City Attorneys, according to the Public Law Journal, also fall within the jurisdiction of the Brown Act, not just elected officials. The column by lawyer Julia Sylva writes about “Key Definitions-Meetings”, the “Rights of the Public”, and “Closed Sessions” which included:
· “The city council may conduct official business only through the participation of a quorum. A quorum of a public body is 50% plus one”. Which means we need 4 votes, not 3, as City Attorney Smith surmised when he approved our city council could vote with only three members present. Council Member Nancy Bilicich took exception to City Attorney Smith’s opinion.
· “The city must provide to the public on request copies of any contracts, settlement agreements, or other documents that were finally approved in closed session”.
· “If the city council takes action and votes on a particular issue in closed session, it must publically report the vote or abstention of every member present”. In the two plus years as a city council member I do not ever recall City Attorney Alan Smith ever reporting how we voted. Read further about this one.