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Observer

Vacaville, CA

#22 Jan 23, 2013
VacaBulldog04 wrote:
The attorney general can be brought in should he choose to take the case. I think the oversights were so obvious that it's an easy case for him."
Now that's sexist. The Attorney General for CA is a woman, because women can be anything they want to be.
Ken

Sacramento, CA

#23 Jan 23, 2013
The conspiracy theorists are out in full force.

The City Attorney's role is to advise the City and City officials on all relevant legal issues so as to conduct operations that result in compliance with the law, not to hide violations of the law. To do the latter (as suggested by VacaBulldog04 above) would result in ethical violations for the City Attorney who could then be brought before the ARDC, thereby compromsing his ability to practice law. Given his advice on issues in the past, he deserves more credit that that.

While the AG is responsible for representing the People in civil and criminal matters, exactly what legal grievance was suffered that provides redressability under the law? There is no evidence to meet the "intent" requirement under the criminal code, and the issue was listed on the agenda so as to meet the public notice requirement on the civil side.

So, again, what legal issues are being presented that the AG would realistically enforce?

To assume those in attendance last night at the city council meeting represents the public consensus on this issue is naive at best when 2/3 of the crowd were school kids, and 3 people spoke in favor of maintaining term limits. Not a very statisically sound sample, quite honestly.

There are far more pressing issues the council should focus on, and the Vice Mayor title simply isn't one of them.

Since: Dec 12

Location hidden

#24 Jan 23, 2013
Ken, it was not on the agenda. "Nominations and selection of vice mayor" was on the agenda, but changing the term of the position was not. It was a separate item from the nominations and had to be taken out of order since they were still in the middle of nominations. It should have been put off until further discussion and public comment could occur as suggested by Hunt and Harris.

To vote on something not on the agenda was violation #1 of the Brown Act as I've stated before.

Not opening the issue to the public was violation #2. Even last night, you could see and hear Ron Rowlett lean over and remind the Mayor to open the floor to public comment & avoid making the same mistake twice.

The city attorney didn't realize the oversight was happening during the meeting. I'm not attacking his ethics - he's just doing his job. He did his best to guide Hardy through the process of taking motions out of order and making sure they actually voted on the term change.(Hardy didn't even realize it was a decision the whole council had to vote on!)

Since he didn't prevent the violations, it then becomes the city attorney's job to NOT open the city up to litigation after the fact. They're simply playing defense now.

Every single person who spoke up last night stated that the change in term should at least wait until after the current vice mayor's term is up in 2 years. Many MANY more people than those at the meeting agree that the change should either wait or never happen, and quite a few have made their views public in the newspapers, this forum, and on social media. The overwhelming majority feel both that Harris was wronged and that laws were violated.

This isn't the first time, nor will it be the last, but it's a great time to highlight the inadequacies of our system and put measures in place to prevent similar lapses in the future. Harris said that was her only issue, and still nothing was done to prevent this from happening again next year when another nomination rolls around.
Ken

Sacramento, CA

#25 Jan 23, 2013
VacaBulldog04 wrote:
Ken, it was not on the agenda. "Nominations and selection of vice mayor" was on the agenda, but changing the term of the position was not. It was a separate item from the nominations and had to be taken out of order since they were still in the middle of nominations. It should have been put off until further discussion and public comment could occur as suggested by Hunt and Harris.
To vote on something not on the agenda was violation #1 of the Brown Act as I've stated before.
Not opening the issue to the public was violation #2. Even last night, you could see and hear Ron Rowlett lean over and remind the Mayor to open the floor to public comment & avoid making the same mistake twice.
The city attorney didn't realize the oversight was happening during the meeting. I'm not attacking his ethics - he's just doing his job. He did his best to guide Hardy through the process of taking motions out of order and making sure they actually voted on the term change.(Hardy didn't even realize it was a decision the whole council had to vote on!)
Since he didn't prevent the violations, it then becomes the city attorney's job to NOT open the city up to litigation after the fact. They're simply playing defense now.
Every single person who spoke up last night stated that the change in term should at least wait until after the current vice mayor's term is up in 2 years. Many MANY more people than those at the meeting agree that the change should either wait or never happen, and quite a few have made their views public in the newspapers, this forum, and on social media. The overwhelming majority feel both that Harris was wronged and that laws were violated.
This isn't the first time, nor will it be the last, but it's a great time to highlight the inadequacies of our system and put measures in place to prevent similar lapses in the future. Harris said that was her only issue, and still nothing was done to prevent this from happening again next year when another nomination rolls around.
While your argument is passionate, it is speculative at best on the points you set forth.

While you're attempting to argue the public was improper noticed, the Brown Act merely requires "a brief general description" which the Legislature has determined "need not exceed 20 words in length." Arguably, this requirement was satisfied by the original agenda. While additional information may be placed on the agenda, there is no obligation to do so. Further, there are exceptions to this requirement which arguably could have been met as well. There is case law precedent that speaks to these points, as well.

In short, proving a Brown Act violation will be difficult under the cirucumstances presented.

But let's say a violation is demonstrated, a mere violation of the Brown Act doesn't necessarily invalidate the action taken. Case law will demonstrate that even when violations of the Brown Act have occurred, the action taken is necessarily negated.

In the case here, The Council put the item on the agenda a second time, with public comment, thereby satisfying the requirements when Council voted the second time. The likelihood of this issue being litigated further or the action being undone is highly unlikely. Given the economic climate in the County and the State with respect to funding, I do not foresee this issue being litigated further. Frankly, there are more pressing issues than this that prosecutors are focused on.

It is irrelevant how MANY more people disagree with the action taken if they don't show up to voice their concerns. Talk is cheap - writing opinion columns in newspapers or posting messages on Facebook provides notice and insight to issues, but failure to take action by not showing up speaks volumes as to how "important" issues such as these really are.
Barry

Vacaville, CA

#26 Jan 24, 2013
Our mayor is a total clown. He acts like he could give a damn at these council meetings. Can hardly wait to vote his sorry behind out of office. He is so unprofessional and makes the city look totally stupid

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