New twist on Measure L?

To the Editor:

On Jan. 23 the council tabled an item titled, “Revisioning the Measure L Committee.” An interesting decision.

When Tom Wiknich asked for the reason why, the answer from the city attorney was that he asked for it to be pulled from the agenda. Mr. Wiknich asked for further clarification if the meeting was to be private or public. The answer was that it would be a private meeting with select members. Shortly after that statement, the city attorney stands up, walks to the back of the room and pulls Phil Salvatore, the vice-chair of the Measure L Committee, from the meeting and talks to him in the lobby … privately.

It is interesting the twist our current government is trying to put on the Measure L Committee. In fact, Mayor Dan Clark in his letter stated, “I want to personally apologize to each and every one of you for the city’s lack of direction relative to your job description, duties, responsibilities, and vision.”

Really, mayor? Did you just write that!? Interesting, because I recall a very accurate reporting by both the DI and the News Review that the members not only heard what their duties were, but the Brown Act as well. So are you upset that they are not abiding by what your definition of their jobs are and are actually abiding by the will the people? I am not sorry if that offends you.

In an undated and unsigned letter using the words “we” and “our” without identification (was this the city attorney and the mayor or the city council as a whole?), it states, “Please track revenue in from Measure L (revenue numbers provided by Finance) and expenditures out as the council appropriates.” Well, isn’t that in direct violation of the Municipal Code!? In the Municipal Code 3-2.117 under the title DUTIES, it clearly states the job of the Measure L Committee in both future and past tense. “Determine whether such funds are to be used as provided” and “Determine whether such funds have been spent.” Conveniently, because this letter is not dated and signed, plausible deniability applies to everyone associated with the city council. How convenient.

Finally, after the city attorney mentioned the private meeting, I would appeal to all Measure L Committee members: Do not accept any private meetings. After all, Mayor Clark and Councilmember Lori Acton ran on the platform of accountability and transparency. Let’s hold their feet to that fire. Also, if the city attorney asks you to hold a “Closed Session” meeting on the agenda, say no! That is a violation of the Brown Act. Closed session is saved for potential legal litigation and personnel issues.

I would like to personally thank the current Measure L Committee members for their dedication and commitment to true transparency and accountability. If you were not doing an excellent job in that arena, you would not be threatened with being replaced.

I thank you for your continued due diligence and am happy you are performing above and beyond, yet still remaining within your purview.

Christina Witt

Story First Published: 2013-01-30