Humboldt County reports Brown Act violation; staff to take corrective measures

The Humboldt County Administrative Office reported Friday that the Brown Act -- California's open meeting law -- was violated on March 20 when three supervisors attended a meeting that was not properly noticed.

The violation occurred when 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, 3rd District Supervisor Mark Lovelace and 5th District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg attended a "staff and community partnership meeting" discussing the budget meetings held March 6 at locations in each of the county's districts.

Under the state's open meeting law, the public must be given 72 hours advance notice when a majority of the supervisors will attend a meeting.

Lovelace said the violation resulted from the board's "excitement" over the success of the meetings, which were held simultaneously via an interactive video conference.

"It was unintentional," he said. "I think it just goes to show how much interest there is in these community budget meetings."

County spokesman Sean Quincey said no decisions were made, and actions will be taken to prevent future violations.

"Staff will be getting more training about the Brown Act and its nuances," he said.

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