Press Release - 12-20-2023

Eureka City School Board Adheres to Brown Act Regulations in Real Property Negotiations in Relationship to the Jacobs Property
Posted on 12/20/2023

Eureka, CA – December 20, 2023 —The Eureka City School Board is committed to transparency and accountability in all its operations, particularly in compliance with the Ralph M. Brown Act, California's open meeting law. The Board recognizes the importance of keeping the public informed while also safeguarding sensitive negotiations related to real property. 

The Brown Act, enacted to ensure public access to the decision-making processes of local government agencies, allows the School Board to discuss certain confidential matters in closed session. This expressly includes discussion regarding the terms of real property negotiations. This provision is designed to protect the District's bargaining position and to facilitate open and candid discussions among board members without divulging the parameters of what has been provided to the District’s negotiator, in this case the Superintendent.

During these closed sessions, the Board is permitted to deliberate and consider the specifics of real property transactions without disclosing sensitive information to the public. This enables the School Board to provide parameters to the Superintendent to negotiate effectively, ensuring the best interests of the district and its stakeholders are upheld. 

The Brown Act mandates certain documents related to real property negotiations be made public at specific stages of the process. Once a formal agreement is reached and ready to proceed to the Board for approval, the relevant documents, such as the terms of the transaction, are made available to the public in accordance with the law. In the case of our most recent meeting, the relevant agreement on which the Board was giving direction to the Superintendent was an exchange of property.  That agreement was linked to the resolution approving the agreement and authorizing the District staff to enter into escrow on the Jacobs property. Until the Board gave direction to the Superintendent regarding terms, the agreement and related resolution were not yet public records.

The Eureka City School Board remains committed to upholding the principles of transparency and accountability. Information shared during closed sessions is kept confidential until the appropriate time for public disclosure, aligning with the legal requirements of the Brown Act. In the case of our Board meeting on Thursday, December 14, 2023, the relevant resolution and attached agreement was made public immediately following the closed session and at the outset of the public session portion of the meeting, prior to the Board’s action on the resolution and agreement.

Press Contact
Micalyn Harris, Executive Assistant
Superintendent’s Office
[email protected]
Tel: 707-441-2414