Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Did City Council Pass New "Code Of Conduct" Rules IN VIOLATION OF BROWN ACT (Meaning They Didn't Really Vote, and item must be reconsidered?)

To: Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich
Fr: Zuma Dogg
Re: Your Client's Voting on Item 29 today may have been in violation of Brown Act.
Dt: July 29, 2009

Besides it being totally illegal in the first place, is ITEM NO. (54) from July 22nd SUBSTANTATIVELY DIFFERENT than ITEM NO. (29) from today's July 29th L.A. City Council agenda? If so, looks like City Council will have to reconsider the item and hold public comment. You see, on the 22nd (ITEM 54), they held public comment for the item -- WHICH WAS TO BE HELD OVER FOR ONE WEEK, THEN VOTED ON. BUT ITEM NO. (29) AS IT RE-APPEARED ON TODAY'S AGENDA FOR A VOTE, SURE AS HELL LOOKS SUBSTANTIVELY DIFFERENT TO ZUMA DOGG AND SOME OTHERS. But, today, they did not hold public comment on the item, and had NO DISCUSSION AT ALL ON THE ITEM, just voted it through, with no disussion. DO YOU SEE SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES BETWEEN THE TWO? If so, contact the City Attorney's office and let them know you want the item reconsidered for public comment.

ITEM NO. (54) - Motion Required

09-1257
CONSIDERATION OF MOTION (SMITH - WESSON - PERRY) relative to an amendment to Rule 12 of the Rules of the City Council regarding decorum.

Recommendation for Council action:

DELETE subsections b., c., and d. of Rule 12 of the Rules of the City Council and in lieu thereof, ADOPT the following new subsections b. and c.:

b. Enforcement of Decorum. At the discretion of the Presiding Officer or upon a majority vote of the Council, the Presiding Officer may order removed from the Council Chamber any person who fails to observe these rules of decorum, including committing any of the following acts of disruptive conduct in respect to a regular, adjourned regular or special meeting of the City Council:

Disorderly, contemptuous or insolent behavior toward the Council or any member thereof, tending to interrupt the due and orderly course of said meeting; A breach of the peace, boisterous conduct or violent disturbance, tending to interrupt the due and orderly course of said meeting; Disobedience of any lawful order of the Presiding Officer, which shall include an order to be seated or to refrain from addressing the Council; and

Any other unlawful interference with the due and orderly course of said meeting; and

Any person so removed shall be excluded from further attendance at the meeting from which he/she has been removed, unless permission to attend is granted upon motion adopted by a majority vote of the Council, and such exclusion shall be executed by the Sergeant-at-Arms upon being so directed by the Presiding Officer. These enforcement provisions are in addition to the authority held by the sergeant-at-arms to maintain order pursuant to Rule 80 and pursuant to his or her lawful authority as a peace officer.

c. Penalties. Any person who has been ordered removed from a meeting may be charged with a violation of Penal Code Section 403, or other appropriate Penal Code or Los Angeles Municipal Code sections. In addition, any person so removed on the basis of disruptive conduct described above may not be allowed to address the Council for up to a maximum of thirty (30) meeting days of the Council during which the Council has convened in regular session. The period of prohibition from addressing the Council will be determined by the Presiding Officer, or the Council upon a vote, based on the number and severity of prior incidents of disruptive conduct.

Community Impact Statement: None submitted.

(Rules and Government Committee waived consideration of the above matter)

(Pursuant to Council Rule 77, each proposed Rule amendment shall be presented to the Council and laid over one week before it can be adopted.)

ITEM NO. (29) - Motion Required

09-1257
CONTINUED CONSIDERATION OF MOTION (SMITH - WESSON - PERRY) relative to an amendment to Rule 12 of the Rules of the City Council regarding decorum.

Recommendation for Council action:

ADOPT the following amendment to Rule 12 of the Rules of the City Council:

12. Rules of Decorum:

a. Rules of Decorum. During a meeting of the Los Angeles City Council, there is the need for civility and expedition in the carrying out of public business in order to ensure that the public has a full opportunity to be heard and that the Council has an opportunity for its deliberative process. While any meeting of the City Council is in session, the following rules of decorum shall be observed. All remarks shall be addressed to the Council as a whole and not to any single member, unless in response to a question from a member. [IT DOESN'T SAY THAT IN THE PREVIOUS ITEM ABOVE. THAT ALONE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE!]

Persons addressing the Council shall not make personal, impertinent, unduly repetitive, slanderous or profane remarks to the Council, any member of the Council, staff or general public, [DOESN'T SAY THAT ABOVE] nor utter loud, threatening, personal or abusive language, nor engage in any other disorderly conduct that disrupts, disturbs or otherwise impedes the orderly conduct of any Council meeting. No person in the audience at a Council meeting shall engage in disorderly or boisterous conduct, including the utterance of loud, threatening or abusive language, whistling, stamping of feet [THAT'S NEW, NOT IN THE ITEM ABOVE] or other acts which disturb, disrupt or otherwise impede the orderly conduct of any Council meeting. While in the Council Chamber, members of the public shall not: engage in disorderly, contemptuous or insolent behavior toward the Council or any member thereof, tending to interrupt the due and orderly course of said meeting; engage in a breach of the peace [THAT'S NEW, what is the standard of "peace?"], boisterous conduct or violent disturbance, tending to interrupt the due and orderly course of said meeting; disobey any lawful order of the Presiding Officer [when has he ever issued any LAWFUL order under the Brown Act?], which shall include an order to be seated or to refrain from addressing the Council; engage in any other unlawful interference with the due and orderly course of said meeting. Signs, placards, banners, or similar items shall not be permitted at any time in the Council Chamber. [THAT'S NEW, AND A FIRST AMENDMENT VIOLATION!!! CAN'T EVEN BE PEMITTED IN CHAMBERS??? THEY BETTER ENFORCE THAT 100% EQUALLY, CAUSE ERIC ALLOWS THEM WHEN HE WANTS TO. BUT THAT IS NEW, NOT MENTIONED ABOVE!] Unless addressing the Council or entering or leaving the Council Chamber, all persons in the audience shall remain sitting in the seats provided. [I DIDN'T SEE THAT IN ITEM 54 FROM LAST WEEK. WHAT IS THIS A PRISON CAMP? MUST STAY SEATED AT ALL TIMES LIKE A COMMUNIST STATE!] No person shall stand or sit in the center aisle, nor shall the doorways be blocked. The Presiding Officer of the Council, with the assistance of the sergeant-at-arms, shall be responsible for maintaining the order and decorum of meetings, as set forth more fully below.

b. Enforcement of Decorum. At the discretion of the Presiding Officer or upon a majority vote of the Council, the Presiding Officer may order removed from the Council Chamber any person who fails to observe these rules of decorum, including committing any of the acts of disruptive conduct described above in subsection a., in respect to a regular, adjourned regular or special meeting of the City Council.

Any person so removed shall be excluded from further attendance at the meeting from which he/she has been removed, unless permission to attend is granted upon motion adopted by a majority vote of the Council, and such exclusion shall be executed by the Sergeant-at-Arms upon being so directed by the Presiding Officer. These enforcement provisions are in addition to the authority held by the sergeant-at-arms to maintain order pursuant to Rule 80 and pursuant to his or her lawful authority as a peace officer.

c. Penalties. Any person who has been ordered removed from a meeting may be charged with a violation of Penal Code Section 403, or other appropriate Penal Code or Los Angeles Municipal Code sections. In addition, any person so removed on the basis of disruptive conduct described above in subsection a., may not be allowed to address the Council for up to a maximum of thirty (30) meeting days of the Council during which the Council has convened in regular session. The period of prohibition from addressing the Council will be determined by the Presiding Officer, or the Council upon a vote, based on the number and severity of prior incidents of disruptive conduct.

SO LOOKS TO ME LIKE THE ITEM WASN'T JUST HELD OVER FOR ONE WEEK, BUT COMPLETELY AMENDED IN WHAT I CONSIDER TO BE "SUBSTANTIVELY DIFFERENT."

If anyone is reading this from City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's office...this may be something to check into. Because if it is true that this is indeed "substantively different" then it needed to be opened up for public comment, and Zuma Dogg and others had cards in on the item. I should have kept quiet, let them try to enforce it, then ZD could pull this out in his defense after the ban. BUT THAT'S NOT ME.

QUOTE: Councilwoman Janice Hahn said in LA Times, “I just always fear the rules can be abused by someone who frankly just doesn’t want to face the public,” she said. (Yes, Janice...my point entirely. And his name is Eric Garcetti, sweetie! ;-)

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