Group accuses Los Angeles City Council committee of violating open meeting law

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The City Attorney's Office is looking into allegations that members of the Los Angeles City Council violated the state's open meeting act when they discussed major changes to the city's trash system.

The City Attorney’s Office is looking into allegations that members of the Los Angeles City Council violated the state’s open meeting law during a committee meeting on dramatically changing the city’s system of trash hauling.

An April 19 letter from the Miles Law Group accuses the Ad Hoc Committee on Waste Reduction and Recycling of violating the Brown Act by failing to properly agendize its April 10 meeting and by introducing six new motions that day. During the meeting, council members discussed switching trash pick up at multi-family and commercial buildings from a private system to a franchise system.

“These stakeholders, many small businesses that have provided generations of quality service to Los Angeles residents, will be directly impacted if the recommendations in the (motions) are adopted without being afforded opportunities for notice and comment that they are entitled to under the Brown Act,” attorney Stephen M. Miles wrote on behalf of small waste hauling companies and environmental interests.

The City Attorney’s Office is evaluating the alleged violations, according to a spokesman for the department.

The six motions that were introduced at that April 10 meeting will likely be reintroduced during next Tuesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles City Council, according to the office of Councilman Richard Alarcon, chair of the ad hoc committee.

“Council members should know that major policy decisions must be made in the light of day,” said Beverly Kenworthy, executive director of the California Apartment Association-Los Angeles. “A debate on the future of trash service in Los Angeles impacts every single corner of the city. The public deserves nothing less than a full, fair and honest hearing on waste hauling in the city of Los Angeles.”

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