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The Rancho Bernardo Planning Board is taking offense to what they see as threatening behavior from one of Mayor Bob Filner’s staffers and are demanding clarification on his statements, the RanchoBernardo-4SRanch Patch is reporting.

At issue is the status of board member Robin Kaufman, who other members are trying to force out after she asked the Rancho Bernardo Community Foundation not to award the board a grant, citing concerns that the group was not in compliance with Brown Act mandates for open and public meetings.

Board chair Teri Denlinger claims that Kaufman’s repeated concerns over regulation compliance are a distraction and create a negative atmosphere.

At a January 23 board meeting Steve Hadley, Filner’s deputy director of open government, showed up and informed members that the mayor was considering asking the city council to decertify the group, again citing Brown Act concerns.

“There are so many things that were wrong with [Hadley] coming to this board with a threat. And it was interpreted as a threat, and it was a threat,” says Denlinger in a video posted to the Patch article linked above. She goes on to assert that the mayor’s office and city government have no grounds to assert authority over membership decisions made by the board.

Denlinger’s board colleagues echoed her opinion, with many asking for an apology from the mayor’s office. To date, Filner’s staff has not directly responded to the issue other than a statement from press secretary Lena Lewis saying Hadley was not authorized to speak on behalf of the mayor.

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