Council Majority Said CCPD will not see Layoffs
June 25, 2020
Protect Culver City, a political action commitee, predicted that they may face opposition, and they were right. Culver City Action Network organized about 40-50 speakers, who got in line first at this week's City Council meeting "to discuss police policies and budget." They pushed for CCAN's position to remove 20% or more from the police budget and put it into social programs of their choosing. Council cut off the rest of the comments - about 200 of them - so they would have time to deliberate on the issue before midnight.
Councilmembers Eriksson, Fisch and Small all rejected any budget cuts which would have resulted in police layoffs. They directed the city manager to move some surface funds around. That's it for now, but anything is still possible. At the June 22nd meeting they will approve the budget.
After council deliberated, the city clerk read the remaining comments - about 200 of them, well into the wee hours. According to preliminary estimates, about 80-85% of those comments opposed defunding the police.
PCC reported that they were only notified about the meeting 72 hours ahead of time - the minimum time legally required - and in the vaguest terms possible: "discuss police policies and budget." CCAN had been organizing this for weeks in anticipation of this meeting.
PCC said they did not know the meeting would be debating something so consequential. They felt their members did not have an adequate opportunity to speak.
While Council followed all the legal technicalities of a meeting. PCC questions whether California's Brown Act was followed in the spirit of the law. The Act guarantees the public's right to attend and participate in public meetings.
PCC writes "those of us who've attended Brown Act trainings have learned, 'if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it's a duck.'
Right now, we're being told this is not a duck. To paraphrase the old 'cecin'est pas une pipe' - 'cecin'est pas un canard.'"
PCC filed an official complaint with district attorney Jackie Lacey's office about this, stating the council has a pattern of not alerting residents about their dealings. They may not have a legitimate case, but citizen experience does mean something. If you wish to file a complaint about any issue, you can do so on her contact page.
Meanwhile, PCC is currently working on lawn signs to "DEFEND NOT DEFUND."