(Minutes not formally adopted until next meeting)

Meeting Date: December 1, 2003

Board Members Present: Shelley Smith (President), Jule Bishop (Treasurer), Judith Reel (Secretary), Rosemary Chavez - by proxy (Criminal Director), Christine McCall - by proxy (Civil Director), Eskel Solomon (Civil Director)

I. Old Business

A. Evaluation of Office Expenditures and Lack of Salary Savings

As was reported in previous minutes, the Board is undertaking a review of the City Attorney’s budget and expenditures in response to members’ concerns about possible fund diversion and in order to determine why there is no money available for merit and promotion. As a starting point, the Board asked management to provide a list of all personnel, their assignments, and salaries, and management agreed to provide the information. At the end of October, there was a published decision, Teamsters Local 856 v. Priceless, LLC (2003) 112 Cal.App.4th 1500, which held that salaries paid to public employees were not necessarily public information. In light of that decision, the Board agreed that it would accept a list of all personnel and their assignments, without any salary information, and at a meeting on November 20, management agreed to provide such a list.

Approximately one week after the November 20 meeting, the Association asked management to provide a production date, and management responded that it had changed its mind and in light of the Teamsters decision would not provide a list of all personnel employed by the Office and their assignments. Management now contends that the area of assignment of a public employee is not a matter of public record.

Some Board members present discussed their belief that management is seeking to unlawfully and unreasonably prevent an investigation into its personnel practices and spending decisions. The Board voted unanimously to authorize SEIU, Local 347, to file a formal demand for the information requested, and if that demand is denied, to file an Unfair Labor Practices Charge with the City’s Employee Relations Board. The basis of the charge would be that management is unlawfully preventing the Association from effectively representing its members. We will keep you apprised of further developments.

B. Retirement Pension Formula

The Board will consider the issue at the next meeting, and has invited Phil Sugar to attend to discuss his efforts to seek an enhanced retirement formula. After the Board meeting, Shelley Smith, Judy Reel, and SEIU Local 347 General Counsel Bob Hunt met with Phil Sugar and Sam Olson (a City Engineer and one of the original proponents of the most recent drive to obtain an enhanced retirement formula). Messrs. Sugar and Olson explained that they sought an enhanced retirement formula, and all present discussed how to fund such an enhancement. It was recognized that the increase in City costs created a major obstacle during the last round of retirement negotiations.

The Board members present and Bob Hunt all expressed support for the efforts of those pressing for an enhanced retirement formula, and discussed how the Association and Local 347 could assist. Shelley Smith and Bob Hunt will arrange for Messrs. Sugar and Olson to obtain the actuarial reports used to analyze the retirement formula which was the subject of a recent election, and Shelley Smith will assist, if needed, in arranging for them to make a presentation to the coalition of city employee organizations which jointly negotiate civilian pension formulas.

C. Board Election

The following submitted petitions to run for open seats on the Board: Shelley Smith for President, Mary Dennis for Vice-President, Judith Reel for Secretary, Lisa Berger for Proprietary Director, and Christine McCall for Civil Director. There were no contested seats, and accordingly the Board voted to approve the election without the need for and expense of formal balloting. The Board voted to take up the issue of filling vacant Criminal Director seats at the next meeting.

This meeting represented the last Board meeting of outgoing Proprietary Director Eskel Solomon. The Board expressed its appreciation for his years of service, and Eskel said it was an honor to serve.

II. New Business

A. Member Access to City Hall East

After the Office move to the lower floors in City Hall East, visitors to the building must enter on the second floor and obtain a visitor’s badge from building security personnel. Attorneys and office personnel assigned to work in the building are issued a picture identification card, which allows them to enter the building without having to obtain a visitor’s badge. Some Association members who work in buildings other than City Hall East routinely have business to conduct at City Hall East and have complained about having to obtain a visitor’s badge for each visit.

Board members spoke to management about the issue, and management agreed that those attorneys who are assigned to work at buildings other than City Hall East and yet often have business to conduct in the building may obtain a picture identification card which will allow them to access the building without the need to obtain a visitor’s badge. Attorneys wishing to obtain such a card should contact Personnel Director Sandra Peelen. Unlike cards issued to personnel who are assigned to work in the building, the cards will not have the magnetic stripe which is needed to access the internal hallways and restrooms, but management states that such a card can be obtained from the receptionist located on each floor.

B. Governance Review

Board members spoke about their desire to update the Association by-laws in order to make the organization more responsive to its members. Some areas which might be the subject of an amendment include allowing for elections to proceed by electronic mail when the technology becomes available, reorganizing the slate of officers, and allowing the Board to remove members who no longer attend meetings. Board members will query the membership in the questionnaire to go out early in 2004 and voted to ask Board member Lisa Berger to propose topics regarding governance and the Association’s by-laws particularly ripe for review.

C. PAC Policies

The Board voted to renew its PAC policies which allocate to the PAC account $1.00 per member per pay period.


As you know, our new MOU includes annual reimbursement for MCLE-related expenses. To ensure that you receive complete and timely reimbursement, we encourage you to follow the instructions contained in the MCLE protocol provided by City Attorney Management. You must complete and submit a reimbursement form in order to receive reimbursement.

You can reimburse expenses related to attending MCLE programs that are accepted by the California State Bar, even if the program takes place in another state. Eligible expenses include the cost of the program, travel, and per diems.

Please be judicious when choosing lodging and which food/drink expenses you submit for reimbursement.

The Board is pleased to announce that LACAA has retained the law firm of MASTAGNI, HOLSTEDT, AMICK, MILLER & JOHNSEN as General Counsel.

To sign up for the LACAA newsletter and email updates from Oscar Winslow,
LACAA's President, send a request to lacaapresident@gmail.com.