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The Lockean Project

Abuse of the process

“Abuse of the process,” Carmel Pine Cone – July 2022

Last week’s editorial is correct. The request for records connected to the installation of lights at Carmel High School is a “blatant abuse”. The same can be said for the abusive use of CEQA. Unfortunately, the current law does not provide limitations on the process, no matter how detrimental to the public.

The only limitations are the conscience of the requestors and their attorneys. They are the ones who must weigh the benefits to their cause against the burden on the public agency and the taxpayers. In short, it is a matter of personal conscience.

The Public Records Act is intended to assure that government actions are open to discovery by the people. Placing limitations on the right to discovery have been proposed to limit abuse. Those proposals have been successfully opposed based on the belief that the public benefit of unimpeded access outweighs the negative impact of occasional abuse. This belief leaves the matter to personal conscience.

In light of the extreme local abuses of CEQA and the PRA, and the exorbitant public expense and detrimental project delay, it is time for legislative action.

George Brehmer, Carmel Valley