Violations of Irvine’s Sunshine Ordinance Continue at OC Great Park Board Meetings

* Agenda creation and publication oversight is sorely needed for Irvine’s public business meetings *

Last night’s OC Great Park Board (“Board”) meeting presented a completely different Great Park Project Development Progress Report (“Report”) than the one provided to the public prior to the meeting. Changes included adding in plans for the library, Cultural Center, and museums, relieving the concerns many community members initially had and who were glad to see the return, but was in violation of Irvine’s Sunshine Ordinance (“Ordinance”).

The Board is required to give the public all documents and reports that are to be discussed and presented at the meeting 12 days prior to, or 5 days prior on supplemental agendas. Not doing so prevented the public from weighing in on specific projects of great public interest. Since the Report was changed after the 5 day supplemental agenda deadline, the item should have been moved to a subsequent meeting agenda. This was another example of the Board keeping the public out.

Irvine’s Sunshine Ordinance enhances the provisions of the Brown Act and serves to promote transparency in order to enhance public participation in Irvine’s decision making process.

Some of the Ordinance requirements are:

  1. Agenda posting requirements: Agendas and document attachments must be posted 12 days prior to City Council, Great Park Board, Commission and Committee meetings. If changes are to be made after posting, agenda items and their attachments can be posted on supplemental agendas within 5 days of the meeting. Should items need to be changed after the 5 day deadline, baring emergency situations, the agenda items must be removed from the agenda and placed on a subsequent meeting agenda.
  2. Agenda consent items:  Agenda consent items must address routine matters which are not of general public interest or concern. These agenda items are only discussed and/or presented  if “pulled out” by members of the decision making body. Members of the public are permitted to “pull out” consent items for public comment, but rarely is there a presentation given on the item.
  3. Agenda items must address items that are within the jurisdiction of the decision making body:  Thus for the Great Park Board meetings, the agenda items must address issues related to Great Park venues and services. They may not call for decisions on items related to venues, issues and services located outside of the Great Park.

Irvine’s Sunshine Ordinance violations are not uncommon for OC Great Park Board meetings and all of the above three requirements listed have been violated before without consequence.

See previous Irvine Watchdog articles addressing past violations:

    • The Great Park Board placed a licensing agreement item on the Great Park agenda, with the City Manager and the City Council circumventing public participation from this decision, as members of the public would not be aware that a jurisdiction requirement is being bypassed. The Great Park Board did not have jurisdiction on this agenda item and it should not have been on the consent calendar.
      Keeping the Public In The Dark on ARDA – Irvine Watchdog
    • The Irvine City Council placed two items (Agenda Items 2.9 and 2.10) on the Consent Calendar that appeared to be intended to delay the construction of the Veteran’s Cemetery, without giving the public an opportunity to hear a public presentation or discussion from our Council members. These items may also have had an adverse impact on public transportation.
      New ARDA Site Land Lease Agreements Hidden From Public View   – Irvine Watchdog

The April 27, 2021 board meeting video can be watched here.