Friday, September 21, 2012

SF Ethics Commission 
Tackles Sunshine Problems on Monday 

 (Image credit: Doug Comstock, The Westside Observer.)

Hope Johnson is a former member of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, where she served the city with impartiality and fairness, and she's very active in efforts to restore the SOTF to a functioning body. It's been on hiatus for a number of months because of underhanded manipulations by Supervisor Scott Wiener.

Yesterday, Hope sent out this alert recruiting members of the public to attend one of two important meetings at City Hall. I plan to be in attendance and add my voice to those advocating for an unbiased SOTF whose members have sunshine backgrounds and are committed to the public's needs. Here are the details from Hope:

Plan of Action 

Open Government Advocates' Strategy Session
When: Monday, Sept. 24 at 4:00 p.m.
Where: City Hall, North Light Court, 1st Floor

Ethics Commission Meeting 
When: Monday, Sept. 24 at 5:30 p.m. 
Where: City Hall, Room 400 

On Monday, the Ethics Commission will discuss and possibly adopt proposed regulations for handling referrals from the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force and Sunshine Ordinance complaints. The Sunshine Ordinance protects public access to government meetings and information, and the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force monitors compliance with the ordinance. 

This Ethics Commission meeting should not take place until the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force is able to meet and provide recommendation and comment to the Ethics Commission. 

The Board of Supervisors has intentionally removed highly-respected, knowledgeable, and effective Task Force members in retaliation for the Task Force holding Supervisors accountable for violations of open government laws. The retaliation is so severe that the Task Force has been unable to legally hold meetings for several months. 

San Francisco needs enforcement of its open government laws and these Ethics Commission regulations are an extremely important part of effective enforcement. This meeting is an end-run around including the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force in such an important decision. Ethics Commission staff is well aware the Task Force cannot legally meet to discuss the revised regulations. 

Please attend the Ethics Commission meeting to speak out against the end-run around the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force and urge the commissioners to postpone the hearing until the Task Force can meet.

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