Public Information Request With City of Elk Grove For Sign Ordinance Meeting Denied

September 11, 2013 | Elk Grove News was denied a public information request regarding a meeting held between the city, unidentified ...

September 11, 2013 |

Elk Grove News was denied a public information request regarding a meeting held between the city, unidentified representatives of fast food developer Gil Moore and attorney Matthew Keasling over the recently changed Elk Grove highway sign ordinance.

The August 30 request from EGN sought information and documentation about a meeting that Keasling, who represents AKT Development, had with unidentified City of Elk Grove personnel and representatives of Moore, who sought the ordinance change.

In his comments at the August 21, 2013 Elk Grove City Council meeting, Keasling said  the city conducted a meeting on behalf of his client and Moore over the sign ordinance and praised the ensuing agreement they hammered out. (His comments can be seen at the :45 mark.)

In their denial, the city cited attorney-client confidentiality privilege case law which grants exemption from statues governing disclosure of government documents.

In the city's denial, Assistant City Attorney Suzanne E. Kennedy verified the meeting  and said there were documents identified with the request, but did not provide names of who attended the meeting or when it was held. Presumably a member of the city's legal staff was in attendance.

See denial letter below.

click to enlarge. 

Post a Comment Default Comments


Anonymous said...

Wait a ding dang minute! You mean to tell me that city staff held a meeting between to developer regarding an issue that appear before the council and we don't get to know what happened in that meeting? What attorney client privilege?

More back door deals. And we're paying the city attorney to cover up the illegal activity. It's past time to clean house and I mean the whole house. Get rid of the council and all city employees. We either need to start over or just accept that our council is corrupt and looks the other way.

Thanks for trying EGN.

Capt. Renault said...

I'm shocked, shocked to find that there are back-door deals going on in city hall!

Bill B said...

When will the citizens wake up and demand more out of our elected city officials?

Mayor Davis, you read these blogs, what is your response?

These back room deals have gone on way to long. Our local government is corrupt. It is time to clear house...from the city manager to the council members.

These people will bankrupt our city.

Anonymous said...

I'm not following the logic here. Someone please help me understand. I hear from the tape that developers and the city staff got together to "hammer out" details of the new sign ordinance but the citizens cannot find out what was said; who promised who what; who was in the room; and what city staff were in the room? Why not? What attorney/client privilege are they talking about? If one of these developers brought their attorney with them to the meeting, that's great..fine and dandy...but unless you are divulging what the McD "secret sauce" is; why would the citizens not be able to learn simple elements of the meeting? If it was such a big secret, why did this guy mention the existence of the meeting it at the city council meeting at all?? This isn't right at all....what are they hiding? Mayor Davis...time to stand up and be heard!

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

What a disappointment Mayor Davis has become. All his talk about city hall being "the people's house" at the opening of council meetings is nothing but a bunch of hot air. This case is but one example of how the mayor and city council say one thing, but mean something entirely different.

Connie said...

Maybe Mr. Keasling mentioned it because it was no big deal and he was simply letting everyone know the meeting had occurred. I think he is to be admired here. Seems it is the city attorney who is one who is hiding info from the community.

Sarah Johnson said...

I agree with the comments above. What attorney client privelege? This stinks so badly and we must do something about it!
Did Gil Moore do his victory dance for City staff? PLEASE!

Perry Mason said...

Next time a sitting Councilmember or Council candidate (you know who you are) touts their push for "government transperancy", what they really mean is that they will follow the bare minimum requirements of the law--nothing more, nothing less! Don't be sucked in by the sound bites. Heaven forbid if you attend a meeting and hope to speak longer than three minutes!

Jim said...

City Manager Gill: You were there, right?

What deal was brokered before the council got direction to approve the modification from staff?

It the alternative, why was the meeting required to be privileged?

It was just a meeting to "discuss" a possible change to the sign ordinance, not a constitutionally protected meeting btw someone charged with murder and his trusted council.

This really stinks.

Mayor Davis? Are you afraid to respond to the voters who feel they've been duped? Where is the transparency that you constantly profess?

Our city really does need new leadership.

Anonymous said...

Some time back if I remember correctly, it was mentioned at a council meeting that Mr. Moore did not own land to place a sign on and the owners of other pieces of commercial property would not lease or sell space for Mr. Moore to place his signs on. At about that same time or shortly after the city had some discussions about selling some pieces they own and it appeared that would be something Mr. Moore would be interested in for his signs. Now could this meeting with the city be about his purchasing one of those properties from the city? Of course the city had never mentioned anything about selling this land until Mr. Moore started his little sign fiasco. I would assume that would be something that would not be legally disclosed as the city stated.

Anyone...remember more about this or was this just one of my bad dreams? lol When speaking on TV he seemed to not be having any problems with his signs...even giving dimensions, 5' - 6'.

Lynn said...

to the above; no it is not a bad dream, unfortunately but true this "surplus" property came up at the same time. I spoke on this issue; I thought one site would make a great park and connection for bike trails and another piece should not be sold because it was unclear of the placement of the connector along grantline. The park; quality of life for residents. the other I mention I was hoping city would not be placed in the position of having to purchase it back as an easement.

Elk Grove News said...

To Anon 19:02

Here are couple stories in reference to the matter you mentioned. Both are open for viewing.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I thought attorney/client privilege was between an attorney and his client. What happens when there are 20 other people in the same room; at the same meeting? Are they all held to that standard? Who’s stopping one of the others in the room from disclosing what was said. If that is possible, I doubt the attorney/client privilege applies. This is a white-wash. Disgusted with this council. No more votes for Davis. NONE.

Anonymous said...

True Anon. 13:25. I'm disgusted with this whole mess and do wonder why one of our council didn't respond when the attorney for Mr. Moore spoke about the meeting as he did. That pretty much removes an attorney/client privilege at least where others in attendance are concerned. Thinkin' maybe time to clean house again...and
Mr. Davis needs to be first on the list followed by Mr. Detrick when the time rolls around.

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast