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February 24, 2010 (El Cajon) -- Grossmont Union High School District has rescheduled a closed/executive meeting for Thursday, February 25 at 3:30 p.m.  The meeting was rescheduled after East County Magazine obtained a legal opinion from Terry Francke, general counsel at Californians Aware, that the Brown Act had been violated, as we previously reported. ECM requested both 24 hours notice and a written description of the "threatened litigation" and "one matter" listed on the original agenda.   


The revised agenda for tomorrow's meeting reveals that a lawsuit has now been filed by Helix Charter High against the district.  



The new agenda lists two closed session matters.  Th first, a conference with legal counsel, is now revealed as a discussion of existing litigation and lists the case: Helix Charter High School v. Grossmont Union High School District, Superior Court Case No. 37-2010-00065609-cu-wmec.


The second item is now described as "Labor negotiations, unrepresented employee, Superintendent.


The meeting will be held at the Superintendent's conference room, 1100 Murray Drive, El CAjon, CA 92020.  


The public will be allowed to address the Board on items on the agenda for up to three minutes.  After that the board will adjourn to closed session to discuss the above items.  Following the closed session, the Board will provide a public report of action taken (if any), prior to adjournment.


ECM learned of the lawsuit just moments ago and we do not yet have details, but opted to post the meeting notice immediately to maximize public opportunity for input.   The District has recently threatened to revoke the Helix Charter, as ECM  has reported


The Board originally posted a hearing notice on its website and at the district office, but failed to provide 24 hours notice to media or stakeholders who have asked to be informed of meetings. The district has apologized for this lapse, which it blamed on a clerical breakdown.




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Brown Act

The posting of an agenda without proper notice and without an adequate description of the closed session agenda items is not a violation of the Brown Act, not unless the meeting takes place. When GUHSD was informed of the problems with the agenda, through the actions of ECM, the meeting was canceled, so as to comply with the provisions of the Act. So, no violation of the Brown Act took place. This is an important distinction. When a government agency corrects itself in this manner as a result of the diligence of the public or the media, it has done just that...corrected itself, so as not to violate state open meeting laws. This should be made clear.


We appreciate the clarification on that point, Barry--and we appreciate the district correcting its actions to comply with Brown Act requirements.