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Brown Act Compliance Policy

(Policy Number 4205, Board of Directors Policy Handbook)

 4205.1   Agenda Preparation. The District Manager, in cooperation with the Administrative Services Manager, shall prepare an agenda for each regular and special meeting of the Board of Directors in accordance with the Brown Act (California Government Code Section 54950). Any Director may request an item to be placed on the agenda by contacting the District Manager at least fourteen business days prior to the date of the meeting.

4205.2   Public Requests. Any member of the public may request that a matter directly related to District business be placed on the agenda of a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors, subject to the following conditions:

     4205.2.1 The request must be in writing and be submitted to the District Manager together with supporting documents and information, if any, at least 14 business days prior to the date of the meeting.

     4205.2.2 The District Manager shall be the sole judge of whether the public request is or is not a "matter directly related to District business."

     4205.2.3 The District Manager shall determine the timing of when the item will be placed on the agenda.

     4205.2.4 The public member requesting the agenda item may appeal the District Manager’s decision at the next regular meeting of the Board of Directors. Any Director may request that the item be placed on the agenda of the Board’s next regular meeting.

     4205.2.5 No matter which is legally a proper subject for consideration by the Board in closed session will be accepted under this policy.

     4205.2.6 The Board of Directors may place limitations on the total time to be devoted to a public request issue at any meeting and may limit the time allowed for any one person to speak on the issue at the meeting.

4205.3   Agenda Descriptions. All Board agendas shall include an unambiguous description of each item on the agenda to be discussed, including closed session items. The District Manager shall ensure that the description gives notice to the public of the essential nature of business to be considered.

4205.4   Agenda Posting. Agendas for regular meetings shall be posted 72 hours in advance of the meeting and agendas for special meetings shall be posted 24 hours in advance of the meeting. The posting must occur in a place that is freely accessible to the public and on the District’s website. On or before January 1, 2019, internet posting shall occur on the District’s primary website homepage through a prominent, direct link to the current agenda. The agenda shall also be accessible in an open format by that date.

4205.5   Agenda Packages. When distributing agenda packages and other materials to members of the Board of Directors, those materials should be provided to all members at the same time. Agenda packages, except for closed session materials, should also be made available to the public once distributed to the Board.

4205.6   Public Comment

     4205.6.1 For regular meetings the Board shall provide the public with an opportunity to address not only any item on the agenda but any item within the subject matter jurisdiction of the District.

     4205.6.2 For special meetings, the Board shall provide the public with an opportunity to address any item on the agenda.

     4205.6.3 The Board may not prohibit public criticism, but shall control the order of the proceedings, including placing reasonable time limits on public comment.

     4205.6.4 The Board may not require members of the public to give names or sign a register as a condition of attendance or speaking.

4205.7   Closed Sessions. The Board may conduct a closed session during a noticed meeting for certain matters, as identified on the agenda, where it is necessary to conduct business in private. Major reasons for permissible closed sessions, as authorized by the Brown Act, include real property transactions, labor negotiations, and pending litigation. The Board shall allow public comment on any closed session item before going into closed session.

4205.8   Items Not on the Agenda. The Board shall not discuss or take action on any item that does not appear on the posted agenda except that the Board may act on items not on the agenda to address emergency situations, subsequent need items, and hold-over items from a continued previous meeting held within the prior five days. The Board may also respond to public comments and make announcements.

4205.9  The Brown Act. The Legislature adopted the Brown Act, commonly referred to as California’s “Open Meetings Laws” in 1964. The Brown Act is contained in Government Code § 54950, et seq. The Brown Act is broadly construed, and compliance is constitutionally mandated.

4206.1  Compliance with Brown Act. All meetings of the Board of Directors shall comply with the Brown Act.

     4206.1.1 Meetings occur whenever the majority of the Board of Directors meets to discuss District business.

     4206.1.2 Member of the Board includes newly elected and appointed officials prior to assuming office.

     4206.1.3 All Board meetings shall be open and freely accessible to the public, including those with disabilities.

     4206.1.4 Meetings through the use of intermediaries, serial communications, or emails are prohibited.

     4206.1.5 The Board shall only take action during a properly noticed meeting.

4206.2  Committees. Committees created by formal action of the Board shall comply with the Brown Act