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Californians Aware
THE CENTER

FOR PUBLIC FORUM RIGHTS

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July!25,!2014!
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Chair!Cynthia!Morgan!and!Directors!
Civic!San!Diego!(CivicSD)!
401!B!Street,!Fourth!Floor!
San!Diego,!CA!92101!
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By Email and Postal Mail!

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Demand!for!Actions!to!Remedy!and!Renounce!Violations!of!the!Ralph!M.!Brown!Act!
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Dear!Ms.!Morgan!and!Directors,!
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On!Monday,!July!21,!2014,!despite!cautions!by!Californians!Aware!to!refrain!from!doing!so,!
the!Civic!San!Diego!Board!of!Directors!held!a!special!meeting,!deliberately!mislabeled!on!its!
agenda!as!a!regular!meeting,!at!which!it!appointed!you!as!its!representative!to!negotiate!
compensation!with!a!prospective!president!of!Civic!San!Diego,!and,!in!a!closed!session,!gave!
you!direction!concerning!that!negotiation.!
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The!Board!took!these!actions!on!this!date!to!satisfy!the!Mayors!desire!that!the!
appointment!of!a!president!of!Civic!San!Diego!be!accomplished!before!the!summer!recess!
of!the!City!Council,!because!waiting!until!the!Boards!next!annually!calendared!regular!
meeting!of!July!30!would!miss!the!Mayors!deadline.!
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The!Board!designated!this!special!meeting!as!a!regular!meeting!to!evade!the!Brown!Acts!
provision,!in!Government!Code!Section!54956,!*!subdivision!(b),!that!a!legislative!body!
shall!not!call!a!special!meeting!regarding!the!salaries,!salary!schedules,!or!compensation!
paid!in!the!form!of!fringe!benefits,!of!a!local!agency!executive!.!.!.!
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The!Brown!Act,!in!Section!54954,!subdivision!(a)!provides!that!(e)ach!legislative!body!of!a!
local!agency,!except!for!advisory!committees!or!standing!committees,!shall!provide,!by!
ordinance,!resolution,!bylaws,!or!by!whatever!other!rule!is!required!for!the!conduct!of!
business!by!that!body,!the!time!and!place!for!holding!regular!meetings.!The!final!word!in!!
____________________________________________________________________________________________________!
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*All$further$section$references$are$to$the$Government$Code.$
2218 Homewood Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 487-7000 info@calaware.org

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Demand!for!Actions!to!Remedy!and!Renounce!Violations!of!the!Ralph!M.!Brown!Act!
July!25,!2014!!
Page!2!of!3!
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that!provision,!meetings,!contemplates!a!plural!or!collective!designationa!standard!
regular!schedule!by!which!the!public!can!determine!in!advance!the!time!and!date!for!the!
bodys!ordinary!business!meetings.!!No!other!legislative!body!of!which!we!are!aware!
interprets!the!term!regular!differently;!as!defined!at!USLegal.com,!for!example,!a!regular!
meeting!is!one!held!periodically!according!to!the!time!stated!in!an!organizations!
regulating!documents!or!under!a!standing!rule!which!the!deliberative!assembly!has!
adopted.!!In!terms!of!parliamentary!parlance,!as!The!Meetings!Institute!notes,!regular!
meetings!are!meetings!which!are!held!usually!on!a!regular!basis!and!conduct!business!for!
which!no!special!notice!needs!to!be!given!(according!to!the!organisations!rules!or!
constitution).!The!Attorney!General!likewise!observes!that!under!the!Brown!Act,!If!a!body!
calls!a!meeting!at!a!time!or!place!other!than!the!time!or!place!specified!for!regular!meetings,!
it!is!either!a!special!or!emergency!meeting.!
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Although!we!have!been!unable!to!find!the!Boards!adopted!rule!setting!a!fixed!schedule!for!
regular!meetings!in!conformity!with!Section!54954!(a)!(there!is!none!in!its!bylaws),!the!
pattern!observed!on!this!years!calendar!has!generally!set!its!meetings!on!the!last!
Wednesday!of!the!month.!When!the!Board!met!outside!the!approved!regular!meeting!
schedule,!for!example!on!March!12!and!June!11,!it!acknowledged!the!gatherings!as!special!
meetings. But!the!Board!apparently!was!advised!by!counsel!that!it!could,!by!simple!
designation!a!few!days!in!advance,!convert!what!would!by!the!general!understanding!be!a!
special!meeting!(because!not!falling!on!a!preaset!schedule)!into!a!regular!meeting!
nonetheless,!for!purposes!of!satisfying!both!Section!54956!(b)!and!the!Mayors!desired!
deadline.!
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Obviously,!if!a!meeting!on!any!date!could!at!any!time!be!deemed!a!regular!meeting!by!
simple!Board!determination!such!as!was!done!here,!there!would!be!no!need!for!special!
meetings!because!there!would!be!no!regular!meeting!schedule!to!begin!with.!
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We!saw!that!your!July!30,!2014!regular!meeting!notice!has!been!posted!and!includes!Item!
13!a!Identification!of!Labor!Negotiator!Representative.!This!item,!however,!does!not!correct!
the!actions!taken!by!the!Board!at!the!July!21,!2014!meeting,!despite!earlier!assurances.!
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Accordingly!we!submit!the!following!demands!for!remedial!and!prophylactic!response.!
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1.!The!Board!must,!within!30!days!of!receipt!of!this!demand,!rescind!the!action!taken!at!its!
July!21!meeting!to!appoint!you!as!its!representative!in!compensation!negotiations!with!the!
prospective!president!appointee,!and!any!directions!given!to!you!in!that!capacity!
accordingly,!with!any!further!action!taken!to!be!confined!to!a!meeting!fully!in!compliance!
with!the!Ralph!M.!Brown!Act.!!Failure!to!do!so!will!cause!Californians!Aware!to!seek!a!
judicial!nullification!of!these!challenged!actions!pursuant!to!Section!54960.1,!and!the!
award!of!court!costs!and!reasonable!attorney!fees!pursuant!to!Section!54960.5.!
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2218 Homewood Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 487-7000 info@calaware.org

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Demand!for!Actions!to!Remedy!and!Renounce!Violations!of!the!Ralph!M.!Brown!Act!
Californians!Aware:!Page!3!of!3!
July!25,!2014!
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2.!The!Board!must,!within!30!days!of!receipt!of!this!demand,!provide!Californians!Aware!
with!an!unconditional!commitment!to!cease,!desist!from,!and!not!repeat,!the!ad$hoc!
designation!of!meetings!not!on!its!regular!meeting!schedule,!adopted!in!conformity!with!
Section!54954!(a),!as!regular!meetings,!and!in!the!event!the!Board!has!not!adopted!by!
formal!action!such!a!rule!fixing!a!regular!meeting!schedule,!to!do!so!at!its!first!opportunity.!
Failure!to!do!so!will!cause!Californians!Aware!to!seek!a!judicial!declaration!that!the!!
challenged!practice!is!unlawful,!an!injunction!against!its!repetition,!and!the!award!of!court!
costs!and!reasonable!attorney!fees!pursuant!to!Section!54960.5.!!
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We!have!offered!to!discuss!this!matter!to!avoid!litigation!and!are!still!open!to!doing!so. If!
you!have!any!questions!about!this!matter!please!call!me!at!(916)!487a7000!or!email!me!at!
terry@calaware.org.!
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Sincerely,!
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Terry!Francke!
General!Counsel!
Californians!Aware!!
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cc:!
Mayor!Kevin!L.!Faulconer!
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City!Attorney!Jan!Goldsmith!

2218 Homewood Way Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 487-7000 info@calaware.org