“I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.” – Margaret Mead
Here’s the concise version of some of the things that are troubling me down at City Hall:
1. meyer nave attorney Kreisberg says ‘Mayor’ Gilmore contacted him in mid-December to discuss expected litigation when Gilmore was city council member, not yet seated as a mayor.
2. Our new mayor, in her first city council meeting ever (12/28/2010) had meyers nave attorney Kreisberg attend the meeting, held a city council discussion about hiring Kreisberg, led a vote to hire Kreisberg on the spot for Kreisberg’s advice to be given in that same meeting, took that advice, and acted on it (voting on two City Charter Officers employment conditions).
a. None of this is on the agenda for the open or closed session that night or in the closed-session the meeting report. Which means hiring meyers nave was done illegally.
b. In order for meyers nave attorney Kreisberg to provide legal counsel the instant he was hired, he had to have done research prior to that meeting, right? And here I refer you back to item #1, above.
c. Mayor Gilmore’s behavior is called railroading: rushing to something through quickly in order to prevent careful consideration and possible criticism or obstruction (with apologies to railfans for using this term derogatorily, but it’s the most apt term here). …
3. In her 1/25/2011 letter to me, Acting City Attorney Mooney (ACA):
a. Writes that the Council voted 5-0 to “have Eddie L. Kreisberg of Meyers Nave advise them during and following the closed session on issues related to the City’s Charter Officers”. I can find no record of this agenda item, discussion, or vote.
b. References Brown Act Section 54954.5 as not being violated and ignores the rest of the document that is meant to protect us from secret meetings like the one Mayor Gilmore planned and presided over on 12/28/2010. My bad: in my formal complaint to her I detailed how the public had been disenfranchised and asked her to give an opinion on this that would protect this right for all. I should have detailed the exact Brown Act sections with which I was concerned. (Shout out to Carol Gottstein who pointed out the the ACA was referencing a different section than the ones I was concerned with. She’s going to start her own blog soon and share her wicked smart insights–I’ll let you know when she does!)
c. Uses the Brown Act in a way that contradicts her interpretation of Section 2-2 of our city charter.
The Brown Act Section 54954.5 states that agenda items listed as follows are in compliance:
“PUBLIC EMPLOYEE DISCIPLINE/DISMISSAL/RELEASE (No additional information is required in connection with a closed session to consider discipline, dismissal, or release of a public employee. Discipline include potential reduction of compensation.)”
Since we now know that this agenda item applied to two Charter Officers, both the Interim City Manager (ICM) and the City Attorney, and actions were made on both of these employees to put them on administrative leave, then those actions are either a discipline, a dismissal or a release. Which is a removal from their appointed positions, right? And that is an action proscribed by our City Charter which says the charter officials cannot be removed within 90 days of a new city council member having been elected (Bonta).
Note to Mayor Gilmore: you cannot have it both ways.
d. Is downright silly when she writes that the ICM “remains the Interim City Manager” and that the Mayor’s actions on 12/28/2010 do not comprise a ‘suspension or removal’ of the ICM from her position.
Our city attorney is acting like she’s the mayor’s attorney, but she’s not. She ours. And she has shown here that she’s not interested in advising our elected officials to behave better, or even to behave legally. She’s not interested in demanding good government from our mayor and city council on our behalves. Why?
Mayor Gilmore has carried out a deliberate, planned abuse of power and premeditated—and what looks like a wrongfully retained—legal defense thereof. A mayor is supposed to be loyal to the civic and legal processes in order to optimize everyone’s participation along the way in order to accomplish the best solution for every issue…but Mayor Gilmore has shown she has prioritized a personal agenda, a vendetta actually, that she was hellbent to carry out and contrive any legal justification therefor. She’s intentionally disregarded the unnecessary financial burdens her actions are making on our city and the highly adverse disruption she’s caused within our city government! These are the very things she is charged and entrusted to protect! And our ACA is acting in tandem with her, trampling our rights.
We Now Live in Oz.
We must do everything in our power as citizens to fix this.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead