Support Open Government Now

I support Len and Maryann and Open Governnment

Support Open Government Now!

Pacifica prides itself on being an informed and engaged community. However, the entire limited debate over the question of police out-sourcing to the Sheriff has been anything but informed. Almost every key fact has been withheld from the public. How can the public have an honest debate without themselves knowing the facts?  No one outside of the 5 people on city council know what is going on. Regardless of one's position on police out-sourcing, no facts on the city website means the public is in the dark. 
That lack of public knowledge has to stop.  During my 14 years on the Pacifica School Board I have always been willing to have public hearings to get public input.  Reaching out to the public during these meetings is also an opportunity to inform the public on the facts. Making reports and documents available ahead of time clearly is required to have an informed debate at the meeting!  If I am honored by a vote this November to elect me to city council, a revision of open government rules will be my first agenda item.
I strongly urge that City Council at its next meeting, Monday August 27, vote to place all documents regarding this issue on the city website. Post the Sheriff bid, SSF's bid, the City's consultant analysis and all other communications back and forth among all parties. 
Even the City's press release announcing the abandonment of the Sheriff contract is not on the City's website. In 2012, you would think all vital City communications and documents would be on the web!
Posting all documents may not change anyone's mind. But sunshine on government business and transparency is a foundation of American government. It's about time it's also a foundation of Pacifica government.
Mike O'Neill, candidate for City Council

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bhatman August 27, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Mr. Emde, I think I see the reason for your confusion in this matter. Have you wrongly concluded, based on the letter from O'Connell to Wagner (http://www.pacificariptide.com/files/pacifica-sheriff-bid-ltr-08242012.pdf) that a final decision in regards to outsourcing has been made? If I read you correctly here - "...and we will have to wait to see - was the issueing of a sudden "press release" that said: "Oh well, never mind! No outsourcing." it seems you've jumped to that conclusion, whereas the letter simply states: "The City has decided not to make any proposals to the police union to contract out police services at this time." This doesn't preclude that a decision has been made or closed future consideration. The facts don't seem to fit the your outrage.
Lionel Emde August 28, 2012 at 03:03 PM
So Bhatman, who authored and/or is responsible for the letter? The city manager refused to say to a reporter who's responsible. And the Tribune reports the surprise of many parties, including the cops, at the sudden decision by an unknown party. "The City" is not an entity we can hold responsible.
Lionel Emde August 29, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Hey Mr. Bhatman, where are you? I would like an answer to my questions. You don't seem to know much about closed-session parameters, as witnessed by your statement: "The report was done by an outside consultant and may contain private personnel information." The city council only has power over two positions - city manager and city attorney. If they had a closed session posted "performance review," yeah, that might contain personal details as regards performance of those two parties. But to say that other personnel's "personal details' could appear in closed session, well, that's just wrong, bro. So do tell us how the city can be ruled by unsigned decrees with no authors willing to take responsibility?
hutch August 29, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Ha, evidently the general council for Californians Aware and general council for the Ca Newspapers Publishers Assoc feel this was a definite violation of the Brown Act. And that the outsourcing report had nothing to do with negotiations. NOW sneaky Pete Dejarnett is claiming he wanted this to go public all along and the Mary Ann and Len were in the wrong by going behind his back. Oh this is getting good.
hutch August 29, 2012 at 08:20 PM
So yeah, Batman is wrong as usual.


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