The latest incident was last week when the Mayor, decided to pull the approval of a settlement of a lawsuit to the top of the agenda, so that it could be voted on before Sal Tinajero left for another (presumably more important) engagement. This had to be done because without Tinajero’s participation, the council would not have had enough members present to vote on the issue. Pulido, Alvarez, and Sarmiento had conflicts of interest and could not participate.
All would have been fine up to this point if the interim meeting chair, Carlos Bustamante, had simply asked for any public comment related to the agreement. That didn’t happen. So without debate or further discussion the Council voted 4-0 to approve the settlement agreement.
The Brown Act requires that members of the public be allowed to address the Council before, or at the time of consideration of, any item on the agenda. It really is that simple, but they couldn’t even make Tinajero wait to hear any comments on that specific issue before voting. It seems they don’t really care what the public has to say, or that they even have a right to say it before they vote. Adam Elmahrek has more here at the Voice of OC.
Then we have the matter of requiring speakers to publicly state their address at the time they give public comment. Even though the Council’s own speakers card indicates that providing such information if purely voluntary, the Mayor continues to demand that speakers state their address. He does not say that his request is simply a request and that it is not required; he calls the name of the speaker’s and says “please state your address.”
So much for a more transparent and law abiding City Council.