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Council to Look at Toughening Ad-Hoc Committee Rules

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, July 07, 2011, at 07:37AM
City Hall Palm Trees Eric Richardson

Los Angeles City Hall

Last week's hearing on AEG's proposed Downtown stadium didn't produce any groundbreaking announcements, but the session may end up leading to a change in City Council's rules.

At the start of the hearing, the City Attorney's office informed committee members that they were not bound by the typical rules of a Council or committee meeting governed by the Brown Act, California's 1953 law aimed at ensuring open meetings. That's because the meeting was being held by an ad-hoc council committee, not a normal standing committee.

Among other things, the Brown Act requires that agendas be posted 72 hours in advance of meetings (or 24 hours in the case of sessions dubbed "special") and that no action be taken on items not on the agenda.

While the City Attorney's advice is well-supported by state opinions, it didn't sit well with Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who the following day introduced CF 11-1154, a motion asking the city's Chief Legislative Analyst to draft rules that would require all committees of L.A.'s City Council—both standing and ad-hoc—to adhere to the Brown Act's public notice requirements. Council President Eric Garcetti and Councilman Paul Krekorian both seconded the motion.

The agenda for the stadium meeting would still have been in compliance with the rules for special sessions: it was posted on Wednesday morning, just over 24 hours before the meeting.

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