Is The Special Meeting Legal?(Updated)
Per a note from Bill Lobdell at 3:10 today, the Special Meeting called for today to discuss placing Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme on a ballot in June has been CANCELED without further comment. I posted another new post about it.
Well, loyal readers, as of 2:50 p.m. Tuesday there has been no response from Lobdell, Hatch or Duarte to my question on this post. I suppose there's still time, but... If I do receive word before I head over to City Hall I'll post it.
A MESSAGE TO CITY HALL
I just wrote to Tom Hatch, Tom Duarte and Bill Lobdell with the following message:
Regarding the special City Council meeting called for Tuesday, April 10, 2012:
At 4:42 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012 I received email notification of the Special Council Meeting to be held the next day. Here's what the text looked like when it arrived to me:
There is a new City Council Agenda posted on the following link:There was more verbiage at the bottom about not replying to the message, etc.
When I clicked on the link I was taken to the City Web Site to a page that looked, in part, like this:
When I clicked on that link to the Special Meeting I was taken to the announcement:
That .pdf file contains two pages. The first one is the agenda for the special meeting and the second is the actual Notice And Call for the special meeting. Here's an image of that notice:
The following is an extract from section 54956 (a) of the California Government Code. I did not include the remainder of the text, only what I feel is relevant to this issue. I have highlighted the section in bold italics the portion in question.
54956. (a) A special meeting may be called at any time by the***
presiding officer of the legislative body of a local agency, or by a
majority of the members of the legislative body, by delivering
written notice to each member of the legislative body and to each
local newspaper of general circulation and radio or television
station requesting notice in writing and posting a notice on the
local agency's Internet Web site, if the local agency has one. The
notice shall be delivered personally or by any other means and shall
be received at least 24 hours before the time of the meeting as
specified in the notice. The call and notice shall specify the time
and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted or
discussed. No other business shall be considered at these meetings
by the legislative body. The written notice may be dispensed with as
to any member who at or prior to the time the meeting convenes files
with the clerk or secretary of the legislative body a written waiver
of notice. The waiver may be given by telegram. The written notice
may also be dispensed with as to any member who is actually present
at the meeting at the time it convenes.
The call and notice shall be posted at least 24 hours prior to the
special meeting in a location that is freely accessible to members
of the public.
You will note that this section of the government code REQUIRES that the call and notice specify the time and place of any such special meeting.
Nowhere in your published and posted Notice and Call does it specify the time of the meeting. It does say that it will "begin immediately following the Regular Adjourned Meeting/Study Session", but that assumes the reader of the announcement will know the time of THAT meeting. Since this special meeting deals exclusively with The Charter and the Study Session has no segment on that subject, folks who might be interested in the Charter could not be expected to know about the Study Session.
In my view, your Notice And Call has failed to meet the noticing requirements of the California Government Code. If you hold that meeting Tuesday afternoon or evening you will be doing so in violation of state law.
I have no idea if they will reply to me or not. Guess we'll see