I should have known that I was in for a doozy of a co-location adventure when I first met ICEF CFO/CCO Greg Brendel in person.
On February 18, 2015 a little before 5 PM, I was in the reception area of ICEF corporate headquarters waiting for the ICEF monthly board meeting to start. I wanted to use the public comment section of the meeting to alert the board to the Stoner and local communities' opposition to the co-location, and to ask them to please not co-locate at Stoner.
As I was waiting, Mr. Brendel came out to greet me. He told me that, unfortunately, I would not be able to attend the meeting because I had not contacted the ICEF executive team with my concerns before the meeting.
I was shocked!
...not attend the meeting? Oh what a fool I was...Poor, poor me. ICEF has already won.
...none of those thoughts passed through my mind. I though "Is this guy serious?" He must either be lying or very, very confused.
ICEF board meetings pertain to the use of public funds and as such are subject to the Brown Act. The board meetings must be conducted as open public meetings.
You don't need to announce that you will attend a public meeting. Heck, anyone who just happened to walk by on the street and wanted to sit in the meeting for kicks would have every right to be in the meeting.
So, trying to prevent me from attending a public meeting for any reason is a violation of the Brown Act.
Regardless of his lame bluff, I told him I was attending the meeting and I would be speaking because it was an open public meeting subject to the Brown Act. I was allowed in the meeting and I spoke.