voters and rules of governance. Your field trip certainly wasn’t a birthday party now was it. You refused to include any citation of your arbitrary understanding of the Constitution. I don’t know your motivations but you appear to be willfully ignorant. Your Perris Operations Center meeting matters to my family as this board has threatened to cancel primary dispatch service to Pine Cove and bring in a third-party vendor threatening our safety.

The Attorney General’s office affirms: “Under the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act, which generally require local governmental bodies to conduct open and public meetings, may a majority of the members of a city council meet outside the city’s boundaries to attend a non-public tour of the facilities of a water district that provides services to the city for the purpose of acquiring information regarding those services?

“Under the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act, a majority of the members of a city council may not meet, either outside or inside the city’s boundaries, to attend a private tour of the facilities of a water district that provides services to the city for the purpose of acquiring information regarding those services.” http://oag.ca.gov/system/files/opinions/pdfs/10-702.pdf

State Court asserts: “In Sacramento Newspaper Guild v. Sacramento County Bd. of Suprs., 263 Cal. App. 2d 41 (1968), the court held that a luncheon gathering which included five county supervisors, the county counsel, a variety of county officers, and representatives of a union to discuss a strike which was under way against the county was a meeting within the meaning of the Act.”

Find the general manager of any other district and ask them: What if a board and/or commission as a majority take an unnoticed field trip for the purpose of hearing information related to their official duties. Does this constitute an unlawful meeting? Their answer will be clear. They will not lie to you.

Jeff Smith
Pine Cove

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