Location: santa cruz
Topic: Santa Cruz
Posted: 18/December/2009 at 2:27am
Newbie here and most interested in environmental policy - in Santa Cruz and beyond.
After attending a few meetings of a few Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors (BOS) AND a county Commission on the Environment, I became increasingly concerned about question of appearance vs. (lack of) substance.
Although I was always allowed to speak at meetings, that does not mean I was entitled to any answer, which of course I found increasingly annoying. As I probed just a bit deeper, asking for data or draft reports, I started to see that private and public concerns were starting to get mixed. For example, a local non-profit serves on government panels, works with paid County staff AND receives a number of local government contracts. When the CEO of this non-profit (yes, CEO is title) speaks or recommends a project, I am unable to tell which 'hat' this person is wearing.
Then I was told certain meetings of County's Commission on Environment were really "private" or "internal staff meetings" and excempt from Brown Act; and exempt from County's conflict-of-interest. (What? !)
Letters, speaking to Board of Supervisors were ignored. (I can speak; but again no answers). I started to look at contracts and started to ask about facts, again no response. Asking about facts gets no answers.
(1) I filed 2 Brown Act complaints with Santa Cruz District Attorney - no answer yet
(2) wrote complaint to Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District (MBUAPCD)
(2) Since I don't know the procedures (or even laws), it is extremely easy to ignore or outmanuve me - and they do. Seem to act with impunity.
(3) Local environmentalists, lawyers seem relatively uninterested or busy with other projects. Ditto for local press with does not probe very deeply. Santa Cruz isn't as green as it proclaims.
(4) I am trying to decide (a) what to do (b) pick an easier battle. By "what to do" I mean procedurely what to do to get answers. Not looking for full-time job here; but if some small battles can be won I'd proceed. Not a political person and not good at organizing others.
Edited by jim rothstein - 19/December/2009 at 3:24am
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