Dear YCCD Family,
I hope this message finds you and your loved ones heathy and well. In an effort to maintain strong communication and transparency throughout this everchanging COVID –19 landscape, please review the following information regarding the Governing Board’s recent decisions regarding virtual meetings and social distancing.
Starting in March 2020, amid rising concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19 throughout communities in the state, Governor Newsom issued a series of Executive Orders aimed at containing the novel coronavirus. These Executive Orders (N-25-20, N-29-20, N-35-20) collectively modified certain requirements created by the Ralph M. Brown Act (“The Brown Act”), the state’s local agency public meeting laws.
The executive orders waived several requirements, including requirements in the Brown Act expressly or impliedly requiring the physical presence of members of the legislative body, or of the public as a condition of participation in or for the express purpose of establishing a quorum for a public meeting. Local agencies were eventually explicitly freed from the obligation of providing a physical location from which members of the public could observe the meeting and offer public comment.
On June 11, 2021, the Governor issued Executive Order N-08-21 which rescinds the modifications made to the Brown Act, effective September 30, 2021. After that date, local agencies were required to observe all the usual Brown Act requirements as they existed prior to the issuance of the orders. Assembly Bill 361, signed by Governor Newsom in September, provides local agencies with the ability to meet remotely during proclaimed state emergencies under modified Brown Act requirements (Governor Newsom issued a state of emergency proclamation for the state of California in June 2020; that proclamation is currently in effect and has not been lifted), similar in many ways to the rules and procedures established by the Governor’s Executive Orders.
Criteria surrounding AB 361 permit a local agency to schedule a remote meeting to determine whether meeting in-person during the state of emergency would pose imminent risk to the health or safety of attendees. At that remote meeting, a local agency may determine by majority vote that sufficient risks exist to the health or safety of attendees as a result of the emergency and pass a resolution to that effect. These criteria also permit a local agency to meet remotely in the event that there is a state of emergency declaration while state or local officials have recommended or required measures to promote social distancing. The resolution would permit meeting under the provisions of AB 361 for a maximum period of 30 days.
Due to Executive Order N-08-21 which rescinds the modifications made to the Brown Act, The Yuba Community College District Governing Board has elected to rely on AB 361 criteria and hold Regular and Sub-Committee meetings of the Governing Board in a virtual setting as state and local officials have recommended measures to promote social distancing.
The Governing Board met in a Special Board Meeting on October 6, 2021, and adopted Resolution 21-65 implementing teleconferencing requirements during a proclaimed state of emergency under Government Code section 54953 for the duration of 30 days as provided by Assembly Bill 361. This Resolution will expire on November 5, 2021 at which time the Governing Board will reassess the need for remote meetings under modified Brown Act requirements due to social distancing needs, as required by AB 361.
Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we navigate through these ever-changing times.
YCCD Governing Board