(June 27, 2006) -- In a colloquy prompted by an inquiry from Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga at today's (July 27) mainly ceremonial City Council meeting, City Attorney Bob Shannon said the Council could not lawfully act on a motion to reconsider certification of the Airport terminal Environmental Impact Report (EIR) because the item wasn't properly agendized under the Brown (open meetings) Act.
When Councilwoman Rae Gabelich pursued the issue and asked if a motion to reconsider would be in order at the July 11 Council meeting, City Attorney Shannon reiterated his position on the Brown Act...and indicated a motion to reconsider would not be consistent with Roberts Rules of Order at the July 11 Council meeting.
Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga indicated she plans to bring something forward at the July 11 Council meeting.
LBReport.com posts a transcript (unofficial, prepared by us) of the colloquy. The item came up under "new business" at the specially agendized Council meeting which was scheduled for the ceremonial swearing-in of new 2d district Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal.
Councilwoman Reyes Uranga: ...What I wanted to do is to just pose a question to the City Attorney. It was in response to the appellants' opportunity to respond to some of the rebuttal and for us to respond to the appellants, and in that I had discussed with the City Attorney an opportunity for a motion to either reconsider or to reconsider on the minutes, and I just wanted you, if you could possibly, repeat what you told me earlier today.
City Attorney Shannon: Surely. Madam Mayor, members of the Council, it's our position, the City Attorney's position, that the appellant[s] [were] given a full and adequate opportunity to present their case. With regard to moving for reconsideration, the Brown Act specifically prohibits action to be taken on any item that's not otherwise appearing on the agenda and therefore it would be out of order to make any such motion.
Councilwoman Reyes Uranga: And so in light of that, I will be bringing something forward to the next meeting, which is in two weeks I understand [July 11], and will be discussing something then...
Councilwoman Rae Gabelich: Prior to adjournment, Mr. Shannon, can you please explain to me one more time what you said about the motion...
City Attorney Shannon: The Brown Act specifically prohibits the taking of substantive action on an item that does not appear on the agenda. Any motion of a substantive nature constitutes action and therefore you cannot consistent with the Brown Act take that action.
Councilwoman Rae Gabelich: OK, I understand that part. My question to you is, can this then without being identified in the minutes, can it be carried over to the next Council meeting and still be effective?
City Attorney Shannon: No, not under Roberts Rules of Order.
Councilwoman Rae Gabelich: So then a motion for reconsideration would have to be made today?
City Attorney Shannon: A motion under Roberts Rules of Order would have to be made today, and in order for it to comply with the Brown Act there had to be adequate notice given. Adequate notice was not given, in fact no notice was given and therefore there can be no motion today.