Mission Viejo Closed Session “Significant Exposure to Litigation Pursuant to Subdivision (b) of Section 54956.9 (One Potential Case:  Brown Act Challenge; Rose Parade Float Ad Hoc Committee”


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

Some people are so driven by their personal “special interests” that they overlook resident interests in the process. Case in point. Mission Viejo Mayor Trish Kelley appoints Councilman Lance MacLean and herself to serve on an ad-hoc team to explore the selection and design of a Tournament of Roses parade float out of public involvement.
Larry where are you going with this post? Text of Monday’s Closed Session:

Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure to Litigation Pursuant to Subdivision (b) of Section 54956.9 (One Potential Case:  Brown Act Challenge; Rose Parade Float Ad Hoc Committee

The city of Mission Viejo had NEVER entered a float in the parade. At this point I need to provide some background for those unfamiliar with this project. In Nov 2006 Lance MacLean was reelected to our city council. During his fall campaign he never mentioned a desire to enter a float in the parade yet immediately after the first of the year, after being elected, he recommends budgeting $300,000 for a Mission Viejo float with support from everyone but council member Gail Reavis. It is important to note that while we take public opinion surveys, the float was never listed as a community project for council consideration.

Councilman Frank Ury makes me chuckle when he says that “the float will bring the community together” yet they shut down “transparency” in government. And I am not simply referring to shutting down free access to Consent Calendar discussion without kissing their rings. I am referring to the ad-hoc team conduct which is the only topic on our Nov 3rd Closed Session Agenda which reads as follows:
              
CLOSED SESSION CS1.

“Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation – Significant Exposure to Litigation Pursuant to Subdivision (b) of Section 54956.9 (One Potential Case:  Brown Act Challenge; Rose Parade Float Ad Hoc Committee; Letter on File in City Clerk’s Office).”
Having just received the 10 page document from our city clerk let me cut to the chase. Should this procede to trial I can report that a prior Mission Viejo city council was found guilty of violating the Ralph M. Brown Act and was forced by the court to tape record all Closed Session meetings for two years.

This anticipated litigation is from Bradley A. Morton, attorney at law, who is also the editor of the Mission Viejo Dispatch news blog. In his letter Mr. Morton hits a subject that needs to be fixed. I am referring to “transparency,” or “open government,” whatever label you give it. His second paragraph reads: “Providing information to readers about local government required  public documents and other disclosures  by City Hall. Failure of the the City to provide such information as required by law prevents access by citizens and blocks disclosure and publication by the Dispatch as well as other media sources.”
So we all need to stay tuned. We may learn something about this pending litigation after the Closed Session unless the attorney states that “there is nothing to report” as they figure out how they can engage in damage control one day before the Tuesday election. They may play hardball and wait for Mr. Morton to take the next legal step if they play the waiting game. Timing of this Agenda item is really not favorable for Frank Ury as he is the only one up for reelection on Tuesday. As a member of the council, with the potential of being cited for violating the Ralph M Brown Act (public meeting law procedure), would place a demerit on his record.


About Larry Gilbert