California's Judicial Council on Thursday bid farewell to several longtime members and revisited a contentious rule that opened many of its advisory groups and subcommittee meetings to the public.
The council approved the open meetings rule last year under legislative mandate, despite some members' reluctance. Press groups criticized the rule for its list of exemptions, which allow committee chairs to close meetings for discussions about security, personnel, legislative strategy, agenda setting and attorney-client privilege.
Justice Douglas Miller, whose Executive and Planning Committee drafted the rule, told the council Thursday that just over half of the 293 meetings held during the rule's first year were open. He said 64 percent of the 149 open meetings had been attended by the public, by phone or in person.
The council must report the numbers to the Legislature. Miller recommended that the council accept the rule's one-year progress report without any changes.
"The headline or takeaway from this is the rule is working as designed," Miller said. "It is making a complete and welcome addition to the more transparent approach this council has taken in the last four years.
Read the whole story at Courthouse News