We sent in the following letter to the CHSRA authority today. For reference, here is the board resolution that retroactively okays everything Jeff Morales did. The accompanying memo does not shed much light on the issue.
We are writing to comment on agenda item #3 and to request that the full meeting packets be posted on your website, the only practical way of making these documents available for inspection to the statewide audience.
Comment on Agenda Item #3 Update of Board Policies, Procedures, and CEO Delegation
The preamble to this resolution talks about the need to expand the delegation of authority to the CHSRA CEO, yet the only action taken would retroactively endorse actions Mr. Morales has taken in the past. Without some sort of accounting of the types of actions, how can the board or the public possibly evaluate whether this is appropriate? We have specific concerns this would endorse the unauthorized actions Mr. Morales took to adjust the terms of the CP1 bidding process that resulted in the selection of the lowest quality bidder.
In addition, we have some questions as to whether Mr. Morales has complied with the requirements of other delegations of authority.Resolution 12-24, approved in September 2012, gave the CEO certain procurement authority but stipulated that a list of all new or amended Authority contracts with a value of $10,000 or more will be periodically presented to the Board by Authority staff. To our knowledge, such a list has not been presented to the board. If it has not, we would request that the board provide additional guidance for the periodic presentation of such a list. If it has been provided, we would request that it be posted on the Authority’s website. If the Authority is not prepared to do so, we would request copies of all lists to date under the Public Records Act.
Please post entire “packet” on the CHSRA website.
According to Government Code 11125.1, the vast majority of writings provided to the Board in relation to any item to be considered at a meeting are not only public documents, but should be made available at the meeting for inspection or after in the case of documents produced by others, like ourselves, at the meeting. These document are called the “packet”. In the past, there has been much angst from members of the public who are unsure if the board has received their correspondence. The only way to be assured that documents have been received is to see them in the packet. This also puts the members of the public on a level playing field so they have the same information that the board has received.
To date, we do not believe that the Authority has ever produced a full packet for public inspection in the way that is common practice for all other agencies. We would highlight the presentation of this information on the Air Resource Board and the Board of Equalization as examples of how other state agencies comply with this requirement. The ARB’s website is particularly helpful in encouraging public participation.
We would request that starting with this meeting, and back filling as much as possible, the Authority post all correspondence received on meeting items as well as ensure that all internal correspondence on such items has been included in the meeting packet. If the Authority is unwillling to do this, again we would request such information from all meetings in 2012, 2013 and this meeting to be provided to us under the Public Records Act.
11125.1. (a) Notwithstanding Section 6255 or any other provisions
of law, agendas of public meetings and other writings, when
distributed to all, or a majority of all, of the members of a state
body by any person in connection with a matter subject to discussion
or consideration at a public meeting of the body, are disclosable
public records under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5
(commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1), and shall
be made available upon request without delay. However, this section
shall not include any writing exempt from public disclosure under
Section 6253.5, 6254, or 6254.7 of this code, or Section 489.1 or 583
of the Public Utilities Code.
(b) Writings that are public records under subdivision (a) and
that are distributed to members of the state body prior to or during
a meeting, pertaining to any item to be considered during the
meeting, shall be made available for public inspection at the meeting
if prepared by the state body or a member of the state body, or
after the meeting if prepared by some other person. These writings
shall be made available in appropriate alternative formats, as
required by Section 202 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12132), and the federal rules and regulations
adopted in implementation thereof, upon request by a person with a disability.