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PO e CITY OF <br />z NEWPORT BEACH <br />,q City Council Staff Report <br />May 8, 2018 <br />Agenda Item No. 10 <br />TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL <br />FROM: Dave Kiff, City Manager <br />949-644-3001, dkiff ja� <br />Aaron Harp, City Attorney <br />949-644-3131, aharp <br />PREPARED BY: Aaron Harp, City Attorney <br />TITLE: Government Code Section 54960.2(c)(1) Response to Ralph M. <br />Brown Act Allegation by Lauri Preedge Served on the City of <br />Newport Beach April 10, 2018 <br />ABSTRACT - <br />On April 10, 2018, Lauri Preedge served the City of Newport Beach ("City") with a letter <br />alleging a violation of the Ralph M. Brown Act ("Brown Act"). Under Government Code <br />Section 54960.2(c)(1), the City has thirty (30) days from receipt of Ms. Preedge's letter <br />to respond thereto. City staff has reviewed Ms. Preedge's letter and found the <br />allegations to be without merit. Council Member Herdman, however, has asked the City <br />Manager to place this matter on the agenda so the City Council can consider <br />responding to Ms. Preedge's letter before the statutory deadline. Even though City staff <br />has determined there is no merit to the allegations, City staff is recommending the City <br />Council adopt an unconditional commitment letter, which is provided for in Government <br />Code Section 54960.2(c)(1), so that the City can avoid the further expenditure of public <br />resources and unnecessary litigation ("Letter"). The Letter does not admit liability or the <br />presence of a Brown Act violation but it does conserve limited public resources by <br />preventing Ms. Preedge or any other person from initiating unnecessary litigation. <br />RECOMMENDATION: <br />a) Determine this action is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act <br />("CEQA") pursuant to Sections 15060(c)(2) and 15060(c)(3) of the CEQA Guidelines <br />because this action will not result in a physical change to the environment, directly or <br />indirectly; and <br />b) Select one of the following three options: <br />(1) Authorize the Mayor to sign the attached Letter pursuant to California <br />Government Code Section 54960.2(c)(1), which admits no fault but avoids <br />unnecessary and costly litigation from Ms. Preedge; <br />(2) Direct staff to prepare a rejection letter to Ms. Preedge denying the allegations <br />contained in Ms. Preedge's letter. However, this recommendation may result in <br />Ms. Preedge filing a lawsuit against the City costing public resources; or <br />10-1 <br />