Acting Idyllwild Water Board President John Cook has taken the initiative to solicit his colleagues’ agreement to meetings violating the Brown Act, California’s open government law.
After the Thursday, Sept. 22 aborted meeting, Cook has written to directors Steve Kunkle and June Rockwell requesting the three directors attend “study sessions.”
One of his objectives is to hire an interim general manager, since Tom Lynch resigned unexpectedly two weeks ago. However Cook has refused to explain how the names of potential candidates were collected since he publicly refused to allow staff to collect names of potential board members.
Rockwell and Kunkle have recommended that the district run an advertisement requesting candidates apply for the interim general manager position and possible board appointments.
Section 54952.2 clearly states that a majority of the board in the same place and same time to discuss or take action on item within their jurisdiction is a meeting unless it meets specific criteria for being closed.
The Act does allow closed meetings for the appointment or employment of an employee. Even closed meeting agendas must be posted and noticed publicly.
Cook told Kunkle and Rockwell their meetings should be limited to issues to which they all agree; thus seeking votes outside a meeting. If they did not agree, he would not hold a public meeting until the November regular meeting.