The San Diego County Board of Supervisors and the San Diego City Council are expected to affirm their allegiance to open government Tuesday in response to the state suspending of some requirements of the Brown Act as a means of cutting costs.
The Ralph M. Brown Act, enacted in 1953, required open, publicized meetings and guaranteed the public could participate.
Last month, the Legislature agreed to suspend for three years a requirement that local governments post agendas 72 hours in advance of meetings. Also suspended was the requirement to make public actions taken by government agencies in closed sessions, which are permitted in discussions of lawsuits and some personnel matters.
Regardless of the recent state action, Supervisor Pam Slater-Price said she planned to ask the Board of Supervisors to uphold the 72-hour notice requirement for council's agendas and other committee and commission meetings and to continue to publicly announce decisions made in private.
"The County of San Diego takes pride in the open, inclusive and accessible culture of its elected and appointed bodies. Accordingly, the county resolves to maintain a 'business as usual' approach to the reporting of actions taken in closed session and to the posting of agendas and other public documents," Slater-Price wrote in a letter to the board.
The City Council is set to consider a resolution say it and various city panels would continue to comply with the Brown Act as it was intended.
According to the proposed resolution, provisions of the Brown act are included in the municipal code section that governs the council's actions.
The city charter states that "the people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business, and therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny."
-City News Service