open government

OFFICIALS WRESTLE WITH DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR PRIVATE EMAILS

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 2, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – The First Amendment Coalition has issued advice to public officials in light of a court ruling that found private e-mails used by San Jose city officials to discuss public business must be disclosed if a Public Records Act request is received.   The ruling is on appeal and is expected to be upheld, according to legal experts, which would set a statewide precedent.

“Public officials beware: The appeal courts’ affirmance is likely to apply to all government emails, not just to emails written after the courts’ decision," the First Amendment Coalition warns. "That means the emails you write today, using a private account to discuss government business, will have to be disclosed in the future.”

The ruling poses as quandary for some local governing boards, such as the Alpine Community Planning Group, which relies entirely on private e-mail addresses for communications.

DONNA FRYE RESIGNS AS CITY'S OPEN GOVERNMENT DIRECTOR TO BECOME PRESIDENT OF CALAWARE

 

 

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2013 (San Diego)—Donna Frye, appointed by Mayor Bob Filner to serve as Director of Open Government, has announced her resignation in order to accept the presidency of Californians Aware, a nonprofit organization advocating for open government.

Frye will serve as a volunteer in the position, losing a potential salary of $100,000 a year had she stayed with the City of San Diego.  The resignation took effect immediately.

READER'S EDITORIAL: A DECISION IN YOUR FAVOR

 

Court rules that CA Public Records Act applies to public officials’ private e-mail accounts

By Lou Russo

March 24, 2013 (Alpine)--In a Superior Court in California on March 19, 2013, a decision was filed which should make every Californian happy. The Honorable James P. Kleinberg decided that you, a citizen of California, have the right to view the records of public servants concerning the public’s business, in any form, regardless of where they are stored. Let me quote from the decision:

“[It is] unlikely the Legislature intended to render documents confidential based on their location, rather than their content.”

SUNSHINE AWARD BESTOWED ON OPEN GOVERNMENT ADVOCATE TERRY FRANCKE

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 28, 2013 (San Diego) –When it comes to open government and public access to government records, times have changed dramatically in California. Much of that change can be attributed to the tireless efforts of Terry Francke, General Counsel of Californians Aware. 

Last night, Francke received the coveted Sunshine Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in San Diego.  The award was presented by Donna Frye,  Director of Open Government for the City of San Diego and a prior recipient of the Sunshine Award.  Mayor Bob Filner also presented a proclamation honoring Francke.

SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS TO HONOR FIRST AMENDMENT FIGHTER TERRY FRANCKE OF CALAWARE ON MARCH 27 IN SAN DIEGO

Terry Francke

March 20, 2013 (San Diego) – The Society of Professional Journalists will honor Terry Francke of Californians Aware (CalAware) with SPJ’s Sunshine Award for his efforts over many years. The  award will be presented on March 27 at 6:30 at the 501 West Broadway office of Sheppard Mullin on the buildings 19th floor.

Francke, currently general counsel for Californians Aware, has a 31-year history of helping journalists, citizens and public officials understand and use their First Amendment and open government rights.

CALAWARE LAUNCHES PETITION TO PROTECT OPEN GOVERNMENT, BROWN ACT REQUIREMENTS

 

 

July 25, 2012 (Sacramento) – As ECM has reported, the state has suspended Brown Act provisions  that previously required public boards to notify the public about agenda items at least 72 hours before meetings. 

Now Californians Aware, a watchdog group that protects citizens’ right to open government, has created an online petition with Change.org to “Free the Brown Act from Budget Suspense.” You can urge Assembly speaker to support a constitutional amendment that would restore open government rights for the people by signing the petition here.

MAYORAL CANDIDATE FILNER ANNOUNCES OPEN GOVERNMENT PLAN FOR SAN DIEGO

June 27, 2012 (San Diego)--“Open government is the cornerstone of ensuring the public trust. The public has a right to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent and should be able to rely upon the information they receive from city government,” said mayoral candidate Bob Filner, who today released the first part of his Open Government Plan. 

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

 
March 8, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media.  This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:    
 
 
 
 
 
STATE
  • Jerry Brown pushes his tax proposal
  • Redevelopment demise leaves CA housing money in limbo (Sacramento Bee)
 
LOCAL
  • Scripps warning on Statin-induced diabetes (UT San Diego)
  • Would you buy gas in Mexico? It’s $2.91 a gallon  (UT San Diego)
  • Barona Fire Captain arrested on molestation charges (UT San Diego)
  • Madrid opposes county taxes to help build Chargers Stadium (La Mesa Patch)
  • Poway reps to oppose water rate increases (Pomerado News)
  • Bonnie buys some open government cred (CityBeat)
  • SDG&E helicopter has hard landing (10 News)
  • Tire surcharge funds paving projects that use old tires (KPBS) 
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 

WATCHDOG GROUP CALAWARE SENDS WARNING TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS; THREATENS LAWSUITS TO ASSURE BROWN ACT `STRICT ENFORCEMENT’’

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Californians Aware (CalAware), the nonprofit center for public forum rights, has advised state associations representing most local government agencies that their members may be subject to short notice lawsuits for common violations of California’s open meeting law, the Brown Act.