Proposal to extend NC/CC notice for City measures

Proposed by Fitzsimmons / SORO NC on April 19, 2017
Motion failed to be adopted by a majority of Councils before the July 2017 deadline
Passed by
  • Brentwood Community Council
  • South Robertson Neighborhoods Council
  • Westside Neighborhood Council
  • Westwood Community Council

Motion

  1. Once a measure under consideration has accumulated five Community Impact Statements (CISs), Neighborhood Councils must be given a minimum of 14 days notice before a public hearing or other legislative action on that item may occur.
  2. Neighborhood Councils who have filed CISs must be notified within 72 hours if substantive changes to a measure occur in a Council committee or Commission hearing.
  3. In the event Council files are renumbered or combined, extant CISs must be transferred to the new file.

Background

Neighborhood Councils have long sought a truly transparent/public way to keep track of policy issues/measures without unduly impeding their orderly progress.

Proposals have often been floated to extend notice beyond the 72 hours required by the Brown Act. The (valid) counter-argument to extended advance notice is that government sometimes has to act quickly, and a blanket 10 or 14 or 30 day rule for public notice would stretch even basic business out beyond what is practical. Similarly, limiting extended notice to “important” measures has gotten bogged down in trying to find a comprehensive definition of what an “important” measure might be.

What if the NCs, by submitting Community Impact Statements (CISs), effectively “tag” a measure for extended notice? Once a minimum number of CISs are lodged, that measure would be subject to additional notice requirements.

Not perfect and certainly not bulletproof, but it’s objective, easy to understand, is based on measurable expressions of public concern, wouldn’t slow everything down, and as a benefit might spur NCs to talk to other NCs (“we need you to pass a CIS!”).

A corollary idea addresses situations where a body makes significant changes to a measure in a meeting. For example, on the Sign Ordinance, the PLUM Committee made such drastic changes that it was sent back to CPC. In those cases, NCs should have a chance to review their positions and submit new statements.