Petaluma City Councilman Gabe Kearney felt like he was doing the right thing — for efficiency and the environment — by using his iPad to read a large environmental document during a recent meeting. But Kearney, who is the council liaison to the city’s Planning Commission, was elbowed out of the discussion when another commissioner objected to the use of an electronic device during the hearing.
Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday publicly acknowledged firing Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville, two weeks after they authorized the action in a closed-door meeting. Neville, who sat in the audience taking notes, filed a lawsuit Monday seeking reinstatement, back pay and benefits for every day she is out of work.
In a bid to foster congeniality, the Santa Rosa City Council has revived its long tradition of dining together after council meetings. There are two ground rules: no one discusses city business and everyone picks up their own tab. But an open government advocate questioned whether the meals are appropriate given the public is excluded from the private gatherings. What do you think?
Opponents of the Dutra Materials asphalt plant have added a claim to their lawsuit against the recently approved Petaluma project. The lawsuit now alleges the Board of Supervisors violated the state’s open meeting law when it refused to allow public comment during their final vote on the plant last year.
Sonoma County supervisors have denied a request by opponents of the Dutra Materials asphalt plant to reconsider the supervisors’ decision to not allow public comment during the final vote on the Petaluma project last year. Opponents said the move violated the Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law.
Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Neville had appeared to survive the controversy swirling around her after she met privately with county supervisors last Tuesday and was back at work the following day. But new information released this week reveals how swiftly things changed for the 53-year-old ag commissioner.
The Board of Supervisors does not intend to allow public comment before it votes today on the proposed Dutra asphalt plant outside Petaluma, saying it has heard enough about the issue after more than three hours of public testimony in October. Opponents say the decision violates the state’s open-meeting law. They intend to press their right to speak about the controversial project.
Did the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit board violate the state’s open meetings law? Critics say the agency did not properly notify the public about the purpose of its Nov. 6 meeting, where it downsized the initial length of the rail line in response to a budget shortfall. But SMART general manager Lillian Hames says it did nothing wrong.
Some people joke about “phoning it in” when they’re being lazy. But Petaluma City Councilman Mike Healy is literally phoning it in for Monday’s council meeting, and he’s had to go to some lengths to make it happen.