Implement a six month moratorium on deletion of any emails at the City of Sacramento.

Sign the petition to the City of Sacramento

The City of Sacramento plans to start deleting emails.  These are a record of City actions and the source of information to the public under the Public Records Act.

Once the emails are destroyed, there will be no evidence.

Eye On Sacramento needs time to prepare an Open Government project to pull back the curtain on City secrecy.

Sign here

Lawsuit Filed in Sacramento County Superior Court to Enforce the California Public Records Act

MEDIA RELEASE

July 6, 2015
Contact:
Erik Smitt, Policy Director, 916-215-2275, Erik@ eyeonsacramento.org
Paul Nicholas Boylan, Attorney, 530-297-7184, PNBoylan@gmail.com

In a press release today Eye On Sacramento, a member of the community coalition advocating for robust ethics, transparency and redistricting reform of City government, notifies the press that a lawsuit has been filed with the Sacramento County Superior Court seeking to enforce the California Public Records Act (CPRA), and an application has been made for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prevent the City of Sacramento from deleting emails that form a critical, irreplaceable part of the public record.

If the application for a TRO is denied, the City will destroy these emails on Wednesday, July 8.

The hearing for the TRO will take place at the Gordon D. Schaber Sacramento County Courthouse, 720 9th Street, Sacramento, on July 7, 2:30 pm, Department 24, the Honorable Judge Shelleyanne W. L. Chang presiding.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Richard Stevenson, member of Eye On Sacramento and Katy Grimes, President of the Sacramento Taxpayer’s Association. Both Plaintiffs have made formal requests to access to emails the City intends on destroying on July 8 and are suing the City under the CPRA to enforce their rights to gain access to these records.

Plaintiffs are asking Judge Chang to issue a TRO preventing the City from destroying the emails Plaintiffs want to access because, if the City destroys these emails, the lawsuit will be rendered moot and Plaintiffs’ – and the public’s – constitutional right to access these emails will be irrevocably injured.

“My clients understand the City’s desire to manage the City’s email archive,” said Paul Nicholas Boylan, the attorney representing the plaintiffs in the CPRA enforcement lawsuit. “But the City’s interest can’t violate the public’s fundamental right to access public records. The City’s plan to destroy these emails after my clients have asked to see them is like a librarian burning down an entire library because a member of the public has asked to check out and read one book,” Boylan said. “It is unthinkable that this might actually happen.”

As noted in news reports of an ongoing trial in Sacramento Superior Court, public officials have deleted records even after legal notifications to preserve those same records. Eye On Sacramento supports Richard Stevenson and Katy Grimes in their lawsuit to enforce the California Public Records Act and their application for a restraining order to prevent the City of Sacramento from destroying public records.

“Eye On Sacramento is focused on transparency and citizen access to all mechanisms of government. Deletion of public records is contrary to the principles of Open Government and the public’s right to know.” Erik Smitt, Policy Director.

Open Government … transparent, responsive, accountable!

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Eye On Sacramento and the League of Women Voters to Host Public Forum on City Ethics & Transparency Reform at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25th at the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library

Eye On Sacramento (EOS) and League of Women Voters (LWV) are pleased to announce the next public forum on City Ethics & Transparency Reform Project at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25th at the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library, 7335 Gloria Drive. The public is invited and encouraged to share ideas and ask questions on ethics, transparency and redistricting reforms for our city.

Attendees will be hearing the results of a survey conducted by a team of EOS & LWV researchers and presented by EOS President Craig Powell and LWV President Paula Lee.  City Council Member Rick Jennings, Terry Francke, Californians Aware, and Bill Edger, retired Sacramento City Manager, will be on hand to critique the findings, offer their insights and answer questions from the public.  Lisa Garcia, EOS Community Outreach Director, will be the moderator.

We encourage you to share the event flyer (found here) with others who may be interested in attending the forum.

Eye On Sacramento and the League of Women Voters to Host Public Forum on City Ethics & Transparency Reform at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16th at the Sierra 2 Center

Eye On Sacramento (EOS) and League of Women Voters (LWV) are pleased to announce the next public forum on City Ethics & Transparency Reform Project at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 16th at the Sierra 2 Center, Garden Room, located at 2791  24th Street. The public is invited and encouraged to share ideas and ask questions on ethics, transparency and redistricting reforms for our city.

Attendees will be hearing the results of a survey conducted by a team of EOS & LWV researchers and presented by EOS President Craig Powell and LWV President Paula Lee. City Council Member Jay Schenirer, Terry Francke, Californians Aware, Bill Edger, and retired Sacramento City Manager, will be on hand to critique the findings, offer their insights and answer questions from the public.  Lisa Garcia, EOS Community Outreach Director, will be the moderator.

We encourage you to share the event flyer (found here) with others who may be interested in attending the forum.

Eye On Sacramento and the League of Women Voters to Host Public Forum on City Ethics & Transparency Reform at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 26th at the Artisan Building

Eye On Sacramento (EOS) and League of Women Voters (LWV) are pleased to announce the next public forum on City Ethics & Transparency Reform Project at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday February 26th at the Artisan Building, located at 1901 Del Paso Blvd in Sacramento. The public is invited and encouraged to share ideas and ask questions on ethics, transparency and redistricting reforms for our city.

Attendees will be hearing the results of a survey conducted by a team of EOS & LWV researchers and presented by EOS President Craig Powell and LWV President Paula Lee. City Council Member Allen Warren, Oliver Luby, fromer Ethics Commission Attorney, and Bill Edgar, former City Manager, will be on hand to critique the findings, offer their insights and answer questions from the public.

We encourage you to share the event flyer (found here) with others who may be interested in attending the forum.

Eye On Sacramento and League of Women Voters Release Report on the City Ethics & Transparency Reform Project

Media Release/Media Advisory

 For Immediate Release

Date/Time: February 18, 2015, 4:10 p.m.
Press Conference: February 19, 2015; 9:30 a.m. (See Media Advisory Below)

Contacts: Craig Powell, President, Eye on Sacramento

Phone: (916) 718-3030

E-mail: craig@eyeonsacramento.org

Paula Lee, President, League of Women Voters of Sacramento County

Phone: (916) 400-3802

E-mail: paula.lee@comcast.net

 

Eye on Sacramento and League of Women Voters Announce:

                                                (1) Release of Survey Report on Ethics Reform
                                                (2) First Forum on Ethics Reform Tomorrow Night at 6:30 p.m.

 

Eye on Sacramento (EOS) and the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County (LWV) announced today the release of their joint survey report on ethics reform. The report (link provided here) is entitled “Considering Ethics Reform in Sacramento: An Overview.” It reviews the ethics reforms that other California cities have enacted in four key areas: Ethics Codes, Ethics Commissions, Open Government (or Transparency) Ordinances and Redistricting Commissions.

“Our survey report is designed to kick start a community conversation that will begin tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Clunie Community Center on what form ethics, transparency and redistricting reform should take in Sacramento,” said EOS President Craig Powell. The Clunie Community Center is located in McKinley Park in East Sacramento (601 Alhambra Blvd.).

Tomorrow night’s forum at the Clunie marks the first of eight public forums that the LWV and EOS are hosting in each city council district in the city. A panel discussion at tomorrow’s forum will include representatives of EOS, LWV, Mr. Jeff Harris, the city council member who represents East Sacramento, Mr. Peter Scheer, the Executive Director of the California First Amendment Coalition, and CSUS Professor Kim Nadler, Director of CSUS’s Project for an Informed Electorate.

“The most important element of each forum, however, will be the suggestions and comments offered by those who attend. They will have the biggest voice at each forum. Everyone who attends will have a chance to express their views or pose questions to panelists. We’ll stay until they turn the lights out on us,” said LWV President Paula Lee.”

The next forum will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 26th at the Artisan Building (1901 Del Paso Boulevard) and will include council member Allen Warren as a panelist.

“We also want to acknowledge the broad support our effort has received from a growing roster of co-sponsoring neighborhood groups and community organizations. We’re very gratified to receive support that crosses all partisan, ideological and ethnic lines. They range from the Sacramento Taxpayers Association to Common Cause of Sacramento and from the Democratic Party of Sacramento County to Republicans of River City. This is a true kumbayah moment for Sacramento,” Powell concluded.

Following the forums and meetings with city officials, a research and drafting committee of EOS and LWV, chaired by local attorney Nicolas Heidorn, will prepare legislative proposals that will be public vetted before they are presented to the city council for action.

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view/download … Considering Ethics Reform in Sacramento: An Overview …

An Eye On Sacramento and the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County Report

Katy Grimes Piece on Measure L, Sac County GOP and our EOS Report

Here’s a revealing article by Katy Grimes on Measure L and the coopting of the Sac county GOP.

Local ‘Thought Leaders’ Bamboozle Sac GOP on Measure L

Police and Pension Reform … Burden of new contributions erased by pay hikes

Published on Friday, 01 August 2014

Police and Pension Reform

Burden of new contributions erased by pay hikes

By Craig Powell

After three long years of informal and formal bargaining, mediation, more formal bargaining and, finally, a binding determination by an arbitrator, the city has a new labor contract with the Sacramento Police Officers Association. City police will finally join all other major city bargaining unions and be required to contribute the full employee’s share into the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (9 percent of their salaries)—and then some. In addition, city cops will be required to pony up another 3 percent of their salary to pension contributions—replacing a portion of the city’s existing contribution to cop pensions—for a total contribution by cops of 12 percent of their salary. In contrast, members of the next highest contributing city union, the firefighters, contribute 9.2 percent of their salaries to pensions.

To ease the pain of such a major reduction in take-home pay, the arbitrator awarded the police salary hikes, starting next year, of 3 percent in each of the next 3 years, totaling 9.3 percent once fully implemented. (Sergeants will get 7 percent raises.) The new contract’s near-term impact on the city’s general fund budget: a savings of $1.25 million in the current fiscal year and $2.24 million in 2014-2015, shifting to a net cost of $300,000 in 2016-2017 and $1.59 million in 2017-2018.

The arbitrator’s decision caps off a three-year effort by city manager John Shirey to require all city employees to contribute 100 percent of the employee’s share of their pensions. Until Shirey’s initiative, most nonpublic-safety city employees paid between 3 and 4 percent of their salaries to their pensions, while police, firefighters and city managers paid zip toward pensions. Shirey kicked off his campaign to require full contributions by setting a good personal example: He insisted that his own employment agreement require him to make a full 7 percent pension contribution. (Of course, that’s a little easier when you are making $258,000 per year.) Next, he required all nonrepresented city employees, including all city managers, to pony up. Then, as each city union contract expired, he insisted that each contract require workers to make full contributions.

read more … Police and Pension Reform … Burden of new contributions erased by pay hikes

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Balanced in Name Only … Small budget surplus is no cause to break out the champagne

Published on Sunday, 01 June 2014

Balanced in Name Only

Small budget surplus is no cause to break out the champagne

By Craig Powell

There is only a tiny handful of policy wonks who actually look forward to the release each year of the city manager’s proposed city budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1. I’m one of them. City budget manager Leyne Milstein drove that point home in my interview of her last month, joking that I was one of only three people who have actually read the document that only a wonk could endure, much less enjoy.

But endure it I did and, knowing that most of you don’t spend your nights curled up with the city budget, I’m offering you the CliffsNotes version of it this month.

The good news is that after five years of battling chronic budget deficits, city manager John Shirey is proposing a $383 million general-fund budget that actually ekes out a small $2 million budget surplus. (The total city budget, which includes fee-collecting “enterprise funds” like city utilities, the convention center and marina, is actually $872 million, but most attention is paid to the city’s general-fund budget, which funds basic city services such as police, fire, parks, etc.) That means no cuts next year in services or city employees.

read more … Balanced in Name Only … Small budget surplus is no cause to break out the champagne

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L.A. is Bringing Transparency to City Finances

L.A. is bringing transparency to city finances with a new website that provides reams of data on how the city spends its money. We challenge Sacramento to do the same.

L.A. controller unveils website to make city finances more transparent – latimes.com