City Cites Threats To Security Of Public Bldgs Or Publicís Right of Access to Public Services or Public Facilities.To Hold Council "Closed Session" (Public/Press Barred) Prior To Public Vote On Using LB Convention Center To House Migrant Minors
|(April 5, 2021, 8:15 p.m.) -- The City of Long Beach has cited a section of the CA Government Code (Brown Act) as one of two grounds to hold a session closed to the public and press at 4:30 p.m. April 6 on matters posing threats to the security of public buildings or the public's right of access to public services or public facilities in connection with using the LB Convention Center to house migrant minors.
The item as publicly agendized states:
Pursuant to Section 54957(a) and Section 54956.8 of the California Government Code regarding a conference with the City's real property negotiator:
The secrecy provision ISN'T mandatory; the Brown Act isn't an "official secrets" act; the Council could choose to disclose the nature of the threats to the security of public buildings or the public's right of access to public services or facilities are in connection with housing migrant minors. Government Code section 54957(a) provides:
54957. (a) This chapter shall not be construed to prevent the legislative body of a local agency from holding closed sessions with the Governor, Attorney General, district attorney, agency counsel, sheriff, or chief of police, or their respective deputies, or a security consultant or a security operations manager, on matters posing a threat to the security of public buildings, a threat to the security of essential public services, including water, drinking water, wastewater treatment, natural gas service, and electric service, or a threat to the publicís right of access to public services or public facilities.
(The Council could do likewise on the other cited Brown Act section (54956.8) which allows (but doesn't require) secrecy on real estate negotiations. Any Councilmember(s) could make a motion, and if seconded, a Council voted action could allow the public to learn the nature of the public threats BEFORE the Council votes publicly just minutes later on the proposed Convention Center use (agendizing memo for 4:55 p.m. open session here.)
The Mayor and several Councilmembers have already indicated -- before hearing the nature of the threat(s) to the public and details of the deal -- that they support approving the federally-sought Convention Center use. An April 5 City statement indicates two federal agencies (operated by the Biden administration) requested use of City facilities to deal with an influx of migrant minors, and unnamed Long Beach officials decided the Convention Center was most appropriate.
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