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News

LADOT's Michael May to Violate Brown Act

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Left to right: LADOT Staff Michael May, CD-4 Larry Hoffman, Mayoral appointee Glenn Bailey at a LABAC meeting | Photo courtesy by Alex Thompson

Shocked by the horrific road raging motorist vs. cyclists incident on Mandeville Canyon Road this past holiday weekend, the cycling community has rallied in the last four days to fight for justice and to ensure that Los Angeles city leadership, law enforcement and the judicial system respond to incidents such as this.

Brad House, council district 15 representative to the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee (LABAC), which is the official body charged with advising the LA City Council and Mayor on cycling issues, brought the incident to LAist contributor Stephen Box's attention, and called for immediate action from the LABAC.

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Other members agreed that the LABAC must act decisively, so a discussion took place internally about convening an emergency meeting of the LABAC.

LADOT's Michael May, who acts as support staff for the committee, responded by tentatively scheduling a meeting in the LADOT 9th floor offices in the Caltrans Building. The use of this location has come under fire in the past because the location violates the Brown Act by restricting public access. Private citizens cannot attend without submitting their identification, which California correctly prohibits because it is a deterrent to public participation:

California Code 54953.3 A member of the public can attend a meeting of a legislative body without having to register or give other information as a condition of attendance.

May and the LABAC have been reminded about this provision in the past -- it is because of this law that the committee can no longer meet in the Department of Water & Power building. Should the committee violate this rule, not only will the decisions and discussion from the meeting be stricken from the record, but each participant is guilty of a misdemeanor.

LADOT staff's actions may render the committee unable to take swift action on the awful incident in Mandeville Canyon. It's a good thing when positive action is about to be taken, but it needs to be done legally, otherwise why is the city wasting time?