13. SECOND READING OF ORDINANCE NO. 112 – RESCINDING RULES REQUIRING DISCLOSURE OF EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS AND REPEALING PENALTIES AND REMEDIES FOR NON-DISCLOSURE
Meeting Date: February 19, 2004 Budgeted: N/A
Program/Line Item No.: N/A
Staff Contact: Arlene Tavani Cost Estimate: N/A
General Counsel Approval: Reviewed by District Counsel on First Reading
CEQA Compliance: N/A
SUMMARY: On November 19, 2001, the Board of Directors adopted Ordinance No. 99, entitled Requiring Disclosure of Ex Parte Communications and Establishing Penalties and Remedies for Non-Disclosure (attached as Exhibit 13-A). On January 29, 2004, the Board of Directors conducted a public hearing on the first reading of Ordinance No. 112, entitled Rescinding Rules Requiring Disclosure of Ex Parte Communication and Repealing Penalties and Remedies for Non-Disclosure. Attached as Exhibit 13-B is the draft ordinance that was adopted on a vote of 4 – 3 at the January 29 public hearing and is now presented for second reading and final adoption.
Ordinance No. 112 would repeal ex parte communication rules established by Ordinance No. 99. The ex parte rules require that Directors must disclose all communications on quasi-judicial matters pending decision before the Board of Directors. Quasi-judicial matters are applications and hearings that determine rights or obligations of named individuals or of specific property. Examples include, but are not limited to, requests for variances, appeals, and similar matters requiring decision of the Board of Directors based upon specific notice and a hearing record. The ex parte reporting rules do not apply to communications on quasi-legislative matters, such as decisions of general policy or direction such as ordinances or resolutions.
Please note that the text of Ordinance No. 99 identifies the ex parte rules as Regulation XIV and Rules 140, 141, 142 and 143. However, when the rules were added to the Rules and Regulations document, they were renumbered as Regulation XVIII and Rules 180, 181, 182 and 183. Ordinance No. 112 identifies the rules to be deleted as Regulation XVIII and Rules 180, 181, 182 and 183.
RECOMMENDATION: The Board should conduct the public hearing on Ordinance No.112 rescinding ex parte communication rules and consider adoption. If the draft ordinance is adopted, it will become effective on March 20, 2004.
IMPACT ON STAFF RESOURCES: If Ordinance No. 112 is adopted, District staff will cease activities associated with implementation of Ordinance No. 99.