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Add Solana Beach city councilmember, and candidate for County Supervisor, Dave Roberts to the list of politicians who have come out against a decision by state legislators to suspend open-government provisions enforced by the Brown Act. The provisions include a requirement for all local jurisdictions to post agendas 72 hours before any public meetings are called to order, as well as one which forces jurisdictions to disclose actions taken during closed-session meetings.

The watering down of the Brown Act is meant to prevent cities from inflating the cost for posting the agendas, which under the Brown Act the state is required to pay back. In a report from Californians Aware, the City of Vista was one city that submitted some questionable bills to the state for posting agendas. One agenda, for a December 2005 meeting, was said to cost $808 to prepare.

In recent weeks politicians have made it a point to announce their allegiance to an open and transparent government. The Solana Beach city councilmember is the latest to do so.

"...state provisions that allow local governments to escape compliance with open-meeting laws should be immediately shot down," stated Roberts. "In short, the goal of these two provisions is to restrict public access to information about what their elected officials, and government in general, are doing and saying. This will ultimately mean far less public involvement, public awareness and good government. The result will be closed door meetings and back-room deals."

Roberts will present a proposal at the July 25 city council meeting which will require the council to follow all provisions listed in the Brown Act.

Other cities are following suit.

La Mesa's Mayor, Art Madrid, told the [La Mesa Patch][2] that he will ask the council to continue to follow all provisions of the Brown Act.

You can be sure other cities and jurisdictions will soon follow suit.

"I am contacting elected officials around the county to ask that they adopt a resolution or ordinance that states they will continue to comply with the current Brown Act posting," says former San Diego city councimember Donna Frye. "That means all action disclosure requirements, and having the authority to enforce judicial remedies provided in the Brown Act such as the award of attorney fees and costs to a prevailing plaintiff in such and enforcement actions."

You can be sure other cities and jurisdictions will soon follow suit.

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