Letter to Editor: Stacking the deck gone too far
It appears the District 3 supervisor has gone too far with her newly appointed members to the June Lake Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).
During the meeting of Tuesday, April 6, 2010 the newly appointed (that very night) Chair person, Dave Naaden (also President of June Lake Chamber of Commerce) prohibited a citizen from making public comments regarding recent major changes made by Intrawest pertaining to the Rodeo Grounds development. Naaden stated “he is the chair and he is going to run the meeting his way and there is no way he was going to allow a citizen of June Lake to spread his propaganda, and put his spin on or anything else.” He was clearly on his bully pulpit. I was appalled that in addition to Naaden’s comments at least two other CAC members began jumping on the bandwagon stating that they didn’t want to hear any comments either, which was another attempt to prohibit public comments.
Was I in a Nazi war camp where prisoners are not allowed their voice? This was censorship, a violation of the Brown Act and the first amendment. I was so sickened by this demonstration I left the meeting.
It is my understanding that after he was prohibited from talking, heckled by the CAC members and humiliated in a public forum the county finally intervened and the citizen was given three minutes to make his comments, but is this appropriate conduct for supervisor appointed representatives?
As a result of the members’ conduct the county should consider conducting investigations into any possible wrong doing by those members of the committee and take appropriate action. A formal investigation of the CAC membership is in order to determine if there is adequate representation of all facets of the community. Clearly there doesn’t appear to be.
I did email county counsel, the two planning department county employees and Supervisor Bauer stating I am convinced the County needs to give the committee members a refresher course on Brown Act rules and guidance on correct and decent decorum befitting a public committee….and maybe removal of a few members. I was informed they will indeed give that refresher course.
As to removal… well, that is up to the supervisor’s discretion. What do you think?
Brown Act violations are serious and carry stiff penalties. All citizens should know their rights and arm themselves with knowledge of proper meeting proceedures. It is not too late to file charges.