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Sunshine Task Force to hold workshop on Saturday

Submitted by on 1, September 8, 2010 – 5:00 amNo Comment

Alameda’s Sunshine Task Force is set to hold a public workshop this Saturday, September 11 to get public comment on a draft sunshine ordinance it put together in an effort to make local government more open and accessible to the public.

Participants in the workshop, which will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Stafford Meeting Room of the Alameda Free Library, will also have a chance to comment on a draft campaign finance ordinance written by the City Attorney’s office. The event will also feature two speakers, Terry Francke of Californians Aware, an open government organization; and Brandon Kline, who serves on the board of Common Cause, an activist group that works to make government, corporations and the media more accountable.

“The members of the Task Force have worked hard to develop a draft sunshine ordinance that furthers the goal of open and transparent government. We look forward to sharing our efforts with the community and receiving feedback about what the public wants included in the draft ordinance,” task force chair Gretchen Lipow said.

The 31-page draft ordinance would codify many of the rights already laid out by the state’s public records and open government rules and adds a host of new ones, including a longer notice period for public meetings, a public index of city records listing whether they are available or exempt from disclosure and audio or video taping of closed-door meetings. Under the proposed ordinance, the city would be required to keep e-mails for two years, instead of the current 30 days, and would also require the city to maintain a file containing correspondence with public officials.

The campaign finance ordinance would cap campaign contributions at $250 per contributor and require public disclosure of contributions of $100 or more. City Council members had been asked to approve the ordinance in June but held off for more public input.

The task force’s membership includes Lipow, Tom Charron, Jeff Mitchell, John Knox White, Rob Wonder, and its facilitaor is Jeff Cambra.

The library is at 1550 Oak Street.

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