I read an recent article written by Andrew Keatts on the Voice of San Diego regarding the recent transparency push for the Community Planning Groups in San Diego with immense interest. As a daily morning reader of VOSD, I would like to share with you my thoughts and comments;
First, congratulations’ to Mayor Filner for establishing an open government department, it is long over due. I am hopeful with the establishment of this new department, a citizen will no longer have to file a lawsuit to be heard at City Hall. It would be wonderful to assume when a written complaint from a citizen of San Diego is filed, someone at city hall will be responding back in writing.
Second, I believe Ms. Donna Frye, a former Councilperson and current Vice President of California Aware is an excellent selection for this position by the Mayor. During her distinguished council career she has fought tirelessly to assure open and honest government in San Diego. I am certain her leadership skills and vast knowledge on this issue will put an end to the culture of secrecy, deceit and insider dealing found in our community groups.
Third, I was surprised to see Mr. LaCava along side of Ms. Frye proclaiming the virtues of the California Brown Act. His presence was unexpected for the following reasons; (i) under Mr. LaCava’s leadership it is frequently acceptable for the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) to disregard the Brown Act regulations. He understands it’s easier for him to “Cure and Correct” a Brown Act violation rather than abide by their stringent requirements. (ii) Mr. LaCava currently supports a proposed LJCPA bylaws amendment allowing the LJCPA Chairperson to file an “automatic appeal” of projects and/or environmental determination appeals devoid of a public discussion or public vote. On March 7th, he voted to approve the proposed “automatic appeal” bylaw despite Cal. Gov. Code section 54954.2. (a)(2) and Section 54954.3 which respectively states; “No action or discussion shall be undertaken on any item not appearing on the posted agenda, except that members of a legislative body or its staff may briefly respond to statements made or questions posed by persons exercising their public testimony rights under Section 54954.3” and “As used in this chapter, action taken means a collective decision made by a majority of the members of a legislative body, a collective commitment or promise by a majority of the members of a legislative body to make a positive or a negative decision, or an actual vote by a majority of the members of a legislative body when sitting as a body or entity, upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order of ordinance.”
Transparency and creditability are sadly missing in our local Community Planning Group. Our community is hopeful under the leadership of Ms. Frye, open government will return to the La Jolla Community Planning Association.
Member of the La Jolla Association