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SCPD, City Council, and Downtown Association Holding Secret Meeting this Wednesday
by Unite!
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 5:32 PM
Notice has been sent to downtown business owners that a secret, no press/no public meeting will be help at the SCPD station. Read the letter here.
The SCPD, the City Council, and the Downtown Association (of business owners) are holding a secret meeting in response to the May 1st actions in Downtown Santa Cruz. The meeting is not open to press or the public (see the bottom of their letter)

Here is the complete text of their e-mail sent to downtown business owners:

Dear Downtown Business Member,

Many questions have arisen about this weekend's unfortunate riots.

The Downtown Association has arranged for a special meeting at the Police Department community room this Wednesday at 8:30am.

The Police Chief, Mayor and City Council members will be on hand to answer questions and field concerns.

Many people are rightfully very upset about the damage caused and emotions are very charged. I encourage you to focus on those who caused the damage. I am hopeful that it will be a respectful conversation to understand as much as we can about what happened, what was done in response, what is being done now, and most importantly what can be done to prevent similar attacks in the future.

This meeting is for DTA members only. General public or press will not be permitted.

Thank you

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Re Pete
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 7:35 PM
Is it legal for the council to meet like that without allowing the public to be present?
by show some proof of this.
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 8:14 PM
Who wrote it? Where was it found? Link the website or scan the letter.

....I smell disinformation.
by Unite!
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 9:03 PM
This is definitely not misinformation. As far as I know, no paper letter was mailed out, I received the message through e-mail.
by Dan
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 9:20 PM
Yes, it is legal for the city council to meet with the DTA behind closed doors. It's a meeting with a group of constituents. As long as no formal action (e.g. a vote) is taken. It's legal.
by Re Pete
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 9:21 PM
It must be true!

See 6th paragraph:

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_15017000
by S.C. Musician
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 9:27 PM
A large group walked past me tonight on the street. In the group was Matthews, Beirs, and Coonerty. They headed down the street towards the damage.
I was singing songs of peace and love and sending out positive thoughts to the area. It needs all the love it can get.
I refuse to see people as us and them. It's all us.
The state public meetings law (the Brown Act) prohibits more than 3 city council meetings from going to a meeting where they discuss city business unless the public is given notice, access, and the right to speak.

Check out http://www.ag.ca.gov/publications/2003_Intro_BrownAct.pdf at page vii banning meetings of a quorum (i.e. four council members) unless they're appearing at a meeting open to the public where no council business is being discussed.

Someone should go to the meeting with an audio recorder.
by the trouble is
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 11:33 PM
that the meetings are specifically closed to the public, so you'd have to get a tape recorder on a person that's been invited. Know any friendly business owners who have been invited and are planning on going?

Also, sure would be great to pull the Brown Act trump card on them!

by Animaliberation
Wednesday May 5th, 2010 8:36 AM
I was downtown on Sunday afternoon and it was great to see all the musicians out that day. In my opinion, it really helped to bring back that good vibe to the place.
by Attended
Wednesday May 5th, 2010 11:42 AM
I'm happy to report that there was no violation of The Brown Act. There were only three council members in attendance. So I guess we can cross that one off the list. I'm sure that's a relief to everyone.

What was also great is that a few members of the Bike Church were there, despite them not being DTA members, and they were treated with respect, fairness, and their opinions heard. Not only heard, but actually applauded upon conclusion. No SubRosa bashing was voiced at all. All in all it was a group of downtown business owners who wanted some more information about what happened. No demands were made to "get" anyone, or condemn any specific group. No directives were given. That's about it.

Oh, one more thing. Many people were very respectful about the public and their ability to hold peaceful gatherings.
by Auntie Imperial
Wednesday May 5th, 2010 1:22 PM
You and I ARE on the same wavelength.

My bringing up the skanky bar scene was purely to point out the hypocrisy of the people who would brand the people at SubRosa or the organizers of the party for events, truly, outside of their control.

As far as the stripper pole @ Callahans I understand that the women involved are wearing bikinis, which skirts the law apparently.

I was an amateur radio operator at the start of the FIRST incursion into Iraq. An East coast operator put an anti-war message out on 'packet radio'(a form of wireless BBS for amateur radio) which caused a stir as political messages are considered verboten by law.

There WAS an attempt to force EVERY bbs on the path to be responsible for messages going thu their system, which would have essentially shut down that mode of communications. Fortunately the FCC ruled that only the initial station transmitting the message could be held accountable, and be required to, in some way verify the 'amateur' nature of the content in message from their station

IOW, I AM aware of the ramifications to my statement, if enacted.

It was purely an attempt to point out the hypocrisy of the media and other elements that would make a connection between SR and the property damage.
by Not the original Curious
Wednesday May 5th, 2010 4:34 PM
....for posting that information. I 'm glad the meeting was held without total chaos erupting. Too bad our City Council meetings can't be as civil. You should take a lesson from this Robert, not every meeting has to be a shouting match. Maybe that's why HUFF was not invited.......
by Stephen K
Wednesday May 5th, 2010 5:00 PM
I don't get what made it a "secret meeting". Private maybe, but a secret? When an organization holds a meeting and invites over 300 people to attend it's rather obvious people will know about it. And I don't get the idea that because the invite was sent out by email versus a paper copy makes it any more clandestine. Emails can get forwarded in a second, so anyone sending one will hardly think it's a secret.

Of course Robert wants to portray this as a "secret meeting, because he wasn't invited. And Robert not being invited to things is becoming more and more the norm. People are tired of fighting and want to get things done. They want to make things better. Robert has shown that for him it's not about the result, it's about the conflict with him at the center of attention.
by Sum Dim
Wednesday May 5th, 2010 6:38 PM
Public officials going to this meeting to discuss important matters and there is no announcement; the public isn't allowed; no press permitted; contents of the discussion is unknown... and somebody says, "Where's the secret?"

I'd explain it to him, but it's a secret.
by Sentinel
Thursday May 6th, 2010 7:10 AM
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_15028903
Santa Cruz police announce partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs unit to fight gang violence

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_15019865?source=most_viewed
In riot's wake, Santa Cruz City Council OKs filling police vacancies
by Steven Argue
Friday May 7th, 2010 11:57 AM

According to the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

"Micah Posner, a member of the Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Transportation, which leases space to the SubRosa Cafe, was asked to leave Wednesday's meeting along with several others from the Hub because they are not members of the Downtown Association." From: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_15028901

Yet, invited to the meeting were the vast majority of downtown Santa Cruz businesses that are members of the rightwing anti-homeless Downtown Association, of which a large number of Santa Cruz businesses are members. However, “The Board of the Hub for Sustainable Transportation” was specifically excluded from this meeting on the basis that they were not members of Downtown Association. Perhaps that slap in the face will help individual members reconsider the endorsements that they gave to individual candidates on the Santa Cruz City Council. Nothing could be clearer in terms of who really runs Santa Cruz; the Santa Cruz City Council is not even interested in the voices of businesses that are not part of the Downtown Association’s brown-shirt anti-homeless organization.
by Attended
Saturday May 8th, 2010 7:45 AM
The sentence should have read that they were asked to leave ALONG WITH other business owners who are not members of the DTA. It's not like The Hub members were singled out. About 10 other people left as well. And of the people who eventually left, a HUB member was allowed to speak (for about 5 minutes) and was listened to respectfully by the group. Some even applauded when he concluded.
by not invited
Sunday May 16th, 2010 10:24 AM
Why has it not been mentioned that why folkls who WERE part of downtown business at the Hub were turned away, Take Back Santa Cruz, though having no official connection to downtown, was invited?

So if your vision of downtown involves supporting the satus quo and bolstering downtown businesses, you're in. But if you have an alternative vision of a different kind of downtown less focused on commerce and more focused on people's needs, you're out.

WTF?