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Chester 7-11 meeting off, now on again
The Chester 7-11 Committee’s meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6 p.m. at the Chester High School library, was off again and now on again following misunderstandings about posting requirements for the public meeting.
The Brown Act requires that notices of regular public meetings be posted in publicly accessible places 72 hours beforehand. Under a new requirement that went into effect Jan. 1, a public agency with a website also must post agendas there 72 hours prior to a regular meeting.
According to emails obtained by Feather Publishing, the Chester committee sent its agenda to Plumas Unified School District Friday, Feb. 3, a full 96 hours ahead of time. The district, which maintains a website, declined to post the agenda, saying it couldn’t meet the 72-hour requirement because weekend hours don’t count.
It is the opinion of the California Attorney General’s Office (78 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 327) that weekend hours do count in calculating the 72-hour notice period. The only caveat is that the agenda must be posted in a location that is freely accessible to members of the public. Posting the agenda in a public building that is locked during evening or weekend hours does not meet the statutory requirement.
Even if Chester committee members had blanketed their community with meeting notices, something they were considering as of Saturday afternoon, they still could not have met the new requirement for website posting since PUSD declined to post the agenda.
This morning, Feb. 6, committee chairwoman Traci Holt decided to designate the meeting a special meeting, which has a 24-hour noticing requirement. PUSD has posted that agenda, so the meeting is a go.
The Chester committee also has a public forum scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m. in the Chester High School library, barring any glitches.
Agendas and minutes for all the 7-11 committees can be found by visiting pcoe.k12.ca.us. Click on “Governing Board Establishes 7-11 Committees” in the slideshow.