Sacramento is California’s capital, however that distinction is shortly being overshadowed by the town’s penchant for official sneakiness.

Metropolis officers’ hide-the-pea tendencies first turned apparent in December when the town council, after adjourning its common assembly, reconvened for a particular assembly to ratify new contracts with two worker unions.

Then, with none advance discover, it voted to offer Metropolis Supervisor Howard Chan, already the state’s highest paid metropolis administrator, and a number of other different prime officers hefty wage raises.

Doing so was a blatant double violation of California’s Brown Act, which requires native governments to do their enterprise brazenly. One part of the regulation requires 24-hour public discover of particular conferences and one other bars native governments from contemplating wage will increase for his or her executives in particular conferences.

Furthermore, the council voted for these raises regardless that Chan and different metropolis officers knew that Sacramento had a $50 million gap in its price range, though that was not publicly introduced till a month later.

The Sacramento Bee blew the whistle on the unlawful assembly and the town shortly retrenched. “The town agrees that an merchandise relating to the salaries of its constitution officers ought to be voted on at an everyday assembly of the council,” metropolis spokesman Tim Swanson informed the Bee. “The town will convey this merchandise again on the subsequent common assembly of the Metropolis Council on Jan. 9.”

When the $50 million deficit was lastly revealed in January, Chan mentioned it resulted from union contracts and different spending that outstripped revenues.

“What you all authorized we are able to’t afford,” Chan informed the council. “It’s not sustainable.” He ordered metropolis departments to freeze hiring, journey and purchases to save cash.

The plain implication is that Chan and different officers wished to lock down their wage will increase earlier than revealing the large hole in metropolis funds.

Nevertheless, it was not the one instance of municipal sneakiness.

This month, after supplies for the March 5 election have been distributed to voters, Sacramento’s small companies {and professional} service suppliers have been stunned to study {that a} city-sponsored poll measure, if handed, would improve their metropolis enterprise license charges by 70%.

Why, one may marvel, have been these affected by the charge improve so stunned?

In seems that the town council, with little dialogue, had voted to place Measure C on the poll manner again in November, however metropolis officers didn’t honor a provision of the town constitution requiring {that a} discover of the motion be printed within the metropolis’s official newspaper inside 10 days.

In actual fact, it didn’t publish it till Feb. 7, a lot too late for opponents to submit poll arguments towards it, and “solely after The Bee Editorial Board had repeatedly requested a replica,” the newspaper reported.


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