Debate over Anaheim’s controversial subsidy for a four-star hotel has been resurrected after an Orange County Superior Court judge voided a city council vote approving the $158 million deal, saying the vote violated the Brown Act. The issue must now return to the council for a re-vote.
The Brown Act dictates that governments must give the public notice of actions, including approving agreements. In this case, the staff report and agenda item simply referred to considering an agreement and giving staff the authority to draft an agreement. Standard operating procedure then has the agreement return to the body for approval before being enacted. In this case, the agreement never returned to the Council.
As a result, activists felt there was too little time to publicly discuss and scrutinize the deal. They sued.
With changes in the council makeup after this past election, the outcome is likely not going to change. Instead of being 3-2, the agreement may pass 4-1, but not without more public input and discussion this time.
Read the full story at the Voice of the OC.