Court refuses city appeal of disclosure ruling

ENCINITAS — A California Court of Appeals refused to consider an appeal by the city of Encinitas of a Superior Court judge’s recent ruling that it must release a draft report of its road conditions.
Judge Timothy Casserly ordered the city on May 24 to release the draft study of road conditions prepared by Nichols Consulting Engineers that has remained sealed even though the final report was released to the public. Kevin Cummins, a local resident and frequent critic of City Hall sued the city after it refused to disclose the public document.
After a two-hour closed session on June 3, the City Council voted to appeal a judge’s ruling that requires the city to disclose a draft report of road conditions that it previously refused to release to the public.
The 4-1 vote, with Councilwoman Teresa Barth dissenting, came after half-a-dozen speakers urged the council to comply with the judge’s ruling and make the draft document public.
The council voted unanimously not to appeal the 4th District court’s ruling to the California Supreme Court during a closed-session meeting July 13.
“All the way the city could have avoided this by being open with the public,” Cummins said in a written statement after his attorney, Dennis Winston notified him of the court’s latest order.
“They (the council) were stunned that citizens would band together and say enough is enough,” he continued. “On the other hand I’m sure it was no surprise to them that court said its time to follow the law. I’m sure they thought they would have worn us out by now.”

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