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Bruce Wolfe

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  1. Mr. Katz, Thank you. Actually, there is no legal opinion nor is there any known publicly written opinion from the city attorney thus no other body of law or caselaw. When this happens the city defaults to RONR. I will say that the city attorney has offered simple advice and guidance that is not based in law which is counter to the good government laws that I am more concerned about. Without an official written public opinion from the city attorney, ordinance or caselaw, it is still up for interpretation which is why I am here asking your opinions. Mr. Brown's response has contained an answer that the "written summary must be included verbatim in the minutes." The point being is location. So, keeping with location, do you have an response?
  2. Well, that is a very good question regarding asking the city attorney but considering there is a plethora of experts here I am exercising as a first step to just see if there is some standard or consensus on the question. If a bunch of folks come forward to say, "Oh, there's an obvious/standard answer" and you all say the same thing then the question would be satisfied and I'll be on my way. If not, then I'll wait to for a few more folks to chime in before giving more information. The point being is if there is a standard either implicit or explicit because I'm in a conundrum. But to answer your question above, in our transparency and open government law, there must be an ethical firewall between this body's legal counsel and the city attorney despite the former is assigned from the same office. The body has not sought legal advice on this matter as the 11-member body additionally includes, at least, one attorney appointed to the body. For more than the past decade, the body has held a certain position on this matter that while challenged by the city attorney in their advice to their clients (which is also a violation of the local law) all those found in violation have fully complied with the body's orders except for one, the main legislative elective body. Thus, there is a difference of opinion on the matter which, again, is why I'm inquiring in this most general of manners to see if there is a general best practice, a standard, a rule, etc.
  3. Please do feel free to say if this question is inappropriate for this forum. I am a public official and sit on an administrative quasi-judicial government body that oversees open meetings and public disclosure law for our city. We are having a bit of debate about what a passage's intent means in our governing open meetings law that pertains to meeting procedure. I thought my many years of practice in parliamentary procedure that the parliamentarian community may be a good place to check in albeit constitutional and legal construction subject matter experts. That said, the passage goes like this: " Any person speaking during a public comment period may supply a brief written summary of their comments which shall, if no more than 150 words, be included in the minutes." It is the phrase highlighted in yellow that is of concern. Before I give any further context or example, I would appreciate some comment on what folks think this means on the face of it with regards to placement in the minutes. Thank you for your indulgence. Bruce Wolfe
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