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Thank You for Ad Hoc Committee Coverage

Thank you for reporting on the disbanding of a new finance ad hoc committee by the South Pasadena City Council. (“Council Disbands Fiscal Ad Hoc Committee” was published in the South Pasadena Review on Friday, March 29.)
The new ad hoc committee was an “advisory committee” that was formed to make policy recommendations to the City Council. As an advisory committee, its meetings should have been open and public as required by the Brown Act.
The article reports that one Councilmember mentioned a previous and similarly composed finance ad hoc committee that held informal and closed meetings. This was an apples-to-oranges comparison, as the previous committee was not a policy-making advisory committee. The previous ad hoc committee was instead formed to work with Finance Department staff on operational matters, including the completion of overdue financial documents. This allowed the previous ad hoc committee to meet informally and in private.
Lastly, the creation of the new ad hoc committee at the Feb. 21 City Council meeting was problematic not because it resulted from a verbal agreement instead of a vote, but because the formation of the committee did not appear on the agenda for the meeting. This is a fundamental Brown Act requirement that was followed by the previous finance ad hoc committee and for numerous other ad hoc committees formed in recent years.
To their credit, the City Council took prompt and decisive action to correct the various Brown Act violations relating to the formation of the ad hoc committee.
Ed Elsner
South Pasadena

First published in the April 19 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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