Bill Mateson said he and other members were not properly informed of the investigation, but rather being kept in the dark.; he asked that the City hold a special meeting with the full Los Altos Parking Committee.
Kim Cranston said he had never seen a detailed list of FOLA’s specific Brown Act charges. He wondered if the City Attorney was representing not only the City, but also the members of the Los Altos Parking Committee like him. He charged that City Attorney Jolie Houston would not talk to him — I’ve never before been represented by a lawyer who wouldn’t talk to me.” Cranston went on to say that this incident would have a “chilling effect making Los Altans much less likely to volunteer for City Commissions and Committees.”
Mark Rogge read his free-verse poem about “the bully,” alluding to the FOLA group and one its leaders, former mayor, Ron Packard. His finale – “Please don’t support bullies.” He also suggested that there were more open ways of doing an investigation; he’d seen several. [See earlier post for the context.]
Jack Kelly — one parking comittee member who was not named in the FOLA allegations delivered by David Casas Feb. 8, — defended the Brown Act behavior of Councilmember Jean Mordo and Los Altos parking committee members. “And if a Brown Act did occur, it was totally unintentional.”
Later, after all the public comments, City Attorney Jolie Houston replied that FOLA’s charges in full detail were posted on the City web-site and also the FOLA website. [Lalahpolitico’s prior article and links to charges here.] Houston said she had consulted with the County District Attorney about best practices for conducting this kind of an investigation, and he had vetted her approach. Houston accused “several committee members” of being “non-cooperative with the investigation.” She said she had sent several emails to all Los Altos Parking Committee members, keeping them abreast of the investigation.[According to the Town Crier, the City has retained the law firm of Sheppard, Mulin, Richter & Hampton to conduct the investigation. http://www.losaltosonline.com/news/sections/news/201-traffic-development/52390-]
Later, City Councilmember Megan Sattterlee tried to explain that the City investigation was an attempt to “preserve the work product [findings and reports] of the current Parking committee.” Lalahpolitico: FOLA has asserted that if there were Brown Act violations, the City would have to just start the work over again – new Parking Committee recruitment, new research, new findings. Satterlee was trying to assure the current Los Altos Parking Committee members that this investigation by an outside law firm was the best way forward to avoid having to flush all their work. Whosh!
The city page about the ad hoc Los Altos City-side Parking sub-committee
Jeannie Bruins, Mayor Pro Tem
Jean Mordo, Councilmember
Ronit Bodner, Planning & Transportation Commissioner
Mike McTighe, Planning & Transportation Commissioner
Marcia Somers, City Manager
James Walgren, Community
The Friends of Los Altos Page. It seems to name Parking Committee participants… Jean Mordo, Kim Cranston, David Rock, Bill Maston, and Ronit Bodner as culpable.