Open letter to Supervisor Frank Mecham

January 12, 2015
Julie Tacker

Julie Tacker

OPINION BY JULIE TACKER,

I first want to say thank you for amending tomorrow’s meeting agenda to add public comment for the items that were on the Jan. 5 special meeting agenda.

I also want to point out that this was in no way your fault. As chair, Supervisor Bruce Gibson failed to take public comment on the items on the agenda and failed to turn over the gavel to you for you to preside over the remainder of the meeting on your terms.

As you know, I am a huge proponent for the public’s access to their representatives and its importance to the process. Unfortunately the amended item’s staff report and agenda posting fail to specify what those items were.

Another problem with adding the item to Tuesday’s agenda is the practice wherein an added item (staff report) will not be available for the public once at the meeting. Traditionally the clerk makes changes to the day’s agenda verbally prior to the first item of the day, but the agenda packet, placed in the lobby, will not include the additional staff report, nor will the paper copies of the agenda provided have the item added.

The only way the public is able to participate on the amended agenda item/s is to have downloaded the staff report on their home computer or have a personal electronic device to refer to.

Additionally, the Jan. 5 special agenda as posted was improper in that it did not inform the public how they are able to comment — should they have wanted to. Customarily the policy that is written on previous special meeting agenda’s (attached) informs the public that they can turn in a speaker slip.

Additionally I, and others, were unable to find speaker slips in any of the boxes and found it far too awkward to have stepped up from the crowded room to ask to speak.

Furthermore, while the effort to allow the public to speak on Tuesday is commendable, it comes after the public’s ability to influence the actions that were taken. Reorganization of the board can take place at any time during the year and due to the improper agenda and in light of public testimony it would be prudent to agendize the reorganization item for a future agenda in the very near term.

That regular agenda should analyze the problems identified by Supervisor Debbie Arnold with the rotation and how it has not been orderly or fair and as applied to date will stonewall her from serving as chair at any point during her term – this stonewalling appears sexist and for that reason alone perhaps a formal rotation process should be adhered to in an orderly fashion.

It is important to note that I could have and still can file a cure and correct demand, threaten legal action to force the whole Jan. 5 meeting to be held all over again. I do not want to do that, a lot of effort and cost associated with lawyers billing the county, all for what? The outcome could be up the same. I would prefer you willingly recognize that the item of reorganization (at a minimum) needs to be reheard and agendize it appropriately.

My main point in shining light on this entire matter is to reveal county counsel’s disregard for her obligation to serve the board, protect it from Brown Act Violations, and it was her job to have kept Supervisor Bruce Gibson from exposing the county to this liability. In my view, Gibson manipulated the Jan. 5 agenda in order to protect Supervisor Adam Hill from public comments from those who do not feel Hill is suited to serve as the best representative of this county as chairman or vice chairman.

You may remember the Jan. 23, Air Pollution Control District reorganization public comment period and the result that prevented him from moving up from vice chair to chair. That was before Hill wrote his insulting letter to the editor published in the Jan. 16 edition of the New Times titled, “Who is susceptible to conspiracy theory thinking?”

In my opinion, Hill has made a mockery of the esteemed position in which he serves, Gibson has aided and abetted in the behavior and county counsel should have checked him on many occasions. Gibson has threatened and intimidated the public, forgetting who he works for.

For the reasons stated above items should be reheard in a Regular Agenda in the near future.

Thank you again, I am encouraged by your swift action and encourage you to remain an advocate for all the people of this great County.


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10 Comments

  1. JB Bronson says:

    Open Letter to Bruce Gibson: Anyone who truly understands Narcissism, not just claims to understand, but truly understands, also understands you will not change, and so although we expect the same from you, we are fatigued by your action and your presence.

    We wish you would just go away, but that won’t happen. It truly is a wish. Please don’t misinterpret our diminishing collective negative reaction to you and your behavior, as a lessening in our desire for change. We are just choosing to re-direct our focus on hopeful change, which you, nor Adam Hill do not represent.

    (7) 25 Total Votes - 16 up - 9 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      QUOTING JB BRONSON: “We wish you would just go away, but that won’t happen…”

      ——————-

      As a gynecologist I once dated stated about his ex-wife: “She’s like a bad case of genital warts…she never really goes away.”

      (2) 16 Total Votes - 9 up - 7 down
      • Slowerfaster says:

        You really HAD to go there ?

        EWWWWWWWWWWWWW !

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • agag1 says:

        Welcome back Mary!
        Still your same ‘ol sweet, lovable, Irish self, I see!

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  2. avidreader says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more Julie! I hope Frank takes your suggestion seriously and puts this back on a future, but soon, agenda. There are many that feel the same way and will be standing behind you on this issue. It is incredible that Bruce and Adam have been able to manipulate this board and keep Debbie from serving as chair or vice-chair. If Frank does not follow through on this, he will be considered a co-conspirator in keeping a woman from the Chairmanship. And don’t get me started on the board’s inept County Counsel. She should be fired.

    (31) 49 Total Votes - 40 up - 9 down
  3. doglover says:

    Perhaps all these governing agencies should be fined for violations of the Brown Act much like a Rotary meeting. That would be more meaningful than the blatant disregard so many boards and councils seem to display to the Open Meeting Law.

    I’m afraid the Toothless Brown Act is only adhered you to when convenient.
    Shame on them all for not including the public.

    (25) 49 Total Votes - 37 up - 12 down
    • kayaknut says:

      When it comes to a fine, consider this, it would be a fine by one government entity upon another, and where does the money come from?? the taxpayers, and would this change the person or people who violated the Brown Act and received the fine, why should it, it is not their money, so I for one unless you fine the person(s) personally jail time might actually change their behavior

      (18) 34 Total Votes - 26 up - 8 down
      • willieslo says:

        They are the ones who made the process easy to suit them and difficult when it does not suit us!
        They are the ones who morph and camouflage the law of the land to “by and for the government” and not for the people except in appearance.
        Power is NOT “by and for the people” just the “appearance of it”
        Why can’t we just get rid of Gibson? Because it only takes a convenient check mark to elect him but an act of God to try and get rid of him.
        The older folks know this but the younger ones believe it is an honest democratic process in appearance!

        (1) 15 Total Votes - 8 up - 7 down
        • mkaney says:

          No, we don’t believe that one bit. And unfortunately, the generations after me don’t either, they just don’t care (at the moment)… they’ve already indoctrinated.

          (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  4. analyticone says:

    Bravo Julie! Well caught. It does indeed look like sexual discrimination, and judging by the three male supervisors’ treatment of Debbie I can’t imagine that it is not just that. There is no reason that Debbie should not have her opportunity to serve, in which case she should now be either vice chair or chair.

    (28) 66 Total Votes - 47 up - 19 down

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