The Santa Ana City Council last week changed its public meeting rules to specify times and locations of its meetings.

Council meetings will convene at the City Council chambers or as otherwise noted on the agenda and will begin at 6 p.m. Previously residents have been uncertain about both the exact location of meetings and when they were supposed to begin.

Such information is among the basic requirements of the state’s open meetings law, known as the Ralph M. Brown Act. Voice of OC and Liberal OC have outlined how the City Council has routinely violated the Brown Act.

The amended rules also come on the heels of changes to the way council members convene their meetings. In the past, council members would meet for closed session without first convening a public council meeting. The practice violates the Brown Act because, under the law, members of the public are supposed to have a chance to make public comments on closed session agenda items.

Other changes to the meeting rules:

  • Members of the public may now address the City Council on any issue within the council’s jurisdiction or other official business having to do with the city.
  • Members of the public will not be prevented from speaking during public comments should they choose not to disclose their names or addresses. As Voice of OC previously reported, such a requirement also violates the Brown Act.

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