Lawsuits filed against Kern County and Bakersfield officials regarding possible Brown Act violation re: anti-PACE votes

August 10, 2017 by C&BP via ChecksAndBalancesProject.org

News & Investigation

Lawsuits filed against Kern County and Bakersfield officials regarding possible Brown Act violation re: anti-PACE votes

August 10, 2017 by C&BP via ChecksAndBalancesProject.org

Checks and Balances Project (C&BP), a national investigative watchdog blog, today filed a pair of lawsuits against Bakersfield-area politicians to get to the bottom of their dealings with Realtor lobbyists to kill a popular home improvement financing program.

On July 11, 2017, the Kern County Board of Supervisors voted to shut down local residents’ right to use the Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) program to finance energy efficiency improvements to their homes. The Bakersfield City Council did the same eight days later.

The C&BP lawsuits follow the revelation that an influential Realtor lobbyist bragged that she had secured the votes of local elected officials who “are willing to lead the charge on a moratorium of local PACE financing and commit the necessary votes, but are asking for political cover.”

C&BP’s First Amendment attorney, Karl Olson, has called the admission a “smoking gun.”

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Did Kern County elected officials violate the Brown Act?

Recently, PACE in Kern County and Bakersfield have faced major opposition by the local Realtors association. They claim it makes homes harder to sell and that PACE will cause a sub-prime crisis so they want to kill PACE to prevent such a crisis.

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