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California Municipal Law Blog

Agencies Don’t Have to Cancel Meetings When Website Outages Temporarily Affect Availability of Online Agendas

by on February 1, 2016

posted in Meetings,

Local agency officials are well aware of the basic requirements for public-meeting agendas.  They know, for instance, that agendas for regular meetings must be posted at least 72 hours in advance.  In light of legislation that took effect in 2012, they also know that if their agencies post agendas online—which most local agencies now do—the agendas must be posted online within the same timeframe. But what happens if an agency’s website goes down during the period in which the agenda must be online?  Does that mean the agency can’t take any action on any of the business items for the ... Continue Reading

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tags: Brown Act, Online Agendas, Technical Difficulties, Website Outages, Websites,

Dual Use of Trail for Recreational and Non-Recreational Purposes Does Not Preclude Government Code Trail Immunity

by on January 29, 2016

posted in Immunities, Recent Court Decisions,

In a favorable ruling for public agencies, the Sixth Appellate District recently held that the Regents of the University of California were not liable for the death of a University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) student who was killed along the Great Meadow Parkway in a fatal bicycle accident as he was returning home from an evening class.  (Burgueno v. The Regents of the University of California.)  The student’s family alleged dangerous condition of public property and wrongful death, asserting that the bikeway was unsafe in light of its downhill curve, sight limitations, lack of runoff ... Continue Reading

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tags: Dual Use, Immunities, Public use trails, Recreational Use,

Summary of Important New Laws Affecting Local Agencies in 2016

by on January 28, 2016

posted in CEQA, Damages, Elections, Employee Benefits, Employment Law, Ethics, Legislative Updates, Medical Marijuana, Proposition 215, Public Records Act, Water, Zoning,

The following laws are effective January 1, 2016, unless otherwise provided.  These legislative changes were selected as those of importance and/or interest to public agencies.  ... Continue Reading

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tags: 2016 Legislative Session, California Legislature, New laws,

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument in Case Involving Union Fees for Public-Sector Employees

by on January 11, 2016

posted in U.S. Supreme Court, Unions,

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral argument in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, Docket No. 14-915, a case in which the Court will be asked to decide whether “agency shop” arrangements violate the First Amendment rights of public-sector school employees on the premise that a public-sector unions’ activities are inseparably integrated into political speech. “Agency shop” is a permitted arrangement under California law whereby a union can charge non-members a fee, sometimes called an “agency fee” or “fair share fee” for negotiation and representation ... Continue Reading

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tags: Agency Fees, Agency Shop, Dills Act, Employer-Employee Relations Act, Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act, Meyers Milias Brown Act, Transit Employer-Employee Relations Act, Trial Court Employee Protection & Governance Act, Trial Court Interpreter Employment and Labor Relations Act, Union Dues,

Court Holds Amendments to Heritage Tree Ordinance Are not Exempt from CEQA

by on November 16, 2015

posted in CEQA, Recent Court Decisions,

The California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) exempts governmental actions to protect natural resources and the environment from the requirement to prepare an environmental impact report.  In a recent case, a court clarified what standard agencies must meet to justify the use of these exemptions, known by practitioners as the “Class 7” and “Class 8” exemptions. In Save Our Big Trees v. City of Santa Cruz, the San Jose-based Sixth District Court of Appeal held that a city’s use of both exemptions could not be used to justify amendment of its heritage tree ordinance, which was ... Continue Reading

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tags: CEQA, Class 7 Exemption, Class 8 Exemption, Heritage Tree Ordinance,

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