VENTURA, Calif. – The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a change in when agendas for the board meetings are posted for the public at their meeting on March 8. The County Executive Office brought the board the recommendation to post a draft version of the agenda on Mondays – eight days before the Tuesday meetings – and three days ahead of the standard Thursday posting of the Final Agenda.
“This is all about transparency,” said County CEO Mike Powers. “We want to be sure the public has enough time to see and understand what we are doing, and then provide us with their comments. The advance publication would also give board members and County staff the opportunity to move items forward, or amend items.”
Under California’s Brown Act, the County must publish an agenda at least 72 hours prior to a regular meeting. Currently, agendas are being published 126 hours before a meeting, but adding the additional three days is seen as a way to ensure public access to the document.
As a part of their research into the matter, County staff conducted a survey of 67 other California counties and cities to determine how many others are publishing in advance of their official posting. Thirty-eight entities responded and, of those, only eight are publishing anything in advance, and only three of those make the information available to the public. Additionally, County department and agency directors were consulted about the change and none of them believed the early posting would have an impact on their operations.
The publication of draft agendas is a reaffirmation of the County’s commitment to leadership in government transparency.