Tuesday, January 3, 2017

GUEST POST: Council to hold Open Government training session tonight

By Elizabeth Warnimont

The Benicia City Council will conduct an open government training session tonight beginning at 5:30 p.m. Members of the council, other public officials and some city employees are required to attend open government training once each year. The training sessions are open to the public.
   Covered in tonight’s session will be a review of the current edition of the Brown Act, conflict of interest issues, ethics, due process and open government tips for effective meetings. Three new provisions in the 2017 Brown Act will be reviewed.

Open Government Commission seat to open
   One term on the city’s Open Government Commission will open after Jan. 31. The commission advises the city council and provides information to other city departments and bodies on appropriate ways in which to implement the process of open government. Interested parties may apply by contacting the city at 746-4210.
   Applicants should demonstrate an interest in open and ethical government through such activities as attendance at government meetings, requests for documents from government agencies, disseminating information about government to others, or familiarity with the Brown Act and the Public Records Act. All members shall be without known conflicts of interest and shall be residents of the city to the extent possible.
   The Open Government Commission meets four times a year on Mondays beginning at 5 p.m. in the Commission Room at City Hall, 250 East L St., unless noted otherwise in the annual meeting calendar.
   Open Government Training sessions do not include AB 1234-required training on ethics, which must be completed every two years or within six months of taking office.
   For more information about open government training, visit the city attorney’s government training page at the city of Benicia web site at ci.benicia.ca.us under the heading "City Departments- City Attorney- Training or call the city attorney’s office at 746-4216.

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