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Brown Act Compliance Policy

Agendas

The Fire Chief, in cooperation with the Arcata Fire District (District) Board of Directors (Board) Chair, shall prepare an agenda for each Regular and Special meeting of the Board in accordance with the Ralph M. Brown Act (California Government Code Section 54950]. Any Board member may request the placement of any item related to District business on the agenda of an upcoming scheduled regular Board Meeting in one of four ways:

  1. By voicing a request during the open session of a Board Meeting that an item be placed on the agenda for the following meeting
  2. By submitting a request, outside of a Board Meeting, to the Board President or the Fire Chief with a copy to the Clerk of the Board;
  3. By submitting a request, outside of a Board Meeting, to the Fire Chief.
  4. By the Board member adding agenda items directly by submitting a form.

Any member of the public may request that a matter directly related to District business be placed on the agenda of a regularly scheduled Board meeting, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The request must be in writing and be submitted to the Fire Chief, together with supporting documents and information, if any, at least one week prior to the date of the meeting;
  2. The Board President, upon consultation with the Fire Chief,  will determine whether the public request is or is not a "matter directly related to District business." 
  3. No matter which is legally a proper subject for consideration by the Board in closed session will be accepted under this policy;
  4. The Board may place limitations on the total time to be devoted to a public request issue at any meeting, and may limit the time allowed for any one person to speak on the issue at the meeting.

This policy does not prevent the Board from receiving public comments at Regular and Special meetings of the Board on matters which are not on the agenda that a member of the public may wish to bring before the Board. However, the Board shall not discuss or take action on such matters at that meeting, other than providing brief general directions to staff regarding the matter, if appropriate.

At least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the time of all regular meetings, an agenda, which includes but is not limited to all matters on which there may be discussion and/or action by the Board, shall be posted conspicuously for public review at the Arcata Fire Protection District Administration Office and are open to the public, except as provided for Closed Sessions (California Government Code 54954.2 (a)(1)). Notice of all meetings and a copy of the proposed agenda shall be sent to all persons making a request in writing, and will be made available to the news media prior to the date of the meeting in accordance with the Brown Act, also a posting of the agenda to the District’s Website.

The agenda for a Special meeting shall be posted at least 24 hours before the meeting in the same location as for Regular Meeting agendas (California Government Code Section 54956).

The Fire Chief in collaboration with the Board President shall determine the order in which agenda items shall be considered for discussion and/or action by the Board, subject to re-ordering of the agenda by the Board at the meeting.

Meetings

  1. Regular Meetings of the Fire District Board shall be held on the second Tuesday of each calendar month at 5:30 p.m. in the Classroom of the Arcata Fire Station.
  2. Special Meetings of the Fire District Board may be called by the Board President or by a majority of the Board by delivering written notice to each member of the legislative body and to each local newspaper of general circulation and radio or television stations, requesting notice, in writing and posting a notice on the District's web site. The notice shall be delivered personally or by any other means at least 24 hours before the time of the meeting as specified in the notice. The call and notice shall specify the time and place of the Special meeting and the business to be transacted or discussed. No other business shall be considered by the Board at these meetings.
  3. Emergency Meetings. In the event of an emergency situation involving matters upon which prompt action is necessary due to the disruption or threatened disruption of public facilities, the Board may hold an Emergency Special meeting without complying with the 24-hour notice. An emergency situation means a crippling disaster which severely impairs public health, safety, or both, as determined by the Board President or a majority of the Board. Newspapers of general circulation in the District, radio and television stations which have requested notice of Special meetings shall be notified by at least one hour prior to the emergency meeting. In the event that telephone services are not functioning, the notice requirement of one hour is waived, but the Board, or its designee, shall notify such newspapers, radio stations, or television stations of the fact of the holding of the Emergency Special meeting, and of any action taken by the Board, as soon after the meeting as possible.
    Closed session may be held during an Emergency meeting by a unanimous vote of the members present, and all other rules governing Special meetings shall be observed with the exception of the 24-hour notice. The minutes of the Emergency meeting, a list of persons the Board or designee notified or attempted to notify, a copy of the roll call vote(s), and any actions taken at such meeting shall be posted for a minimum of ten days in the District office as soon after the meeting as possible.
  4. Adjourned Meetings. A majority vote by the Board of Directors may terminate any Board meeting at any place in the agenda and adjourn the to any time and place specified in the order of adjournment, except that if no Directors are present at any Regular or Adjourned Regular meeting, the General Manager may declare the meeting adjourned to a stated time and place, and he/she shall cause a written notice of adjournment to be given.
  5. Standing Committee Meetings. The meetings of standing Committees (comprised of four Board members less than a quorum), are subject to the notice and open meeting provision of the Brown Act.

The Board Clerk shall ensure that all required and appropriate information is available for the audience at meetings of the Board of Directors, and that physical facilities for said meetings are functional and appropriate for all persons.