By Robert Haugh
Councilman Kevin Park mysteriously didn’t show up for Tuesday’s City Council meeting. That caused people to speculate that he was hiding from the discussion about abusive behavior.
But Park showed up the very next day to the Committee on Economic Development, Communication and Marketing meeting.
But no one expected him to.
That’s why Vice Mayor Raj Chahal was there from the beginning of the meeting. He’s the Committee’s alternate and was replacing Park.
Also, at the meeting were Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe and Councilman Anthony Becker.
The meeting had been going on for about half an hour when City staff said Park joined the meeting. He wanted to be admitted as a panelist. Park was apparently calling in from Korea.
But that was a huge problem because of the Brown Act. That’s the State law that governs public meetings and how many members of a body can serve on a committee and subcommittee.
The purpose of the Brown Act is to make sure that a majority of a legislative body makes decisions at publicly noticed meetings. Every local official is aware of it.
If both Park and Chahal were participants in the meeting, it would have violated the law. The Brown Act says only three members of a 7-member legislative body can serve on committees.
So the meeting had to be stopped.
Chahal, according to sources, was asked to leave the meeting so Park could participate.
Park not only bumped Chahal from the meeting but he made a comment that everyone should participate since it’s a public meeting.
That left City Hall people rolling their eyes.
One person joked about Park: “we need to mail him a copy of the Brown Act in oversized print to make it easy for him to read and understand.”