Residents demand San Luis Obispo fix Brown Act violations

March 12, 2018

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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Is it time ti bring out the “R” word, as in R for “Recall”?

Such as typical response, whine and sue the city when you don’t get your way. The item was on the agenda well in advance. No this was not a major change, it was only a clarification to staff on their understanding of how the Feb 6th motion should have been captured. Just because the city council does not vote in line with the way you think, doesn’t mean they are corrupt or going against the will of the people. There are lots of us out here is SLO that try and contribute to the city positively, but your actions are what makes politics and this process so unbearable at times. You are not the only one in this city, the rest of us are allowed to have a different opinion.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I think our ‘friend’, SloFraud’, is pulling a strategy right out of the Saul Alinsky

playbook, and accusing others of what you are doing wrong is one of their classic strategies. The problem with the SLO Progressives is that they are way too immature to govern our town, and Heidi Harmon would be better off opening a marijuana cooperative than being our mayor. Sad.

When liberal Stew Jenkins finds it necessary to denounce the SLO Progressives, you know they are unhinged, and voters need to reject the fraudulent politics of Heidi Harmon & Co.


A community organizer who ascends to a position of power seemingly from nowhere to implement a radical left wing agenda. Sounds familiar…

Ms Harman and the Council are just out of touch right now. They worship this religion they call “earth advocacy” and view all who disagree as “infidels”. I hate to say it, but they are leading the city down a dark hole right now. There are real scientific concerns about global climate change and sound environmental policy and these people are doing such a destructive job in leading rational discussion. Now they show their unethical and deceitful ways. The Reds always lived by the motto “the ends justify the means”. These are “them” again.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon talks a good game about civility and honoring democracy, but she get’s an “F” because her reality does not match her rhetoric. Sad.

This scandal with the SLO Progressives choosing the bicycle lobby over established neighborhoods perfectly illustrates why these so-called ‘progressives’ are way too immature to be in charge of local government. Their advocacy is selfish, impetuous, and is dismissive of other points-of-view.

San Luis Obispo deserves better than a hypocritical mayor who complains about others not honoring our democracy, while she, meanwhile, continues to dishonor our democracy.

1984 comes to mind.

George Bailey

I agree with the tenor and intent of the article. This CC is out of control and is a servant of small but powerful special interests (the bike lobby, much like the NRA in national affairs) and development concerns that only wish to make a profit of our town.

It is obvious to me and many others the CC is not at all interested in representing the average citizen here. Despite huge outpourings of opposition to many massive projects in town the lone proponent (developer) always prevails over hundreds of others.

Our glorious mayor, in her campaign efforts, promised to ‘bring the average citizen back to city hall’. She was either lying or has fallen prey to powerful interests that have been pulling her strings.

Which is it? Doesn’t matter much, we either have corrupt or incompetent leadership.

Oh, and the endless and lengthy lectures from one of the smug and arrogant councilpersons about his disgust with representative democracy and how he only cares for ‘those who voted for me’. Well, how do you know who voted for you? Some time back we installed the secret ballot, have you hacked the ballots? And anyway it is still a crummy attitude to only support one sector no matter what. Jeez, we had a terrible election here as well…

But Pete, the Mayor IS fulfilling her pledge to “bring the average citizen back to city hall.” They’re just showing up on the wrong day.

My mistake. The average citizen is just too stupid to understand all the confusing data our wonderful CC has to deal with so they generously make all our decisions for us so we don’t inadvertently save some worthless open space for the wild critters or deny any projects that would lead to congestion, high costs, lost of view scape, over crowding and further tax limited resources like water etc. Thank god (and, of course, our wise and compassionate CC) for their oversight and help with guiding our city into the future-and driving it into the ground.

Sorry. The Brown Act doesn’t apply to regressives. For them, the end justifies the means.

Morro Bay residents finally got smart and are going to the city meeting to demand reduction in rates and to protest the sewer plant, you people in SLO need to get with it and sit in on the council meeting and demand things change.

Good luck with this, it seems clear Mayor Harmon really doesn’t care about what is legal, she just wants the items that suit her personal and those of her special groups agenda passed.