Community College District Seeks Expansion via $450 million Bond

community college bond measure 2014

On Wednesday, February 26th, the Contra Costa Community College District Board of Directors will consider placing a $450 million bond measure before voters on the June 3, 2014 election ballot (see agenda item 57-D on page 174 here).  For more than a year the District has explored ways to finance the expansion and modernization of its […]

Pleasant Hill City Clerk Kimberly Lehmkuhl fails legal duties

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Pleasant Hill residents owe a debt of gratitude to Councilmember David Durant for taking the initiative to address a longstanding performance problem with the city’s elected City Clerk, Kimberly Lehmkuhl. For over a year the Council, staff and public have been unable to reference or track city legislative history because Kimberly Lehmkuhl has failed to produce […]

CC Times Blasts Pleasant Hill Mayor rotation fiasco

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In a refreshingly candid commentary, the Contra Costa Times editorial board blasted Pleasant Hill Councilmembers Michael Harris, Tim Flaherty and Ken Carlson for their move last month to bypass fellow Councilmember Jack Weir in the traditional Pleasant Hill Mayor rotation.

Pleasant Hill gun ordinance faces lawsuit from firearms industry

Pleasant Hill Public Hearing on Gun Ordinance June 9

A Pleasant Hill gun ordinance faces a lawsuit filed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry. NSSF has filed a lawsuit against the City of Pleasant Hill, Calif. and the City Council, to prevent the Pleasant Hill gun ordinance passed in November from being enforced that puts an […]

Mourning the death of Common Sense

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Today we mourn the passing of an old friend, Common Sense. Born on January 10, 1776, his true legacy and impact on America was lost long ago in bureaucratic red tape. Since the mid 1700s, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. Common Sense was credited with cultivating such […]

Union power grab in Pleasant Hill sets stage for 2014 campaigns

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Ready for a Power Grab in Pleasant Hill? Every December the City of Pleasant Hill rotates its Mayor among Council members. In the customary rotation schedule, Vice-Mayor Jack Weir was expected to succeed outgoing Mayor Michael Harris. At Monday night’s Council meeting, in what appeared to be a pre-planned power grab of the Pleasant Hill City […]

County Ban on Electronic Cigarettes is first step to new tax

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In modern America it has become commonplace for government regulation of an activity to serve as a precursor to taxation. Accordingly reports that Contra Costa county supervisors plan to “ban the use of battery-operated electronic cigarettes everywhere traditional tobacco smoking is already prohibited,” are a sure sign that new taxes are on the way.

Government Transparency: A Citizen’s Perspective

This week is national Sunshine Week, a public awareness campaign to encourage citizen participation in government and increase knowledge of how to access public records.  To support this effort, I offer four tips to help public officials take a fresh look at government openness from the perspective of an average citizen.

Public Rights to Government Records Threatened

Terry Franke of Californians Aware, an organization that advocates for public rights to government information, has identified troubling changes to the California Public Records Act (CPRA) contained in Governor Brown’s 2013/14 budget proposal. Brown proposes to eliminate the CPRA mandate by halting state reimbursement to local agencies for the costs of compliance.