In recent weeks we’ve made several attempts to contact the interim City Attorney for Modesto, Adam Lindgren, we’ve left detailed messages but Mr. Lindgren refuses to return our calls. The first time was before the Jan. 7th meeting of the City Council to discuss the Mayor’s illegal refusal to allow those who had spoken at the Dec. 3rd meeting regarding the General Plan Amendment to speak again despite the fact that the proposal had changed significantly. We left messages explaining the legal ramifications in an attempt to head this miscarriage of the Brown Act off at the pass. Unfortunately the City Attorney had been given the task of ‘finding’ a way to keep the people from speaking again so it became necessary to educate both he and the Mayor in public. Fortunately one of our contributors quoted the case on point (Friant Water Authority v. County of Madera) and eventually the Mayor relented and allowed those who spoke at the Dec.3rd meeting to speak again.
The second time it’s regarding the Mayors threat to remove anyone holding signs from the meeting. Admittedly it was a childish threat made in anger. We called Mr. Lindgren, who seems to ALWAYS be out of the office, several times but he refuses to return my call. So as is our way, we made a Public Record Request of the city for the applicable City Charter amendment that would allow the Mayor to take away the First Amendment rights of the attendees. The Supreme Court has ruled signs are “free speech.” Here are the eleven pages the City responded with. If you can find where this document allows the Mayor to threaten to throw citizens out of the meeting for carrying signs please let us know.City_Council_Organization_and_Procedure (2)
Mr. Mayor, until you finally corrected yourself towards the end of the Jan.7th meeting you violated the law, please don’t do it Tuesday night.