THIS JUST IN … Metropolitan Water District to vote again on whether to authorize increased funding of WaterFix

Re-vote scheduled for July 10 board meeting

The following is the text of a memo sent to the Metropolitan Board of Directors from General Counsel Marcia Scully and General Manager Jeff Kightlinger:

Date:  June 6, 2018
To:   Board of Directors, Member Agency Managers
From:  Marcia Scully, General Counsel, Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager
Subject: Notice of Brown Act Violation and Demand, and California Public Records Act Request, from Food and Water Watch and the First Amendment Coalition Dated May 7, 2018

Following the April 10, 2018 Board meeting at which the Board approved additional funding for California WaterFix and related actions, Food and Water Watch and the First Amendment Coalition sent a notice alleging violations of the Brown Act in connection with that meeting, as well as a request under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) (attached). The organizations assert that the meeting agenda does not comply with the Brown Act and there were communications among directors before the public meeting that constitute a violation of the Brown Act.

Today, Metropolitan is responding to the notice and providing documents in response to the CPRA request (attached).

Metropolitan disagrees with the legal conclusion in the notice. The response explains that the meeting agenda complies with the law. The response also states that Metropolitan acknowledges that while some members of the Board engaged in private communications and stated their own perspectives to other members of the Board in advance of the April 10 meeting. In numerous cases, directors and/or the Member Agencies they represent had also publicly stated their perspectives before and/or after these communications in public meetings, resolutions, and publicly posted correspondence before the April 10 meeting. For these reasons, the private comments did not constitute the reaching of a consensus regarding WaterFix outside of the public’s view.

Nevertheless, to ensure there is no question concerning the validity of the Board’s consideration of, and its vote on, whether to authorize increased funding of WaterFix, this matter will be presented to the Board anew for consideration and a vote at its regular meeting on July 10, 2018.

All members of the Board are advised to refrain from private discussion of, or other communications about, this matter, directly or indirectly, with other members of the Board prior to the discussion at the July 10 Board meeting.

Read Metropolitan’s response to Food and Water Watch and the First Amendment Coalition here: 2018-06-06_MWD_Response Letter

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