By Miriam Raftery
September 23, 2012 (San Diego)—Back in July, the state suspended the Ralph M. Brown Act. As a result, cash-strapped cities and counties no longer have to provide agendas to the public prior to meetings--opening the door for a return to backroom actions without public scrutiny. On July 24, Supervisors affirmed that they intended to continue following the Brown Act anyhow.
But just two weeks later, Supervisors announced resignation of Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard—and named a replacement in the same meeting, with zero public notice. San Diegans for Open Government, which has sued the County for prior Brown Act violations, sent a cure and correct letter to the County on August 14.
The County’s response? County Counsel Ellen Pilsecker fired back a letter stating that there’s “no legal basis” for a lawsuit because the Brown Act “no longer exists.” Clearly, voters can no longer count on open government in San Diego County--a fact confirmed by other recent troubling actions by Supervisors.