Council will continue to allow Planning Commission "pre-meetings"

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Tiobe Barron, Ojai Valley News correspondent

The Ojai Planning Commission can continue a decades-old practice designed to skirt the state’s Open Meetings Law by meeting in groups of two or three with city staff in breakfast and lunch meetings without notice to the public. A majority of Ojai City Council members expressed support for the practice Tuesday.
Councilman William Weirick brought the matter to the Council earlier this year, and said while the “pre-meetings” do not specifically violate the Ralph M. Brown Act, neither do they support the city’s efforts to provide transparency in its actions.
The Ralph M. Brown Act is the state’s government code that regulates the conduct of local officials in relation to their meetings and protects the public’s right to attend and participate in the governmental process. It prohibits a quorum — in this case four — members of a council, board or commission from meeting in most instances without proper notice to the public.

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