Someone recently obtained a bunch of emails from 2016 between Laurie Sale of the Pacific Freaking Palisades BID and Rick Scott of the City Clerk’s office who is, it seems, the BID’s analyst.1 The goodies were passed to me and I uploaded the whole batch of them to Archive dot Org for your edification and titillation, and click here to browse through ’em!
And as you know, the Palisades BID, besides being generally creepy and rather floridly delusional, has proved itself unable to comply even minimally with California’s twin government transparency ordinances, the California Public Records Act and the Brown Act. I’ve written a little about their struggles with CPRA compliance2 and a little more about their struggles with Brown Act compliance, like see this episode and this especially nutty and horrific episode.
So with all of that in mind it was pleasant but not really a surprise to find this little gem of an email exchange in today’s yield. It all began when Sue Pascoe, editor of the famously floofball advertiser known as the Palisades News, emailed Laurie Sale, now retired zeck dreck of the BID, telling her that it was a violation of the Brown Act’s agenda posting requirements to post the agenda in a place that was not handicapped accessible.
Rather than asking a lawyer as anyone with any sense and some assets to protect might do, Laurie Sale emailed Rick Scott of the City Clerk’s office asking him for advice and basically saying that Sue Pascoe was a big meanie and why should the BID have to follow the damn law anyway? Then Rick Scott wrote back and told Laurie Sale that he wasn’t a lawyer and couldn’t give advice. What else did she expect? Turn the page, as always, for transcriptions of everything!
Like I said, here’s the email chain. The story begins on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 when Sue Pascoe emailed Laurie Sale and Elliot Freaking Zorensky, and here’s what she had to say to the dastardly duo:
Laurie and Elliot,
The Brown Act is really specific — The DRB and the PaliHi School Board operates [sic] under the Brown Act.
Posting a meeting is highly regulated. A white paper in small print up several stairs is not ADA compliant–and someone in town may take you to task for it.
At the very least, the announcement about the meeting should have gone out to all of the people in the group (maybe it did?)–I would also love to be put on that mailing list. The posting has to be in a place that is ADA compliant. I would suggest the library of the Chamber of Commerce? Also, I’m sure both the Post and the News could have posted something on our Facebook.
Is Sue Pascoe correct about the posting requirement? That agendas have to be posted in a location that’s accessible under the terms of the ADA? I have no solid information, but I’m sure she is correct. The Brown Act at §54954.2(a)(1) says that the agenda “shall be posted in a location that is freely accessible to members of the public.” If it’s up some stairs and too small to read from the bottom of the stairs it’s hardly accessible to members of the public in general.3 In any case, at this point a sane person4 either reads up on the matter or consults with a lawyer or the Board or both.
Not our Laurie Sale, though. She fires off a characteristically aggrieved demand to Rick Scott, her BID analyst, who, don’t forget, works for the City of Los Angeles. And thus whined Laurie Sale:
Can you help me with this, please? We’ve been posting a 12 pt typeface notice in Elliot’s window (where we hold the meeting) without any problem. Now this woman says we’re out of compliance. Is this correct? We can post the same thing in the back of Elliot’s, where there is a ramp, but I feel like this is just silly. Please let me know. I’ve sent the list of meeting dates to both local papers, and they have the ability to post these, but clearly it’s not that important to them. As soon as we have our website, we can post it on that. Is that enough, or do we also have to put it in the window, as we’ve been doing? This woman is a real stickler. Please help me out on this asap.
Oh my, so much to talk about here! Note the typical white supremacist trope of thinking that the actual law actually corresponds with their intuitions about the law. Like “that can’t be the law because I find it silly” constitutes a real thought process about something. But as I’ve said before, this method of interpretation is not a bad approximation to reality. For the most part the law actually just says what zillionaires imagine it ought to say. For some reason, though, the Brown Act5 fouls up the approximation.
And then check out how she actually wants to stop posting the damn agenda in the damn window. Of all the things that anyone has talked about so far in this beyond-puerile conversation, posting the damn agenda in the damn window is the only damn one that’s actually required by the damn law. Don’t stop doing that, for God’s sake!
And of course there’s the overarching question of why she thinks Rick Scott can help her with this kind of thing. Why does she? He certainly doesn’t, which is why he replied less than two hours later:
We are not attorneys and cannot advise on legal matters but if you are following the information in these two documents (attached) you should be in compliance for the Board meetings of a business improvement district.
And that’s the end of the email discussion as it’s known to me! As always there’s no conclusion but there is a moral, which is why won’t these people hire a damn lawyer?6 And the ironic thing? This whole email exchange with Laurie Sale wanting to stop posting agendas in the damn window took place exactly seven days after this famous Brown Act fiasco, in which they voted by illegal teleconferencing and email. Sigh.
Image of Laurie Sale is ©2018 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and is tangentially related to this little cha cha cha right here.
- Which, even if it wasn’t originally meant to connote therapist, it certainly has come to mean that by now.
- And I will have a lot more to say about this over the next few months, believe me. Things don’t get better. At the very best they just get weirder. That’s how it goes in the Palisades, anyway.
- That’s about all Sue Pascoe is right about. There’s no requirement in the Brown Act that the agenda be distributed to “all of the people in the group,” whatever that even means.
- I.e. not Laurie Sale.
- And the CPRA, for that matter.
- If you’re new to the blog you won’t have noticed that even though the modern way is to have morals be pithy statements of undeniable truth, here at MK.Org our morals are always questions. We’re beyond the modern around here, in every sense.