BY DAVID DANELSKI
Published: 11 July 2012 05:47 PM
City councils and the governing boards of counties, school districts, water districts and other local agencies are no longer required by state law to post agendas and disclose decisions made in closed sessions.
To save an estimated $96million, California legislators suspended the requirements as part of budget legislation adopted in last month. The suspension could last three years or longer.
Local governments said they will continue to make agendas and decisions available to the public, as usual.
Because state law requires local governments to prepare and post agendas for public meetings and disclose decisions made in closed meetings, the state has covered the associated costs.
Officials with cities and other local governments said they will cover the costs, which can run into the hundreds of thousands per year, depending on the agency. Riverside County’s last annual bill was $236,414.
Reimbursements have been spotty, officials say. The state owes Riverside County some $2.6 million for expenses incurred in the past decade, according to the county auditor’s office.
Representatives of Inland cities and counties say they want the public to stay informed.
“We are dedicated to openness, transparency, public involvement and community participation, regardless of state’s unwillingness or inability to stand by the rules,” San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford said.
Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge said nothing will change in his city.
“We have operated with these rules, and they help tell the story of what local government is doing,” he said.
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