Tag Archives: Wildomar City Manager

THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW IS STILL BROKEN

The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not necessarily the intent of those who wrote the law.

Idiomaticusing, containing, or denoting expressions that are natural to a native speaker.

AntithesisDirect contrast; opposition.

Idiomatic Antithesis: What do you do when you have to follow the letter of the law, but you have wiggle room to interpret said law to maintain the integrity of your work?

Knowledge about the workings of city government just got a little easier for those citizens that have chosen not to signed up for e-mail blast from the city. (Less than 1,000 have)
Access to agendas for City Council, Planning Commission, Measure Z Oversight Committee and some subcommittees have been somewhat enhanced, although not entirely, by the city complying with the requirements of the Grand Jury.

A new bulletin board has been installed in the P.O. Box Lobby open from 4:00am – 10:00pm.

Newly installed before October 30, 2016

Newly installed before October 30, 2016

This is an improvement over the city notices being posted on a clipboard in the retail lobby which was only opened from 8:30am – 5:00pm.

The way it was

The way it was

(This leaves a 6 hour daily period where access is unavailable vs. the 15 and half hours previously, at this location)

The Wildomar Library has cleaned out all materials not related to city business from a new bulletin board in the entrance lobby.

The way the Grand Jury saw it

The way the Grand Jury saw it

What they would see today during business hours

What they would see today during business hours

This is not much of an improvement over the previous situation because this building is still inaccessible for 16 hours each weekday, 19 hours on Saturday and all day Sundays.

If you intend on driving over and peaking in the window, good luck

If you intend on driving over and peaking in the window, good luck

For a typical city meeting held on a Wednesday at 6:30pm notice is required to be posted 72 viewable hours prior, or no later than 5:30pm Sunday because Closed Sessions begin at 5:30pm and Public Comments are allowed.

Viewable hours are important enough for the California Attorney General’s Office to have issued a determination
In 78 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 327, 331-332 (1995), this office concluded that the 72-hour notice requirement mandates local agencies to post their notices in locations which are accessible 24 hours a day for the 72 hours prior to the meeting. Accordingly, notices cannot be placed in buildings which are locked for some portion of the 72 hours immediately prior to the meeting.
https://oag.ca.gov/system/files/opinions/pdfs/95-812.pdf?

In this opinion is this section of the “Brown Act”
Section 54954.2, subdivision (a) requires that the posting occur in a location that is “freely accessible” to members of the public. “Accessible” may commonly be defined as “capable of being reached . . . capable of being . . . seen . . . .” (Webster’s Third New Internat. Dict. (1971) p. 11.) “Freely” in this context may reasonably be defined as “without hindrance.” (Id., at p. 906.) Obviously, locked doors would provide a “hindrance” to the agenda being “seen” during the 72-hour period. If an agenda cannot be viewed where it is posted, the purpose of section 54954.2’s posting requirement would be frustrated.
Members of the public cannot be expected to have full opportunity to learn of agenda items of interest if the place where the agenda is posted is inaccessible to them during any portion of the required 72-hour period.
If the building in question is closed during the evening hours, the agenda may be posted on the outside of the building in a lighted display case if necessary.

For the Post Office access is unavailable for only 18 hours total vs the 46 hours previously. A vast improvement.

For the Library access remains pretty much the same as before, the library is closed on Sunday, not opening until noon on Monday which results in the first 18 and one half hours of no access. The library closes at 8:00 pm on Monday until 10:00am on Tuesday or 14 hours of no access. The library closes at 6:00pm on Tuesday until 10:00am on Wednesday or 16 hours of no access. This results in a total time of 23 ½ hours of access. (A shortage of 48 ½ hours)

For the Post Office posting would have to occur no later than 5:30 pm on Saturday

For the Library posting, to allow for 72 hours of accessible time, would have to occur no later than 11:30am the Saturday a week prior to the meeting. (For the City Council meeting that occurred on October 12th the posting would have had to gone up on October 1st.)

Wildomar got Snookered

Residents of wildomar were snookered

snookered” as a slang verb that means to “deceive, cheat, or dupe:

at what was billed as a “Tiny House Village Meeting”

The original concept of what the meeting was to be can be found in the city council minutes of September 14, 2016 Agenda Item 3.1:

TO: Mayor and City Council Members

FROM: Gary Nordquist, City Manager

SUBJECT: Tiny House Village Meeting

RECOMMENDATION:

Staff recommends that the City Council authorize hosting a Tiny House Village meeting on Thursday September 22, 2016 from 4:30-7:30 pm.

DISCUSSION:

The Mayor has requested that the City Council approve the hosting of a meeting for the community to hear a presentation on the concepts of a Tiny House Village. The meeting is schedule for Thursday September 22, 2016 from 4:30-7:30pm in the Multipurpose room at the City Hall facility.

What occurred at this meeting was nothing short of a lie.

The only reference to “Tiny Houses” can be found in one place at the top of the cover sheet of the handout.

When asked about Tiny Houses by one of the attendees Mr. Roberson, a leader of the evening’s session, state that Tiny Houses was only a small part of the process and the the focus of the evening would be on the Local Framework Approach (LFA) of identifying the problem and coming up with solutions.

snookered

To start with this meeting was attended by 28 individuals, many representing county government, city government, local organizations that work with the homeless, local churches, former homeless individuals and 4 citizens that showed up to hear about Tiny House Villages.

What the late afternoon boiled down to was discussing what hasn’t worked in decades and how maybe to continue to do the same things, only a little differently.

The following PDF (7 MB) is the handout and slide presentation used at the meeting. Look real hard and you will find the tiny reference to Tiny House Villages

workshop-9-22-2016

Full disclosure, I left this meeting at what should have been 1 hour early (Meeting started late apparently waiting for more people to show up). I stated at the city council meeting this was bad time slot as many of us have livestock that need to be tended to before dark.

Wildomar Responds to the Grand Jury, with a rebuttal

On September 16, 2016 the city of wildomar responded to the Grand Jury report of June 21, same.

The original report and the city’s response can be found at:

http://www.countyofriverside.us/Home/GrandJury.aspx

Recommendation 1 :
Develop policy and procedure ensuring the city complies with the “Maddy Act” by
posting all vacancies at the city clerk’s office, the public library and other designated location(s).

Response to Recommendation 1:
The City complies with all requirements of state law by posting notices of
unscheduled vacancies at the City Clerk’s office and the public library. My discussions with the Wildomar Library (aka Mission Trail Library) staff confirm that all documents provided by the City Clerk to the library staff are posted on the interior bulletin board.
Also in the city’s response is this statement:
• The City posts notices of unscheduled vacancies on the City web site.

As to the city’s response that it complies with all requirements of state law, the Grand Jury in its investigation interviewed the City Clerk and the Wildomar Library Branch Manager

Original Findings of the Grand Jury
1. Unscheduled vacancies (boards, commissions, committees) have not been posted at the public library as required by California Government Code Sections 54970-54974 also known as the “Maddy Act.” The vacancy notices have been posted only at the City Clerk’s office.

Photographic evidence shown to the Grand Jury along with records request that could not be filled by the city clerk’s office prove that prior to May of 2016 the Maddy Act List was not posted in the Wildomar Library nor was it available in the city clerk’s office.
The list is currently posted at the library, several times.

When one visits the city of wildomar website, on the city clerk’s page at the bottom under ONLINE FORMS AND INFORMATION

City Clerk Page as of 9-20-2016

City Clerk Page as of 9-20-2016

One finds a Planning Commission Vacancy that was filled at a city council meeting on July 13, 2016 still listed. But, what they won’t find is the Maddy List.

pc-vacancy-16-06-14

Recommendation 2:
The bulletin board currently being used at the Wildomar Public Library be replaced with a secure bulletin board, large enough to display the entire postings.

Response to Recommendation 2:
As this library facility is not controlled by the City but by the County, bulletin board
space for all documents has been limited. The Library staff has graciously shared this space with the City but the best practice would be to install another bulletin board exclusively for City documents.
Recent discussions with the Library staff have resulted in a plan to install a locked
bulletin board inside the library which will be accessible by the Library and City staff with document control/accountability by the City. The plan is to install this bulletin board no later than the end of October 2016.

The city’s response rings hollow as this has been one of three designated locations for the posting of city business since Resolution 08-07 was passed, approved and adopted the 1st day of July 2008. Why designate it if not available.

Installing a new bulletin board inside the library for the posting of city agenda’s also violates the Brown Act as interpreted by the Attorney General’s Office

http://ag.ca.gov/publications/2003_Main_BrownAct.pdf
In 78 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 327, 331-332 (1995), this office concluded that the 72-hour notice requirement mandates local agencies to post their notices in locations which are accessible 24 hours a day for the 72 hours prior to the meeting. Accordingly, notices cannot be placed in buildings which are locked for some portion of the 72 hours immediately prior to the meeting.

Neither the Library or the Post Office is open 24 hours a day

Recommendation 3:
If the U.S. Post Office in Wildomar is continued to be utilized a secure bulletin board of adequate size be used, otherwise, a different location be designated, such as the city website or local fire station

Response to Recommendation 3:
The City will comply with Recommendation number 3 and will install a secure
bulletin board inside the lobby area of the Post Office thereby improving public notice due to the extended hours the lobby is open. As this facility also is not controlled by the City the completion of this installation is scheduled prior to October 31, 2016.

If in fact the Post Office is not controlled by the city then how can a date certain be given without the assurance, in the form of a letter, of the Post Master for this facility be given in the city’s response.

 

Some people will be thinking, who cares if the library or the post office are available for posting the cities business. It is the current law and choice of the city to use these facilities to post the city’s business. Until such time as these laws are amended or the city designates other places for posting the laws need to be followed.