Now that the state has discontinued payments to local government agencies for compiling and publishing meeting agendas under the Brown Act, some residents are wondering exactly how much the City of West Hollywood was billing the state each year.
According to David Wilson, the city’s interim finance director, the city was billing approximately $64,000 per year to the state.
The exact amount varies year to year depending on how many public meetings the city held, but it averages to approximately $64,000 each year.
“The City bills for City Council meetings based on a formula created by the State that allows for 30 minutes per agenda item,” Wilson told Patch. “For Advisory Boards and Commissions, the City bills at a flat per meeting rate also established by the state.”
Since the 1997-98 fiscal year, the city has billed the state $900,168 in charges connected to compiling meeting agendas according to records Wilson provided Patch.
Of that $900,168, the state has paid the city $248,018, roughly a quarter of the amount due. The state still owes the city $652,150, payment of which has been repeatedly deferred due to the state budget crisis.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, the state owes local governments across California approximately $97 million in Brown Act payments.
With such a high amount owed, plus interest, Sacramento lawmakers opted in June to stop cities from billing the state for compiling agendas, thereby suspending a portion of the Brown Act. That decision gave cities permission to stop posting agendas for public meeting.
However, the City of West Hollywood has , thereby absorbing the annual $64,000 cost, which is less than the amount the city will spend to
In addition to posting meeting agendas on the city’s website, the city also posts hard copies of meeting agendas in , at the , at the and at the (second floor reference desk).