" Council Refuses To Publicly Disclose City-Alleged Threats To Security Of Public Bldgs Or Publicís Right of Access to Public Services or Public Facilities.In Cnnection With Using LB Convention Center To House Migrant Minors </small> -->
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Council Refuses To Publicly Disclose City-Alleged Threats To Security Of Public Bldgs Or Publicís Right of Access to Public Services or Public Facilities.In Cnnection With Using LB Convention Center To House Migrant Minors



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(April 8, 2021, 4:30 a.m..) -- Following up on a story first reported by LBREPORT.com on April 5 here, no City Councilmembers chose to publicly discuss City-alleged threats to public buildings or public's right of access to public facilities or services in connection with use of LB's Convention Center to house migrant minors

The City cited a section of the CA Government Code (Brown Act) as one of its two grounds to hold a "closed session" that prevented public and press access to a 4:30 p.m. Council session immediately preceding a public Special Meeting of the Council on the proposed Convention Center use.

The item as publicly agendized stated:

Pursuant to Section 54957(a) and Section 54956.8 of the California Government Code regarding a conference with the City's real property negotiator:

1. Property: Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
300 East Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90802

City's Negotiator: Thomas B. Modica, City Manager

Negotiating Parties: City of Long Beach, ASM Global (formerly SMG) and the United States, Department of Health and Human Services

Under Negotiation: Price and Terms of Lease

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The secrecy provision ISN'T mandatory. The Brown Act isn't an "official secrets" act. Any Councilmember(s) could have made a motion, and if seconded, a Council majority voted action could have allowed the public to learn the nature of the public threats BEFORE the Council voted publicly just minutes later on the proposed Convention Center use.

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CA 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.

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Mayor Garcia and several Councilmembers had already indicated -- before hearing the nature of the threat(s) to the public and details of the deal -- that they supported 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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Support really independent news in Long Beach. No one in LBREPORT.com's ownership, reporting or editorial decision-making has ties to development interests, advocacy groups or other special interests; or is seeking or receiving benefits of City development-related decisions; or holds a City Hall appointive position; or has contributed sums to political campaigns for Long Beach incumbents or challengers. LBREPORT.com isn't part of an out of town corporate cluster and no one its ownership, editorial or publishing decisionmaking has been part of the governing board of any City government body or other entity on whose policies we report. LBREPORT.com is reader and advertiser supported. You can help keep really independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.


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