Lost in all of the discussions that occurred during Monday’s ECCFPD Fireboard Meeting was the potential Brown Act Violation by Board Member Steve Barr (vice-Mayor of Brentwood) who presented a hand-out of 9-items to the Board while this document was not made public prior or during the meeting.
Mr. Barr urged the Board to take into consideration the 9-items while he handed out the document which is a “no-no” according to the Brown Act.
Below is what the Brown Act states where it appears a violation may have occurred which was on Director Barr and not on the Chief or the rest of the Board as they could not control his actions during the board comments period.
In fact, it was legal who suggest the Board hold off on any discussions until this is properly brought up.
Government Code Section 54957.5.
(a) Notwithstanding Section 6255 or any other provisions of law, agendas of public meetings and any other writings, when distributed to all, or a majority of all, of the members of a legislative body of a local agency by any person in connection with a matter subject to discussion or consideration at a public meeting of the body, are public records under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1), and shall be made available pursuant to Sections 6253 and 6256 without delay. However, this section shall not include any writing exempt from public disclosure under Sections 6253.5, 6254, or 6254.7.
(b) Writings which are public records under subdivision (a) and which are distributed during a public meeting shall be made available for public inspection at the meeting if prepared by the local agency or a member of its legislative body, or after the meeting if prepared by some other person.
(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the legislative body of a local agency from charging a fee or deposit for a copy of a public record pursuant to Section 6257.
(d) This section shall not be construed to limit or delay the public’s right to inspect any record required to be disclosed under the requirements of the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1). Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require a legislative body of a local agency to place any paid advertisement or any other paid notice in any publication.
Here is a copy of what Director Barr provided to the District while the public was not given a copy before or during the meeting.
More troubling is while Mr. Barr was handing out the document, he tried to get a discussion to take place of where the Board was leaning on certain items of the list and to set a “priority”.
While this is a relatively minor offense in the big scheme of things with a slap on the wrist of “don’t do that again”, it should be re-introduced to the Board properly at the next meeting and no action should take place on this list until the re-introduced following the appropriate procedure.
As vice-mayor of Brentwood, Mr. Barr knows better.