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Legal Issues for Board Members sa Town Council Department Heads Joan deRyk Jones, Mayor 1[TMM W Tony Lashbrook, Town Manager i J. Dennis Crabb, Town Attorney Barbara Green, Vice Mayor Adam McGill, Chief of Police John McLaughlin, Community Development Director Dr. Mark Brown D. C, Council Member Kim Szczumk, Administrative Services Director Carolyn Wallace Richard Anderson, Council Member `4Qbrz•A, ���' ,r ° "at�09 Alex Terrazas, Assi stant Judy �Town Man ager ° �aea I °° ° gyp Daniel Wilkins, Public Works Director/Town Engineer MEMORANDUM DATE: March 28, 2012 TO: Truckee Successor Agency Oversight Board FROM: Dennis Crabb, Town Attorney SUBJECT: Legal Issues for Board Members Congratulations on your appointment to the newly formed Truckee Successor Agency Oversight Board. The law eliminating the Truckee Redevelopment Agency charges you and the Board with the task of winding down its affairs. In that process, the Board Members are required to comply with a wide variety of laws, this memo is a basic introduction. The Town Attorney is available to assist you when legal questions arise. The standard protocol; however, is for you to first contact either Alex Terrazas, or in his absence, Tony Lashbrook with questions. They will then communicate with me. If both are unavailable and an emergency arises, or if there is a need for strict confidentiality, you may contact me directly at (530) 582 -2921 or by email at dcrabb(a)townoftruckee.com Generally speaking, the areas of law you will be required to comply with are: Conflict of Interest Issues: A. The California Fair Political Practices Act generally requires the public officials disclose their economic interest. While the statute creating the Board does not specifically state that FPPC compliance is required it must be assumed that it does. The Town Clerk will provide you with the necessary forms at your first meeting. B. Contracts with the Town: California law has very strict prohibitions on officials contracting with the entity they work for, for goods or services. There are both civil and criminal penalties. In general, the rule is that contracting with the Town to provide anything is prohibited. The Board and Successor Agency is a separate 10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee, CA 96161 -3306 www.townoftruckee.com Administration: 530- 582 -7700 / Fax: 530- 582 -7710 / email: truckee @townoftruckee.com Community Development: 530- 582 -7820 / Fax: 530- 582 -7889 / email: cdd @townoftruckee.com Animal Services /Vehicle Abatement: 530 - 582 -7830 / Fax: 530 - 582 -7889 / email: animalservices @townoftruckee.com Police Department: 530 - 550 -2328 / Fax: 530 - 550 -2326 / email: policedepartment @townoftruckee.com Printed on recycled paper. Page 2 entity from the Town, so that rule may not apply. If you are involved in any contract with the Town, the issue may require further review. C. Common Law Conflicts: Even if there is not specific law regulating some particular situation it may raise ethical questions. Since the appointments involved are statutory you represent various interested stake holders. There are no bright line rules. The fundamental question is whether you would be comfortable with yourself, and the public perception of your action. Would you want to be the subject of a critical article in the local paper as a result of a decision or action taken? II Open Meetinq Laws (aka Brown Act) Board meetings are open to the public. Meetings must have a specific agenda format, with an opportunity for the public to comment or both agenda and a non - agenda items. The Staff will take care of preparing the agenda, in cooperation with the Board Chair. Board members may and are encouraged to, contact Staff before the meeting with questions or concerns about agenda items. Doing so will expedite the meeting and focus the discussion. A quorum of Board Members (4) may not jointly discuss issues outside of a meeting. Up to three Board Members may do so or be appointed as a subcommittee to do so. There are a limited number of exceptions to the rule for social events, other governmental meetings, and conferences. At no time may a majority of the Board directly or indirectly, reach a collective decision as to a course of action outside of a meeting. As a matter of public perception, it is a questionable practice for a majority of Board to be talking together outside of a meeting. III Public Records Act: With a few exceptions not relevant here, all documents created for or received by the Board or individual Members are public records. Any member of the public is entitled to see and obtain copies of for a small fee. If you receive or send a -mails on your personal computer relating to Board matters; which are not generated by the Town they are also public records and arrangements must be made to provide them to the Staff for inclusion in the Commissions records. All Board meetings will be tape recorded, so it is a desirable to consider what you say before speaking. Care should also be taken before putting something in writing or in an email. IV Legal Uncertainties: Everything that the Town and the Oversight Board will be doing is new. There are many unanswered legal and procedural questions. There are also various legislative proposals which are being discussed in Sacramento which could Page 3 change the rules as currently understood. There is no checklist or manual for any of this. As staff to the Successor Agency and the Oversight Board, we will do our best to provide recommendations to deal with the unknowns as they arise. I look forward to working with you in your new roles. If there are any questions, or I can be of assistance please contact me at any time.