CEAV’S REMARKS TO CAL EXPO BOARD – MARCH 26, 2010

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Cal Expo Violations
of the California Bagley-Keene Act of 2004
and Open Public Process in Development Planning


Agenda Item 10: “Correspondence”

By

The CEAV Project

Red Slider, Steward

The CEAV Project:

website: http://www.ceav.us
email: ceav@ceav.us


[Note: CEAV was not permitted to deliver this speech as written. Mr. Albiani, the Chair of the Cal Expo Board elected to only provide 5 minutes to The CEAV project, though CEAV informed the Board in advance that their presentation would require approximately 35 minutes (see ‘Exhibit B’ at the end of this report). Mr. Bartosik then advised the Secretary of the Board to set the time clock to five-minutes. CEAV pointed out to the Chair that they had asked to be put on the regular agenda of the Board, had requested 35 minutes in advance and noted that developers and other presenters routinely used 30-90 minutes for their presentations. CEAV was left no alternative but to simply read the text until the Chairman interrupted after the five-minutes allocation (allowing a little over 2 of the 11 pages of the text to be read.)]

Footnotes and Exhibits can be found at the end of the document.

March 26, 2010 Presentation to the Cal Expo Board of Directors
Agenda Item #10: Presentation
RE: Open Public Processes And the Bagley-Keene Act; Cal Expo Development Processes
Written Text of Prepared Remarks from Red Slider, steward; The CEAV Project

Chairman Albiani,
Members of the Cal Expo Board of Directors,
Members of the Public,

I am Red Slider, current steward of The CEAV Project, a citizen’s ad hoc catalyst group. ‘CEAV’ stands for “Cal Expo – An Alternate Vision”; a proposal we presented to this board in March 2009. I am also a resident of Sacramento living a few blocks from Cal Expo.

I am here today to speak to you on the subject of ‘open’, ‘fair’ and public processes which are fundamental to the operation of every agency of government, at every level. In particular, I wish to speak about the processes and provisions for public participation in the matter of Cal Expo’s future development.

The matter of public participation, and the need for public inclusion in the deliberations and actions of its public representatives is of such importance that in 2004 the State of California enacted the Bagley-Keene Act. It is a remarkable section of California law meant to insure that the processes of all state multimember bodies, of which Cal Expo, its board and its various committees and employees are included, were conducted in a manner that insured the public would be fully informed and have a full participatory role in the decisions and actions of its State agencies. This, the intention of the Act, did not simply mean that the multimember bodies to which it applied were merely obliged to indulge the public it served or provide 3-minute time slots during “public input” sessions to voice their concerns or vent their anger. It was a comprehensive set of rules intended to insure that the public would be kept informed at every stage of any process which might shape the outcome of the deliberations and actions of the organization. It was intended to insure that the public was informed in a manner that would be inclusive; that would permit time for them to form judgments and opinions; that would allow them to fully enter the deliberative process and influence those outcomes; and, would allow their ideas and alternatives to be heard and seriously considered. In short, it was intended to be as the Attorney General of California described:

“When the Legislature enacted the Bagley-Keene Act, it imposed still another value judgment on the governmental process. In effect, the Legislature said that when a body sits down to develop its consensus, there needs to be a seat at the table reserved for the public. (§ 11120.) By reserving this place for the public, the Legislature has provided the public with the ability to monitor and participate in the decision-making process.”

It was nothing less, in the Attorney General’s words, than “a seat at the table” that the Act intended to provide to the citizens of our State in the operations of their government and the various agencies through which the State conducts its business.

Moreover, the Bageley-Keene Act was not simply a body of rules and regulations with which its agencies would simply need to comply. It was a spirit and an intention to ensure that the people of California were to be an integral part of the outcomes of the actions of its public officials; as creators of those outcomes as well as subjects of them. That is the overarching mandate of the Act. For the Bagley-Keene Act, perhaps more than any other law governing the people of California, mere technical compliance or appearance of following the Law’s provisions is not enough. Its agencies and public officials would need to do more, if the Act was to have any meaning. They would need to embrace its intentions, to be proactive in inviting and encouraging the public to take their “seat at the table.” It wouldn’t be enough to wave some non-disclosure statement around and stifle public discussion because of some third-party agreement. It would be outside the intention of the Act to quickly bury public remarks on important issues in digital archives where they were unlikely to be seen or, to seamlessly weave together processes that would march forward while the public hardly had the opportunity to weigh and consider such complex and important matters as the future of one of its agencies and the public lands it occupied. Nor would it be ok to deliberately construct a committee that could legally circumvent the Act’s provisions in order to convenience itself and conduct its business in secret.

To have “a seat at the table” is to know where the table is; to know what is being done at the table; and, to have the time and information to prepare one’s remarks and form those opinions that are to be brought to the table. Above all, ‘having a seat at the table’ means being seriously considered by the other ‘seats at the table’; to be an equal among equals and to be given as much regard, attention and serious consideration as other opinions at the table. That is the intention and spirit of the Act as voiced by the Attorney General. Without that spirit, that enthusiasm to give life to the Bagley-Keene Act, the Act itself is an empty promise; a shell of good intentions.

At the last meeting of this Board, the Chairman directed a comment to the public to the effect that it would be “inconvenient” and “make it hard to do business” if certain provisions of the Bagley-Keene Act were engaged, He was speaking specifically about committees that were constructed so as to avoid the Act’s provisions, despite the fact that they dealt with matters of great significance to the public and to the future of Cal Expo itself. The Attorney General makes it clear that the Act was not intended to accommodate multimember bodies in the efficiency of conducting their affairs. In describing the use of multimember bodies to make decisions, he says;

“Rather than striving strictly for efficiency, it [the Legislature] concludes that there is a higher value to having a group of individuals with a variety of experiences, backgrounds and viewpoints come together to develop a consensus,”

and, the Attorney General concludes that section on the ‘Purposes of the Act’, stating,

“Simply put, some efficiency is sacrificed for the benefits of greater public participation in government.”

Public participation, the very core of the Bagley-Keene Act, was not, the Legislature was saying, a matter to be trumped by concerns of convenience or efficiency. But its reach extends much further than that. The public need to know and participate takes precedence where matters of efficiency are concerned; it must be an active part of the intention and attention of every aspect of multibody deliberations. For example, also at your last Board meeting, one of the members asked if the ‘Criteria Section’ of the 2004 development plan could be copied for the Board members and, she further suggested, it might be used as the criteria for evaluating new proposals.

Now that is of extreme importance to the entire development process and to the public. It is in the establishment of those criteria for selecting and designing such plans that the entire process, going forward, is framed. As we said in our remarks at the February meeting of this Board, and in many of CEAV’s public documents, how these early, preparatory steps are taken, how an initial concept is framed plays a critical part in the outcome. Using the 2004 criteria might be a good thing, it might not. But the Board made no mention, in response, to any process in which the public was to participate in examining those documents or in developing plan criteria. It has not even posted the 2004 master-plan in a place that might get noticed or accessed by the public. Indeed, the only copy that CEAV could find was attached to a June 2009 meeting agenda package and did not contain any special section, as far as we could tell, on evaluation criteria. In any case, this matter, though critical to the public’s evaluation, is relatively unavailable and out of sight of the public. For the Board, the matter simply rested with their making copies of these old criteria available to the members to serve as a basis for designing new evaluation criteria.

Again, in both the larger spirit of public participation and in the details of applying that spirit to its specific operations and processes, Cal Expo has made little or no provision for seating the public at their table. The list of small and large violations of this spirit suggests that what is wrong, here, is not simply a matter of following rules. Rather, it is a culture of exclusion, even impatience, with respect to the meaning of the Bagley-Keene Act and the purposes of public participation in the decisions of government. There are numerous other examples of the ways in which Cal Expo has failed to live up to the spirit embodied in the Bagley-Keene Act and other ‘sunshine’ provisions of California law. Some of those will be attached as an exhibit to this document at a later time.

We would also add that those purposes of open, fair and transparent process are not simply for the benefit of satisfying some mandate for public involvement. They also have a very pragmatic and real impact on the success of any plans and actions undertaken by a public entity. The ‘Sacramento First’ task force, in the closing remarks of its final report to the Mayor and City Council, stated:

“As final words, the Task Force believes the City must adhere not only to the Rules of the Game, but must likewise follow guiding principles of transparency and purpose.”

and, the report continued,

” The Task Force strongly recommends the City create and nurture an atmosphere of transparency and public discussion. Without transparency, credibility will suffer and public faith will diminish. No project can succeed without credibility and public faith.”

What the Task Force is clearly saying is that, not only are these guiding principles of “transparency and purpose” required to affect public participation and insure the public “a seat at the table,” but they are essential to the success of a project. And, while it is often convenient to look to the difficult economy, or the resistance of voters to taxes or some other external reason for the failure of past projects, including numerous attempts by Cal Expo to implement a development plan; it may be of equal importance that Cal Expo has hardly sought, let alone achieved, “credibility and public faith” in these undertakings.

What is to be done then? For we have not only ample evidence that Cal Expo has done little to include the public in its processes, and has deliberately sought to exclude them from important parts of the process; but, that there exists, in this organization, a culture of exclusion and disdain for the critical role of the public in its proceedings as has been embodied in the Bagley-Keene Act and implemented by the Legislature.

The CEAV Project wishes to recommend the following actions that we feel are important steps towards rectifying this situation:

1. The Board of Directors of Cal Expo needs to carry out a comprehensive internal review of the entire subject of openness, fairness and transparency in its development processes and identify all points at which the intention to ‘seat the public at its table’ may have been thwarted, obstructed or, in some other way discouraged.

2. The Board of Directors of Cal Expo create an independent committee or commission for the purpose of developing an action plan to ensure the encouragement and fact of transparency, openness and public participation in all of Cal Expo’s activities, and throughout its organization. This committee should include members of the Board, public advocacy/interest organizations and members of the general public. This Committee should set its own agenda, core principles and timetable to accomplish its mission.

3. Training and sensitive workshops in open government, public participation, transparency, and other aspects of maintaining a healthy respect and culture of public partnership – that is partnership with the public – should be engaged by Cal Expo, immediately. This is no different, nor any less important, than ethnic sensitivity and diversity training that is given, in some cases mandated, throughout the state and its public agencies. Such “Sunshine” training should not only teach the rules of the game but, insure that everyone in the Cal Expo organization understands the importance and reason for having them, as well as understanding the importance of the role of the public; in seeing that the spirit of the Act as well as its letter are fully implemented. As the Attorney General said in his handbook,

“If one accepts the philosophy behind the creation of a multimember body and the reservation of a seat at the table for the public, many of the particular rules that exist in the Bagley-Keene Act become much easier to accept and understand. Simply put, some efficiency is sacrificed for the benefits of greater public participation in government.”

Had Cal Expo taken such steps, long ago, to insure full public engagement in its plans for its own future, the second part of this report would probably not be necessary. However, the current process of acquiring new proposals and developing a credible plan for the future of the Cal Expo is a fair reflection of the inadequacies of the processes of the past which continue to be employed by the agency.

Fresh from a lengthy and costly failed result of its previous attempt to site a sports-arena and mixed-use development on its site, The Cal Expo Board has seamlessly entered into a new round of considerations by simply adopting the same questionable procedures of the past and grafting a new round of proposals onto them. Indeed, Cal Expo has already advanced a sole-source proposal applicant, a single idea which only and incidentally engages Cal Expo as a method of financing an unrelated project, before even considering how it wishes to proceed.

It did so, in fact, before the Sacramento First report had been written or presented to the city council. The Board hosted presentations by the Kamilos group, created lengthy and detailed questionnaires on their proposal, engaged in dialog on the matter and otherwise duplicated the steps by which the previous, failed plan was ushered through the process; all before the task force proposal selection process was completed.

In terms of process and public engagement, what is wrong with this picture should be obvious. The City has made no formal request of Cal Expo to consider the use of its land in a land-swap deal. In fact, the city has not even decided that the Kamilos/NBA plan is the one they wish to pursue. Nor, in any case, do the city’s schedule or Mr. Kamilos’ schedule have any relevance to Cal Expo.
More to the point, what the city is doing, its sports-arena and development plans, are quite outside Cal Expo’s mission and concerns. For one thing, Cal Expo’s mission is to operate a State Fair. For another, Cal Expo’s responsibility is statewide. One would hope that its designs and decisions will be of benefit to the city in which it resides, but that is not the principle responsibility of Cal Expo. It owes its full consideration and allegiance to all of the people of the state and to its mission to operate a State Fair.
What does this have to do with open, public processes?

Everything. Because, if you look beyond the external excuses, “the economy”, “negotiation details” and so forth, what most failed, in the failure of the last development plan, was the role of the public in monitoring, reviewing and insuring that the best plan with the most chance of success was really on the table and being studied and considered as it should have been. That role was fairly well amputated from the Board’s deliberative process. Even if it were simply a matter of the “economy” that finally brought the NBA arena plan to a halt, it might very well have been the public that could have brought those weaknesses to the table long before it fell apart on its own. Long before large sums of money and time were thrown at something that didn’t work.

– The processes that took down the original plan were the same ones that locked out the public voice. As far as the general public was concerned, the Cal Expo arena plan was launched with the announcement of what Cal Expo did, not what it was planning to do. Certainly not with any attempt to call on the public about what it ought to do. From its September 2007 announcement of discussions with the NBA, through its May 2008 LOU announcement and October 2009 LOU extension, Cal Expo has framed a single proposal as the only voice at its table, on its website and in its news releases. While Cal Expo claims to have done this with “hundreds of individuals and community groups,” CEAV notes that its community “outreach” and “consultations with the public” appears to be largely promotional efforts for its narrowly constructed, pre-selected ideas. For example, community concerns, such as Swanston’s Estates questions about traffic impacts under the new plan, according to an association member present at that meeting, were met with Cal Expo’s response “don’t worry about that [traffic issues], we’ll take care of it.” Claims of “outreach” to the public ring hollow in the chambers of the Bagely-Keene Act. [1]

Alternative proposals and ideas from the public were similarly locked out of the process. The CEAV Project’s ‘Cal Expo – An Alternate Proposal’, presented to the Board in March of 2009, was entirely ignored and has never been mention by Cal Expo in its deliberations. According to Doug Tatara, another proposal from his group was similarly treated. There may be others. The public simply has no way of knowing. Why not?

Because these proposals are delayed publication (when they are published at all), put as attachments to subsequent meeting agenda and quickly assigned to the archives to be forgotten by all but the most persistent researcher. In contrast, NBA plans and press releases promoting only those plans are carefully maintained at a top link (“Cal Expo Redevelopment Project – NBA Arena) on its home page and most other pages of its site. Not only does this indexed section contain the promotional materials and documents for the old failed plan, but promotional materials for Cal Expo’s new sole-source candidate, the Kamilos/NBA plan, has already appeared in the same indexes as if the two processes were one and the same. Moreover, its choice of materials is highly selective to favor its own agenda. For example, two lengthy articles that appeared in the Sunday, March 14th Editorial Section of the Sacramento Bee, one by a noted local economist and another by an associate editor of the Bee, both critical of the assumptions of the Kamilos plan, are not included or linked in Cal Expo’s ‘NBA – Arena’ pages at all. Clearly, Cal Expo is favoring and promoting a single entity, the NBA and a single proposal, the Kamilos proposal. This, even though the city has made no selection as of this date and Cal Expo is claiming it “hasn’t decided anything”.
During this interim period, when the Board has vacated its LOU with the NBA and is not gagged from discussing alternatives or entertaining public objection, proposals are still hidden away as if they did not exist. In addition, ‘public input’ remarks on important matters are often not recorded or abbreviated to the point of distortion. Similarly, the public’s seat at the table is directly obstructed and muted by Cal Expo . In one case, an attempt by The CEAV Project to hand out the text of remarks it planned to make during ‘Public Input’ before the April 2009 Cal Expo Board meeting, we were forbidden to do so by Mr. Gates, Cal Expo’s Chief of Police. [2] These are obstructions of public participation in the extreme. There is really nothing else to call it. There simply is no seat at Cal Expo’s table that is reserved for the public.

The current process continues in this fashion and to this day, like past processes, and is seamlessly welded to them with no place where the public is invited to enter. While Cal Expo announced new committees, namely ‘Operations and Planning’ and, perhaps, ‘Finance’ that will also be dealing with development issues, it remains to be seen what their role, in practice, will really be and just how much of ‘a seat at the table’ the public will have in its processes. It also remains that the ‘Real Estate’ Committee has operated as the principle architect of development plans to date, and chief negotiators on behalf of the organization. It was and still is constructed in a manner so as to exempt it from the Bageley-Keene Act and permit it to operate without formal agenda, notice or other inclusions of the public into its workings. In short, it operates as a secret committee of the board. It is through that committee that the board has been preparing the ground to move to an “exclusive negotiating agreement” as rapidly as possible with no thought of opening the discussion to a completely new round of ideas in an impartial atmosphere. Cal Expo’s dialogs with the developer treat the minutiae of finance and jurisdiction and concept, as if it were already assumed these would be the principle questions to be framed for the coming deliberation. The public is given no role in the process, save to react with minor concerns about the impact of the chosen plan on some local issue.

The fact that these committees are “advisory bodies” or that they do not take direct action is wholly irrelevant as far as the public role is concerned. They have been, and will continue to be, the principle places where the future of these plans are shaped; and they will be the bodies to which the Board most looks an relies for information upon which its deliberations are based and its decisions are made. Citing such technical formalities as having only ‘advisory’ capacities’ or possessing only “delegated authority” is also typical of Cal Expo’s cavalier dismissal of the public’s need to engage these levels of deliberation just as much as its need to engage the Board itself. That they, subordinate bodies, possess and exercise disproportionate influence on such important and consequential matters as the future of Cal Expo should be sufficient to warrant that none of them should be exempt from any provision of the Bageley-Keene Act, except in certain, very specific and extreme circumstances [3].

The result of public exclusion is to advance whatever agenda the Board of Directors might have, despite objection or alternative ideas the public might have and wish to advance for itself. For instance, while it is true, Cal Expo might elect to refuse the Kamilos plan and, say, elect to stay where it is, it is only the failure of the Kamilos plan that will determine that under the present process. It certainly will not be the voice of the public, presenting alternatives, offering its own persuasive opinions and objections that will influence that outcome. There is simply no place on the schedule for that to happen.

Lastly, the public which Cal Expo is sworn to serve has been overwhelmingly and systematically excluded from the process. Out of a population of some 39 million people in the California, Cal Expo has framed the matter of its future development as if it was only a matter of interest to the 2 million, or so, people living in the Sacramento region. It does this not only in the slant of its press releases and the scope of its outreach; but, in the fact that it entirely omits media and press outside of the area from information on its activities. Indeed, Cal Expo doesn’t even send press releases to major outlets such as the L.A. Times or San Jose Mercury News, or San Diego Union despite the fact that they have local bureaus here in Sacramento. It is as if, for purposes of deciding Cal Expo’s future, those people do not live in California and the State Fair is not also their State Fair. Of course, considering that Cal Expo treats the entire matter in its press information as if it were only a local issue, one could surmise that people outside the area would have little interest. Cal Expo insures this will be the case.

The process in this search for an appropriate development plan is then, closed, opaque, unfairly employed and exclusive of the public. It is hardly any wonder that the Bagley-Keene Act is so maligned, given Cal Expo’s processes. The question is, what to do about it in this most important and ongoing instance; one that will decide the future of this agency for the people of this State? What is, in fact to be done? The CEAV Project makes the following recommendations to the Board;

1. Suspend The Current Process and Begin anew: The Cal Expo Board should immediately suspend its consideration of any and all specific proposals for its future development. Despite what Mr. Kamilos or the City may wish, their agenda cannot be Cal Expo’s and Cal Expo must avoid any schedule that would compromise a thorough and compressive study of all possibilities.

2. Fundamental Questions Need to Be Asked and Answered Before Anything Else Can Be Done: The Cal Expo Board needs to address fundamental questions of process and purpose before it engages in calling for a new round of ideas about its future. This phase must essentially answer questions such as, “What is a State Fair in the 21st Century?” “Does California even need a State Fair?” “What do the People of California (all of them) get from having a State Fair.” “What is the difference between an ‘Exposition’ and a ‘State Fair’?” These are not easy questions. The California Academy of Sciences took more than a year trying to answer similar questions about its redevelopment; and continued to ask and adjust its project to the answers they found, throughout its development. Cal Expo has never really done this important task. It needs to be done. And it needs to be done with the full participation of the public, both general and expert. When that task is finished, Cal Expo and the members of its Board of Directors should have a very clear idea of the purpose and reason and value of The California Exposition and State Fair to the people of California. It is unlikely, but make no mistake, the answer to those questions might be that the State Fair has no further purpose or reason that would validate its continuance; and, this Board should be prepared to face that unlikely prospect as well. What this phase should not attempt to answer is “What should the shape, the design concept or vision be that best fulfills the answers acquired during this phase.

3. Design a Process That Can Elicit From the People of California the Best Concept for the Future of Cal Expo: At the same time the first task is being done, the second phase can be prepared. What will be required, what is presently absent, is a design for the process that will handle the question, “What concept would best accomplish what was learned in the first phase?” The CEAV Project suggests that ‘Sacramento First’ and our recent experience with its selection of arena proposals for Sacramento, provided some insight into what that process might entail. The Task Force’s model wasn’t perfect, by any means. But even those who oppose that group’s conclusions generally believe that is was, for the most part, an open and fair process. There are things that must be adjusted for the fact that Cal Expo’s jurisdiction is the entire State and it must reach throughout the State for its best-answer. There were instructions from the Mayor’s office and core principles of Sacramento First that do not apply or are questionable and would need to be adjusted. Still, it is a model which might serve as a starting point. This part of the process must also be open, fair and transparent. It should again use public ideas and participation to help construct a good process that will yield successful results.

Under this model, the task of setting up a Cal Expo task force to gather and review ideas and select what it thinks the best of them to pass on to the Board would best be left to the Governor’s office or a body of the Legislature. For one, it makes the process more credible to all of California. There is less reason to believe the decision is tailored in favor of local interests and needs over State purposes. For another, it provides the greatest prospect of a good decision being made in an atmosphere of impartiality and neutrality. It goes without saying that, unlike the Sacramento First task force, the Cal Expo task force should be given ample time to make its decisions irrespective of other schedules, interests or the pressures that tend to advance expediency above result.

The remainder of the process does not need specification here. It is enough to say that nothing should be engaged, promoted or decided before the selection process is completed. No proposal should be permitted to jump the gun; start discussions with the principle agencies or otherwise upstage the process and cast doubt on its ability to do its job. Candidates that do, should risk disqualification, no matter what their proposal.

Whatever the process to decide the shape of Cal Expo’s future, it must be transparent, open, fair and encouraging of public participation at every stage, from the moment this meeting closes to the time the last stone is put in place. Without the first part of this presentation on the Bagley-Keene Act being fully and wholeheartedly undertaken, the second part on getting the best-design possible will not be accomplished, no matter what else you do. In kind, without the first part of the development process to answer some fundamental questions before the project begins, whatever design you get will miss the mark for the simple reason it doesn’t really know what its mark is. There has never been, nor is there now, a solid concept of what Cal Expo really ought to be in the 21st century.

And one final note, It is only after the selected concepts are ranked and submitted that one should ask, where does the money come from? At that point, proposals which simply cannot answer that question will need to be weeded out or come up with financial plans that do meet the State’s requirements. But it leaves it to those who do best at financing matters to create financial packages that fit the concept, rather than the other way around. That is the only way the people of California will know they are getting something that was worth having in the first place and is not simply buying into somebody’s idea of what fits a predefined financing model. Save the financing till you’ve got the dream you want to finance. Then go find the money and build it.

Red Slider, steward

The CEAV Project;


Notes:

[1] Cal Expo could, and should have known that such organizations as “The Swanston Estates Neighborhood Association” (SENA) were ill-prepared to understand, let alone cogently respond to the issues and ramifications of such a large-scale project as the NBA/arena plan. To this date, that neighborhood association still has still no infrastructure in place, no committee or special body, that is yet capable of examining the complexity and these undertakings or the gravity of the impacts they will undoubtedly have on their communities. As far as we know, Swanston’s Estate’s has yet to receive any expert guidance on even what questions to ask or how to assess Cal Expo’s promotion of a single plan. It is, again, the failure of Cal Expo, not the community, that the spirit of the Bagley-Keene Act has been so misused as to claim ‘community conversation’ when none has really taken place. A public which has not truly been informed and educated about a matter cannot be said to ‘have a seat at the table’.

[2] Prior to its addressing the Cal Expo Board at its April 2009 meeting, The CEAV project prepared a written text of its remarks to provide to the Board and to offer to the public attending the meeting as they entered the building where the meeting was being held. One-half hour before the meeting, Mr. Slider, the steward of the CEAV Project, gave a Cal Expo staff member a copy of the text, clearly marked as public input for the Cal Expo Board of Directors, and explained that he planned to sit on the bench outside the building and offer it to meeting attendees, simply to inform them of what he was doing in case they should wonder about it. The staff member told Mr. Slider they would have to check on the matter. Mr. Slider waited about ten minutes. Several attendees had already entered the building. Mr. Slider then asked the next group attendees if they were going to the Board meeting and if they would like to have a copy of the public input remarks he planned to make. The said they would, and so he handed them copies. At approximately fifteen minutes before the meeting, a second staff member came outside and informed Mr. Slider that he would not be permitted to hand people copies of the text. When the next group of attendees approached, Mr. Slider asked them if they would like copies of the text. They also answered in the affirmative. Mr. Slider then explained that he could not give them copies, because Cal Expo did not allow him to do this, but that the copies were on the bench nearby, and they were welcome to take them if they wished (which they did). A few minutes later Mr. Gates introduced himself as Chief of the Cal Expo Police. He informed Mr. Slider that he would not be allowed to hand out the copies prepared remarks. Mr. Slider explained what the text was and that, in any case, he wasn’t handing them out, he was merely asking people if they wished to have them and permitting them to take a copy if they wished. Mr. Gates responded by saying that he judged that Mr. Slider was merely “circumventing the rules.” Mr. Slider asked Mr. Gates if he was forbidding The CEAV Project from distributing copies of its public input text. Mr. Gates said he was and Mr. Slider elected not to argue with Mr. Gates any further. By then, the meeting had begun and Mr. Slider went inside. The public input address was made and the Board was given copies of the text.

It is obvious that it was not Mr. Slider who was “circumventing the rules” but rather Chief Gates, who was circumventing the meaning and spirit of the Bagley-Keene Act and misapplying those rules in a manner that effectively obstructed the Act’s intentions. Mr. Gates, acting on behalf of the Board, was denying the public a ‘seat at the table’.

[3] What the Attorney General has said, in the ‘Purposes of the Act’ section of his Handbook to the Bagley-Keen Act of 2004 is that

“Simply put, some efficiency is sacrificed for the benefits of greater public participation in government.”

CEAV would not argue that there are no extreme circumstances or special cases in which the rules of the Bagley-Keene Act may have need to be temporarily suspended. There may be bodies which perform such inconsequential and routine review of matters with little or passing interest to the public, and should be constituted so as to be exempted from the act. There may also be extreme cases of emergency or other very special and limited cases where a multimember body may have to perform some obligation in exception to the Act’s requirements. However, the matter of deliberations on the future development plans of Cal Expo is of such overarching importance to the public, in all of its aspects, that such exceptions ought be very rare; and, in any case, very limited in the scope of their exemption. For Example, it may be that certain discussions or actions require travel, and it would be inconvenient or difficult to invite the general public to participate in such proceedings. That should not, however, exempt such a body from meeting other obligations under the Act, such as publicly posting the agenda for those meetings in advance, accurately recording minutes and publicly describing the content of the meetings that took place, and inviting the comment on those exemptions in committee and before the committee drafts its report to the Board so that the public comment may be considered and included in that report.

The ‘Real Estate Committee’ is a prime example of a committee wholly exempted from compliance with provisions of the Act (by virtue of its size); yet, which routinely deals with issues and negotiations related to Cal Expo development and design in all of its particulars. We can only emphasize that no committee or multimember body of the Cal Expo Board dealing with substantive matters pertaining to Cal Expo development should have any blanket exemption from the rules of the Bagley-Keene Act. To merely say that they are “in compliance” because they are constructed (of a size) that exempts them from having to comply, only serves to make the point that the intention of the Act is being circumvented. “Some efficiency,” as the Attorney General said, ” must be sacrificed for the benefits of greater public participation in government.” We hope that the new committees will be brought into line with the spirit, as well as the letter, of the Attorney General’s interpretation of the Bagely-Keene Act. But this does not exempt the Real Estate Committee, or any other committee that will be hearing aspects of these important issues from being subject to the provisions of the Act as well.
In addition, we note that not only do all of the multimember bodies dealing with development matters need to be brought into line with the intentions of the Act, but that the processes by which they operate also need to brought into line with that intention. For example, most of the meetings of Cal Expo Committees take place on the same day and only a few hours, if that, prior to the Board meeting in which their reports will be heard. This may be convenient for the Committees and the Board, but it affords the public no time at all to carefully consider the deliberations and information presented in committee and make informed reply and comment to that committee and before the committee makes its report, in a way that would realistically influence that report. The public’s only real insertion into the process will be at the following month’s meeting, after the Board has reviewed committee reports and when it may be ready to make some decision or take some action. We would hope that any future processes designed to facilitate public participation, will give the public a seat at the various committee tables as well as at the Board of Director’s table.

EXHIBIT A-1 : Deputy Attorney General’s Reply to Red Slider, via Cal Expo.

[Note on the Blair Memorandum: This exhibit is included as it provides a rather good example of the very points CEAV is making in the body of its remarks. That is, instead of waiting for The CEAV Project to make its full remarks to the Board on the subject of the Bagley-Keene Act and Cal Expo’s violations of it, Cal Expo chose to engage the Deputy Attorney General’s office to create a defense of its behavior, before The CEAV Project had made its public presentation. Of course Cal Expo is entitled to do that. As well it is entitled to respond to the March 9 communication as though it were an isolated matter separate from its presentation. In doing so, however, it merely underscores that it is more interested in setting aside the public’s opinions than it is in hearing them.

The reader may further take note that the actual request by Cal Expo to the Deputy Attorney General was neither attached to the copy sent to The CEAV Project, nor indicated in the body of Mr. Blair’s remarks. That is, we have no way of knowing the context of Cal Expo’s request to the Deputy Attorney General or how the matter to which Mr. Blair is replying was framed. It might have been something as simple as, “Mr. Slider sent us this communication, would your office care to reply,” or, it might have been something like, “Mr. Slider is going to be making remarks Friday based on the enclosed communication and we need to have our defense ready and prepared beforehand.” In either case, once again, the Cal Expo Board appears to be more interested in deflecting public criticism than it is in hearing it.]

————————–
Memorandum

Date: March 22, 2010

To: Norb Bartosik, CEO
Cal Expo

From: Jeremiah D. Blair
Deputy Attorney General

Subj: Bagley-Keene and Committees

The purpose of this memo is to provide a response to the open meeting issues raised by Red Slider’s February 9, 2010, letter to Chairman Gil Albiani and the Cal Expo Board of Directors.

1-Thank you for your interest in Cal Expo. Cal Expo values public participation and the public’s input. We will continue to operate in a manner that not only complies with the law, but will provide the transparency the public expects and deserves. We are dismayed by your comments when you allege that Cal Expo is attempting to circumvent compliance with open meeting laws. Such comments have no basis in fact and simply are not true.

2-All Committees, including but not limited to the Real Estate Committee (REC), are and have been operating in compliance with applicable laws regarding open meetings; specifically the Bagley-Keene Act (BKA).

3-Cal Expo has and will continue to post relevant material regarding any proposal which involves the future development of Cal Expo on its website, even though not required to do so by law. Your comment that only favorable views have been posted in the past is not true, but rather than argue the point, Cal Expo will attempt to ensure that opposing viewpoints concerning any proposal will be appropriately represented.

4-In dealing with any proposed alternative regarding the development of Cal Expo, to include but not limited to the Kamilos proposal, Cal Expo will continue to comply with the BKA.

-Given the complexity of these proposals, Cal Expo will continue to use the expertise of various advisory committees to evaluate certain information; then, if appropriate, the committee may forward these proposals along with recommendations to the full Board for consideration.
-The majority of the committees involved will be standing advisory committees (Executive, Operations & Planning, and Finance), which are comprised of more than two directors. These committees do not possess delegated authority and only meet upon proper notice and with the public invited to participate. Again, these are advisory committees, designed to provide greater flexibility, time, and expertise in evaluating various components of a proposal. Since the committee is not empowered to take action, it will, if appropriate, make recommendations to the full Board. As a result, the public can participate at both the committee and the Board meetings.
-The REC is an ad hoc committee. It is advisory only, composed of only two directors, and does not possess delegated authority. These types of committees are recognized as an exception to the BKA. [See Government Code section 11121(c)]. The use of these types of committees has long been recognized by the Attorney General’s Office as necessary and proper. In the AG’s Handbook for the Bagley-Keene Act of 2004, the Attorney General stated:

“In addition to the body created by the Legislature, which may be decision making or advisory, the Act contains specific provisions for a different type of advisory body, [section 11126(c)]. There are two basic requirements for this type of advisory body. First, these bodies must be composed of three or more persons. Second, the advisory body must be created by formal action of another body. If the body is only a two person advisory committee, it is not covered by the Bagley-Keene Act. Accordingly, that body can do its business without worrying about the notice and open meeting requirements of the Act.”

The REC and ad hoc committees are sometimes necessary in order to obtain flexibility and to maximize the use of resources. For example, there are times when meetings must occur with consultants, other parties, etc. on short notice or unannounced or travel is required and where compliance with 10 day notice, agenda, and public access requirements are impractical and unnecessarily expensive (out of state meetings, teleconference, etc.). As an advisory committee, the REC has no authority to act, only to receive/transmit information and advise the Board at a noticed meeting.

———————-

Exhibit – B Incidental Communications concerning public process and the Board’s Agenda:

[The CEAV Project wrote on 3/26/2010:]

Re: our communication 3/24/10 and Deputy Attorney General Blair’s letter.

Mr. Bartosik,

I’m sorry if it appeared we were making a “request” for 30 minutes of the Board’s time. Our post script was merely to let you know in advance what the approximate timing of our prepared remarks were. This was only intended for whatever value it might have as an aid to your Board Secretary in preparing the agenda. We made no presumption on what the Chair would or would not allow. That is, of course, at the Chair’s pleasure. Again, I’m sorry if it appeared we were requesting something other than what the Chair might or might not be disposed to permit.

We might have suggested that you wait until after our remarks at today’s meeting, dealing with the subject of open process and the Bagely-Keene Act, before having council reply to the matter. However, that is entirely your decision. I think you will find that our presentation will cover most, if not all, of his comments.

———————-

Norb Bartosik wrote on 3/25/2010:]

<>

Mr. Slider:
Attached is our Legal counsel’s memo to respond to your Board inquiry for the Friday, March 26, 2010. I wanted you to have a review of his comments to, give you an overview of the open meeting laws, prior to your presentation on this matter.

Contrary to your request for 30 minutes for your presentation, it will the Chair’s discretion to determine the amount of time you will be allocated for your comments. Please be prepared to condense your presentation in the event he opts to offer you less time.

Respectfully,
Norb Bartosik

[on 3/24/2010 The CEAV Project wrote:

Norbert,

My virus protection detected a virus on downloading Friday’s agenda package pdf from the calexpo website.
It is very likely a false positive on the AVAST! virus scanner. I don’t have time now to check it out myself, but thought I’d let you folks know.

ps. Our presentation on Friday for agenda item #10 will take approximately 35 minutes.

Red Slider, steward
The CEAV Project

——————

To: Chairperson Perez-Cook,
Members of the Cal Expo Board of Directors,
Ex-officio Members Darrell Steinberg and Dave Jones,
and Norbert Bartosik, General Manager and CEO of Cal Expo

/Sent via Email 5/23/2009,

*Cal Expo Officials,

We can locate no easily accessible copies of either the CEAV project proposal (submitted to your Board of Directors on March 27th) or the written text of remarks delivered for the record at your April Board Meeting. As it is now within ten days until your next Board meeting, we can only conclude that you have no intention of posting important public input or formally submitted documents in a manner that is timely, accessable and convenient to the public unless compelled to do so by some other state or federal agency or the courts.
Your refusal to facilitate full public disclosure of public comment and input to your agency regarding the development and future plans for Cal Expo, other than your NBA proposal, can only be regarded as a continuing pattern of contempt for the public interest as noted in my remarks to your Board at its last meeting. We can only wonder at what other communications or remarks from the public you may have received and, similarly, failed to post or index for public review and consideration.

In addition, we request a list of all communications from members of your Board or Managment to the Governor or his staff or,to other public officials or their staff (at any level of government), regarding matters related to the possible inclusion of Cal Expo as land that may be designated ‘surplus’ or otherwise be put up for sale to private interests and/or developers. We ask that all communications related to this matter be included on the list, whether they be dated before or after the recent public announcement of the Governor about considering such a sale of Cal Expo holdings.

thank you, *

Red Slider

Mr Albiani, Chair,
Board Members
Cal Expo Board of Directors

Comment for the Public Record and as Public Input comment
for the Cal Expo Board of Directors at its regular meeting,
Friday, February 26, 2010

[SENT via Email]

Mr. Albiani, Board Members,

The following was sent to your colleague, Mr. Paul Stacy in separate communication. After review, however, The CEAV Project felt it might serve as a suitable preface to tomorrow’s discussion on the Board’s Q&A exchange with Mr. Kamilos (‘New Business’, item a.) We believe it raises some important questions that need to be considered well before any further explorations with the Kamilos group, or any other plan for Cal Expo’s future are entertained by your members:

Mr. Stacy

You are exactly right when you say, “Its kind of like I woke up…and found out I’m engaged without even being asked.” Actually, it is a little worse than that. More like you are being passed from a pending divorce directly into the hands of your next bride (without the benefit of even seeing her, I might add). You don’t even have your ‘walking papers’ (release from the current L.O.U.) from the first marriage.
CEAV has looked over the 70 questions the Board handed to the developer. We were also there when a similar set of questions was constructed last April for the previous failed endeavor. Though some of the details address separate schemes, the two documents and processes to handle them are all strikingly familiar. Haste, uncertainty, “negotiations” veiled in exclusion and non-disclosure language, vague answers, deferment or deflection until after that ‘magic moment’ when the two principles are closeted and locked into listening only to each other. All this has the mark of a definite pattern; of returning to exactly the same place you were before and expecting to find something different. Even your ‘Real Estate Committee’ remains shielded from the Bagley-Keen act and, the numbers of your Board members that need to be on it and take personal and public interest in the matter do not appear to have stepped forward. The public, of course, is simply left out of that committee’s loop (I have people asking me what their agenda is tomorrow and when/where they will be meeting; but they are not even listed on the Cal Expo website.) Perhaps most questionable and egregious is the fact that Cal Expo does not even have a concept/conceptual plan (not one that would pass anyone’s muster) for what the State Fair of the future should even be. The last one of those we saw was from 1968 and that was mostly about turning the place into golf-courses. As it stands now, Cal Expo’s ‘future concept’ is a farrago of mixed ideas and speculations, being harnessed to whatever financial-package comes down the pike promising to save the day. As we said on our website and in written testimony to the Board – it’s the tail wagging the dog.

There really isn’t time to detail all of the questionable matters in this ‘alienation of affection’ and problems which Kamilos’ Q&A raises rather than settles. What we and others in the public sphere need (and we believe the Board does, too) is time to review the matter thoroughly, to make sound judgments and ferret out strengths and weaknesses, before Mr. Kamilos or anyone else for that matter even gets on the stage. Certainly, long before the Board even considers entering into any agreement with Kamilos, the Board should be hearing testamony from a variety of experts – independent of anyone involved in the arena matter or Cal Expo. It should be receiving pubic testimony from cities where sports arenas (like the Silverdome) and other PBIs have failed; from people and entities at CSUS and U.C. (such as The Center for Regional Change), or experts like Judith Grant-Long (cf her Senate testimony in our own proposal package), or even those such as Neil deMause (www.fieldofschemes.com) who has a very broad view of the full range of sports arena efforts across the country – the good, bad and downright idiotic. The Public Lands Foundation would also be a good resource to hear from. Though its primary mission concerns federal lands and land swaps, it is comprised of retired land-use and development experts who have considerable knowledge about these matters. Most of all, the Board should be hearing from a broad range of the public, our ideas and our concerns. And it should be poised to listen seriously and review thoroughly what we have to say. After that, it might be in a position to operate in the fashion of say, ‘Sacramento First’, with a solid set of core principles, a good idea of what it wishes to create and a willingness to regard all ideas (or some hybrid of them) on an equal footing .

In any case, the future of Cal Expo is not a matter to be tossed off in a few closed meetings and a sheet of half-answered (mostly unanswered) questions from the only suitor that has been permitted to knock on the door. That is the same mistake that has been already made. Making it again won’t yield a different result.

What we are asking is that the Board simply table the matter and begin in earnest to call for public engagement and otherwise serve to inform and educate itself and us about the whole range of options and concerns that lie ahead. Most of all, give us the opportunity to educate the Board. Mr. Kamilos and his arena are not part of Cal Expo’s mission. If his group cannot wait the few months or longer that it would take to honestly study the matter and consider the full range of ideas and potentials, then one should really ask whether the Kamilos/NBA concept is really a privately supported undertaking at all. Or, rather, is it in fact a roundabout way of using public assets, thinly disguised as PBIs. As much as we all wish to see Sacramento (and its developers) prosper, that is really not Cal Expo’s lookout. All of the people of California are stakeholders in The California Exposition and State Fair and it is to them Cal Expo owes its full attention and responsibility. There are real-valued assessments (assessments of public interest and value) concerning Cal Expo’s present holdings which have yet to even enter the calculus of ‘market-valued’ concerns with which the Kamilos responses are entirely preoccupied. We all wish to ‘save Cal Expo’, but the way the Board is going about it is not going to do that. Certainly, getting engaged without being asked is in no-one’s interest except the suitor. Past experience should have taught us that much. Last year, someone on your Board said they got into the deal (the NBA/Cal-Expo arena) “a small step at a time” and didn’t know how they wound up where they did. In our documents, CEAV likened it to boiling frogs by turning the heat up a little at a time. You, Mr. Stacy, have analogized the matter to a ‘shotgun wedding’. But no matter how the process is characterized, its time to turn off the heat, put the marriage proposals aside and think hard about what Cal Expo really wants to do with its life. CEAV, along with others, have a few ideas about that (ones that haven’t been considered). However, as long as your organization is a ‘private club’, closed to “outsiders”, and ready to jump at any offer (or jump in any pot) those potentials will remain out of sight and out of reach, to the detriment of all.
The real discussions that need to take place haven’t even begun yet. And they do not have anything to do with Mr. Kamilos and his plan, or anyone else’s plan. They have to do with Cal Expo, the public interest, all the people of all of California and the mission of a State Fair and potentials beyond the narrow interests of a single region, let alone a single developer. That is, unless this Board wishes to carry the same mistakes made in the past forward into the future.

Respectfully submitted,
And for the public record,

Red Slider
The CEAV Project

———————————–

Gilbert Albiani, Chair
Cal Expo Board of Directors

[Sent via Email 3/1/10:]

Mr Albiani,

Now that the Board has taken action at its regular February 26, 2010 meeting to vacate its ‘Letter of Understanding’ with the NBA and has heard presentations from one of the arena proposal candidates, we would like to point out that the Board has a responsibility to invite the other six arena proposal candidates to make presentations, if they wish, regarding their opinions of the Kamilos proposal and impacts on Cal Expo that might either favor or challenge the case of Cal Expo’s involvement in the matter and/or impact their own proposal candidacy. If for no other reason, the other proposal candidates are in competition with the Kamilos proposal, and might be expected to give the most cogent and vigorous examination of any arena plans involving Cal Expo and its properties. This would certainly provide the Board with an experienced and vigorous range of opinion from which to begin detailed examination of its best options. In addition, The CEAV Project also encourages Cal Expo to call for expert opinion from independent entities, such as the Center for Regional Change at U.C. Davis and other independent large-scale project experts, statewide, to provide the Board with information and guidance on critical issues and outcomes before the board commences with any detailed examination of any single plan or option for its future development.
As well, the Board should begin a process of calling for other plans and ideas for Cal Expo’s future development, both within the planning and development communities and from the public at large. CEAV notes that the Board’s action on Friday, releasing it from the terms of its LOU with the NBA, removed any barriers to hearing such testimony from other interested parties. As CEAV suggested at Friday’s Board meeting, it might even begin thinking of a ‘Sacramento first’-like model to begin serious inquiry into the shape of its own future. Certainly the future of Cal Expo is of sufficient interest and importance to all the people of California that they should be invited to fully participate before the Board and in Committees of the Board, and not simply relegated to three-minute public input ceremonies which are, in any case, not suitable forums for serious presentation or discussion.

CEAV’s request that others be invited by the Cal Expo Board to make presentations on arena issues does not exclude The CEAV Project’s reserving the right to challenge, at a future date, the propriety of the Board’s action to vacate its LOU with the NBA.
Thank you,

Red Slider
—————–

Chairman Gilbert Albiani,
Cal Expo Board of Directors

February 9, 2010 [sic – date sent was 3/9/10]
[Sent via Email ]

Dear Chairman Albiani,

Now that the Cal Expo Board has released itself from the terms of its agreement (LOU) with the National Basketball Association, we trust that the Cal Expo Board of Directors will be proactively entertaining new proposals and ideas for its future development from every sector of the State; both from the commercial, academic and development sectors, as well as from the general public.

While individuals and organizations in California have been quite patient in observing Cal Expo’s examination of a single-source idea proposed by the National Basketball Association proceed through exclusive agreements, in the words of your own Board that process is now “defunct” and the Board has seen fit to end its agreement with the NBA. A new and open round of proposals and ideas is certainly in order.

Moreover, the CEAV Project suggests that the City of Sacramento’s current process to select a proposal for the construction of a new sports-arena has no standing in the matter, above a general call for new proposals in the matter of Cal Expo’s future plans. While some of current arena proposals entertain ideas that may impact Cal Expo’s future development, the arena matter remains a strictly a local undertaking whose mission is entirely directed toward the interests of the Sacramento area. It is, in fact, quite outside the scope and jurisdiction of Cal Expo’s mission, which is statewide and on behalf of all the people of the of California .

The CEAV Project requests to be informed as to when and how Cal Expo will be entertaining new proposals for its future development and wishes to be included on the list of candidate applicants and to receive all information related to Cal Expo receiving new development concepts for consideration.

We also observe that any effort to examine potential development plans for Cal Expo could do well to model its process on elements taken from the one which has been employed by ‘Sacramento First’ in its attempt to secure the most desirable plan for a new arena for Sacramento. Principally, that an entirely independent, statewide group of interested citizens and experts be assembled to receive, examine and select proposals for the future development of Cal Expo; that it develop and create its own core principles for selection criteria and, that it be an entirely open, fair and transparent process which encourages and facilitates the participation of the public in its activities.
We also note that the selection and initiation of such a group might best be done through the Governor’s office, just as the initial design and implementation of ‘Sacramento First’ originated in the mayor’s office. In that respect, the Cal Expo Board and/or the California State Legislature would sit in relation to that selection group, as the City Council now sits in relation to ‘Sacramento First’. We will also be forwarding this suggestion to those offices as well, for their consideration.

Red Slider, steward
————————–

Mr. Albiani, Chair
Mr. Bartosik, General Manager
Cal Expo

[Sent via Email 3/15/2009]

The CEAV Project request remains, to be placed on the agenda of the Cal Expo Board at their next regular meeting. You may, if you wish, combine our separate requests to speak on the subjects of ‘Open Processes’ and the ‘the applicability of the Bageley-Keen Act’ (cf. email request 3/12/2010) into a single agenda item. They are related related matters and we see no problem speaking to both issues within the same framework. It may require a little longer presentation, perhaps 7-10 mins. (though we will attempt to be as brief as possible).

—————————————–

Series of communications from Bartosik advising CEAV to go on the ‘Operations and Planning agenda’:]

[note: In the context of the communications concerning CEAV reserving time on the Cal Expo Board’s agenda, the following communication from Mr. Bartosik is of special interest. It was puzzling to us why Mr. Bartosik would be referring us to a committee of the Board, when our request was specifically to be placed on the agenda of the full Board. The reason didn’t become clear until we discovered a clause in the Bagley-Keene Act that provided a very good explanation. That clause appears in article 11125.7 “Opportunity for public to speak at meeting”. In that section there is a sentence that makes an exception to the numerous rights accorded the citizen to speak, to wit:

“This section is not applicable if the agenda item has already been considered by a committee composed exclusively of members of of the state body at a public meeting where interested members of the public were afforded the opportunity to address the committee on the item, before or during the committee’s consideration of the item, unless the item has been substantially changed since the committee heard the item, as determined by the state body.” [1125.7, Bagley-Keene Act]

An Agency CEO or a lawyer specializing in such matters might well be expected to know about that rather technical exception. It is unlikely that any member of the general public would be familiar with that clause. Unlikelier, still, that they would realize it could be used to isolate their testimony or remarks and relegate them to a less important or less noticed body to be disposed of with little public notice. In effect, as the next communication demonstrates, it is a loophole by which a state body may actually use the Bagely-Keene Act to thwart its own intentions, yet still remain within the letter of its provisions. This appears to be exactly what Cal Expo was attempting to do with CEAV’s request to speak to the full Board, as one can see in the following communication and the communications that preceded it. While Mr. Bartosik does indicate that we will retain the right to address remarks to the full Board, later at “Public Comment”, he does not bother to point out that the time limit for those comments is generally 3 minutes; comes late in the day after all business is done; and, is what the general public know to be and refers to as ‘The Dog&Pony Show’ – something generally ignored and disregarded by the public as well as the Board. We are glad, by chance, we did not take Mr. Bartosik up on his “I strongly suggest….” :]

Mr. Slider:

To respond directly to your questions, please see the following
information below.

Friday, March 26, 2010, in the Board Meeting Room of the administration
building. Handouts must accompany the agenda when it is posted to be
considered. We are required to have a ten day notice, for posting. Five
days will not be adequate.

I strongly suggest you consider presenting before the Committee as this will be the forum for any future public issues related to this matter. If after the Committee, you wish to address the Board, it will still be your right to do so when the Committee reports out to the Board, or under the Public Comments Section of the agenda.

Norb Bartosik

From: CEAV [mailto:CEAV@ceav.us]
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 3:02 PM
To: Norbert J. Bartosik
Cc: Cal Expo Board
Subject: Re: FW: New proposal process requested

—————————————-

Mr Albiani, Mr. Bartosik,

Your communication does not indicate the date and place of the meeting of the Operations and Planning Committee on which we are to present. Would you please supply that information.

We also note that our request was to be on the agenda of the Board of Directors, not on the agenda a committee of the Board. We restate our request to be placed on the agenda of the full Board at its regular March 26th Meeting. If the Board wishes to refer to committee after our presentation, we have no objection. We are also glad to present to the Operations and Planning committee as well, if that is that is the wish of the Board’s Chair.

We also wish to know if handouts or other briefing materials may be submitted to the Board and/or Operations and Planning Committee prior to the meeting date? We can provide you with emailed materials at least five days prior to the meeting date(s).

Red Slider, steward
—————————-

Norbert J. Bartosik wrote:

*Mr. Slider: *

*Your requested correspondence (email, dated March 9, 2010, addressed to Chair Albiani) has been placed on the Operations and Planning Committee Meeting, a five (5) member Committee of the Cal Expo Board. This meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
*
*You will be given ample time under the New Business section of the meeting to make your presentation. Please plan you presentation in a manner that is expedient, to the point, and allows both the Committee and yourself to be productive in your presentation. Handouts that day will be only circulated to the members after the meeting. *

*Respectfully, *

*Norb Bartosik, CEO/GM *

********

*Sent:* Tuesday, March 09, 2010 8:29 PM
*To:* Norbert J. Bartosik
*Subject:* Re: FW: New proposal process requested

Mr. Bartosik, Mr. Albiani
Members of the Cal Expo Board of Directors,

[Sent Via reply Email]

By all means, please do place our February 26, 2010 communication and the matters it discussed on the March 26th meeting agenda and for public review by the Cal Expo Board of Directors. CEAV representatives will be present at that meeting to answer any questions the Board may have regarding our concerns and suggestions (and, yes, we will try to be as brief a possible in our responses).

We will also be glad to provide the Board with a brief FAQ sheet on The CEAV Project, at your request.

Thank you,

Red Slider

——————————-
Norbert J. Bartosik wrote:

*Dear Mr. Slider: *

*Your email has been forwarded to the entire Board of Directors. Please note that the next meeting of the Board will be held on Friday, March 26, 2010. In order for the Board to consider any matter as an entity, they must place a matter on their monthly agenda and review it publicly for its consideration. *

*Thank you for your comments related to this matter. *

*Respectfully, *

*Norb Bartosik, CEO/ General Manager *

[Sent Via Email 3/24/10}

[This message was received from Cal Expo at approximately 3:30, March 26, 2010, after the adjournment of the March 26th board meeting. It establishes yet another case in which the public is excluded from participating. That is, at each meeting the Chair calls for the approval of the minutes of the previous meeting. He asks if there is any comment from the Board and then, if there is any comment from the public. And then, being none, approves them. Of course, there can’t be any comment from the public, because the public, as the letter below indicates, has never seen those minutes. They will not even be publically published until after the meeting .]

Exhibit ‘C’
Good Afternoon,

Your request for the February 26, 2010 Board of Directors Committees &
Meeting minutes are attached.

The reason you could not locate them on the website is, they do not get
posted until the Board approves them which they did today.

They will be posted on our website also.

Thank you,

Linda V. Contreras

Executive Assistant

California Exposition & State Fair
916-263-3276 – direct
916-274-0438 – fax

———————
EXHIBIT ‘C’ – ‘Conversations’ held with individuals and communities’

CAL EXPO AND THE NBA ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT IN
LETTER OF UNDERSTANDING

Former California Governor Pete Wilson and NBA Commissioner David Stern Issue Joint Statement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Sean Walsh
May 9, 2008 415-203-8991

Representatives of the NBA and Cal Expo have been engaged in complex and fruitful negotiations for several months and have agreed upon a process for the next phase in the proposed development of a state-of-the-art arena, exposition facility and fair grounds at Cal Expo. The negotiating teams have agreed upon a letter of understanding (LOU) detailing actions to be taken by both parties over the next several months, that will be considered and voted uponby the full Board of Cal Expo at its upcoming meeting.
Under the terms of the LOU, both parties will work together to formulate a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the development of a world class entertainment and exposition destination that will set
a new standard for green commerce and sustainability. In addition to our bilateral negotiations, Cal Expo and the NBA have engaged in hundreds of conversations with individuals, community
groups, fans, and state and local officials about how best to serve the needs of the community, fairgoers, exhibitors, basketball fans, the Kings and the NBA. Through our negotiations and
these discussions, as well as extensive professional analysis, we believe a project that meets the collective needs of all these constituents can be developed, and we are ready to move to the next phase in realizing our combined vision.
The LOU provides that over the next 180 days, Cal Expo and the NBA will work jointly and exclusively with one another to develop and release an RFP, meet with qualified developers and work with local and state officials to address the numerous environmental, traffic and land use issues inherent in a project of this magnitude. This represents a major commitment of resources on the part of the NBA and Cal Expo, in recognition of this historic opportunity to replace a deteriorating arena and Cal Expo infrastructure while maintaining the rich traditions embodied by the State Fair. The Cal Expo site is a spectacular location to showcase theenergy of NBA
basketball within an exposition and fair facility dedicated to the rich agricultural heritage of the State of California — a dynamic synergy joining two of the most compelling entertainment organizations in Northern California. Cal Expo and the NBA are realistic about the challenges facing the California and Sacramento economies, and agree that a joint development of the Cal Expo site provides a compelling and realistic opportunity to replace a deteriorating arena and state fair infrastructure.
We believe our vision is exemplary of Governor Schwarzenegger’s emphasis on public-private partnerships, and we are committed to pursue a project that will set an international standard for environmental innovation, conservation and sustainability, consistent with the environmental leadership emblematic of the State of California. We are also committed to a project that can be developed and delivered without the need for new taxes, and our analysis to date suggests that the economic benefits of this project to greater Sacramento and the State of California would be substantial. Phoenix, San Diego, St. Louis, Dallas and Los Angeles have all developed mixed-use sports and entertainment anchored districts, each of which has resulted in vibrant commercial villages that are highly attractive to residents and employers. Houston, Oakland, Santa Clara, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Pittsburg are each in various stages of development and it is our intention to use similar models in Sacramento. It is important to note that the LOU is not the definitive agreement for the development of the proposed project, and many difficult challenges await us in the months ahead. It does, however, take the State and the NBA to the next phase of this complex and exciting process, and puts us
on a path toward selecting a suitable development partner that shares our vision and commitment to making this project a reality for Sacramento.
# # # #
—————————

EXHIBIT ‘D’ – Establishment of Bagely-Keene exempt committee as primary link in development planning.

Cal Expo Board Unanimously Agrees to Begin Arena Discussions with NBA

SACRAMENTO, CA (September 28, 2007) – The California Exposition & State Fair (Cal Expo) Board of Directors today voted to begin formal discussions with the National Basketball Association (NBA) on the development of a new arena and entertainment facility on the Cal Expo grounds.
The formal request to begin discussions was made by consultants Moag & Company on behalf of the NBA in a letter to Cal Expo dated September 5, 2007. At its monthly meeting, the Cal Expo Board of Directors unanimously approved the following two motions: “To authorize the Real Estate Committee of the Board to work with Cal Expo Staff and the NBA to enter into discussions with the NBA concerning a proposal to construct a new arena and upgrade and redevelop the Cal Expo facilities.”

To authorize the Executive Committee to contract with any necessary consultants should the parties desire to move forward with negotiating an agreement. The Real Estate and Executive Committees shall periodically provide status updates to the Cal Expo Board, and if appropriate, submit to the board for its consideration an Agreement between the NBA and Cal Expo.”

“Cal Expo is looking forward to working with the NBA to identify a potential development opportunity that benefits Cal Expo, the NBA and the people of Sacramento,” said Kathy Nakase, Chair of the Cal Expo Board of Directors. MEDIA CONTACT ONLY
Jessica Dunning, Media Manager 916-263-3237 or 916-416-0796
jdunning@calexpo.com

——————————–

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2007
CE&SF- 125 07
Discussions are expected to encompass a number of issues including construction of a new arena as well as further development of the Cal Expo property as a state-of-the-art entertainment destination. For the most up-to-date information about the arena discussions and other Cal Expo news, please visit the Cal Expo website at http://www.calexpo.com. Media are encouraged to contact the Cal Expo Media Center at 916-263-3108 or email
media@calexpo.com for interviews and other background information.
###

——————————
EXHIBIT ‘E’ – Communications regarding Cal Expo application/misuse of LOU:

As a follow-up to your submittal. Copies will be made available to
members of the Board of Directors.

I would only remind you that the Letter of Understanding has us in
exclusive negotiations with the NBA for the duration of the document.

Your submittal has been reviewed by the Real Estate Committee and will be held on file with any other submittals until such time that it may be referred to for further consideration.

———————
From: ceav [mailto:ceav@comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 5:38 PM
To: Norbert J. Bartosik
Subject: E-copy of CEAV Proposal

Mr. Bartosik,

Per your request: Attached is the electronic copy of the “Cal Expo – An Alternate Vision” proposal that was submitted to your Board on Friday. It is in MS Word (.doc) format. If you wish to convert it to ‘.pdf’ format, feel free to do so.

Thank you,

Red Slider
Advocates for the 21st Century

———————-
[Bartosik wrote on April 15, 2009 10:42]

Thanks for your correspondence regarding this matter. Please be assured that members of the board of Directors will receive this information.
—————–

[CEAV wrote: 5/15/10:]

From: CEAV [mailto:CEAV@comcast.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 9:52 AM
Cc: governor@governor.ca.gov; Doris.Matsui@mail.house.gov;
boardofdirectors@calexpo.com; Norbert J. Bartosik
Subject: CC: Petition for Redress – Cal Expo

For your information, the following has been sent to Senator Darrell
Steinberg and Assemblymember Dave Jones:

[TO: Senator Steinberg/Assemblymember Jones]
[opening address]

Would your office please inform me whether a state agency may act to substantially redefine its activity and mission in a manner which precludes consideration of public comment to the contrary and/or any alternative concepts submitted by the public other than those it has predetermined and which are to be exclusively considered? Would not such action effectively nullify the intents of open processes and public input on matters of consequence regarding state agencies?

I call your attention to Cal Expo’s “Letter of Understanding” with the NBA (May 8, 2008) which appears to do exactly that. Further, processes defined in sections of that document describe a virtually seamless activity leading from its “Discussion Period” to a “Definitive Agreement”; a process which, again, excludes the public from any fair opportunity to participate or engage those who are considering the matter. I note, that for matters as substantial as the future character and function of the California Exposition and State Fair, the ten-day agenda notice before some Board Action is to take place is hardly sufficient for the public to review or make cogent response in matters so far-reaching and complex as those before the Cal Expo Board.

Additionally, I would observe that the committee assigned responsibility to review and deliberate on these matters (the “Real Estate Committee”), including the consideration of public input and alternative proposals, is one which has been structured to comprise only two Board members, thus avoiding many of the requirements for public notification and participation. That is, the very committee dealing with public input is effectively kept out of reach of the public.

I wish to request your office look into this matter and to seek
immediate redress and remedy for the people of California whom, indeed, have a very large stake and interest in the future of their state fair and the public lands it occupies. At a minimum, I would request that the current processes, vis a vis the Cal Expo/NBA proposal, be immediately suspended pending a full and public review and hearing as to their fairness or appropriateness for the stated purpose of “redeveloping Cal Expo.” To do anything less, would be a dis-service to the people of California.

Please note, Assemblymember Jones [Senator Steinberg], that I am sending this petition to you as my Assembly [Senate] Representative in the 9th Assembly District [6th Senate District] of the State of California and not as an ex-officio member of the Cal Expo Board of Directors. The fact that the Cal Expo LOU with the NBA forbids Cal Expo Board members to take actions contrary to the interests of their proposal only serves to underscore the cause of my complaint.

thank you,

Red Slider
1917 Middleberry Rd.
Sacramento, CA 95815

————————

Exhibit ‘F’ – Cal Expo application of Letter of Understanding to obstruct public participation

April 13, 2009
Red Slider

Via Email
Dear Mr. Slider:
The Letter of Understanding (LOU) with the NBA and the Questions and Answers which you requested are attached to this email. Thank you for bringing to our attention that the link on our
website to the Board of Directors page is not working. I’ve asked our IT staff to restore this page. The Real Estate Committee is a two member committee of the Board. The Bagley-Keene Open
Meeting Act, which governs the meeting requirements of the Board, does not require that Committees of two members post agenda notice, but shall report their meetings as updates or for
any Board considered actions. A copy of your proposal was provided to the full Board. The Board is not in a position to review
proposals other than the one presented by the NBA as long as the Letter of Understanding (LOU) is in effect.

Thank you again for your continued interest in the future of Cal Expo.
Sincerely,
CALIFORNIA EXPOSITION & STATE FAIR
Norbert J. Bartosik
General Manager/CEO
NJB:BM:lvc
Attachments
cc Board of Directors

————————–

Exhibit ‘G’ – Cal Expo/NBA ‘Letter of Understanding’ – May 21, 2008; Section 3 “Effect of this LOU and Exclusivity” – Article B and Article C:

3-B. “While this LOU remains in effect, the parties shall negotiate exclusively and in good faith with each other with respect to the development of the Cal Expo site; specifically, Cal Expo will not solicit, initiate, encourage, or engage in any discussions or negotiations with a third party concerning the long term development of the Cal Expo site, excluding discussions and negotiations relating to on-going business operations that would not, if consummated, be materially disruptive to, or inconsistent with, the Proposed Project; and NBA Sacramento will not solicit, initiate, encourage, or engage in any discussions or negotiations relating to the location and development of a new basketball arena on some other site located within the greater Sacramento area.”

3-C. “The parties acknowledge the applicability of the provisions of the Bagley-Keene Act (Government Code section 11120 et seq.), the California Public Records Act (Government Code section 6250 et seq.), and the right to public documentation and disclosure.”

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2 responses to “CEAV’S REMARKS TO CAL EXPO BOARD – MARCH 26, 2010

  1. Pingback: CEAV Accuses Cal Expo Board of Multiple Bagley-Keene Act Violations « Stopcalexpo Blog

  2. Pingback: Bagley-Keene Act Loophole Discovered! « Stopcalexpo Blog

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