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Counsel for SHD advises directors to avoid forum

Original post made by Jack Hickey, Woodside: Emerald Hills, on Aug 28, 2014

I have posted a topic on this forum creating a "Dissolution Dialogue for Healthcare Districts". Web Link.

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Comments (5)

10 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Mr. Zell said: "Although attorneys often disagree about the interpretation and application of law, in this particular instance I agree with Mr. Hudak's interpretation of the statute.", and,
"...perhaps an argument could be made that the Brown Act (especially as-applied to what you were trying to do) violates the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or Art. 1, sec. 2 of the California Constitution."


I am not a lawyer, but I think it is the "interpretation and application" of the Brown Act as suggested by Hudak, and not the Act itself which violates the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or Art. 1, sec. 2 of the California Constitution.


10 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 31, 2014 at 8:06 am

CORRECTION

The "interpretation and application" comment should have been attributed to Dennis Zell not Hudak.


11 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 31, 2014 at 8:36 am

Public participation in discussions of healthcare district business at their Board Meetings is mostly limited to pleadings of beneficiaries who pack the audience. The scheduled time of those meetings makes it inconvenient for many to attend. It is not a lack of interest, as is shown by public participation in these forums.

Once again, I invite my fellow board members on the Sequoia Healthcare District and our counterparts on the Peninsula Healthcare District to join in these forums. I also invite the district CEOs', county supervisors, city council members and legislators to join in.


11 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 31, 2014 at 8:39 am

pogo is a registered user.

Years ago, I attended a program on Brown Act compliance and I recall that it was not intended to impede "public discourse." Besides the notice requirements of the act, I always thought its purpose was to prevent private dealings and secret collusion on issues by elected and appointed officials outside public scrutiny.

I do not believe that the Brown Act prevents any official from making comments in a public forum, be that a letter to the editor or posting a comment on a site like The Almanac's Town Square. The public is served when officials state their position on an issue.

COLLUSION is the problem, not COMMENT.


11 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 31, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Pogo, I would hope that elected officials would provide relevant facts and opinions on various aspects of the situation, not just their position on the issue. Interacting with the public would provide much needed transparency to the process.

In my initial dialogue with Dennis Zell of PHD which led to the posting of my "Dissolution Dialogue on Healthcare Districts" topic, I opened with the following:
"Dennis, I have been an elected member of the Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors since 2002. Dissolution of the Districts has been my objective. My current thinking is that LAFCo should pursue a ballot measure which would create a countywide successor for SHD and PHD, with funding from existing countywide taxes, i.e. no new taxes. That measure should contain a provision that should it fail to pass, SHD and PHD would be dissolved. Enabling legislation might be required for such a measure.
Would you support such a ballot measure?

The dialogue which ensued, in my opinion, would be of great benefit to the public if other elected officials participated. Instead, they are advised to avoid the forum.

As elected officials, we are sworn to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California. Avoiding discussion of the serious issues raised by the Grand Jury and LAFCo by hiding behind legal advice that flies in the face of those Constitutions is a disservice to the public.


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