The San Bernardino Municipal Advisory Council met yesterday at the County office in Joshua Tree to review the Brown Act with counsel. The meeting started promptly at 11AM with everyone in attendance except the representative for Wonder Valley. Upon my arrival at the conference room, a frowning MAC appointee Elizabeth Karman from Landers, loudly growled the following, “Oh…. look who showed up!” MAC Chair, Mike Lipsitz, standing next to Karman was noticeably embarrassed by her rude remark. I responded, “Oh, it’s great to see you too!” Karman is hard of hearing and her voice always carry across the room.
At least Karman had no difficulty hearing the presentation which set her straight towards a better understanding of public comments, which may or may not be critical in nature towards the dais. Either way, citizens “must” have three minutes of unfettered “public comment” as per the Government Code confirmed by County counsel.
Fortunately, a few members announced they had previously served on other boards or committees exhibiting a solid understanding of the Brown Act. A couple of members also benefited from attending this presentation for clarification as reflected in the quality of their questions. Three members were complete “newbies and green” to the Brown Act and procedures to conduct meetings.
It was a pretty good overview of the basics of the Brown Act and I applaud Ramos Staff and office for setting the Big MAC on track with this training.
For transparency, the Big MAC meetings are posted on You Tube. It is 1hr 50minutes and you can verify for yourself that NO One called Karman, or other member, any names.