Fixing SF's sunshine problems

Let's take our cues from Connecticut on this one

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EDITORIAL Open-government advocates are circulating a series of amendments to the city's landmark Sunshine Ordinance, and a lot of them make perfect sense. In general, the changes bring the law up to date — and deal with the ongoing and increasing frustration over the lack of enforcement that has rendered toothless one of the most progressive open-government laws in the nation.

The advocates are trying to find four supervisors to place the measure on the November ballot. It won't be easy: Already, the City Attorney's Office has circulated a memo arguing that some of the amendments conflict with state law or the City Charter.

And in the background, Sup. Scott Wiener is looking to take another approach to open-government, asking city departments to examine the costs of complying with the existing law — which could easily become an argument for loosening the rules.

The new disclosure rules are relatively modest. A policy body would have to release all documents relevant to a decision 48 hours in advance of a meeting. Documents that include metadata — tracked changes and other digital information — would have to be released in full. Regulations on closed meetings around pending legal issues would be tightened.

But the bulk of the changes have to do with enforcing the law — and that's where the battle lines are going to be drawn. The measure would create a powerful supervisor of public records, appointed by the city attorney, who would be directed to review all denials of public records — and who, by law, would be ordered to "not consider as authority any position taken by the city attorney." That seeks to address a key shortfall in existing law — the City Attorney's Office, which (like most law firms) is often driven by privacy and confidentiality, advises city agencies on what records can be withheld, and city officials who refuse to release documents simply say they were following the advice of their attorney.

The proposal would turn the Sunshine Task Force into an independent commission, some of whose appointments wouldn't be subject to any official review. The commission would have extensive new authority to levy fines on city employees who it finds in violation of the sunshine law and to force the Ethics Commission — which routinely ignores sunshine violations — to take action against offenders.

The idea, of course, is to mandate consequences for violating the Sunshine Ordinance, which is flouted on a regular basis by public officials who pay no penalty and thus have no real reason to comply. But increasing the scope and certainty of punishment is one side of the coin — and if there were better ways to ensure compliance, none of that would be necessary.

In Connecticut, a state Freedom of Information Commission has the statutory authority to require any government agency to release a document or open a meeting. The panel doesn't punish people; it obviates that whole process. And it would be much, much easier to get beyond the penalties and simply create a legal process that allowed the Sunshine Commission full authority to order public agencies to comply with its rulings. The commission rules that a meeting was illegally closed? Tapes of that meeting must be released, at once. Documents improperly withheld? Cough them up, now. The only appeal city officials would have: go to court and seek a secrecy order. If the supervisors and other city officials think the proposed rules go too far, they can refuse to put this measure on the ballot, but that be ducking the clear and obvious problems. And there's an easy solution: Give the Sunshine Commission the same power as the FOI panel in Connecticut, which has operated just fine for more than 30 years.

Comments

Do the changes address the fact that so many of the requests are bogus and requested by consipracy theorists who waste a lot of City time and money, and a Task Force that can't recognize when a request is actually valid.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 20, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

The changes do not address the question of whether requests are bogus or valid, nor should they.

The California Public Records Act expressly forbids public-entity personnel from asking record requesters the reason for their requests. So to revise the Sunshine Ordinance as Guest suggests would be illegal; state sunshine laws set the minimum, not the maximum, standards for accessibility of public information and proceedings.

Under the act and the ordinance, the only questions governing a response to a record request are (1) whether the information is available and (2) whether it is disclosable under law.

Posted by Richard Knee on Jun. 21, 2012 @ 12:08 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... I have been before the failing MINISTRY of SUNSHINE for over ten years now and HAVE HEARD all the FALSEHOODS, MISREPRESENTATIONS, EXCUSES for FAILURE, NON-PERFORMANCE, FINGER POINTING, NO RESPONSE to BAD PROCEDURE and INEPT results. What do I mean ... type my name into a google search engine and read ... the city broke the law, signed a confession and left its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD. I came before the MINISTRY and ask specifically for what was required by LAW to be in my file (A MEDICAL SCREENING EXAMINATION) and the TASK FORCE stated that they could not make DPH produce something it didn’t have and skated past the legal requirement to be there ... NO ONE was SENT TO ETHICS over this. When I asked for my medical records ... I got a NURSE RATCHED LETTER from the SHERIFF’S office as a response that written about in an article in SFBG (however .. NOW the link to the SFBG article has been discontinued) there is the link ( http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com - see Ratched Response ) If you go to the bottom and look you will see who? Could it be Mr. Knee ... when was this article written .... could it have been 2002? After TEN YEARS ... it is hard for me to BELIEVE anything said by the MINISTRY.

HOWEVER ... NOTE per the article there has been a WORKING EXAMPLE fo the LAST THIRTY YEARS ... where, why and who in our MINISTRY was asleep? Now they offer another false promise and hope (the ballot) ??? And if it fails WHAT ... continue to HARM with false unaccountable, NO RESULTS PRODUCING doublespeak about HOW MUCH YOU CARE while the VICTIM is neither afforded DUE PROCESS, TIMELY RESULT nor ENFORCEMENT ... what a FARCE.

As a matter of fact the same principle is happening again ... in my case # 11081 .... I asked DPH for a signed HIPAA form that DPH had been found guilty of by Licensing and Certification (see IDR # 11081) and if they could not provide it ... then an ADMISSION of the lawbreaking activity. Instead (if you listen to the tape NOV 2011 case # 11081) DPH submitted (bait and switch ) an incorrect form (not even the right authorization form ... it was an incorrect form from 2006) which is on tape and when I pointed out the bait and switch ... the CHAIR GLOSSED over it and told me that they had given me what they had and that they could not give me something they did not have. Again, I asked for the second part ... an ADMISSION and this too was left aside. This form is required by LAW to be there and in SUNSHINE this fact and its consequences are skated over and ONLY half truth is cleverly dispensed. I did NOTIFY the MINISTRY of its INCORRECT ORDER of DETERMINATION only to be told that it is final and NO APPEAL. Why not look at the failure, correct and insure correct process ... oh, that is right ... here at the MINISTRY it is the ILLUSION of SUNSHINE and HALF TRUTHS.

SHOULD WE ALL WAIT ANOTHER TEN YEARS of CONTINUING FAILURE and HARM to the COMPLAINANT. More false hope, false process and false ILLUSION is MORE HARMFUL an INJURIOUS than NO HELP. It is also GREAT “RISK MANAGEMENT” shill action for the city ... HOW MANY GIVE UP after seeing the GAME PLAYING?

My the same principle is alive and well again ... in case # 11099 ... I asked DPH who “ACCREDITS” them for patient/medical services ... they sent me the INCORRECT INFORMATION and again the MINISTRY has let it wash ... IT IS ALL THEY HAVE ... YOU MEAN DPH doesn’t know who accredits them? Could this be like the DNA accreditation process FIASCO ... since NOT all the paperwork was in for the ACCREDITATION ... see DNA Lab Cover-Up: SFPD to Investigate Claims in Secret Court Records http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-12-07/news/rockne-harmon-sfpd-dna-lab-charl... . Yet listen to the tape of the HEARING for case # 11099 or call and ask the MINISTRY 554-7724. So I still have NOT gotten the CORRECT INFORMATION but have gotten INCORRECT INFORMATION and PROCESS from DPH. As a matter of fact the DIRECTOR of PUBLIC HEALTH - BARBARA GARCIA was guilty of 67.21e in case # 11099 and I still await the “OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT” charge to be sent to ETHICS as was Eileen Shields in case # 10038 and the NOTHING, NADA, ZIP that came from it. When I wrote and ask dear Mr. Knee ... I still await JUSTICE. Does that mean if I am correct (which I am) that case # 10038 will have to be re-opened even thou according to the MINISTRY it is final and NO APPEALS? Yes, Virginia ... RIGGED PROCESS AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE ...

Oh and with all the paperwork I have ... when I tried to send to Weiner ... I got shut out ... IMAGINE that ... doesn’t anyone want the TRUTH ... geez, what is SUNSHINE?

Oh, and far as the HELPFUL (not) Mr. Wolfe ... I sent in an IDR to him in DECEMBER 2011 ... when will it get scheduled and what about the 45 day rule ... again FOLKS ... ask questions. Could you also ask him HOW LONG it takes to get a HIPAA expert in my case # 11081 and why the CONTINUING FAILURE ? Could it be that Mr. Wolfe and the MINISTRY don’t want to HOLD DPH or their ERRONEOUS HARMFUL city attorney advise accountable .... listen to the tape for case # 11081 (Nov 2011 - Task Force) and 5/15/2012 (Compliance and Amendment Committee) hearing tapes to see the GAME. DELAY, FURTHER HARM, WHITEWASH, etc.

IT IS NOW 6/21/2012 and the MINISTRY STILL HAS NOT and CAN NOT FIND A HIPAA EXPERT ... even after the other side conceded ... call and ask SOTF 554-7724 or City Attorney 554-5184 ... and WHY will NOT the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE hold the CITY ATTORNEY, DPH accountable ???

If any of the SUPERVISORS want my paperwork ... I will gladly supply it.

If the PUBLIC wants the TRUTH research case # 06034, 10038. 11081, and 11099 ... here at the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE. Oh and ask about the still as of yet UNSCHEDULED Sunshine Task Force IDR that I submitted to them.

“Telling the TRUTH during times of UNIVERSAL DECEIT can be a REVOLUTIONARY ACT.” George Orwell

So again as the article above would like to make us FEEL GOOD and SWEET ...

Ask what happens if the ballot fails, or you can not find four (4) supervisors ... will the MINISTRY continue the HARM with FALSE UNACCOUNTABLE PROCESS that produces no results unless you consider the DELAY, HARM and FURTHER DAMAGE to the VICTIM as a “SHILL” effect for the city
And ask why with ALL the paperwork I have Wiener’s Office has shut me out and the OVERSEEING agency (Board of Supervisors - Angela 554-5184) still has NOT taken my complaint nor started an INVESTIGATION into the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE inclusive of the HIPAA expert shuffle for an IDR I believe I sent in Sept 2011 ...

Call and ask or go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see HOW the GAME is PLAYED and what CONTRITION, HUMANITY or MEDICAL CONCERN the city has even after signing a confession admitting fault and guilt ... oh and REMEMBER the “CONFESSION” didn’t come from the city’s KIND HEART but MY continuance even after they had my case dismissed with TESTILYING and their “SCORCHED EARTH TACTICS.”
.

Again, “Telling the TRUTH during times of UNIVERSAL DECEIT becomes a REVOLUTIONARY Act..” George Orwell

What was the PENALTY for the INCORRECT, DELAY PRODUCING, POORLY researched and analyzied city attorney expert opinion advise for SOTF (Threat) and City’s if I was NOT only correct but further injured? (See cases # 10038, 11081) Where are my MEDICAL RECORDS or the HIPAA EXPERT and HOW MUCH LONGER for DUE PROCESS at the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE??? Where is the PROFESSIONALISM the ETHICS the FOLLOWUP the ACCOUNTABILITY or even the HUMANITY ....

Go to http://www.myowprivateguantanamo.com to see what the CITY has dispensed even after signing a CONFESSION admitting fault and guilt ... note the years and NOTE that the GAME has started ALL over again ... WHAT was the penalty or consequence for their lawbreaking ???

. .

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... here is the link to some of the paperwork regarding the Nurse Ratched letter I received that was sent to ETHICS from the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE.

Did the LAW change, did the RULES change did the DEFINITION change ???

Or is it someone with $$$ and lawyers as opposed to the POOR?

When JUSTICE costs ... we've ALL LOST.

"Telling the TRUTH during times of UNIVERSAL DECEIT is as REVOLUTIONARY Act." George Orwell.

Here's the link ... http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com and click on the section:
Sheriff's Office, Sunshine, Ethics Commission,Human Rights Commission, Patient Advocacy, Inc re: Nurse Ratch

ENJOY ....

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jun. 26, 2012 @ 5:58 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... well, today is 7/2/2012 and still no HIPAA expert, no scheduling of the IDR that I sent Wolfe, no Garcia to ETHICS as required (case # 11099), no JUSTICE, NO HOPE, NO CIVILITY at the MINISTRY. When I try to file a complaint and start an investigation with the Board of Supervisors (whom I was told by the MINISTRY that the BOS oversees it) specifically the clerk Angela 554-5184 ..... well, I still sit here awaiting just like the RIGGED MINISTRY.

As a matter of fact the HIPAA expert is REQUIRED because their own EXPERT witnesses and city attorney advise was NOT only INCORRECT it provided delay and HARM. Is the MINISTRY going to hold DPH, and the city attorney accountable now that they CONCEDED or is this to be "WHITEWASHED OVER" by FALSE and INCORRECT procedure? I still do not have my records and will only get them at MINISTRY where the other side did not represent the TRUTH regarding what requirements were needed under HIPAA to get MY OWN MEDICAL RECORDS and I will NOT be denied DUE PROCESS by simply getting them and allowing a "PASS/" Call and ask Angela 554-5184 or Andrea 554-7724 why I still do NOT have my records and why no HIPAA expert after the other side conceded. Remember to ask them about penalty ...

"Telling the TRUTH during times of UNIVERSAL DECEIT becomes a REVOLUTIONARY Act." George Orwell

I believe that the IDR was sent in Sept 2011 for the MEDICAL RECORDS for the denial of MEDICAL CARE at TOM WADDELL ... still no HIPAA EXPERT, still no JUSTICE, however, still plenty of BULL and deliberate intentional HARM and SPECIFIC NON-PERFORMANCE ... but what is the PENALTY?

Go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see HOW the city BROKE FEDERAL LAW against me, testilied in court to have my case dismissed, then years later signed a "confession/settlement" agreement with the Office of Inspector General admitting fault and guilt for having BROKEN FEDERAL LAW against me and LEFT me ... its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD. It was not out of the KINDNESS of the city attorney's scorched earth and take no prisoner TACTICS but rather MINE of continuing against ALL ODDS. The city had my case thrown out in 2003 and signed the confession in 2007 and I still sit here HARMED, DAMAGED, DEAD RIGHT and LEFT for DEAD in 2012.

Where is the GOOD FAITH, RIGHT and PROPER CONDUCT expected of ALL city OFFICIALS ... or could this too be "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" per that definition ... you know NO HUMANITY even after being BUSTED!

Come on ... I want to "SUNSHINE" EXACTLY the FARCE and FAILURES ... but I know they care ... ha,ha,ha.

Keep Tuned as I will continue and go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see HOW the GAME is PLAYED ...

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Jul. 02, 2012 @ 6:11 am

Jason Grant Garza ... the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE ... ha, ha,ha. Today is Aug 6th 2012 and the MINISTRY has been closed for JUNE, JULY and August to hear cases.

Has the CONCERN at the MINISTRY offered its citizens another alternative to their RIGGED UNACCOUNTABLE PROCESS or just stated with the MANTRA of HOW MUCH you need their helpless, soulless attempt at being the CITY'S SHILL?

*****************************

Yes, they really care ... THEY HAVE NOT (again not) INFORMED EVERYONE AWAITING their RIGGED PROCESS where to go and gt the help needed since they are CLOSED. They have NOT (again not) called EVERYONE with OPEN CASES, as of yet UNSCHEDULED CASES, etc and TOLD them how to PROCEED.

*****************************

Yes, the ILLUSION of COMPASSION, Right Action, Good Conduct, Fast and Speedy Resolution, or any form of HUMANITY is BELIED by their INACTION, RIGGED and UNACCOUNTABLE process.

Go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see HOW the GAME is PLAYED.

Enjoy the FRAUD, the INHUMANITY and the ILLUSION ...

Yes, years of working in Connecticut (30 years) with over ten (10) years of my constant showing the RIGGED and CORRUPT METHODOLOGY at the MINISTRY ...

Keep drinking the KOOL AIDE ...

At least they ARE the PROFESSIONALS ... ha,ha,ha.

"A nation of FOOLS deserves what it gets."

Enjoy the GAME, the FRAUD and their bleating rant of how much they care, are concerned and will do the right thing while exhibiting their constant failures and spinning.

Again go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com to see the GAME, NO CONCERN and the LACK of CONSEQUENCE ... any more questions?

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Aug. 06, 2012 @ 6:32 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... my dear Bruce, Tim or SFBG staff ... such concern ... why no contact over what I have for the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE? I have written many comments in your paper and not gotten any calls or inquiries over what I have. As you know, I have a signed confession/settlement agreement from the city that LEFT ME FOR DEAD. As you know I have much much much paperwork from YEARS of the SUNSHINE TASK FORCE ... where I ask questions, poinitng out failures and rigged process, and recently have IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUESTS that have NOT even been scheduled. You also state that the SUPERVISORS are closing down sunshine ... (the task force) has not heard cases in JUNE, JULY and NOW AUGUST ... don't the INNOCENT VICTIMS deserve an alternative and why has your paper NOT suggested one? Bruce, MORALS and CONCERN only apply at all times and NOT only when it might sell copy.

Please Bruce ... you were on the TASK FORCE (many years ago) ... why aren't you asking about the RULES and STANDARDS change at ETHICS for a "POUND of FLESH" against ROSS or why are you NOT asking about the "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" charges against SUPERVISORS and St. Croix that STILL have not been heard at ETHICS ... yet, they sit in JUDGMENT over ROSS. If the RULES and STANDARDS have changes ... does that mean that all old cases were not properly handled? Why don't you ask Angela (554-5184 Clerk - BOS) why she won;t take my complaint and start an investigation against SOTF? Why don't ask Mr. Wolfe why after the other side (CITY) concedes ... they are NOT held ACCOUNTABLE for the lies and HARM such as my HIPAA matter in cases # 10038 and 11081? Why don't you ask Andrea (clerk - SOTF - 554-7724) why the TASK FORCE has not scheduled two IDRS ... one against JOHNSON, WOLFE and Mr. RUSTOM (from Dec 2011) and the other against GRANT, FISCHER and ANDREA (recently) ?

Please don't disappoint me and followup ...HOW"S about I wait for an answer ... I'll look here for it ... just reply to my comments.

Thank you ... I KNOW you'll LEAD by EXAMPLE.

P.S. If you need more information to remind you of your articles on me ... go to http://www.myownprivateguantanamo.com ... there you will the NURSE RATCHED case, the ETHICS failure, my paperwork to them asking the CORRECT questions almost a decade (10) years ago and NATURALLY the signed confession/settlement agreement and then BEING LEFT for DEAD.

So I guess in the MEANTIME those needing SUNSHINE have NO VIABLE alternative ... should we continue to DRINK the KOOL AIDE ??? Why is NO ONE looking into this fact and discrepancy ??? Yes, Rigged as can be ... while ALL tell you they care and PROVE they do not. Again, thanks for allowing me to come to you in my time of need and as a professional journalist ... you'll get to the bottom or crux of these issues.

I await ...

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Aug. 29, 2012 @ 6:24 am

Jason Grant Garza ... it is NOW SEPT 18th 2012 ... see above comment ^^^ posted on this article ( http://www.sfbg.com/2012/06/19/fixing-sfs-sunshine-problems ) which is STILL AWAITING Bruce or ANYONE from SFBG. Here is the direct comment:
:" my dear Bruce, Tim or SFBG staff ... such concern ... why no contact over what I have for the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE? I have written many comments in your paper and not gotten any calls or inquiries over what I have. As you know, I have a signed confession/settlement agreement from the city that LEFT ME FOR DEAD. As you know I have much much much paperwork from YEARS of the SUNSHINE TASK FORCE ... where I ask questions, poinitng out failures and rigged process, and recently have IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUESTS that have NOT even been scheduled. You also state that the SUPERVISORS are closing down sunshine ... (the task force) has not heard cases in JUNE, JULY and NOW AUGUST ... don't the INNOCENT VICTIMS deserve an alternative and why has your paper NOT suggested one? Bruce, MORALS and CONCERN only apply at all times and NOT only when it might sell copy.

Please Bruce ... you were on the TASK FORCE (many years ago) ... why aren't you asking about the RULES and STANDARDS change at ETHICS for a "POUND of FLESH" against ROSS or why are you NOT asking about the "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" charges against SUPERVISORS and St. Croix that STILL have not been heard at ETHICS ... yet, they sit in JUDGMENT over ROSS. If the RULES and STANDARDS have changes ... does that mean that all old cases were not properly handled? Why don't you ask Angela (554-5184 Clerk - BOS) why she won;t take my complaint and start an investigation against SOTF? Why don't ask Mr. Wolfe why after the other side (CITY) concedes ... they are NOT held ACCOUNTABLE for the lies and HARM such as my HIPAA matter in cases # 10038 and 11081? Why don't you ask Andrea (clerk - SOTF - 554-7724) why the TASK FORCE has not scheduled two IDRS ... one against JOHNSON, WOLFE and Mr. RUSTOM (from Dec 2011) and the other against GRANT, FISCHER and ANDREA (recently) ?

Please don't disappoint me and followup ...HOW"S about I wait for an answer ... I'll look here for it ... just reply to my comments.

Thank you ... I KNOW you'll LEAD by EXAMPLE."

Ha, ha.ha .... A NATION OF FOOLS DESERVES WHAT IT RECEIVES ....

Keep DRINKING the KOOL- AID .... such CONCERN, SUCH COMPASSION, SUCH UNWAIVERING GOALS ... and most of all SUCH A BLATANT FAILURE ... all meaningless words with NO RESULTS. Oh, I'm sorry ... the GAME SELLS PRINT.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 5:51 am

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