From its opening words, California’s open meeting law, commonly known as the Ralph M. Brown Act, declares the people have the right to know what their public agencies are up to and how and why they make the decisions they do.
The Brown Act begins, “In enacting this chapter, the legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in this state exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly. The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”
Jan. 8, 2013 — Three county officers and a pair of Lassen County Superior Court judges took the oath of office yesterday to begin their new terms.
Lassen County Clerk Julie Bustamante administered the oath of office to Lassen County Superior Court Judge Michele Verderosa in an informal ceremony at the clerk’s office in the historic Lassen County Courthouse yesterday morning.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Verderosa to the bench Oct. 18, 2010 to complete the term of Stephen Bradbury following his retirement. She was appointed in lieu of election to a six-year term in February 2012 because no one filed papers to run against her in the June primary election.
Jan. 8, 2013 — The New Year is here, 2013, a date that once sounded impossibly futuristic. We passed the ending of the Mayan calendar, and the sun rose in the morning, and the world is still spinning on its axis. Many of us are coming down from the holiday sugar rush caused by rich candy, frosted cookies and spicy Christmas drinks.
Whether our holidays have been merry, sad or practically nonexistent, most of us are glad they’re over. A kind of collective sigh settles over everything.
For the past few years my holidays have been growing smaller, with New Year’s Eve sort of the anticlimax of it all.
Dec. 26, 2012 — Thoughts of a Merry Christmas were in full swing a few weeks ago. Susanville had celebrated its Uptown Magical Country Christmas, tickets were selling for the Susanville City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, and local churches were celebrating the Advent season. Unfortunately, all of that was interrupted on Friday, Dec. 14, when news of the Connecticut shootings hit the airwaves and in the course of a few minutes, the “merry” had left our Christmas season.
I’ve been involved with the good, the bad, and the ugly of people’s lives for decades doing church ministry. I’ve not always had answers, but trusted what God said, “He is our refuge and strength, an ever present-help in times of trouble” (Psalms 46:1). As a Christian, I can’t help but think about God’s offer of peace; in our pluralistic world it may not be the answer for everyone, but it’s worth considering.
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