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Posted on: August 18, 2017

Anaheim adopts sunshine ordinance, brings added accountability to local government

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 18, 2017) — Anaheim’s City Council has taken a major step toward stronger, more responsive and accountable local government with the adoption of a comprehensive “sunshine ordinance.”

The ordinance, which passed by a 7-0 vote on Aug. 15, provides new rules for public meetings, city projects and outside lobbying, including by recently departed city employees and officials.

“These are commonsense measures that strengthen accountability and enhance confidence for the residents and businesses of Anaheim,” Mayor Tom Tait said. “They now know that their city operates under some of the highest standards of ethics and good governance in Orange County.”

Here are the key provisions of the ordinance:

  • Lobbyist registration: Those who lobby Anaheim’s City Council and administration are required to register and file quarterly reports. Lobbyists and employees of lobbying firms that advocate before the city or regional agencies where Anaheim has a voting seat cannot be employed by the city.
  • Revolving door: Elected officials who leave office or employees who leave the city are barred from lobbying of advocating Anaheim for two years. Recently departed elected officials and employees also are limited in how they can go on to work for companies that do business with Anaheim.
  • Community outreach: Major projects by the city will see early neighborhood notification, community meetings and informational signs at project sites. Large private developments will include informational signs at project sites.
  • Open government: Emails from the City Council and top officials will be kept for 90 days, up from 30 now; audio recordings will be made available for most city boards, commissions and task forces; and City Council agendas will include full costs of transactions and contracts.

“Building trust and confidence in our decision-making is essential to effective governance,” said Council Member Jose F. Moreno, author of the ordinance. “Bringing ‘sunshine’ into City Hall is a milestone for our city and fulfills a promise to expand transparency and integrity I made upon joining the City Council.”

The ordinance, which takes effect in September, can be found here.

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