The City of Pacifica issued an undated press release (click link for PDF) on or about September 19, 2013, stating that meetings planned by the City Council to hear citizen comments about the highway-widening project would have to be delayed "until the legal issues are resolved."
But no council action approved this policy decision, and there was no statement about how this policy position was reached. This was not an official council action, so the press release was an unauthorized, unapproved statement of a new council policy.
The press release was printed on city letterhead but not attributed to anyone. No contact information was given, as is usually the case with a press release. No one on the letterhead was designated as a media contact for comments or information.
The press release quotes Mayor Len Stone as saying the council is “forced to wait to move forward.” But this is untrue. In the past, the city has held hearings on projects that were the subject of litigation. The council is not “forced” to NOT hold hearings on the widening project.
Not having hearings is clearly a policy decision, not a requirement. But who made this decision? The mayor does not have the authority to make such a decision for the entire council. The council must vote on any such decision for it to be an official policy position. Is the statement of an unauthorized, unapproved council policy in a city-issued press release an illegal action?