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Open-meeting laws to continue in Costa Mesa, spokesman says

July 24, 2012

It will be business as usual for Costa Mesa despite the state suspending some of the provisions of its open-meeting laws, city spokesman Bill Lobdell said Tuesday.

When the California Legislature approved the state's budget last month, it suspended several requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act, including notifying the public at least 72 hours in advance of upcoming meetings and disclosing actions that come out of closed-session discussions.

The suspensions could last up to three years and save California up to $96 million by stopping financial reimbursements to cities for adhering to the law, the Orange County Register reported.

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A media release by the League of California Cities praised municipalities statewide that continued to follow the Brown Act's guidelines.

The act was last suspended in 1990 and most cities continued to follow the act's requirements anyway, the League of California Cities said in its release.

Other suspended provisions include providing a general description of items on meeting agendas, listing and providing a general description of each item that will be discussed in closed session and announcing it in an open meeting beforehand, and providing documents of certain items being discussed in closed session.

— Joseph Serna

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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