01 Retirement Liability Funding Status and Strategies

With no prior warning yesterday the City of Fullerton emailed the agenda for a November 12, 2:30 pm meeting of the Fullerton City Council to discuss the status of retirement liability funding of city employees. The meeting is characterized as a “special study session” of the City Council, which normally meets for public sessions in the evenings of the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. The agenda is signed by Human Resources Director Gretchen Beatty and Director of Administrative Services Julia James. The study session is scheduled to take place at the Fullerton Public Library Conference Center.

California’s Brown Act strictly requires that agendas be posted at least 72 hours in advance of meetings unless the meeting can be characterized as a “special” one, in which case a mere 24 hours is required by law. Such a meeting can be called by the Mayor or a majority of the city council. No explanation of why Wednesday’s meeting was scheduled with such short notice has been offered, and there is no indication that there are emergency circumstances to justify it.

Scheduling a meeting about Fullerton’s significant pension liability in the middle of a work day afternoon with inadequate notice has angered activists who see it as an unwarranted and suspicious manipulation of the agenda process. City staffers are unavailable for comment today because of the Veterans Day holiday, leaving some residents to wonder if the city council would rather have this discussion away from the eyes of the public.

The meeting does not appear on the city’s main online calendar, although the formal agenda is posted under the usual live and archived meetings link. The Rag assumes that it will be recorded for later viewing by interested members of the public who may work during the day.