Residents demand SLO fix Brown Act violations

SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon

Opinion by Anholm Citizens for Open Government

In violating the Brown Act Feb. 20, the San Luis Obispo City Council slapped our neighborhood in the face by surreptitiously undoing an Anholm Bikeway compromise it had adopted just two weeks before. We demand the Council correct its unlawful action and reconfirm its bikeway compromise reached at a public hearing on Feb. 6.

A Brown Act cure and correct demand letter from the Anholm Citizens for Open Government (ACOG) to the San Luis Obispo City Council regarding their action to significantly alter the just-adopted Anholm Bikeway Plan on Feb. 20, 2018, without giving us fair advance notice of their intent to do so went to the council with this demand. Providing advance notice is not just a decent way for the city to behave, it is also the law.

We believe the council’s action is a substantial violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, which among other things requires the SLO City Council to provide clear notice of their intent to take an action prior to doing so.

The council acted to change the Bikeway plan under an agenda item and accompanying staff report that gave no clue the council intended to modify the compromise plan adopted at its previous meeting, on Feb. 6, after an hours-long properly noticed public hearing.

By sneakily reopening this matter, without proper notice, when it knew unsuspecting neighborhood residents would be absent, and substantially modifying the plan the council had adopted when faced with a room full of upset neighborhood residents, the council violated the trust residents should be able to hold for their city government and proved they are not trustworthy partners.

They have also shown once again they believe they are answerable not for the good of all their constituents but only to the wants of their favored cohorts, in this case a small but well-organized wing of the bike lobby opposed to the compromise plan.

“The council made significant changes in the plan, sneakily going back on a compromise they’d approved to benefit the neighborhood just two weeks before,” ACOG says in its demand. “What the council did is fundamentally unfair, and it’s also unlawful.”

ACOG’s cure and correct demand letter is in accordance with the Brown Act’s cure and correct process. It demands that the council:

1. Rescind its improper action of Feb. 20, and
2. Adopt the unaltered resolution in its Feb. 20 agenda report ratifying the Anholm Bikeway Plan the council approved Feb. 6, as the Feb. 20 agenda noticed they would do.

The council has 30 days to respond to these demands. If the council refuses to fix this or fails to reply, ACOG is then free to pursue the council’s illegal action in court.

The ACOG cure and correct letter is signed by more than 20 neighborhood residents.
ACOG is a voluntary association of Anholm neighbors. For questions on this matter, contact person is Richard Schmidt at (805) 544-4247.

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2 Comments about “Residents demand SLO fix Brown Act violations”

  1. ArroyoGrande2000 says:

    So when are all the road around Harmon’s residence going to be closed to motorized vehicle traffic and opened to only bicycles?

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