Law of Triviality

Humorist C. Northcote Parkinson dubbed an observation about organizational conduct the “Law of Triviality.”

“Briefly stated, it means that the time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved,” Parkinson wrote, citing a city council that devotes a just a few minutes to talking about a nuclear reactor, but hours to siting a bicycle rack.

Why? The council’s members can’t grasp a nuclear reactor; it’s simply beyond their ken. But they understand a bicycle rack.  Read more here …

Dan Walters: Parkinson’s ‘Law of Triviality’ bites in real life – Sacramento Bee

The Downtown Plaza

The campaign to keep the Kings in Sacramento has developed into a larger civic plan, with some of California’s richest business leaders promising to inject money and energy into the neglected heart of the capital city.

Now the question is: Can they keep that promise?  Read more here …

Will Sacramento’s downtown grow in the whales’ wake? – Sacramento Bee

The Public’s right to know

It should be a given: Local governments have to tell the public what’s on the agenda for meetings and provide public records.

Yet like so many things in California, it can get very convoluted. While the core of the state’s open government laws is beyond dispute, there’s a fight over, what else, money – specifically, reimbursements from the state to local governments for the costs of some procedural mandates to make the laws work better.

The public’s right to know is getting caught in the crossfire.  Read more here …

Editorial: Public’s right to know is too basic to risk – Sacramento Bee

Three Minute Limit for Public Comments

Eye on Sacramento on Tuesday announced its plans to request that the council extend the time limit that members of the public are allotted when addressing the council. And in the process, improve the quality of public discourse that the group argues has eroded over the years.  Read more …

Bring back 3-minute time limit, watchdog group urges city – Sacramento Press

 

“We have observed that the quality of the public comments that you receive has demonstrably eroded since the adoption of the two-minute rule as it does not provide enough time for concerned speakers to coherently articulate their thoughts on matters of importance to them and the City,” the group’s president, Craig Powell, wrote in a letter to the mayor and council.  Read more here …

Could longer speaker times help end the craziness at council meetings? – Sacramento Bee

City of Sacramento Spending

Sac city auditor was not monitoring some credit card expenses – News 10

City Credit Card Reports Reveal Big Expenditures During Staff Layoffs – CBS 13

City of Sacramento PRA Purchase Credit Card – Spread Sheet of Charged Items (download)

Petition for Writ of Mandate – City of Sacramento Measure U – Tax Increase

VERIFIED PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

Exhibit A – Argument Against Measure U

DECLARATION OF CRAIG K. POWELL IN SUPPORT OF VERIFIED PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

Exhibit Powell-1 Mayor to write argument against Sacramento sales tax hike

Exhibit Powell-2 Selection of Argument Authors …

Exhibit Powell-3 Mayor Johnson’s Ballot Argument Against Measure U

Exhibit Powell-4 Mayor Johnson fails to write argument against tax measure

DECLARATION OF DENNIS NEUFELD IN SUPPORT OF VERIFIED PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE

Exhibit Neufeld-1 E-mail from Dennis Neufeld

Exhibit Neufeld-2 E-mail exchanges between Dennis Neufeld and Assistant City Clerk Stephanie Mizuno